25 January 2008


A good place to learn about podcasting


Todd Cochrane, one of the hardest-working guys in podcasting, and his team at RawVoice have just launched podcastFAQ.com, which looks to be a great one-stop resource to learn about podcasting: what it is, how to find shows, how to make shows, and so on.

As someone involved in three podcasts (Inside Home Recording, Lip Gloss and Laptops, and my Penmachine Podcast), I often get questions about podcasting from both prospective listeners and people interested in making their own shows, so I expect I'll be pointing quite a few people in podcastFAQ's direction.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Thanks so much for the link, Derek. I am one of those who had a few questions and I hope they'll be resolved soon.
Err, stupid me, it was about blogging, but thanks still.
Why is this so iTunes centric. I did not read through the entire site, but on one of the introductory pages they state that the term podcasting derives itself from Apple's iPod which is patently false. It's a combination of Portable On Demand (POD) and Broadcasting. Also, on the publishing your media page they state that you need an RSS feed that is compatible with podcasting and iTunes. HUH? Where does the iTunes requirement come into play? I understand if this is a site run by Apple Fans because their reality is skewed anyway. Podcasting is a standards based way of distributing digital media and it is most certainly not reliant on proprietary hardware or software.
Um, I'm not sure if you're reading the same site as I am, but there's the plenty of information about stuff outside iTunes, including Juice, Zune, and the various podcast directories. In fact, the people who put the site together are quite active in trying to promote alternatives to iTunes, because they (like me) agree that it's bad to let one vendor dominate. Todd Cochrane, who runs RawVoice, is primarily a Windows user, actually.

That said, you DO need an RSS feed compatible with podcasting in iTunes if you want people to listen to or watch your show, because for now iTunes is BY FAR the biggest player as both a podcatcher and a directory. It isn't perfect software, true, but it is the 800-pound gorilla, because Apple added podcasting support early (mid-2005) and has been very successful with the iPod, while others such as the Zune marketplace took a lot longer to support podcasting. Maybe that will change, but for now and the foreseeable future, you need to take iTunes into account when building a podcast. Fortunately, a valid RSS 2.0 feed with enclosures will work just fine -- you don't have to add Apple's extra stuff if you don't want.

Finally, podcasting is named after the iPod. Adam Curry and Dave Winer and others created the specs in 2004 so that media files could sync automatically to an iPod, and the rest has flowed from there. It has come to mean more than that, and it's good that the standards are open, but the "portable on demand" definition is an retronym -- something created after the fact to make the word less Apple-centric.

Podcasting does not RELY on Apple's proprietary hardware and software by any means, and that is a very good thing. But the fact remains that most people who subscribe to podcasts use Apple's stuff, and while we can work to ensure that doesn't mean lock-in, podcasters also have to live with reality.