Sunday, January 16, 2005

What's the Deal with Podcasting?

Okay, so I have to admit I'm baffled about podcasting. I've listened to a couple of podcasts and it's not bad, as internet radio goes.

But audio is so unbelievably low-tech and low-bandwidth. The amount of information in a one-hour block of audio can be assimilated in a very few minutes if it is read as text. Text can be accessed in any order; you can skip to the end, or rapidly scan it. You can search it, index it, copy/paste it if it's interesting, and reference it in your blog. But audio? What do you do with that?

Besides, audio is just video without the pictures. Surely podcasting will be cast off in favor of video blogging in almost no time.

I know two people who have mentioned actually listening to podcasts, and liking it. Both of them described burning it to CD and listening in the car or airplane.

I claim that anything you do on an airplane, where you're a captive, seat-belted, prohibited from moving for several hours, without an internet connection, is suspect. Things that you while driving are only slightly less suspect.

I know Adam Curry is a big force behind podcasting and he's famous and all that, but he's famous partly for MTV, right? Where's the V in podcasting? The very first song on MTV, by the Buggles, was Video Killed the Radio Star. Hmmmmmm. Maybe Adam is actually famous for being Tim Curry's son. Did he grow up in Transylvania?

But then, I see that MTV actually filed suit against Adam Curry for breach of contract. Maybe Audio is trying to kill the Video star. And can I just say that you can't call an audio show "Source Code"? I am in the source code business, and I just can't see the connection to audio. And it's not just that I'm disgruntled at having sent email to Adam Curry to which he never responded, because I listened to his podcast where he basically said he hardly ever responds to the zillions of email messages he gets. Fair enough. I have done the same thing at times in my life.

In any case, I belive podcasting to be an extremely short-term phenomenon at best, to be replaced by video content almost immediately, since audio is merely a subset of video.

Not that I'll be listening--or watching. My time is more valuable than that. I'll still be reading my favorite bloggers (see my blog roll).


Chaim Rubin said...

I don't subscribe to podcasts. I treat them as any other downloadable material. What's good about Windows Media Player is that speed setting that doesn't affect the pitch (on non-variable rate MP3's).

But re your comment that audio is a subset of video, I am going guess that you are a visual thinker. In my opinion audio is an entirely different experience to the brain, and conveys different information, analogous to the difference between reading a book and watching the movie.

I think that if I were producing a video of any kind, I would want to test it on blind and deaf people independently.

I personally love audio, and listen to the radio while I pretty much stopped watching TV years ago.
I have at least two audio-based 'thought'-inventions. I would like to understand how the deal works at Inventor Labs. Is it intellectual property if it's not legally protected?

Chaim Rubin said...

(oops, forgot to check the email box)