iTunes 4.9, Podcasts, more like time shifted radio

19 Comments

Like all mac faithful, I downloaded the iTunes 4.9, and checked out the podcast feature. Despite all the hoopla around Podcasts and how are going to be different from radio, well the iTunes 4.9 clearly shows that it is nothing but radio timeshifted. There is ESPN, ABC News, and some other mainstream radio shows being offered as Podcasts.

itunes with podcast

The real podcasts are being passed off as “indie podcasts,” though I am glad to see Inside Mac Radio and Engadget Podcast at #3 and #4 in terms of downloads. Everything else is just some repackaged radio show/television program! That’s not podcasting is it? Its like TiVoed Radio!

19 Comments

Jack

I don’t see why this is a bad thing – most amateur-produced podcasts are completely unlistenable. (The ones I’ve heard, obviously.) Quick access to well-produced content from the likes of the BBC is what I want from iTunes, not some bloke wittering away because he thinks owning a mic and a copy of GarageBand qualifies him as a broadcaster. I think folk have failed to see that the audioblogging side of podcasting is not analagous to weblogging – many people have the writing skills to produce good weblogs, few have, to take the most basic aspect of audioblogging, good voices for radio.

Marc Nothrop

I’m prepared to wait a little while before judging , but I do tend to agree with Johnathan that time-shifted radio is an easier introduction for the huge audience of people that have never even heard of poscasting, i.e. everyone ‘else’.

There are intelligent people out there who’ve not been exposed to podcasting yet, people who will benefit from, and enjoy the quirky, or niche stuff we’ve been enjoying, for a while now. ‘Going mainstream’ means welcoming in a whole lot of people, not necessarily ‘selling out’… or fear of losing another of ‘our’ cool niches? : )

As Peter says, there *are* ‘professional’ shows that are worth listening to, esp. for the other huge potential audience, everyone else in the world. ; )

Let’s not forget the value of greater exposure and diversity in access to news, opinion, and culture. The impact of routing around the physical and regulatory restrictions on radio is a big deal from the global perspective, not only for the US culture continuing to be pushed out to the rest of us, but in the increased dialogue between societies.

Perhaps I’m being too idealistic, but just like I hope that the commercial content won’t over-power the ‘Indies’, I hope that this new media outlet won’t continue to be US-centric, for the good of everyone.

OK, so some shock jock in the morning is probably not something you’d like broadcast around the world, but I’ve been really enjoying listening to public, and niche radio from the US, helping me to better understand the American people, and not judge them just by the image that their/your govt. projects. That’s valuable.

The ‘Long Tail’ exists, there really *are* a lot more individual voices accessible than there ever have been. The hyperbole about the democratising power of the web is kinda true, but only if you go looking… but at least there’s something to go looking for!

Peter

There are plenty of great Podcasts in iTunes that aren’t just ‘repackaged’ radio shows. MacCast, MyMacGuys, RadioMacGuys, TheForce.net, Perlcast. (Those are just ones that I listen to.) They’ve all been available since Day One.

And while there are admittedly a lot of repackaged radio shows out there, they are nonetheless interesting radio shows that I might not otherwise have heard of, seeing as I don’t listen to the radio.

Johnathan

I tend to agree that providing the “major label” content will encourage the public to check it out, but I don’t think Apple is against the little guy. Heck, they mentioned “Dawn & Drew” in the press release they put out for 4.9. I think that says a lot. Plus as others have mentioned around the web, some web-only podcasts (TWiT, Engadget, etc) are doing pretty well in the iTunes rankings thus far. Obviously listeners are finding both “mainstream media” and alternatives.

Om Malik

i think this is going to be an intersting trend to watch. you can already see how the old media has started to dominate the podcast charts. i wonder if we will have to endure their ads or biases as well. i think it is a good experiemnt from the stand point that it will tell you who really matters in the broadcast/podcast world.

John Maxwell Hobbs

Well, I have to say that I was extremely pleased to see that my VERY non-mainstream music podcast Cinema Volta: Daily Ambience was included in Apple’s list when the new version was launched. Of course, it’s categorized incorrectly under Movies & Television, but I’ve modified my RSS file to include the iTunes tags and I hope that will fix things.

Jake

I think there’s room for both commercial content and “indie” content.

The Publish a Podcast choice is quite prominent.

I still like my NetNewsWire podcast handling. The podcast gets dropped in the iTunes library and a simple playlist for the “show” is created.

Mike D.

Agreed. Well, at least podcasting isn’t the single most overhyped phenomenon on the web right now… for that we have “video blogging”.

Andy Abramson

Om..we used to call that rebroadcasting approach “recasting” not webcasting back in th e 90’s…I am happy to see that when it comes to Podcasting, Apple has about as much understanding about that as they did when it came to streaming media back in the 90s.

Permanent4

I’m getting the sense that the current state of iTunes’ podcast directory — where just about every indie podcast is listed under “Audio Blogs” (stupid category) — is pushing some people to explore places like PodcastAlley.com to seek out new shows. At least, I hope that’s happening…

My music podcast, Dave’s Lounge, isn’t in the iTunes directory yet, but the latest show still managed to get about a dozen downloads from iTunes today. =^)

E LeBreton

I agree that the current crop of podcasts offered through itunes are primarily big media and not very different from conventional radio.

However, once the independent podcasts pass the screening process apple has put in place for quality/content reasons, I think we’ll really see an explosion of independent audio on the web.

As A VC mentions, podcast integration in itunes gives 6 million users an easy to use and familiar program with which to discover this content, may of whom don’t currently even know what a podcast is.

He’s right, it won’t happen overnight, but this is huge boost to the medium.

Comments are closed.