The first thing that Chris Spencer wants people to know about podcasting: An iPod is not required.
"I think a lot of people are still just catching on to how big podcasting is," said Spencer, CEO of Wizzard Software in Oakland. Its Wizzard Media division hosts some 8,000 podcasts. "But most people watch them over their computers. People might be a little intimidated, but there is no reason to be."
A podcast, in the simplest terms, is audio or video content published on the Internet. Podcasts can be any length and can be played on portable MP3 players or computers.
"The coolest thing about Internet media is that it gives the control to the audience," said Dave Chekan, president of Libsyn, a Wizzard subsidiary. Wizzard acquired Bloomfield-based Libsyn, a smaller podcast-hosting company, in March. "You don't have to be connected or getting a signal to watch a show; you download it and watch it when you want to."