Why PodCasting Rocks .... well, most podcasting

June 12, 2005 02:30 by keithkaragan
Steve Jobs recently was reportedly dismissive about podcasting calling it "Wayne's World for radio". Perhaps, but that's precisely what I like about it. Since I do run a podcast, you might think this clouds my objectivity, but the truth is that I provide a podcast as an incentive distribute music that I create. I don't talk or play DJ  or anything in these podcasts. The podcasts I listen to are polar opposite to this, they are rebroadcasts of public radio shows, original podcast only shows by people I have no connection with, or other nuggets of audio eclecticism that I happen across in my virtual travels.
I like the same qualities in these shows as I do in broadcast media that I really favor: the genuine character of the people involved, the variety of topics and viewpoints, and the lack of commercial influence. My iPod is approximately 3/4 full of content, 1/2 of which is usually podcasts. It's what I listen to in the car, or chillin out on the couch, or while I work. Too bad for Steve if he doesn't get it - for all of us public and college radio fans, this is really great stuff a return of free-form, and the free flow of views and opinion - cheers to all the podcasters out there.
Some podcast gripes:
  • 'Pod-Safe' music - like the music, hate the term and the classification ... what's wrong with 'Independent' as a term? 'Pod-Safe' sounds ridiculous.
  • MPAA/BMI/ASCAP copyright problems ... I can see how the podcasters don't want to be sued, but by saying 'fuck it' and playing the music they like regardless of these organization's wishes they would essentially force the hand of the copyright enforcement bureaucracies to make a workable and fair copyright policy to pertain to podcasts - and if the solution is unacceptable to the podcasting community, continue on playing it and demand it be re-worked, they can't sue everyone so the odds it'll affect a particular 'caster is somewhat slim, and as a protest to unfair restrictions you should be on somewhat solid ground - won't some portion of the legal community assist? I bet they would.
  • Levels - it would be nice if these shows would/could have more consistency in the levels of the audio (within a single program) - This will likely work itself out as the creators hone their skills.
  • BOOKMARKABLE AAC  and AAC Format conversion issues - Long AAC files made from podcasts almost always crash my iPod when it goes to sleep, requiring a re-boot. Oddly enough commercial audio books don't exhibit this behavior ... seems like the dirty Little secret of the iPod.
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