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iTunes 4.9 To Support Podcasting 352

WaRrK writes "O'Reilly Radar are reporting that in a demo at D: All Things Digital Conference, Steve Jobs showed off iTunes 4.9, which has support for iPodder like functionality. Although, he was "slightly" dismissive of the phenomena, describing it as "Wayne's World for radio". Also, whilst currently only supporting free content, they are not ruling out paid for podcasting in the future. iTunes 4.9 should be available within 60 days." Yeah, Steve's kinda right on this - podcasting is neat & all, but the breathy overstatement of how it will change our lives is a wee bit overdone.
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iTunes 4.9 To Support Podcasting

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  • podcasting, bah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:09AM (#12611609)
    I want DAB in the iPod
  • Reality Check (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LegendOfLink ( 574790 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:11AM (#12611623) Homepage
    Yeah, Steve's kinda right on this - podcasting is neat & all, but the breathy overstatement of how it will change out lives is a wee bit overdone.

    Finally, somebody with a little common sense! Honestly, how many people out there actually use the internet to listen to people's podcasts? I surely don't. It's faster to skim through articles in a blog than to listen to some amateur whine about how he thinks Walmart is the ultimate evil in the world.
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:2, Informative)

      by VxJasonxV ( 792809 )
      For those offering looking to continually offer new content, and that content that can go anywhere, podcasting is a big help.
      A radio station that I help run (not on air, but the web side, backend, etc.) benefits a lot from podcasting, because not everyone can catch the live show.
      So we have a 'wrap up podcast' with a few extra benefits.
      So those who CAN catch the live show get it all and then some.

      No, it's not as revolutionary as Internet Radio itself, but it is already quite popular and has several adva
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:5, Informative)

      by frantzdb ( 22281 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:22AM (#12611729) Homepage
      I don't know about individuals' podcasts, but real radiostations [] are doing it too. It's the easiest way I know of to get time- and space-shifted radio shows.

      (You've got to love the nutral point of view of Slashdot articles.)
      • by useosx ( 693652 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @12:23PM (#12612961)
        I don't know about individuals' podcasts, but real radiostations are doing it too. It's the easiest way I know of to get time- and space-shifted radio shows.

        I totally agree. I can listen to the Democracy Now! Podcast [] anytime I want. On the subway, in the car, whenever. That means I can catch up on the events of the day during otherwise wasted time. This is huge for me. I repeat: otherwise wasted time affords me the opportunity to become a more informed citizen.

        Also, I visit a bunch of different new sites every day, and I find that the radio format is a much better way for me personally to take in information. I'm sure this is the same with many other people (but not all, of course). I get more out of listening to one Democracy Now! [] broadcast then I do reading a whole slew of print articles.

        And just because most self-produced stuff is crap, doesn't mean it will all be. Someone will come up with a smart way to filter the crap out. Someone always does.

        Furthermore, the arena is not just open to radio. Any kind of recorded audio--old lectures are also available. Say your favorite mathematician gave a famous lecture in 1986. Guess what? You can listen to it on the subway. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.
        • Say your favorite mathematician gave a famous lecture in 1986. Guess what? You can listen to it on the subway. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

          Anybody listening to a 20-year old math lecture on the subway deserves to have their white headphones and their lunch money swiped.

      • neutral point of view

        Can we mod this, "+1 Wikipedia Reference"?
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bender0x7D1 ( 536254 )
      Podcasting is a fad. It is new (as in new buzzword), uses a cool technolgy (iPods) and gives people something to do. Remember (or have you heard of) the pet rock, the hula hoop, Beanie Babies and Tickle-me Elmo? People jumped on the bandwagon, spent a lot of money buying these items and then realized - "This isn't that fun, that great or that cool. Why did I think it was?"

