A mobilecast or mobilcast is a podcast designed to be downloaded or streamed to a mobile phone. Listening to podcasts on mobile phones becomes more attractive as mobile data speed improves, and mobile phones themselves become more useful audio devices by adding more audio and video file formats, storage capacity and stereo capability.
Podcasts are designed for transfer from PCs to connected portable devices, but can also be delivered on-demand to the mobile phone using “adaptive download chunking” delivery that plays back like a stream. As more people are using their mobile phones as portable audio players, some podcasts are made specifically for mobile phones. These are shorter and in many cases focused on a single topic or designed to communicate quick information like short movie and restaurant reviews, or news headlines and summaries.
Some challenges remain. High speed networks are not completely rolled out, particularly in the United States. Network speed is critical for downloading the large podcast files. MP3 files, which most podcasts are encoded as, are too large to easily download over the mobile network. This requires podcasts to be re-encoded into a mobile-friendly format like AMR and AAC+. Even in AMR a podcast longer than 20 minutes is still unwieldy to download.