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Podcasting goes mobile

P2P mobile software maker now offers a cell phone application for finding and downloading podcasts.

The podcasting craze will soon hit cell phones.

Melodeo, which makes peer-to-peer software that allows mobile users to listen to music on their cell phones, announced on Friday that it now offers software for podcasting on cell phones. The new software, called Mobilcast, will allow people to find and download podcasts on mobile phones.

Podcasts are radio-like shows that can be downloaded from the Internet to a computer or digital music player. Initially, podcasting was dominated by techies who produced idiosyncratic talk shows. But the format has evolved quickly and recently has been adopted by major media institutions ranging from radio giant Clear Channel Communications to BusinessWeek.

Apple Computer has said that its next version of iTunes software will include support for creating and distributing podcasts, which could expand their reach substantially.

While podcasting has gained popularity over the past year, its distribution has been limited to PCs and music players. Melodeo believes that its software can expand the reach of podcasts to millions by allowing them to be downloaded on mobile phones.

"The mobile phone is the perfect tool for finding and listening to podcasts," Don Davidge, senior vice president of sales at Melodeo, said in a statement. "With Mobilcast, Melodeo applies the same software and user experience to podcasts that we have applied to other types of digital media."