Tuesday, December 14, 2004

'Podcast' Your World

The idea behind a podcast is simple, yet brilliant. Instead of using portable MP3 players such as the iPod only for listening to music, new software called iPodder allows one to download prerecorded radio shows onto the devices.

At present, terrestrial radio stations tend to structure their playlists to offend the least number of people so that audiences will stay tuned for the next group of commercials. That format has alienated listeners who crave more eclectic, less predictable fare on the airwaves.

Many observers expect podcasts to become as diverse and niche-oriented as the world of blogs. In theory, listeners will be able to pick and choose from a menu of shows that cater to their interests. They'll also be able to subscribe to downloads that provide news from the stock market or updates on developments in a particular industry. And one will soon be able to access podcasts on a standard-issue cellphone.

"I venture there's about 33 million MP3 players out there, and after Christmas when everyone has their new cellphone, there's another 600 million cellphones that have MP3 capability - and they have a network connection," says Adam Curry, who along with Winer developed iPodder.

There's a term that sums up the future of podcasting: niche radio.
Blogging was 1.0. Podcasting is 2.0. Video Podcasting will be 3.0. Just as blogging allowed individuals to publish and add their voice to the world of written journalism, Podcasting will allow the same for the spoken word. Podcasting can be used as a Tivo for radio, but it allows more than that. It allows anyone to create their own "radio station". It allows users to just listen to what they want to listen to when they want to listen to it.

Due to blogging and RSS, Yahoo now gives you access to 200,000+ "news" sources. Soon, instead of having access to 20 radio stations, you will have access to 1,000s of podcasts.

Video podcasting will allow individuals to compete with TV stations. Niche programing will be available to the nth degree (just in case the 200 channels you get weren't enough). This TV over IP will allow anyone to have access to the TV screen just as blogging and RSS gives anyone access to the written word. The Comcasts of the world better beware. While they are pushing more content from the top down, the video podcasters will be pushing more content from the bottom up.

via Christian Science Monitor

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