      Just put up with it for 6 more months and all the hype will die down. If it doesn't, then just make sure your own podcasts are abou
      • *Podcasting is a fad. It is new (as in new buzzword), uses a cool technolgy (iPods) and gives people something to do. Remember (or have you heard of) the pet rock, the hula hoop, Beanie Babies and Tickle-me Elmo? People jumped on the bandwagon, spent a lot of money buying these items and then realized - "This isn't that fun, that great or that cool. Why did I think it was?"*

        One problem with your analogy is that podcasting (Can we think of another word for this? I hate that word. How about Poopeating? I'd r
      • by cluening ( 6626 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @12:30PM (#12613041) Homepage
        > Remember (or have you heard of) the pet rock

        The guy made a million dollars!
      • Funny - I remember people in the early 90s saying the same thing about the world wide web. The fact is, you can't really tell for sure what will become a fad and what will turn into a lasting phenomenon.
      • Re:Reality Check (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bay43270 ( 267213 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @04:46PM (#12616939) Homepage
        Podcasting is a fad.

        You just don't get it. Podcasting isn't about blogging with audio, or time shifting radio programs. Its about distributing radio programs. If you think of Tivo as a hack that creates an on-demand system out of a streaming media, podcasting is the on-demand system that Tivo wanted to be. It's just a new buzz word for audio on demand. It is overhyped, but it isn't a fad. One day, this is how we'll watch the news on TV.
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jesse_132 ( 830242 ) <> on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:29AM (#12611779) Homepage
      Just like blogs, there are gems. Plus existing programs work better as podcasts than broadcasts.

      IT Conversations [] (Doug Kaye project), is a top notch Podcasting source. (ok, it was around before the rage about podcasting, but podcasting made it integrate with my life).

      Public Radio Fan [] also has a list of many podcasts that were radio programs - enabling you to listen to your favorite programs on your own time.

      I hope all of NPR's programs become available as podcasts as I enjoy listening but don't live on their schedule.
    • by c ( 8461 ) <> on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:30AM (#12611791)
      Finally, somebody with a little common sense!

      Yeah, and I'm still in shock. I mean, a Slashdot editor with common sense? Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?


    • Re:Reality Check (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Billy the Mountain ( 225541 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:38AM (#12611865) Journal
      I'm not so dimissive. I think podcasting, even in it's current state, is cool. Just think how good it will be when some good content sources come on line. Personally, I find it a great antidote to a long commute. I've even considered developing my own podcasts teaching Perl, although I must admit it's pretty challenging thinking up useful content considering podcasts are all audio.
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bheer ( 633842 )
      Honestly, how many people out there actually use the internet to listen to people's podcasts?

      Podcasts are a special case of timeshifted radio: the special bit is that they were never broadcast in the first place. And timeshifted audio has a huge market: commuters who drive or go by train and have MP3 players.

      Potential targets would include sports commentary, book club discussions, book readings, tech rants (I imagine Cringely'd be popular). Now, some of this may be available on radio as well -- that's ir
    • Isn't it entirely possible that people with "blogs" can "whine about how he thinks Walmart is the ultimate evil in the world", too?

      Never nail a medium based on stereotypical content. I don't listen to podcasts, and I think it's overhyped myself, but I wouldn't dismiss the availability of good content just because I can't find it.
    • What about TWiT []?

      TWiT == The Screen Savers
    • Re:Reality Check (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:50AM (#12612578) Homepage Journal
      The problem with podcasting is music licensing: if you put music on a recording and distribute it, you're liable for ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC royalties. And this is reasonable. The composers wrote the songs, joined the association, and deserve to be paid for their work.

      Who has the infrastructure to account and pay for this sort of stuff? Professional broadcasters, mostly.

      This assumes the music was written by an association composer. Perhaps you have some unsigned band that has granted you permission to use their material. You're clean.

      Beyond music, there's spoken word. Performances have value, but many of the podcasts I've heard were more akin to written blogs than produced audio programming.

      What Apple could do here, if they're so inclined, is to swing a podcast deal with their labels. Music purchased from the iTunes store would be licensed for personal use as it is now and non-commercial podcasting. If iTunes could be retooled to record voice-overs -- and it sounds if that may be coming -- you could build a podcast within iTunes and distribute it via Apple's music store. The podcasts would be playable through iTunes.

