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Chinese Podcasts Hit the Airwaves
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A Chinese podcasting website started to supply content to 16 provincial and regional radio stations on November 14 for broadcast, the first in the country to do so.

"We call this life-casting," said Buddy Ye, CEO of Wangyou.com. "By working in conjunction with traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers, we hope to help people broadcast and share their lives."

Audio files, containing anything from blogs and jokes to songs and speeches, are being broadcast daily in the form of a 30-minute program called Wangyou Happy Hour (Kuai Le Le Fan Tian).

The radio stations Wangyou chose are concentrated in smaller cities, where it said podcasting and blogging are more appealing due to fewer options for recreation.

"People living in inland China are eager to know and share their lives and dreams. We are happy to help them achieve this," said Ye.

Podcasting is a technology that allows individuals to produce their own audio files, such as songs and speeches, and upload them onto a podcasting website from where anyone with internet access can download and listen to them.

Along with podcasts, text content such as bloggers' diaries and jokes are also being broadcast on the radio, and the program was an instant hit with audiences, according to today's China Daily.

"I like it so much that I am wondering how I can listen to it again, or download the program somewhere," said one listener with the web moniker Yuyue.

By the end of next May, another 40-plus radio stations will join the initiative, said Fang Daqing, head of Wangyou's Multimedia Development.

"We want to entertain people through their home-made programs, which we foresee as a booming trend thanks to the development of technology," said Fang.

"Though traditional broadcasting produced by professionals will stay, we believe the general public's contribution will help enrich our entertainment service," Fang added.

Having only developed in late 2004 in China, podcasting has expanded quickly, and other popular podcasting websites include Imboke.com and Toodou.com.

(China Daily November 24, 2005)

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