Podcasting. iPod and broadcasting. Like peanut butter and jelly with iTunes as the slices of bread.
Podcasting is simply an audio program—entertainment, radio station program snippet, news, information, or, your web log in audio format—stored on iTunes and played back on your iPod.
My first thought was a cursory “Podcasting is much ado about not much.” I still think that way but, if there’s security in numbers and 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong, then Podcasting might have a future and may shape how people listen to radio.
We produced a few “Podcasts” for two sites last fall. There were not many downloads and the term “Podcasting” was certainly not mainstream.
Podcasting still isn’t mainstream but Apple just gave it a major push by including Podcasts in the iTunes Music Store (for free) and enabling iTunes (v4.9) to download, store, playback, and copy Podcasts to your iPod.
It’s a simple, seamless process that works pretty much like downloading songs from iTMS.
Radio stations are already reporting that listenership is down, possibly because of the iPod effect. There’s now over 20-million iPod users who now listen to the music they want, when they want, wherever they want.
That’s tough to do with radio.
Will the iPod and Podcasting continue to influence radio station listening habits? I think so.
One of the major problems with radio listening is that the station had all the control. You, the radio listener, could only control volume (bass and treble), and which station you listened to.
Recording radio programs and playing them back (like the new DVR’s or TiVo) was a royal pain. Plus, you could only listen to one station at a time.
There’s probably 15,000 – 20,000 radio stations in the US alone. Surprisingly, some of those stations produce excellent news, great and timely information, a good mix of music, and superb, on-the-fly entertainment.
If you missed it during the drive to work, well, you missed the good parts forever. Podcasting may help change that.
Radio stations can now record and edit some of their best segments and make them available for Podcasting. Using iTunes, iTMS, and your iPod, you can save and listen to some excellent radio broadcasts whenever you want.
Commercials to follow.
It’s the American Way™. There will be commercials. Probably sooner than later. Someone has to pay the freight so get prepared for commercial interruptions on your iPod.
Much Ado About Not Much™.
“Look for a handful of Podcast Review Web Sites to show up. Why? As with music, information, TV, and web logs, there’s a lot of Podcasting crapola out there.”One problem, of course, is how to sort through the over 6,000 Podcasts to find something worth listening to. iTMS has over 3,000 Podcasts available for download and more are sure to follow.
That’s a tiny and insignificant percentage of the more than 1.5-million songs in iTMS but you get the idea.
iTunes lets you subscribe to Podcasts with just a click. So, once a day or whenever, iTunes will check for a new Podcast, download it, and later drop it on your iPod. It’s a very seamless process.
Look for a handful of Podcast Review Web Sites to show up. Why? As with music, information, TV, and web logs, there’s a lot of Podcasting crapola out there.
Where will this go? Like Dashboard Widgets, you can expect tens of thousands more Podcasts, which just work better with iTunes, iTMS, and iPod, further cementing Apple’s lead in portable music (audio) players.
If there’s over 20-million iPod users this year, there’ll be double that many next year. Perhaps 60-million or more in two years. Those are numbers which can change broadcast listening habits on a national scale.
Change is here, folks. Get used to it.
So, have you started Podcasting yet? Do you have a favorite Podcast? I like “Best of Matty in the Morning”. KCRW’s “The Road Less Traveled” is entertaining and not lengthy. “Lascivious Biddies” is entertaining. Podcast originator Adam Curry has a couple of good Podcasts.
What’s yours? Click the Comments link below and let other readers know what you think of Podcasting and your favorite program.