What is webcast?


A webcast is a media file distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology. As a broadcast may either be live or recorded, similarly, a webcast may either be distributed live or recorded. Essentially, webcasting is “broadcasting” over the Internet.

The generally accepted use of the term webcast is the "transmission of linear audio or video content over the Internet".

A webcast uses streaming media technology to take a single content source and distribute it to many simultaneous listeners/viewers.

The largest "webcasters" include existing radio and TV stations who "simulcast" their output, as well as a multitude of Internet only "stations". The term webcasting is usually reserved for referring to non-interactive linear streams or events.

Rights and licensing bodies offer specific "webcasting licenses" to those wishing to carry out Internet broadcasting using copyright material.

Webcasting is also used extensively in the commercial sector for investor relations presentations (such as Annual General Meetings), in E-learning (to transmit seminars), and for related communications activities. However, webcasting does not bear much, if any, relationship to the idea of web conferencing which is designed for many-to-many interaction.

The ability to webcast using cheap/accessible technology has allowed independent media to flourish. There are many notable independent shows that broadcast regularly online. Often produced by average citizens in their homes they cover many interests and topics. Webcasts relating to computers, technology, and news are particularly popular and many new shows are added regularly.

Microsoft's top 10 Highest-Rated Webcasts :

http://www.microsoft.com/events/top10.mspx

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