PODCasting: Delivering Audio to MP3 Players Like the iPod


Over at Doc Searl's IT Garage, he's discussing PODCasting which, of course, has reference to the iPod, but Doc has coined an acronym "Personal Option Digital" casting to be clear we're talking about a new way for users to hear what they want, not just one company's product. This is an interesting phenomenon, which will likely change how many of us listen to any audio that is time insensitive. This is generating a lot of buzz right now:

PODCasting arguably started with Doug Kaye's IT Conversations, at least that's where I first started seeing enough interesting programs that I'd regularly download them to my iPod so I could listen to them later. Adam Curry and Dave Winer are doing a regular program now called Trade Secrets Radio. Others, like the Evil Genius Chronicles are getting in the act as well.

Doug Kaye has lamented that there are more audio blogs already than he can afford to listen to. That brings up a limitation of audio: its more time synchronous than reading. I can read faster than you type; I can skim; I can skip. That's all harder to do in audio. Still, the overall situation is not all that different, no matter how fast I read, I can't keep up with all the interesting print information on blogs.

Audio blogs open up a whole new opportunity since there are some people who'd rather talk than type and are more interesting that way. The infrastructure is there to support is, although held together with bailing wire an bubble gum at this point. MP3 files are enclosed in RSS and consequently downloaded by the user's feedreader. From there, a lot of folks manually copy the MP3 to their MP3 player, but some tools to help this process are starting to appear, including Adam Curry's iPodder which makes the link between your feedreader and your iPod.

I love this new way of hearing people's ideas. I'm addicted to the Gillmor Gang. Like Doug, I just wish I had more time to listen!