Apple Support Video Podcasting

Ars Technica is covering the quiet release of Apple’s support for Video Podcasting.

The field of People’s Media is about to get more interesting. A similar effort was actually pioneered by ParticipatoryCulture.org and their DTV platform.

Nick had also written a piece on finding audio and video content by subscribing to a custom RSS feed in iTunes.

I’m looking forward to geeks everywhere putting-up web servers in their homes, serving podcasts and making the most of their broadband connectivity.

Many of us aren’t at home during business hours, yet this bandwidth could, and ought to be put to use. While typically slow on the upstream, home bandwidth isn’t metered the way it is capped or metered at web hosting shops. Most notably in the U.S. we need to drive-up demand for broadband.

128K upstreams are NOT broadband. The Internet allows us, in principle, to do far more than surfing the web and checking e-mail. Audio and Video podcasts, SIP-based audio and video communications ought to help drive this point home. (For the Geek-Minded: read David Beckemeyer’s perspective on how we broke the Internet)

Cable and Telephone companies always have, and, thanks to recent FCC regulation, will continue to retain a certain choke-hold on U.S. consumer broadband pipes, with very little motivation to increase it beyond what’s required from market pressure. And there currently isn’t any. While consumers in Japan and South Korea are used to multi-megabit connectivity up and down, we in the U.S. continue to wallow in the digital lifestyle stone-age.

Here’s to insurrection.

Update: David Moore, from ParticipatoryCulture.org, was kind enough to address a few questions I had for him related to this post, comparing Internet TV and Video podcasts:

BitTorrent is a pillar of our internet TV platform, precisely because it makes it affordable to broadcast really amazing video. With bittorrent, you don’t need to be a huge broadcaster anymore to be able to reach millions of people… that’s what makes internet TV such an exciting medium and such a level playing field.

Our Broadcast Machine bittorrent publishing software offers that kind of scalability, so that whether you’re publishing video just to your family or to hundreds of thousands of viewers, you don’t have to worry about high bandwidth costs. In that way, even though we sometimes use the analogy that internet TV is like “podcasting for video,” there’s a fundamental difference between self-publishing audio and video. Creators could probably afford to publish a high-quality podcast via HTTP download on their website. But they couldn’t necessarily afford to do the same for a long, high-resolution video — which is why bittorrent is such an important part of the equation. If you’re a documentary filmmaker and you want to put high-resolution video out there, bittorrent is by far the most affordable way of doing it. Or if you simply want to broadcast a video blog from your living room, bittorrent is a way to do it with peace of mind that it’s virtually free.

Internet TV is still an emerging medium, so there will be a lot more publishing and viewing options to come. What we’re working on with Broadcast Machine and DTV is to ensure that there’s a free and open-source platform available to users, that’s built on open-standards like BitTorrent, RSS, and VLC. As we’ve seen with Mozilla’s products, often times the open-source applications are able to take the lead, and we think that’s the best-case scenario for internet TV.

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