Pabst Podcast

Ein Podcast für den Pabst.

Pope podcast hints at broadcast revolution

As millions of pilgrims streamed into Rome this past week, a Dutch priest led Internet listeners on an intimate audio tour that allowed them to pay one last visit to Pope John Paul II before he was laid to rest.

Father Roderick Vonhogen brought the Catholic Church’s ancient rites to life through a cutting-edge format: the podcast, a radio-style show that is distributed over the Internet.

Podcasts have caught on like wildfire since they first emerged only nine months ago. Listeners can pick from roughly 10,000 shows on topics ranging from religion to wine to technology, and media companies and advertisers are taking note.

For now, it is a cottage industry dominated by the likes of Father Roderick, a parish priest from the Netherlands whose low-key charm and you-are-there narratives bring the church’s pomp and circumstance down to a human scale.

On “Catholic Insider,” listeners hear Father Roderick banter with students camped out in St Peter’s Square and describe the Pope lying in state in the basilica.

“It’s beautiful, it really looks like he’s sleeping,” he whispers as a choir sings in the background.

Thousands of podcasts can be found through directories like Podcast Alley (http://www.podcastalley.com), while listeners can automatically download new shows as they become available using free software like iPodder (http://www.ipodder.org).

Listeners can transfer their podcasts to an Apple iPod or other portable MP3 player, and listen to them when and where they wish.

A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that one in three US adults who own an MP3 player have listened to a podcast, though the survey’s small sample size means that figure could be substantially lower.

Analysts say podcasting could challenge the broadcast industry by giving consumers more control over what they hear and when they hear it.

Via ABC Net

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