Podcasting Glossary

Podcasters throw around a fair bit of jargon and all of it actually means something this Podcasting Glossary will help. If you don’t know your stingers from your aggregators, here is a shortlist of commonly used podcasting terms.

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Podcasting Glossary

Aggregator – A software program that checks websites for new content and then automatically downloads this new content to the user’s computer. An aggregator is how listeners subscribe to your podcast. Other names for aggregators include feed reader, newsreader, news aggregator, or RSS aggregator.

Audio Blog – Another term for a podcast.

Bed – Audio that is used as a background element, such as music or special effects.

Bitrate – The measure of quality for a podcast, usually in kbps (kilobits per second). The more kbps, the higher the sound quality. This is also called the sampling rate.

Board – Short for mixing board. A device for running multiple sound sources such as microphones into a recording device. A board can be a standalone device or a software program. This is also called a mixer.

Bumper Music – Short music clips placed between segments.

Ducking – A technique of gradually lowering the volume of music when the speaker starts to talk. 

Fair Use – A legal term for copyrighted materials that can be used without permission or paying a royalty.

ID3 Tag – Specific information attached to mp3 music files that specify the artist name, genre, song title, album from which it comes, and year it was produced. This information can be included on podcast mp3 files as well.

Intro – Introductory segment that introduces the podcast and tells listeners what they can expect from the episode.

MP3 – An audio file format that can produce CD-like quality at 10% of the file size by getting rid of unnecessary high and low frequencies. 

Narrowcast – As opposed to a broadcast, which appeals to a large audience, narrowcast is a term used to describe podcasts that cater to a very specific, small demographic.

News Feed – A collection of news stories, clips, and summaries for users to browse. A news feed can include podcasts that listeners can subscribe to. The format usually used is RSS 2.0.

Outro – The ending segment of a podcast.

Podcatcher – A type of program that subscribes to and automatically downloads podcasts.

Podsafe – Royalty free music or sound clips that are made specifically for podcasts. Podsafe content may or not require you to attribute the creator or composer.

RSS – The XML format that news feeds use. It stands for ‘really simple syndication.’

Segment – One complete part of a podcast.

Show Notes – Additional information related to a podcast that you make available to your listeners. For example, news items or video clips that you refer to during the episode.

Stinger – A brief bit of music or sound effect used to punctuate a point.

Streaming – An alternative to downloading a podcast. The listener can listen to a podcast as one continuous stream straight from the provider’s website without having to actually download it. Streaming doesn’t necessarily mean ‘live,’ but there are live streaming podcasts.

Sweeper – Like a tag line (see below), a quick sound clip or bit of music that refers to your podcast.

Tag Line – A quick slogan used to describe a podcast that’s part of its branding.

Vodcast – A video podcast.

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