Podcasts and Screencasts are not the same


I realise this is mundane, but sorry Robert Scoble, I feel duty bound to disagree with you as to whether video content delivered via RSS should be called a ‘podcast’:

“Some groups call what they do
“screencasts” (cause they are doing Flash videos of what they are doing
on screen). Other groups call them blogcasts, but that term hasn’t been
accepted outside of a few small groups yet.”

Podcasting has become synonymous with ‘audio’.  Look what Wikipedia’s podcast entrymy bold:

“It is distinct from other types of online audio delivery because of its subscription model, which uses the RSS 2.0 XML format with an audio/mpeg enclosure. Podcasting enables independent producers to create self-published, syndicated “radio shows”, and gives broadcast radio programs a new distribution method. Listeners may subscribe to feeds using “podcatching” software (a type of “aggregator“), which periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically.”

To
be fair the entry does go on to say the same delivery technique can
deliver video, but this is single mention in a sea of an audio focused
definition.

Now I like your “podcasting in my mind is “Personal On Demand Casting”,
comment – nice, but…The iPod is associated with audio…it may well
do photos and video in the future too, but can it break its
brand from the audio shackles? Sony Walkman marketers tried and
failed  Maybe Apple can do this, but be sure – today is known as
an AUDIO device.

In the same way you believed what Channel 9 does is best described as video blogging, or vlogging (urgh!), (you were right by way, now you’re wrong ;-), the act of recording your screen is what screencasting is (not just in Flash btw, any video output format), or as Wikipedia puts it (I know ’cause I created the original entry, ably iterated by others since):

“A screencast is a recording of computer screen output, usually containing audio narration typically published as a video file.”

As for the terms being used by a few small groups, that maybe so, but ‘Screencast’ beats ‘Blogcast’ in a Google Fight any day of the week ๐Ÿ™‚ 
I think screencasting will always be a less active area in
terms of the number of productions compared to video blogs or vlogs
(see
Google Fight again on this) – it takes someone fairly geeky
to record their computer screen in action and publish this as a video
file. In contrast publishing handycam-created content on the
web will be much, much bigger in terms of adoption.
But screencasts and vlogs are 2 different things. Don’t
confuse them as the same.

In
my final effort to persuade you…Say I ‘m going to give a present for
your birthday and I ask you what you might like as a present. You’d
like a book, you say – you love reading…Now, as you know, there
are lots of different kinds of books.  Novels
& non-fiction.  Audio books & brail books. 
But I decide to give DVD video, and when you ask why, I reply
“’cause in my mind, books and video are type of media that
can be delivered by post, and since you wanted a book, I thought
I’d give you a video.

Books
and DVD movies are not the same.  Audio and video (with audio) are
not the same.  Podcasts and Screencasts are not the same. Why
name two different things as the same thing?

Update…trackbacks are flakey so adding manually ๐Ÿ™

Robert notices (trackback)

Frank Arrigo asks a good question in my comment:

so, what’s the collective term? or is your argument such that there shouldn’t be
one?”


I respond lamely: “Good question Frank. I don’t know, maybe ‘casts’? Blogcast, Screencast, Podcast?”  Want
to add to this: I don’t have anything against there being a collective
term for content being delivered via RSS.  My suggestion is lame,
but I don’t think it should be ‘Podcasts’ for the reasons given
above.  I also want to point out that audio files, video files –
whatever – don’t need to be within an RSS encolusure to be called a
podcast and screencast: in fact most content is right-clicked
downloaded on embedded within HTML.  These methods won’t go away
because of the advent of RSS.  Another thought….if you go to iPodder, the Podcast Network, PodcastAlley.com
or any other podcast-related directory, feedstore, etc, you’ll find
they ALL deal with audio. Not a single video-clip will be found… Anyway,
I’m rambling…

Update 14 July 2005:

Inside Microsoft (trackback):

“Of course, plenty of Microsoft employees use Appleโ€™s player, and use the word
podcast. The more important debate is why the hell are we naming the medium
after a single product? I realize the iPod is popular today, but what about in
three years? Everyone is aware that the โ€œpodโ€ in podcasting refers to the iPod,
not anything else. Personally, I like the term โ€œRSS Radioโ€ (which allows for
โ€œRSS TVโ€ instead of the terrible โ€œvlogโ€ term). What do you guys think?”


