A podcast (not to be confused or equated with Apple Inc's iPod) usually consists of a combination of audio and/or video that is made available for download via syndication. It is this syndication aspect of the delivery that separates a podcast from a file available for download. The files are usually retrieved with software applications (generically known as podcatchers) such as Apple's iTunes so that subscribers can listen at their convenience on devices that have intermittent, slow, or are otherwise lacking Internet access. The podcatcher reads an [RSS] feed (whose entries point to specific podcasts, usually sorted by date) to identify and retrieve the podcast.
Like the term broadcast, podcast can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which the content is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. A podcaster is the person who creates the content.
A podcast is syndicated via an RSS feed. This feed enables distribution over the Internet by syndicated download. Though the same content may also be made available by direct download or streaming, a podcast is distinguished from most other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added.