More thoughts on podcasting

I've been really trying to embrace the podcasting movement, i say trying because I obviously dont have a ipod and most of the software around syncs with itunes or windows media player. What I really want is a piece of software which syncs podcasts to my pocketpc or smartphone's storage card. Till then I check every morning before i go to work if theres any more pods from adam curry, it conversations, dave winer and a couple more. Then copy it to my SD card for use in my mobile devices.

If you dont know what podcasting is check out this nytimes story which adam curry and dave winer were talking about recently.

Ok things I would like to see done with podcasting sometime soon, please comment if you've already seen it.
Better podcasting client software, so I dont need to manually copy files on to my SD card. Even better – a way to put pods on to phones and mobile devices. Sync folders would be nice, and hey why not download to a public place like a webdav server? Imagine podcasts shared between multiple people. Hey and dont forget about other devices like the xbox

Smil used in podcasts. This one pushes against the podcasting concept, but I've also been thinking about relevent pod advertisements mixed in with podcasts. I'm a big fan of smil and started thinking if you could mix in smil inside of rss or atom or get the software to download the smil file. Once the smil file is downloaded, it then searches through and downloads the bits it needs. As I said it breaks the podcasting method but its a thought because then you could reference and quote other podcasts inline. It also adds a little more structure to podcasts. Adam curry for example plays creative commons music in his podcast, it would be kinda of cool to get different music depending on when you play the pod back. Maybe?

As talked about before the process of using creative commons and other non-copyright (as such) music inline is pretty cool and using other podcasts inside your own is great too. But I've been thinking an enclosure element can support almost any type of media. Why not podcast images? And you know what this fits perfectly with the new ipod which now supports photos. I already thought about including photos in as enclosures but seriously why not? Maybe the podcast is talking about a new product or service, why not include some detail shots of it? I remember a while ago on the gilmor gang they were talking at great length about the google desktop search and I'm sitting on a tram thinking god there has to be a decent screen shot somewhere. So I spent sometime searching for a image while on my GPRS connection. If I had it before it would have made a big difference to my listening pleasure.

I wont get started on authoring tools but I would like the authoring tools to reflect the structure of the show. Even simple things like putting in decent metadata and cc licencing would be a start. And please use decent file names, date formatted file names are not good enough – seriously. Hey and why is there only a few group based podcasts? I mean using the 4 way skype conference calling feature you could easily record a nice podcast for later. Actually I've been thinking about doing one with Dave, Harry and Miles at some point just for a test, maybe around a dinner table or something? Miles had the thought about embedding SMIL inside of RSS using namespaces.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and