Podcasting is everywhere (and house with bride)

In today's IT Blogwatch, we look at podcasting, taday and in the future. Not to mention the woman who's selling her house, which comes complete with a bride ... herself. New to podcasting? Not Mitch Ratcliffe: "You will forgive me recalling that Bill Gates, richest guy in the world, once said that no one would need more than 640 KB of RAM on a personal computer." [Errr, no I don't think he did Mitch, but anyway...] "As I read some of the responses to the Audible Wordcast announcements, I am repeatedly reminded of the folly of Gates' view. But, then, at that time, Bill was young enough to think his whole future depended on DOS ... We're all young in podcasting -- Audible being one of them ... Audible is contributing something new ... Audible would certainly welcome suggestions about how to make the system more open, but, for now Audible believes that making audited listenership figures available for advertisers is a service it can offer based on the tools built over a decade ... Amazingly, the folks at Audible think that competition is a good idea. It's worked for them, so far. And a lot of media companies seeking to enter the downloadable audio market are looking for the kind of accountability they expect from, for instance, Google AdSense, which Audible is taking a big step to deliver now. If, by participating in future standards activities Audible can make this better, let us know." [See Mitch's full blog post for a table comparing .mp3 and .aa formats and a juicy flame war in the comments] » Doc Searls: "My post was about something I have spoken and written about often: markets where the demand side supplies itself. Podcasting is one of those markets. Audible deserves credit for pioneering downloadable audio and players for that audio; but none of the big boys, including Audible, invented podcasting. The demand side did that, and they did it with far more help from independent developers (Dave [Winer] especially) than from the big dependency-game players like Apple and Audible. My other point was that DRM itself is broken, because it only works for the supply side, and only by limiting usage. I doubt it will ever be fixed by castle- and moat-builders like Audible, Apple, Sony and the rest of them, regardless of whatever other Good Stuff they've done in the world, and regardless of their Good Intentions on behalf of copyright holders. They have too much to protect, too many inter-Big deals and partnerships, and too much of a 'let's cripple it' approach to controlling usage. Those of us with nothing to protect and everything to gain will provide the leadership here, for the simple reasons that 1) we're already doing it (witness podcasting and syndication); and 2) we're the only ones who can — because we're the only ones working creatively for both supply and demand." » Pete Cashmore, Mashable: "There is an issue here that a few people seem to have skipped over - the need to measure podcast audiences more accurately ... Now these guys [Om Malik and Dave Winer] are all much smarter than me and know their way around this industry. They also have far more knowledge about the technical implementations than I ever could. But what we’re missing out on here is that advertising doesn't just serve the big guys - it also helps content creators get paid for their work. And if you don’t have any significant measurement capability, your potential advertisers will have little to go on ... Now I'll be the first to point out my ignorance of this topic, and I realize that the MP3 format isn't well suited to this kind of monitoring. I've also seen the mess that all this DRM crap has gotten us into. But I can’t help feeling that there are all sorts of situations in which measurability could help content creators and peer producers get a better deal. At the very least, I'd like to have a discussion about whether this may or may not be the case." » Randy Charles, The RSS Blog: "MP3 is not the only road to accessibility. My rules of thumb is simple. It's gotta work (audio or video) in a typical installation of XP and OS X. MP3 does that? What other formats work? Not Real media. Not Quicktime. Not MPEG-4. Not WMV. If you are picking one of these formats, then you are limiting your audience. If your audience is OS X only, then Quicktime is likely OK. If your audience is XP only, then WMV is likely OK." » Doc Searls' IT Garage: [yes, two separate blogs on the same subject] "[The] demand side supplying itself. That's what IT Garage is about, and why I've been writing about podcasting here (more than elsewhere) since the post on September 28, 2004 when I noted that there were just 24 results for "podcasts" on Google. Today that number is 102,000,000 ... think that 'free markets' for 'content' are Your Choice of Silo. Nothing wrong with having any number of silos in a market, of course, as long as nobody confuses the part — or the sum of similar parts — for the whole. The podcasting market (like the blogging market before that, and the Web, and the Net itself) is hard for the Content Industry to understand because podcasting was created and grown by small independent developers and users, working together. That's why it was designed (like blogging, the Web and the Net) as an open place where commercial activity was welcome, but where single commercial interests couldn't run the whole world." » Matt May, Corante's podcasting blog: "The Portable Media Expo and Podcasting Conference is starting to wind down, so I have a few moments to talk about my thoughts on the first 1000-plus-attendee conference built around podcasting ... A number of podcast directories, iPod accessory makers, hosting services, software vendors and allied tradespeople are exhibiting (not to mention the pathologically gregarious Brother Love, who has been all smiles this weekend as he hangs out with the folks playing his podsafe music). Some big names, like Yahoo, Audible, Intel, Adobe and MTV Networks, have appeared on the dais. Some others are notable for their absence (hint: two of them make operating systems) ... I'm still astounded by the scale of this event. It's clear that this is a going concern, and I would imagine that next year, the Expo will attract the attention of those who stayed away this time, along with a whole lot of high-end audio companies." » Rags' Soapbox: "Unsurprisingly, Audible's announcement has not been well received by the podcasting and blogging communities. They object to the costs and, most importantly, the need to get onto ADBL's proprietary format. While I'm often sympathetic to these sentiments, I'm not so sure this time ... Finally, Apple is best positioned to do something about this. They could modify Fairplay to support these different models for not only spoken word but also music where licesning issues have legitimately hampered the distribution of a lot of copyrighted music (in effect they'd make music podcasts conform to DMCA webcasting rules and handle the appropriate recordkeeping around this), but I'm not holding my breath on this one... Incidentally, note Audible's 'Wordcast' monniker to reflect their emphasis on spoken word (and signal to Apple that they have NO intention to get into music and risk Apple shutting them out of the iTMS)." Buffer overflow:

And finally... Hi, I'm Deborah. Please buy my house so I can live here rent-free.

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at blogwatch@richi.co.uk. Also contributing to today's post: Judi Dey, our very own Antipodean.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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