      Apple's motivation in this is twofold: it would encourage podcasters to use Apple's platform and purchase their library through the Apple Store, and the podcast songs would be clickable. Listeners could buy whatever they like as they hear it.

      It's a proprietary solution, but would finesse the licensing issue and make music podcasting more accessable.

      • Listeners could buy whatever they like as they hear it.


        Now, for the most part, I won't go so far as to actively find and download pirated music. I suspect I fall in the minority (of people who realize they can download just about any song without paying for it) in that regard.

        But this? Not actively seeking it out, sure. But passively not deleting a song I've already downloaded? It would take the honesty of a saint for anyone to actually go out of their way to pay for something they already h
        • I think the OP was suggesting that the music be only accessable within the PodCast, but the meta data include iTunes links to purchase the songs indiviually. So you could, in theory, listen to any of the songs in the PodCast, but they wouldn't be individually serachable or selectable in your iTunes library. You would have to find that particular PodCast and then scan to the song you were looking for... or you could look in that PodCasts meta data for the name/artist of that song and pay $.99 to download it
    • In the grand scheme, yes, 95% of what will be podcast is drivel nobody would really want to listen to. But podcasting makes it pretty easy to routinely listen to the 5% that's worthwhile. Furthermore, you can have podcasting "stations" that aggregate the best of the content that's out there. Because everything is done with RSS, it's pretty easy to do this.

      I see it as sort of a tivo'ing of audio content on the net. Rather than everything having to be done in real time, you can get content as it's deve
    • Finally, somebody with a little common sense! Honestly, how many people out there actually use the internet to listen to people's podcasts? I surely don't. It's faster to skim through articles in a blog than to listen to some amateur whine about how he thinks Walmart is the ultimate evil in the world.

      Please download a couple of episodes of Quirks and Quarks. Then some IT Conversations. Then you'll see how wrong you are. There are vast swathes of Radio that make much more sense as podcasts than as over-t

    • I listen to them while I am driving or working. Some are very interesting, and some pick up news bits I never heard of.
    • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @12:53PM (#12613348) Homepage

      i enjoy podcasting every day. :}
      learning a language is tricky, and berlitz tapes are boring.
      downloading a three minute podcast each day is a great way
      to learn or keep fresh on a language -- the one i've been
      enjoying most is the way this podcaster from munchen
      uses language -- the musicality of it.

      annik rubens - schlafloss in munchen []

      what makes it so good for learning a language, is:

      1) because it is largely speech oriented, you get more
      dialogue to work with than regular radio which often uses
      dialogue as a seguay between musical segments.
      a three minute chunk is manageable for a daily thing.

      2) unlike live radio, you can rewind, and catch words
      and phrases that you missed.

      3) it stays fresh unlike stale old language learning tapes.

      podcasting really has opened up the language for me,
      because it can be hard to find good local speakers, and
      these are already encoded as mp3s so you can take it around
      on an ipod.

      in diese sinn...

    • 6 million people listen to podcasts []

      And you can bet integration with iTunes will make this number explode.

      Podcasting and the idea behind it is bigger than you think. It's a pretty evolutionary way to broadcast, be a radio show host, distribute cheaply and quickly news/gossip/whatever, and all in a cool way (iPod!).

      It's also a market opportunity. You know, I'd like to subscribe to a Bright Eyes podcast. Whenever a new song is avail on iTunes, it automatically buys it, downloads, and it's there waiting for
  • Maybe not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by broller ( 74249 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:12AM (#12611638)
    the breathy overstatement of how it will change out lives is a wee bit overdone

