LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A California company is hoping to tap into the growing podcasting craze with software that enables mobile phone users to stream audio files directly from their home computer.
Podcasts are recorded audio files downloaded over the Internet. They can be stored on computers or transferred to digital music players like Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod.
The software from Los Angeles-based Pod2Mob promises to enable mobile phone users to hear podcasts on their handsets, too.
Currently available for free as a ``beta'' test download, the software runs on Windows and Mac OX computers. The software relays the audio to a mobile phone. An applet, or small computer program, that must be loaded on the handset allows users to control which podcasts they want to hear.
The company says streaming data requires less memory than downloading the full audio file.
``If you have a phone, you dont have to wait to sync,'' said Brad Zutaut, co-founder of Pod2Mob. ``You can get the latest podcasts on the fly.''
But quality can vary depending on the computer's Internet connection, said spokesman Phil McGovern.
The company said the software should work on most Internet-enabled handsets, though it has been tested only on handsets running on the Sprint and Cingular wireless networks.