I know that this means that I'm really behind the game here. But anyway, let me explain what it is I've come to understand after more than a year of listening to podcasts.
With the old media distribution channels, the content providers have all the programming on tape, and they decide what tapes you and I can watch, and when. For instance, my son wanted me to deliver him to his mom no later than ten o'clock yesterday because that's when the Cartoon Network offers a certain show that he likes. I snuck out before he was even awake and was chasing tupperware in the woods when the fated hour struck. Poor kid.
With podcasting and video-on-demand, you and I decide what we want to watch/hear, and when. The content providers' tape archives, as it were, are available to us in their entirety whenever we want over broadband. The Swedish State Broadcasting Corporation doesn't have an interviews show about the American counterculture (duh), and even if they did, its broadcasting hours would be very unlikely to fit my schedule. Podcasting is not just a convenient way for me to listen to the R.U. Sirius show: it's the only way I could listen to it. At irregular intervals, when I commute or drive longer distances. It's great. And the files will in all likelihood be instantly available for years and years to come, unlike the many brilliant radio programs that survive at best as dusty rolls of tape in the vaults of broadcasting companies.
So, Dear Reader, if you happen to be even slower than me on the uptake, let me tell you this: FM radio/TV broadcasting and cable TV are technologies of the past. Get your media over broadband. Get whatever you like, whenever you like.
[More blog entries about podcasting, media; podcasting, media.]