Diving into podcasting? You might come across some jargon that leaves you scratching your head. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s a straightforward glossary of podcasting terms to help you out. Curious? Keep reading to become a podcasting pro in no time.
AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)
A digital audio compression format that provides better sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rate.
The process of adding advertisements into a podcast episode either manually or automatically.
A method where individuals earn commissions by promoting other people’s or companies’ products.
Data and statistics about the users of a website or podcast, which give insights into user behavior and preferences.
The visual designs, especially the cover image used for a podcast episode or show.
A visual representation of audio clips, often used for promoting podcast episodes on social media.
A hardware component that enhances the audio capabilities of a computer, often used for recording or mixing audio.
When new episodes of a subscribed podcast are downloaded automatically to the listener’s device.
All the episodes of a podcast that have been released in the past.
The maximum data transfer rate of a network or internet connection, affecting how quickly data can be sent or received.
Bed (Podcast Background Music)
Background music that plays underneath spoken content in a podcast.
An audio recording technique that creates a 3D stereo sound experience for the listener using two microphones.
The number of bits of information in each sample, and it directly corresponds to the resolution of each sample in a digital audio file.
The number of bits processed per unit of time in an audio file, often measured in kbps (kilobits per second).
See “Bit Rate”.
A short audio clip, often used at the beginning or end of a podcast segment, typically featuring music or sound effects.
The size of an audio file divided by its duration in seconds, indicating how much data is used per second.
A prompt that encourages the listener to take a specific action, such as visiting a website or signing up for a newsletter.
Another term for podcatcher, a software application used to download and play podcasts.
Markers or timestamps within a podcast episode that allow listeners to skip to specific segments or topics.
Clip (as in a short segment)
A short segment or extract from a longer audio recording.
An audio distortion that occurs when the recording level is too high, causing peaks that exceed the maximum amplitude.
The process of reducing the size of an audio file, or the dynamic range between the loudest and quietest parts of an audio signal.
An audio processing tool that reduces the dynamic range of audio by making loud sounds quieter and quiet sounds louder.
A type of microphone that captures sound using a diaphragm/plate assembly which forms a capacitor. Requires a power source.
Content Management System (CMS)
A software platform that allows users to manage, publish, and organize digital content, often used for websites and blogs.
Cost Per Mille (CPM)
The cost an advertiser pays for one thousand impressions or listens of an advertisement.
When two or more podcasters promote each other’s shows to their respective audiences.
A marker set in an audio file that indicates a specific starting point or trigger for playback.
DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
A software application used for recording, editing, and producing audio files.
Periods of silence during a broadcast or recording.
A unit of measurement for the intensity or loudness of sound.
Downloading a file directly from a website without using a podcatcher or streaming service.
Direct response advertising
Advertising designed to elicit an immediate response from the listener, usually in the form of a click, call, or purchase.
Directory (Podcast Directory)
A listing or database of podcasts that users can browse and use to discover new shows.
See “Directory (Podcast Directory)”.
A recording technique where all participants record their own audio locally, and the files are combined in post-production for better sound quality.
A type of microphone that captures sound using a diaphragm/voice coil/magnet assembly, converting sound waves into electrical energy. Does not require a power source.
The difference between the quietest and loudest parts of an audio signal.
A reflection of sound that arrives at the listener’s ears some time after the direct sound, causing a repetitive or reflected sound.
A media player that can be embedded onto websites or blogs, allowing visitors to listen directly from the site.
The process of converting audio data into a digital format for storage or transmission.
Additional information provided with a podcast episode, often including show notes, links, and resources mentioned during the episode.
An audio processing technique used to adjust the balance of frequency components in an audio signal.
Content that remains relevant and doesn’t become outdated, often used in the context of podcast episodes that remain valuable over time.
A label indicating that a podcast episode contains explicit content, such as strong language or mature themes.
A doctrine in copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, especially for commentary, criticism, or educational purposes.
Specifically, an RSS feed, which is a structured XML document that includes full or summarized text of a podcast’s episodes and other content.
A service that stores files online, allowing users to access and download them via the internet.
Format (Podcast Format and show format)
The structure or style of a podcast show, such as interview, narrative, roundtable, etc.
The rate at which a vibration occurs, constituting a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light).
An increase in signal power or voltage, often controlled by a knob or setting on audio equipment.
The process of managing levels in an audio signal chain to prevent unwanted distortion or noise.
Gate (noise gate)
An audio processing tool that silences audio signals below a specified threshold.
An appearance by a guest on a podcast episode, often for an interview or discussion.
An audio processing technique that ensures audio levels do not exceed a specified maximum.
Headliner (Podcast Marketing Tool)
A tool that allows podcasters to create promotional videos for their episodes using audiograms and other visual elements.
The amount of space between the loudest part of an audio signal and the maximum level before clipping or distortion occurs.
