A podfic is an audio recording of fanfiction. They come in all different lengths, from drabble to epic, and can be standalones or series. Gen, slash, and het are all well represented with podfics, and they are produced in a wide variety of fandoms. Stargate: Atlantis is currently the most active podfic fandom, with Supernatural and due South rounding out the top three.
Just like other fanwork, podfic ranges in style and in level of polish - and just like other fanwork, people learn by doing, and their output is heavily influenced by their surroundings. Not everyone has access to a quiet, acoustically neutral space. Everyone has an accent. Everyone has a voice that's different than everyone else's voice. That diversity can be part of what makes podfic such a pleasure.
Podfic file types are most commonly mp3, but often m4a, and sometimes wav and even ogg. A few readers also make their work available as m4b in addition to mp3, and cybel, who converts files to m4b on behalf of readers, coined the term podbook to describe the result (here), which includes cover art within the file, and will bookmark automatically when play is stopped.
m4a and m4b compatible software
wav compatible software
ogg vorbis compatible software
The most common software used for recording podfic is Audacity, which is free, opensource, and available in mac, linux, and pc flavors. Garageband and Sound Studio are also in use (both for mac OSX).
Finished files are usually uploaded to a file sharing service such as mediafire, yousendit, or megaupload. Files in any fandom and any file format can be permanently hosted at the off-lj audiofic archive.
Audfic and audio trailers are the audio-only equivalent of vids, in which the audio track from the original source(s) are edited together to tell a new story. isiscolo coined the terms aud and audfic (here). There are not very many of these extant, but here are the few I have found:
Teaser for "a "lost" episode of Stargate: Atlantis, by zoetrope. McKay/Sheppard.
Audio trailers for Missed the Saturday Dance, by zoetrope. Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard; multi-media WWII AU.
Revelation, by moonmip and dulthar. Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard, available with or without music.
A Private Conversation, by isiscolo. due South, Vecchio/Kowalski.
cupidsbow coined the term podvid to describe her multimedia presentation of Keylines (Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard implied, other pairing implied), described as a cross between a songvid and a podfic.
Podcasts, audio shows published serially, sometimes include podfic, and there are a few that are entirely (or almost entirely) made up of podfic. They can also be full of dramatic readings, articles, and audio plays. There are a lot of fannish podcasts off-lj, and not really that many on-lj, though a couple are listed below. I haven't made a great effort to search them out for this list.
Googling fanfiction podcast or searching itunes, podcast alley, and similar sites will turn up plenty.
A note on inactive communities:
Podfic communities, even the most popular and active ones, tend to have content in fits and starts. (Personally, I blame the editing process, which is very time consuming and deadly boring if you've been ambitious enough to do anything of length.) A few of the communities on the list have never had a post - but that doesn't mean that they don't want your post - it probably just means they've run out of steam. Podfic begets more podfic, and one or two enthusiastic readers can lead to much, much more. Podfic also rarely gets much feedback - people tend to listen away from the computer, and sometimes weeks after download, which also discourages some readers. Inactive communities are on the list, in the hope that they will become active.
podslash includes gen and het, despite the name.
amplificathon annual challenge, but open to posting year-round.
animanga_podfic includes all anime and manga fandoms
hoerbuecher german-language podfic, includes original fic as well as fanfic
audio_slash spanish-language podfic
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
galacticpodfic posting is challenge-based
The Big Bang Theory
Drake & Josh
Gyakuten Saiban/Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney
podfic_heroes (currently in search of a mod)
Hikaru no Go
ihikago posting is challenge-based
sgapodpeople no m/m slash
Stargate, all series
spn_multimedia includes other media
spn_audio_novel novel-length material
motelwincest wincest only
spn_gen_podfics gen only
clspn_podfics posting capslock_lspn stories (friends-only, but open membership)
spnfic_podcast Electronic Voice Phenomena, includes podfic, generally grouped by theme
bbtl_fans Fans of off-lj audio drama Buffy Between the Lines
sl_podcast Strangely Literal - podcast of jossverse fic. lj includes non-podcast content.
Created September 8, 2008. Last revised July 11, 2009.