    Sure. They said the same thing about the common users being able to create their own web sites. Yeah, there's a lot of noise, but the few quality content providers more than make up for it.
    • common users could always make webpages, html is extremely simple. Unless you mean visual editors, I don't believe I have ever seen worthwhile content produced in a visual editor.
      • You'd be surprised at how many places use products like Dreamweaver and GoLive on a daily basis as part of their workflow. At my last employer, us developers used our tools, and the front end people used Dreamweaver. It supported our templating systems, and they got their work done.
  • by ThatsNotFunny ( 775189 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:12AM (#12611639)
    Is that some sort of record, Slashdot editors?
  • Podcasting info (Score:3, Informative)

    by crunk ( 844923 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:12AM (#12611640)
    Wikipedia article here []
  • It's an enabler... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eyegor ( 148503 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:14AM (#12611656)
    Given that Rush Limbaugh (love him or loathe him) is going to be making his broadcast available via podcast, you could change iTunes to allow downloading DRMed podcasts on a pay-per-download or a subscription basis either through the iTunes store or a third-party source.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:14AM (#12611661)
    Sure Podcasting may not 'change the world', but after sampling shows for a few weeks I've come up with three or four regulars that beat the pants off any of the drivel that I can find on the airwaves. These shows keep me eagerly waiting for new installments every day.

    The 'long tail' of shows almost ensures that there is something out there of interest to everyone. And if I wasn't rushing out to buy an mp3 player before, I sure am looking forward to getting one now so I can fill my hour and a half commute each day by programming my own 'radio station'... commercial-free and chock full of content that totally appeals to me.
  • by Your_Mom ( 94238 ) <slashdot@inn[ ] ['ism' in gap]> on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:19AM (#12611702) Homepage
    Podcasting makes my life easier. I listen to quite few [] shows [], and like other geeks, the way my work hours are soemtimes I completely forget what day it is. I often used to miss a show for a few days before realzing "Hey, it's Friday, OTH came out a few days ago" Podcasting is good because it automagically updates my iPod when the new shows come out.

    Although Steve is right in the fact that, for the most part, it's the "Wayne's World" of radio. There are some good shows out there and I do enjoy listening to them.
  • but the breathy overstatement of how it will change out lives is a wee bit overdone./i.

    i dunno, since the personal broadcast media revolution came along, i no longer feed off the general concencus being mass-produed for the hive-mind by "Big Media" .. in fact, i hardly pay much attention to "Big Media" and all their benevolent sponsors, at all, any more .. they're not making money off my time, which is being spent listening to and enjoying/paying-for content that has been made by people who are much, much
  • Oh yeah, a few hours ago on, along with the previous story about Apple and Intel. Looks like the submitter is just reposting headlines from other sites.
  • by ObjetDart ( 700355 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:27AM (#12611768)
    While I agree it's not going to fundamentally change our lives, podcasting *has* fundamentally changed the way I listen to radio. By which I mean, it allows me to timeshift internet radio (there's basically no good FM radio where I live.)

    I get most of my new music by listening to KCRW ( []). Since they are on the west coast and I'm on the east coast, a lot of their music shows are at inconvenient times for me. So, I wrote a little program that downloads the shows I like (they broadcast in MP3 format), and then I can copy them to my mp3 player and listen to the show whenever and wherever I like. This has allowed me to go from listening to KCRW only occasionally to catching every single one of my favorite programs.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:28AM (#12611773) Journal
    Steve has just never gotten over the Video Toaster being for the Amiga and not the Mac.
  • by Mean_Nishka ( 543399 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:32AM (#12611798) Homepage Journal
    The easier it gets to download podcasting content, the more likely people will actually listen to it. Including this functionality in iTunes will expand the audience and make it easier for average Joe computer user to sample of the content.

    It's only a matter of time before paid providers will see the value of this. Vidcasts (not podcasts) might be the killer app, but the media distribution has to begin somewhere :).

    • Wayne's World, eh?

      So, the iPod will 'suck' music from your computer, and now it can 'blow' music out to other users?

      Just like the 'Suck Cut' (patent very pending), the iPod will soon be able to truly suck and blow.
    • Podcast is a great opportunity for radio archives.
      Say you run an independent radio station. College, community, what have you.

      You have a programming schedule and a good many interesting programs. For example the Atlanta local WRFG [] is a 50KW FM stereo community supported radio station that would be of interest to a much larger audience than local Atlanta.

