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Summary:

Steve Jobs says his iTunes 4.9 will support podcasts and make it easier to find the new form of distributed media. Given the easy access to 10 million iPods, I am not surprised the increased hoopla around this emergent media. Best cue – my pal, Andy, […]

podcastingSteve Jobs says his iTunes 4.9 will support podcasts and make it easier to find the new form of distributed media. Given the easy access to 10 million iPods, I am not surprised the increased hoopla around this emergent media. Best cue – my pal, Andy, long a stream-caster, turning his attention to pod-casting. He has started PodWatch. Scoble points to The Podcast Network.

Fred Wilson paraphrases Nike and suggests, “Just Lets do it.” Why even Seth Godin has jumped on to the bandwagon. Advertisers like Volvo and GM are lining up for podcasts. (Tobacco companies can advertise on podcasts?… after all its not radio!)

Umair sums up my feelings when he writes, “So the question becomes – assuming that it’s not the transaction costs that stop them, why aren’t people podcasting? I think it’s because podcasts don’t realize the same kind of huge complementarity that blogs do, through comments, link aggregators, etc.”

Engadget has a nice how-to for Mac users. and another one, fully baked.

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  1. No, I’d say Podcasts arent that popular yet because of:

    1. You have to already be hooked into the blogosphere to even know who is doing podcasts

    2. Podcasts are not indexable within the podcast itself (i.e. jump points to certain segments) as of yet.

    3. How would I search for a podcast that interested me? With radio I know what format a station plays I can have some idea of what I am going to hear when I tune it.

    4. Most people doing podcasts I havent heard of, people like to get news and content from people they know or at least think they can trust. The most popular podcasts I know of typically come from people who had previous standard media exposure (think the guys from The Screen Savers on Tech TV)

    5. Content on podcasts has a tendency to parrot what I already get by reading a blog or newsfeed from Google, AP, Yahoo, etc. And it takes longer to listen to the podcast then to read the pertinent news.

    Just my .07

  2. Nike (and Fred Wilson) in fact said “Just do it”. “Let’s do it” was Cole Porter. But you might be on to something here, since so much PodHype seems to be saying “Let’s do it, let’s fall in love”!

  3. I’m still skeptical that podcasts will ever take off. It all depends on the quality of programming available, and most people just want to listen to music on their iPod. Lots of hype, yes, that’s fore sure. At the moment, FM radio integration on the iPod would be more useful. That way I could listen to KCRW.

  4. Mike I agree.. well I am staying away from this. Not sure if it is worth the effort. I really don’t want to subject people to my screeching voice and rants.

  5. Gabe… Made the correction. thanks for pointing it out. errors from an over worked eye/mind.

  6. Podcasts are inherently limited by production values.

    People can build amazing blogs in StarBucks on Pentium 2 laptops. Recording and editing a radio broadcast requires more equipment, more time and more skill.

    Even with the right tools and knowledge you’re still limited by poor acoustics and voices.

    While the web is a fairly even playing-field, which enables individuals to produce amazing websites and blogs, competing with comercial audio production facilities is almost impossible.

    Unless people start deciding they like low budget better than high budget, podcasts will remain a niche, or the preserve of people and groups who have the budget to record them well.

  7. Alex Rowland Friday, May 27, 2005

    Judging the potential future success of Podcasts at this point would be like judging the future success of the Web in 1994.

  8. Podcasts are for the self-gratification of megalomaniacs who do not want to hear what others have to say. Bill-O-Reilly will love podcasts. So will Rush Limbaugh. But anyone who wants to have an educated “dialogue” in public will go back to the Blog medium. Blog’s rule. We have already been assimilated by the Blog. You can’t reassimilate the assimilated. What Podcasts are useful for are educational lecture series, audio books, conference speech multicasts, or anything that works in a one way conversation. To compare them to Blogs is like comparing CD playout to Talk Radio.

  9. charliesierra Friday, May 27, 2005

    Podcasting is just plain stupid.

    Time is the only true scarce resource, and I can read 10-100x as much info as I can listen to, so basically podcasting is a waste of our time.

    I think these podcasting people have lost their minds.

    This is the same kind of mental vaporlock that affects corporate america to dreamup stupid M&A. The fallacy starts with, Blogs sure are easy to do (because, well I’m a technology moron and I’ve got a blog…), and then these people EXTRAPOLATE, that since blogging is easy and pretty cool, what else is easy for me to do? Hmm, I can talk, been doing it my whole life, etc…

    Its all downhill from there.

    My rule of thumb is that if you are big into podcasting, then you should be avoided because you are somebody who can’t manage what really counts. Time.

    PS. Om, please file podcasting under “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”

  10. Podcasting is not stupid. It is not useless. It is not a waste of time for those who enjoy it.

    But it most clearly *IS* the most overrated, overhyped faux-nomenon on the internet since I-dont-know-when. It’s not going to explode. It’s not going to make many people rich. It’s not going to dramatically change the world. It’s just another way people will be replacing their traditional radio-listening… along with live streams, satellite radio, and other things.

    So let’s enjoy podcasting for what it is instead of building it up into something that it’s not.

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