An audio processing tool that allows frequencies above a certain threshold to pass through while attenuating frequencies below that threshold.
A service that stores and delivers podcast audio files and associated metadata to listeners.
Websites or platforms where podcasts are hosted and made available for download or streaming.
Host (both show host and server host)
A show host is the person who presents a podcast or radio show. A server host is a service that stores website or podcast files for accessibility on the internet.
ID3 Tags (Metadata)
Data embedded in audio files that provides information about the content, such as title, artist, and other details.
Advertisements that are inserted directly into the streaming audio of a podcast episode.
A device or software application that facilitates interaction between different systems or users. In audio, often refers to hardware used to connect microphones and other equipment to computers.
Short segments, often advertisements, that appear between content sections in a podcast.
The music that plays at the beginning of a podcast episode.
The beginning segment of a podcast episode, often including a summary of what the episode will cover.
A short song or tune used in advertising and for other commercial uses, often catchy and memorable.
Kbps (Kilobits per second)
A measure of data transfer rates, often used to describe the quality or resolution of an audio file.
The amplitude or volume of an audio signal.
An audio processing tool that restricts the amplitude of a signal to a specified maximum.
Advertisements that are read live by the podcast host during the recording of an episode.
Data and metrics about a podcast’s audience, such as number of downloads, geographic location, and listening platforms.
Recording audio directly to a device in the immediate vicinity, as opposed to remote recording over the internet.
Symbolic images or designs used to identify and promote a podcast, company, or brand.
The perceived volume or intensity of an audio signal.
An audio processing tool that allows frequencies below a certain threshold to pass through while attenuating frequencies above that threshold.
A service that stores and delivers multimedia files, such as podcast episodes, for download or streaming.
Data that provides information about other data, such as title, description, and other details about a podcast episode.
Advertisements or promotional segments that appear in the middle of a podcast episode.
An audio device that combines multiple audio signals into one or more output signals.
The process of converting multiple audio tracks into a single file. Often the final step before publishing a podcast episode.
See “Mix Down”.
The process of generating revenue from a podcast, often through advertisements, sponsorships, or listener donations.
Mono vs. Stereo
“Mono” refers to single-channel audio, while “Stereo” refers to two-channel audio, providing a left and right audio experience.
Single-channel audio. All sounds are mixed together and played through a single channel.
A type of digital audio file format that uses a form of lossy data compression.
MP3, WAV, FLAC (audio formats)
Different digital audio file formats. MP3 is compressed, WAV is uncompressed and used for high-quality recordings, and FLAC is a lossless compression format, retaining audio quality while reducing file size.
Background music used underneath spoken content in media like podcasts or radio broadcasts. See “Bed (Podcast Background Music)”.
Distribution of information or content to a specific, niche audience rather than a broader, general audience.
Networks (Podcast Networks)
Groups or collections of podcasts that are produced, distributed, or promoted together, often sharing resources or audiences.
A podcast that focuses on a very specific topic or audience segment.
The measure of the background noise in an audio signal, or the lowest level of audible sound.
Techniques or tools used to reduce unwanted noise in an audio recording.
Software applications designed for organizing and storing notes, often used by podcasters for planning and scripting episodes.
The concluding segment of a podcast episode, often summarizing the episode and promoting future content.
The process of recording over an existing audio track, adding new elements or replacing parts of the original recording.
Income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain, often from investments or automated business ventures.
When an audio signal is too strong and exceeds the limit of the recording medium, resulting in distortion.
A DC voltage, usually 48 volts, supplied to a microphone to power its internal electronics.
Consonant sounds, such as “p” and “b”, that can cause spikes in audio recordings when spoken into a microphone without proper shielding.
A software application used to download and manage podcast episodes. See “Catcher”.
A list or database of podcasts, where listeners can discover, subscribe to, and download episodes.
See “Networks (Podcast Networks)”.
When a podcast stops producing new episodes and fades into inactivity without official closure.
Music or other content that is safe to use in podcasts without infringing on copyright laws.
Polar pattern (microphone pickup patterns like cardioid, omnidirectional, etc.)
Describes how microphones pick up sound from different directions. Cardioid mics pick up sound primarily from the front, while omnidirectional mics pick up sound from all directions.
See “Polar pattern (microphone pickup patterns like cardioid, omnidirectional, etc.)”.
A screen placed between a microphone and a speaker to reduce or eliminate popping sounds from plosive consonants.
The editing and refining process after the initial recording of a podcast episode.
The planning and preparation phase before the actual recording of a podcast episode.
Advertisements or promotional segments that play at the beginning of a podcast episode.
A code provided by advertisers for listeners to receive discounts or special offers on products or services.
The process of uploading a file in chunks, allowing playback to start before the entire file is uploaded completely.
Quality (sound quality)
The clarity and fidelity of an audio recording, often affected by factors such as bitrate, recording equipment, and the recording environment.
