Podcasting §

Whoa flashback. I found a whole bunch of entries from my old blog, and one of them struck me as kind of funny - it’s about podcasting. By now most of you know what podcasting is, but when I wrote this article, in October of 2004, hardly anyone did… I’m going to quote it here as a blast from the past kind of thing, and then make some notes/updates at the end.

podcasting… some notes

october 09, 2004 - geekery

Just a couple of notes on Podcasting… I have only just begun to foray into this very young technology, but I have to say I like what I hear so far. For those who don’t know, and that is probably a lot of you, Podcasting is basically a MP3 radio broadcast. It works through an application called iPodder, created by none other than the former MTV VJ Adam Curry, and links directly into iTunes to upload these files into your iPod. You subscribe to a Podcast in exactly the way you subscribe to RSS feeds, except these have “enclosures,” similar to an attachment in your e-mail, containing an MP3 file of the show. iPodder then takes care of linking that file into iTunes and creating a Playlist so that you can easily use your iPod to listen to these shows on the go.

So why is this big? First of all, it is easy, very easy in fact, to download and subscribe to a Podcast. But more than that it is easy to create your own. There are droves of free applications available to record your voice, and its relatively easy to find a free application to encode into MP3 format - in fact you can use iTunes to do it. iTunes has technology built in to convert files to MP3s.

That’s where it gets big. I can see this moving along in conjunction with blogging to propel the power of voice. Blogging gives the power of words to the individual - Podcasting adds a new level with emotion and conviction. We are in the midst of a change in the way that people will get their information, and these two technologies are propelling that change.

I file this quick entry under geekery because at this point, as far as I can find, most of the Podcasts are aimed for people “in the know” if you will. This will change. Do a Google search for “podcast” and you will find 9500 search results. About a week ago, that number was around 3000. You can see that this is getting big, and its getting big fast.

Browse over to iPodder.org and download the application, then browse through and subscribe to some of the Podcasts available. It will change the way you find your commentary and open up a lot of new doors in your Internet experience. And the Renaissance moves on…

Well a lot has changed in the last one year, one month and 11 days. For example, do a Google search on ‘podcast’ now, and you find over 65,000,000 results, as opposed to the 9500 last year.

Not only that, but iPodder? HA! Podcasting is built right into iTunes now-a-days. Adam Curry is not just running some little podcast directory - he has started a corporation (with millions in venture capital) called PodShow - that syndicates several podcasters on their own Sirius satellite radio station.

I was right in predicting the change in the conversation, adding to blogging. But what I neglected to see at the time was the change it will have on the music industry - and so I’m going to make another prediction here. To be honest, the RIAA is shaking in their pants with podcasting, and the recording industry is doing everything possible to stop this phenomenon. They don’t get it. They think people are going to steal music with podcasting - wrong, and there’s proof.

For the last several months, Adam Curry has shown on his show The Daily Source Code that podcasting actually promotes sales of back-catalog music. Things like mash-ups (taking popular songs and mashing them into one), and even quizzes that Adam played, like the Backtracks Quiz (now shut down) - were proven sellers of the RIAAs prescious licensed music.

Anyway, that is over. Podcasters aren’t exactly running scared from licensed music, instead their flipping a huge middle finger to the fuckers of corporate music town, and turning to Podsafe music. Podsafe music is basically sourced independently from the artists themselves, and sites are popping up everywhere promoting it. Most notably, and highly recommended, is Podshow’s own Podsafe Music Network.

So my prediction is this: this next year is going to be huge for Podsafe music. Artist’s like Brother Love who have promoted their songs on the Podsafe Music Network are finding that it delivers. For the first time ever, Brother Love has been able to make his rent payment from sales of his music alone (I can’t find the link for this, but it was discussed on one of Adam Curry’s most recent Daily Source Code episodes.)

That may not sound big, but it is. Brother Love has been around for years, never been signed, and now is starting to profit from his music. This is what artists want. Not waiting around until they sell 200,000 albums before they see a dime from the RIAA. Cut out the middle man.

The band Steadman from Britain has been promoted by John Lennon, and signed to several labels (which were subsequently acquired by other companies and their contracts terminated), are now offering all of their music for free on their website - and it’s actually damn good.

Podcasting in the last year has grown tremendously, and it’s going to grow even further. My favorite part of all of it is the way that, once again, the RIAA is nailing shut their own coffin. They didn’t get it with P2P, they’re still not getting it with iTunes (trying to force Apple to increas prices), and now they can’t understand podcasting. They’re on a downhill sleigh ride, without brakes, heading straight for a tree…

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