Monday, November 07, 2005

Audioblog v Podcast?

See these examples of podcasts that Graham Stanley is using with young learners in Spain:

When Graham writes:

"At the other place I work (teaching students of Tourism), I've asked the
learners for audio reports as part of their assessment on a short course on
theme tourism. The first group are just finishing these, and I'll be
uploading them to the site from tomorrow.

Here, the idea is for the students to produce a short radio-type report (as
a podcast) for a general audience. Their reports are to be made available to
anyone on the Internet who may be interested in listening , and I'm also
going to encourage the other students to listen to them."

This is similar to what others are calling audioblogging. What is it that makes one podcasting or audioblogging? Is it
* the intention (engage, instruct, invite comment)?
* the target audience?
* the software used?



Dafne Gonzalez and Lee Baber also shared what they were doing with their classes on the webheads discussion list. Let me take two examples:

1) Lee: "I am going to launch an audioblog.. one spokesperson per class.. for students to respond to the days lessons with questions, ideas, suggestions to other

2) Dafne: "Students summarize texts and record their summaries"

Lee uses the term audioblogging. Daf refers to activity number 2 above as podcasts. But in type, these two activities are essentially the same. Students are summarising and reporting in audio. So is podcasting and audioblogging the same thing? A minor point I realise - I often want to run away and do something more interesting when people start talking definitions but in this case I'm curious - is there a difference between podcasting and audioblogging?


Lee said...

I would like to look into this myself. Well, the way I see it is an audiolog is a recording .... period. It can be defined any way you want. It can be put anywhere you want. But... a podcast is something you do on a regular basis and is automatically downloaded on your computer or iPod to listen to later. It is a subscription to a recording... Sound right?

Clair Taylor said...

I've been thinking that a podcast is more finished- carefully edited. Say, scripted, recorded in Audacity and cut and edited to make a nice finished product. But audioblogging is more...just speaking thoughts aloud.'One take.' Less structured. More process.
This in addition to what Lee said.

blog-efl said...

Hi Michael

It's a good question, and Lee has the right answer. An audioblog (such as your fine example) is set up so that people visit it and listen to your posts. To do this, they have to be sitting at their computer and looking at your blog.

A podcast, on the other hand is designed to be more flexible. People can go to the blog and listen to the audio (my university students' posts can be heard on the theme tourism blog for example), and if they do this, then there seems to be the same as an audio blog, but here's where things differ:

- A blog set up to deliver podcasts always has an RSS feed that supports 'enclosures' (not all RSS feeds do, and the standard Blogger 'Atom feed' does not)
- People can subscribe to a podcast through a service such as iTunes or "podcatching" software such as iPodder and automatically download new podcasts as they are uploaded to a site.
- The 'pod' part of the word comes from Apple's iPod, and this is the key - podcasts are really designed to be downloaded and listened to on the move. As far as education is concerned, this could signify a big step forward for mobile learning.
- Podcasts can be audio or video, but they need to be a format (mp3 for example) that can be downloaded. You can't stream a podcast.

I hope this makes things clearer for people.

Clair, although a lot of podcasts now are radio-type programs, and many are scipted, there are still lots of spontaneous and roughly recorded podcasts. The term podcast can just as well cover a simple mono 30 second recording of a person rambling uploaded to a blog as it can a scripted radio show with jingles and music.

blog-efl said...

Hi again

Related to your audio Michael, you're also right in that audioblogs usually generate more comments, especially as the listener is probably more tempted to comment as they are at the blog, whereas a podcast listener could be in the car listening to the podcast in traffic.

However, 90% of all podcasts are linked to a blog (it's the easiest way of podcasting), and there are usually commenting facilities on the site.

I've been using Loudblog as my interface, which has a neat feature that allows people who want to comment to be able to upload audio comments (you can restrict their size)- Take a look at my podcasting site for teachers to see: Pod-efl

I'd love it if you (or anyone else) uploaded an audio file to try it out!

Buthaina Alothman said...

Hi Michael, I was trying to add your audioblog to my SupGlu, however, I got a message saying that you don't have a feed or RSS!!

Could you please activate it so that we can share!

Thanks :)

Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Mike, all.

An audio blog is what you are doing Mike. Its simply ecording audio, uploading it to a server, and announcing it (linked) in a blog.

A podast is a modification to the RSS feed coming from a site (such as a blog) so that media can be subscribed to and automatically downloaded. Podcasts are not only audio, they can be any media file.

The author must modify the RSS feed (easily done with Feedburner) so that it "encloses" a media file in the RSS feed. By being enclosed, the receiver or subscriber's computer and or portable device will be able to locate and download the file.

Podcasts are convenient for some people who migt like to do their media downloading over night, or for people who want a range of media downloaded in one hit (save doing it manually).

The reason it got the name podcast is because it enables the automation of what was otherwise a manual task of downloading. By being automated it is now closer to a broadcast. People just tune in (subscribe) and let the media (mp3, pdf, mov, what ever) come to them.

Pod refers to iPod and is an unfortunate example of commodity based language. I wish the term mediacasting was used instead.

Leigh Blackall said...

and then there's always wikipedia ;)

Michael said...

Leigh et al - what about the angle that an audioblog has implied interactivity, a podcast doesn't; and that podcasts are basically static content, audioblogs are more dynamic?

And good thinking Leigh - I'll go and check wikipedia.

Michael said...

Buth - as I understand it I do have an RSS feed on my blog - I have that little RSS button on it! - and if I go to Bloglines posts from my blog certainly are arriving there. So this means I do have the RSS feed set up correctly - I think!

blog-efl said...

Thanks Michael