February 10, 2006

When "the Man" Gets it Wrong

Found this article on Podcasting at forbes.com, and read with anticipation. I love getting a more mainstream take on podcasting and podcasters.

Unfortunately, Forbes didn't do it's homework. At all.

The term "podcasting" refers to a rebranding and formalization of an established medium for the delivery of digital content over the Internet:

-- For many years, Internet users have been able to download content in the form of digital-audio files from a range of sources.

-- Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) introduced the term when it launched an application that simplifies and automates the process of receiving this content within its standard software.

Uh, no.
The term podcasting refers to the delivery of audio content by way of RSS feeds, so that end users can utilize specialized software to download the content automatically. Yes, internet users have been able to download audio for a long time -- the innovation of podcasting was that the user could subscribe to a provider's content and have new content downloaded automatically as it was made available. The term podcasting was popularized by Adam Curry, among others, long before Apple updated iTunes to take advantage of the technology. In fact, iTunes 4.9 was a rection to the trend, not an innovation.

Apple took advantage of podcasting. They recognized that most podcast subscribers were using their iPods to listen to their podcasts, and that many were using software like iPodder (now called Juice) along with iTunes to download and play the podcasts on their computers. So they upgraded iTunes to include podcasting support. But they weren't involved at the inception of podcasting.

It's sad that the article came from Oxford Analytica. It seems like a "strategic-consulting firm drawing on a network of more than 1,000 scholar experts at Oxford and other leading universities and research institutions around the world" would do a better job of fact-checking.

{edit}: Don't take my word for it -- Digital Podcast News agrees that it's a bad article. In no uncertain terms, I might add.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 06:57 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 By the way, the pod in podcasting did come from the iPod. From what I can discover, the concept for podcasting was first discussed in 2000, but the term podcasting was not coined until 2004. No, the iPod is not required to listen to podcasts, but it was the most popular device to use to listen to the downloaded audio. So, that is where the pod came from. Atom feeds (as well as RSS feeds) of audio or video are also called podcasts. Personally, I think it is a terrible term. Nothing is broadcast and a iPod is not needed. What a perfectly descriptive term. Might as well name it george. Then, everyone could spend years deciding on what that acronym stands for.

Posted by: Greg at February 16, 2006 04:30 PM (PZjIq)

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