Even as more and more people are starting to experiment with downloading podcasts onto their computers or portable MP3 players, it seems that the fever is not catching on terribly fast.

A new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that only 12 percent of the American population had downloaded a podcast.

Though the figure is up from the 7 percent that the same research group had found earlier this year in February when they conducted a similar survey, analysts are a bit disappointed that only 1 percent of net users said that they would download a podcast on a typical day.

Mary Madden, senior research specialist at Pew Internet and American Life Project said that the data showed that podcast downloading was still an "emerging activity", it had not managed to "hook" as many internet users as previously thought.

"While podcast downloading is still an emerging activity primarily enjoyed by early adopters, the range of content now available speaks to both mainstream and niche audiences," the BBC quoted her, as saying.

"We are at a crossroads of a major transition in the way media content is delivered and consumed," she added.

However, websites like Podcast Alley, that acts as a directory of shows, are optimistic that the numbers will soon rise.

In November 2004, the website listed just 1,000 podcasts. Today, however, it has quite a different story to tell as it lists more than 26,000 different podcasts with more than one million episodes.

Podcasts are sound files, often made up of speech and music that can be downloaded and listened to on a computer, or transferred to a mobile MP3 player.