Podcasting is on the verge of setting off a video revolution and users of Apple Computer Inc.’s new video iPod can expect a deluge of outspoken commentary, religious sermons and pornography.

Podcasting, a term based on the name for Apple’s portable media player, allows customers to download audio, and now video, segments for free to their computers and portable devices. Radio shows are among the most popular podcasts, but amateurs have helped turn podcasting into an eclectic global phenomenon.

Apple’s video-enabled iPod models, announced on Wednesday, promise to stoke the fervor of home-grown broadcasters.

“I’m thrilled by the possibilities of combining devices,” said ‘Soccergirl,’ whose opinionated and sexually suggestive program was listed among the 40 most popular podcasts on Apple’s iTunes service.

The 26-year old librarian, who chooses not to reveal her real name, already produces short video segments that can play on viewers’ computers.

The new iPods “will make it easier for many of my listeners

to watch my video as easily as they listen to my show,” she said.

Other early adopters of video podcasting are likely to include clergy of all stripes.

San Francisco-area pastor Tim Hohm, whose audio podcast is one of more than 1,400 religious offerings available on iTunes,

says the new iPods represent “a fantastic opportunity” and believes video has the potential “to inspire tens of thousands to embrace a message of inspiration and hope.”

By Pascal Pinck

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