Comments (13)

  1. frankarr says:

    so, what’s the collective term? or is your argument such that there shouldn’t be one?

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Good question Frank. I don’t know, maybe ‘casts’? Blogcast, Screencast, Podcast?

  3. Mick says:

    Hmmm…its MEDIA (audio, video, images, whatever)…and it is sort of broadCAST (note that I did say "sort of")…i say we refer to it all as a "MEDIA-CAST". Thats my thinking anyway…

    Oh yeah…hang around The Podcast Network for a while yet…you may see more than audio soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Does it really matter? Doesn’t a rose by any other name not still smell so sweet?

    On what the collective name for all the Videocasts and podcasts and screencasts etc, why not follow the convention already in place with all the different mark up languages (html, xml, etc(ml)) being called *ml and call the collection of them *casts (or starCasts).

    Also, maybe Video, Photo and Audio delivered by RSS shouldn’t be called podcasts (as Alex mentioned iPods don’t handle them all). I move that we change the name to RiverCasts (after the iRiver of which I am an owner). Mine handles all these formats!

    Lastly, forget what us geeks think they should be called, think what the general public will get and if Podcast is it, then perhaps we need to leave it at podcasting and add the media at the end if needed (i.e. Podcast Audio, Podcast Video or Podcast Image).

    JMTC

    Molly

    <a href="http://mollyzine.blogspot.com&quot; target="_blank">http://mollyzine.blogspot.com</a&gt;

  5. Alex and Scoble have had some discussions on Screencasts v. Podcasts in recent days, and I don’t see the fuss about it all. Certainly they are different things, but anyone who’s ever worked in a large corporation with a myriad of tools knows that every company adopts some form of the technical vocab and transforms it into something ‘unique for their organization.’ In two years, we’ll have half-a-dozen names for each anyway. Such as: Instructions = Job aid SFA = SP2 (Sales Productivity Project) or OverQuota, or eSales or what have you… Active Screen Grabs = Screencasting (that’s what I…

  6. MK says:

    iTunes 4.9 already has rss .mov/.mpg file enclosure enabled – just not many people know about it.I think you’ll find that podcasts with video will simply be known as podcasts. I’m already trying to experiment with embedding video in my next nyub rss feed as an attempt to distribute live footage of the bands I’ve been promoting.

    Seen the economist article on podcasting this week? They’re finally taking it seriously. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    MK

  7. Denise says:

    I don’t know what we should do about the names but we have to do SOMETHING. My boss has finally embraced the idea of podcasting, probably because her boss has and so has her boss etc… and she is driving me nuts with the following rant: "Why do all of these podcasts have you looking at a blank screen while listening to them?" She just doesn’t get it – podcasts are meant to be listened to, not LOOKED AT.

    I simply cannot seem to get that through her head, probably because she doesn’t have an iPod and her real background is in video. Whatever the reason, she’s driving me INSANE with this.

  8. Kevin Remde says:

    "Blogcasts" are the term I prefer in that battle, mainly because I choose to share these and make them known in blog entries. (I’m not yet familiar with how enclosures work, so right now it’s just a link to some location that will host them.)

    And yes, the lines get blurred a bit with Video Blogs or "VBlogs". I’m guilty of blurring that line when I post my video blogs to http://www.blogcastrepository.com, too.

  9. pgrondal says:

    While I agree with Kevin Remde that blogcast is a good name (bacause I own videoblogcast.com.net.biz.info)

    It’s silly to waste much more time using anything but the term "podcast", it has been a genre on most media players now long enough that folks know what you mean without having to over-explain anything.. and frankly I’m tired of explaining the technology.. and jsut want to focus on the content. I’ll leave the definitions to wikipedia ๐Ÿ™‚ You can say vlog, vblog, vidfeoblog, videoblogcast, blogcast, or video "style" podcast and I’ll understand you. BUT without a slang term that defines the general idea we’ll never turn the internet into a tivo like we want to. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Besides, Scoble like’s the term video podcast. I got the idea from him. ๐Ÿ™‚

    His

  10. Frank says:

    How about Video Podcasts? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. JCW says:

    It is a little old school, but how about reclaiming the word "telecast"?

    Telecast used to mean an individual television broadcast, as well as the act of broadcasting television, so, like podcast, it could be both a noun and a verb.

    It is also phonetically similar to "tellycast", which to my ear, has a pleasing Britishness.