      If WRFG were to make programs available as archives kept for a week and updated live and also make these archives easily available over 'podcast' they wou
  • I'm sure I'll take heat for admitting this on Slashdot, but I'm a fiscally conservative voter who listens to Rush Limbaugh because I tend to agree with him on those matters. Don't agree a thing with the right's social agenda, but couldn't agree more when it comes to conservative ideas on fiscal policy and limited government. No lectures on the shortcomings of the current Republicans, most of them are RINO's (Republican In Name Only) when it comes to fiscal policy and the idea of limited government. Anyway,
  • Nice... (Score:5, Funny)

    by AyeRoxor! ( 471669 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:02AM (#12612106) Journal
    Although, he was "slightly" dismissive of the phenomena, describing it as "Wayne's World for radio".

    This reminds me of those sentences from grade-school, where you had to circle all the problems with the sentence and rewrite it so it made sense.

    /just sayin
  • by code_chick ( 881075 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:06AM (#12612136)
    "Yeah, Steve's kinda right on this - podcasting is neat & all, but the breathy overstatement of how it will change our lives is a wee bit overdone."

    Maybe Steve's just learned his lesson, since stating that the Segway would "transform human mobiliy" and we all know how that's turned out...
  • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:14AM (#12612199) Homepage
    So does that mean nerdy, podcasting geeks will get hot babes?

  • I don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:20AM (#12612245) Homepage

    Okay, color me clueless on this one. What's the big deal about podcasting? As far as I can tell, it's just making audio files available via an RSS feed. Is that really so life-changing? Couldn't this have been done years ago without the RSS, just by listing the files as links on a web page or even by dropping them in an ftp directory somewhere? Heck, I even remember a little something [] put out back before the turn of the millenium, definitely predating the iPod and almost predating RSS. There's nothing new here, except the name and the tangential link to Apple via the iPod. So really, what's all the fuss about?

    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:2, Informative)

      by iainl ( 136759 )
      Yep, that's exactly what the fuss is about. Rather than having to either work out how the living feck I set up a cron job to download said file under Windows (sorry, but I'm tied in due to a whole bunch of apps I need), or have to actively go and download it each week.

      With Podder, when the RSS announces a new download, it gets uploaded to my iPod automatically so I don't miss it.

      The whole "it's amazing"/"it's bollocks" argument really seems to stem from whether or not anyone actually finds any broadcasts
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

      by wootest ( 694923 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:53AM (#12612609)
      The big deal:

      Programs using an RSS feed to get URLs to audio files, downloading those, and cooperating with your jukebox software or your music device directly to, as another commenter said, "make audio magically appear" on the device. This is a) convenient, so people like it and have a bigger chance of using it, b) chock full of 'hot' technologies (RSS, automated downloads, digital music), so tech columnists and managers like it, and c) enables a wider range of people to be broadcasted. It also works better now than it would have a few years back, since audio can be heavy to download, and more people have faster connections now.

      It's automated, it's refined, it's buzzword-heavy for those who like that and people get it without a lot of explanation. Like a lot of technologies it's not new but brings the concept to a wider audience. I think it's overrated myself and not worthy of the label great, but I can appreciate that these things make it good.
    • Yes, I remember Geeks in Space or whatever that was. That was a great precursor to the podcast idea. What it changes is that it is a whole lot more convenient to do these things, and much easier to keep up.

      As noted elsewhere, the aggregator software automatically fetches the latest podcasts on all your selected feeds and can automatically insert them into your music player's library, and thus automatically put them on your portable audio player, even automatically adding the track into their respective s
  • Why would Steve Jobs want to drive free content via iTunes? I consumed tons 'o tunes when I first got my iPod and starting last October have downloaded free content like mad -- so much so that I don't have enough listen-able hours in a day for all the stuff on my little white hard drive device.

    Here's the kicker and what Apple will have to wrestle with: my own 45 minute commute to work each way is often filled with IT Conversations []and other 'podcasts' every day and I hardly listen to my own music libra
  • "Yeah, Steve's kinda right on this - podcasting is neat & all, but the breathy overstatement of how it will change our lives is a wee bit overdone."

    Dear Slashdot Editor:

    If I wanted your opinion, I'd read your blog. Or you could leave comments in the discussion that follows the article, and I could read it there.

