March 31, 2006

Podcasts - Current State Of

On Designtechnica Talk Backs (March 23, 2006), Colin Dixon and Michael Greeson looked at the current status of podcasting.

First, they established a standard definition of podcasting:

  • file-based (download not streaming),
  • subscription-based and "pushed" to user,
  • & consumed on portable devices.
They further discussed the results of a survey that demonstrated that 80% of podcast downloads were never transferred to a portable device. Was the definition established with too tight of parameters or is podcasting not as hot as everyone wants us to believe?

Personally, I find myself downloading and listening to more and more podcasts, but I have yet to use a portable device. I find it more convenient to use my laptop for listening to podcasts, and I listen to music on my portable device while walking, running, or driving.


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gravatarPosted by Aaron Shaffer
Posted on March 31, 2006 12:51 PM

Given that the word "podcast" originates from the portable iPod it seems reasonable that they would include that in the definition. But I disagree with that being a requirement for the defintion.

Like you say, many people watch or listen to podcasts on their computer without an iPod. I do both depending on the content and my activity level (driving or exercising, for example).

In my mind a podcast is:
1) audio and/or video
2) file-based (not streaming)
3) subscription based, or "pushed"

That's about it.

gravatarPosted by cool
Posted on March 31, 2006 03:11 PM

I agree with Aaron, to me the key features involve "content to go" that you can use when and on what device you see fit, and the ability to subscribe so that the latest nifty lecture, song, video or whatever shows up automatically.

Personally my usage is opposite yours. I'm listening to music on my computer now because it doesn't distract from the task at hand. I listen to podcasts on my iPod whether in the car, at the grocery store, walking about campus, or other scenarios in which I can concentrate on the material. I tend to listen to a lot of academic lectures and downloads from NPR and the BBC, some of which are serious and some of which are just amusing.

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