Some have suggested that podcasted MP3s have the ID3 genre tag set to Podcast. Bad idea. Podcasting is no more a genre than is TV or radio. It’s a transmission mechanism: audio files as RSS enclosures. You can do that with music (of all kinds) speech, sound effects, and more. Those are genres. If you want to use a genre to idenfity things like Daily Source Code or Evil Genius Chronicles, you could refer to them as audioblogs, but even then it might be too much of a catch-all. In any case, podcasting is not a genre.
There’s also a lot of confusion about the definition of podcasting. Again, I say it’s no more (or less) than audio files as RSS enclosures. A podcaster is someone who sends audio — any audio — in this way. So what do we call the receiving end — the people who use iPodder, its derivatives, or (heaven forbid) copy the MP3s to their players by hand or listen to them on their computers? Are the listeners of podcasts podcatchers? Okay, I admit that’s a bad name that should die an immediate death, but let’s remember that podcasting is the act of sending, which is quite decoupled from the acts of receiving or listening.
Oh, one more thing. There’s been a lot of talk about the history of podcasting. According to the above definition, the first podcast I can recall was when Dave Winer worked with Christopher Lydon to deliver some of Chris’ interviews as RSS 2.0 enclosures. I immediately copied the idea. Does that make IT Conversations the second podcast? Does anyone even care who was second? 🙂 And of course Steve Gillmor was probably the first to consider the iPod platform, and Adam Curry was first to automate the receiving process all the way to the player.