    Your job as an editor is not to use story submissions as a platform for your personal views. Your job is to evaluate a submission's potential interest to the community and then step aside.

  • Cool! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by el_womble ( 779715 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:35AM (#12612397) Homepage

    As ever, Mr. Jobs is right on the money. But look at what he's doing rather than what he's saying. By providing RSS downloads into iTunes he massively raises the profile of what was previously a geek only market. If this feature is used, no doubt they'll introduce a market place on iTunes for people share and talk about the podcasts they like.

    1. Provide RSS feeds in iTunes
    2. Provide market for podcasts
    3. ???
    4. Profit!!!

    Podcasts are a mess right now. Even if you find a really good podcast [] there is no way to promote them short of word of mouth. This presents another problem, podcasts are too complicated. You can't email your buddy and mine, Joe Sixpack, a link to an RSS feed and expect them to know what to do with it. People struggle to wrap their heads around web pages, never mind RSS feeds and MP3 files.

    Apple getting behind podcasts with iTunes offers this interesting technology its best hope of becoming useful - like the BBC looking at this as a way of dropping Real, infavour of freeplay

  • Here's a change, Steve. I don't use iTunes anymore, which means you don't get any of my money anymore.

    Forget for the moment about the quality of podcasts out there. It's no worse than the quality of your average blog was a few years back. It takes a little while for the good ones to distance themselves from the pack and define what quality really is all about in the first place. There will always be an audience for anybody that wants the soapbox, just like always. We just need to make it easier to find what you're looking for. Everybody will find their own favorites.

    The power of podcasting comes from the same delivery mechanism that RSS brings us (it's the same thing, after all, with a different payload). "Here are some sources of regularly updated audio. Bring it to me to listen to at my leisure."

    Not everybody wants to listen to music on their MP3 players. I find it boring, personally. Nor do I want to constantly go out and search for new sources of interesting audio files to listen to (a regularly asked slashdot question), or pay $35 for an audio book when I could buy the paperback for $7. Podcasting opens up the door for me to have an effectively infinite amount of new content dropped onto my ipod every day. Sure I won't like all of it. That's what skip buttons are for.

    Content will come, I have no doubt of it. IT Conversations is already well on the way. I listen to every keynote of every technical conference throughout the year. Sure, I could manually go and get those as they are published, but why bother? Why not just have them automatically show up on my ipod for me?

  • It's interesting to note that both versions 1.0 and 2.0 of RSS support enclosures (and thus podcasting) but lots of podcasting software out there now only handles RSS 2.0. Hopefully iTunes will not get embroiled in the 1.0 RDF Site Summary versus the 2.0 Really Simple Syndication battle...

  • TechTV Lives! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slapout ( 93640 )
    Fans of the old TechTv show "The ScreenSavers" might want to check out Leo Laporte's podcasts. He makes his radio show available. He has also gotten together with some people from the old show and they do a podcast called This Week in Tech. [] []

  • Podcasting is a technology, just like radio and TV. What counts is the content that's being podcast.

    Garbage in, garbage out.
  • podcasting torrents (Score:2, Interesting)

    by benow ( 671946 )
    Podcasting is somewhat interesting.. simple, but polled... no different than rss, really. Major problem I found with it is the large hit on the server... a large file requires n times the size to download (where n is number of listeners).

    Torrent pod casting requires a more complex client, but eliminates the problem. Torrent is downloaded, then download of torrented (large media) file starts, distributing the download over the network. A torrent casting video podcast would be a thing of beauty, especial

  • changes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:34PM (#12614049) Homepage Journal
    The article submitter and Steve Jobs are wrong on this. Podcasting has changed society a lot more than say segways have. Steve Jobs is right on some things,completely wrong on others. For instance, the mac mini is not selling just because it's small, it's selling more from the fact that finally you can get an entry level mac at a more reasonable price. People would be buying just as many mini towers with a normal form factor at 500$ from Apple if they would just release one.