A list of items or tasks awaiting their turn to be processed or attended to.
A device placed behind a microphone to reduce unwanted ambient noise and reflections from the recording environment.
Producing a podcast with participants in different locations, often connecting via the internet.
Recording audio from a location different from the primary recording studio or setup, often via the internet.
An effect that simulates the reflections of sound in a room, giving audio a sense of space and depth.
The ambient sound of a room or location when no dialogue or intentional noise is happening. Often recorded and used in post-production for continuity.
A standardized format for delivering regularly updated content via the web. For podcasts, an RSS feed allows automated downloading of new episodes by subscribers.
Music that can be used without the need to pay royalties for each use or per volume sold.
The number of samples of audio carried per second, measured in Hz or kHz. A common sample rate for audio is 44.1 kHz.
Software or applications used to plan and organize recording sessions, guest appearances, or episode releases.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results.
Individual sections or parts of a podcast episode, often divided by topic or theme.
A written summary or transcription of a podcast episode, often including links, references, and other supplementary information.
Companies or individuals who financially support a podcast in exchange for advertising or promotion.
Agreements where a company or individual provides financial support to a podcast in exchange for advertising or promotion.
A device or software that plays pre-recorded sound effects or clips.
Techniques or materials used to reduce or eliminate external noise from entering a recording environment.
The perceived spatial location and depth of sound elements in an audio recording, creating an immersive listening experience.
Two-channel audio, where sound is divided into left and right channels to give a sense of directionality and depth.
Stinger (or Sting)
A short musical phrase or sound effect used to introduce or emphasize a segment, often in broadcasting.
The process of combining multiple audio files or segments into a single file or stream.
Committing to receive future episodes of a podcast automatically, often via an RSS feed.
A type of microphone polar pattern that is narrower than cardioid but wider than hypercardioid, picking up sound primarily from the front with a small area of sensitivity in the rear.
Content that is available for reuse and distribution across multiple platforms or outlets.
Assigning keywords or labels to content, making it easier for users to find and organize.
Advertisements that are customized based on user behavior, preferences, or demographics.
A short segment or clip used to promote upcoming content or episodes.
Musical pieces that are used consistently to introduce, transition, or close a podcast episode, helping to establish a show’s identity.
A small image representation of a larger image, video, or content, often used for quick browsing or as a preview.
The act of listening to recorded content at a later time, rather than when it was originally broadcast or streamed.
The written representation of spoken words from an audio recording.
A nonprofit organization that supports and trains new public media voices, offering tools, advice, and best practices for audio storytellers.
The process of removing unwanted parts from an audio recording, typically done in post-production.
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)
A 3G mobile cellular system for networks based on the GSM standard.
A microphone that connects directly to a computer or device via a USB port, often used for podcasting and simple recording setups.
VO (Voice Over)
Narration or commentary added to a piece of content, where the speaker is not seen on screen or in the primary audio setting.
An audio recording of spoken content, often used as narration or commentary in a larger production.
The process of adjusting the loudness of an audio recording to ensure consistent volume throughout.
Vox Pop (Vox Populi)
Short for “voice of the people”, it refers to interviews with members of the public, often used in broadcasting to get a variety of opinions on a topic.
A visual representation of an audio signal, showing the amplitude of the sound over time.
Services that allow individuals or organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.
The process of incorporating or combining different web-based tools or platforms into a single website.
A brand of sound isolation booths used for recording in environments where external noise is a concern.
A type of cable used in professional audio applications, known for its balanced audio transmission and secure connection.
The end fitting of an XLR cable, used to connect professional audio equipment.
A popular video conferencing platform often used for remote podcasting and recording.
Zulu Time (or UTC)
Coordinated Universal Time, the time standard used in aviation, computing, navigation, and many other fields. It is the same worldwide and does not change with the seasons.
End of Glossary
Podcasting has its own set of unique terms and jargon. Our glossary breaks down these terms into simple explanations, helping both beginners and enthusiasts understand the ins and outs of podcasting with ease.
- International Podcast Association
- Adobe Audition
- Apple Podcasts
- Spotify for Podcasters
- Reddit’s r/podcasting
- Podcast Movement Community
- Sound on Sound
FAQ: Podcasting Terms and Glossary
Here are a few simple questions that went unanswered.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a digital audio or video recording that is available for streaming or downloading on the internet.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing podcasts.
What is podcast recording?
Podcast recording is the process of capturing audio or video content for a podcast episode.
What is a mic?
A mic is a common abbreviation for a microphone, which is a device used to capture audio.
What is an episode title?
An episode title is the title given to a specific episode of a podcast, often reflecting the topic or theme of that particular episode.
What is cover art?
Cover art refers to the visual image or design that represents a podcast or its individual episodes. It is typically displayed alongside the podcast’s title and description.