    Personally, I think once someone has been a millionaire for 20 years or better they lose track of how much money a dollar is. Steve Jobs has that "no clue" syndrome, same as the hollywood movie guys and the record guys. "No clue" of what things cost because to those multi millionaires living in rich society surroundings on the left coast all the time most everything in the normal consumer appliance/do dad area is so cheap as to be indistinguishable from near free in their POV.

    And the reason why podcasting is taking off is because people can actually create and share content, they aren't restricted to the blather the commercial entities spew forth-and it *really is* mostly blather.. Steve got no clue on sharing, hollywood got no clue on sharing, mainstream broadcasting is starting to get a clue but they will want to podcast 50% commercials like always.
  • []

    Previously featured on Slashdot, I think. It's basically the old Screen Savers crowd. Very good stuff.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Monday May 23, 2005 @02:11PM (#12614693) Homepage
    A lot of posts seem to be deriding podcasting as being purely the audio equivalent of a personal blog. While there are certainly plenty of such podcasts, there's plenty of professionally produced material (the BBC output is just one example), and enough high-quality amateur stuff to fill the average person's commute.

    The problem is the same problem had (and Creative Commons/etc. music still has) -- when you've got a massive morass of mixed quality media, how is the consumer supposed to know what to try out and what to skip? With text you can skim-read, and sort that way. With audio, the selective process is more time consuming and pretty much impractical. has a directory which has exactly the same problem as PodcastAlley tries to solve this by collating votes, but this just ends up promoting an "elite" of mainstream content, which only helps the mainstream consumer.

    I don't know how to solve this, but there there is some promise: Adam Curry's show contains a lot of promos for other shows, and that's a good way to hear about podcasts you may wish to try out. I guess that's the next best thing to word of mouth.

    After all, how do you decide what TV shows to watch? Trailers, reviews in the media, and word-of-mouth, right?
  • Two things:
    1. I recently had a slightly difficult time getting the webmaster of a popular Country artist site to understand that linking a MP3 to a website doesn't make that MP3 a podcast. He was initially insulted by my suggestion he include an RSS feed to make the file a true podcast. Fortunately, there were plenty of links at [] to share with him that showed him how RSS is the magic ingredient. It wasn't that he couldn't roll RSS code; he was a competent coder. He, like most of the public out there, was simply misinformed. Let's face it, RSS is wicked geeky and trying to explain it to somebody is often an exercize in futility (See the end of Josh's vlog on the subject [] - lesson #4). After all, isn't Really Simple Syndication such an obvious sort of technology that you wonder why somebody had to invent it in the first place? ;)

      But if you want to see how completely the public misunderstands just what the heck a podcast is check out Bill Gate's first podcast [] as an example. The MEDC site refers to it as a "Video Podcast", but on film they just call it a podcast, so if you are new to podcasting then this is what you are going to think a podcast is: a video broadcast via WMV. Obviously there's a slight problem here in that podcasts are audio enclosures via RSS and vlogs are video enclosures via RSS. One could argue that this is a simply an exercize in semantics, or one could argure that Bill & Co. are once again trying to embrace and extend a technology/term for their own purposes. But the main result is that the common guy isn't going to have a clue about any of this. He only knows what he is told.

      So, IMO, iTunes adding podcast support is a really good thing. This will help solidify the meaning of the word "podcast" before more confusion sets in. (Of course, if Steve & Co. are also embracing and extending...)

    2. As for podcasts being "Wayne's World for radio", sometimes that is the case. If I have to download another walk to the (backyard shed, park, bigwig meeting, etc) soundseeing tour on Daily Source Code [] I will scream, or just not subscribe anymore. Vlogs can be just as bad. I've seen some kid animate her Barbies in a sordid romance, a guy video tape his trip home from work, and somebody wash their dirty sink to music. Not winning content by any means. However, like anything out there, there is crap and there is gold. And then there's the whole realm inbetween. YMMV, but podcasts are turning out to be an alternative form of entertainment. Don't write them off before trying out some of the more interesting ones. I wouldn't recommend sampling them at random if you don't have the time or patience to filter out the dross.

      I know that tech podcasts get covered here a lot. Maybe some of you might enjoy these music podcasts:

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.