iPodderX developer talks iTunes 4.9, podcasting | iLounge News

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iPodderX developer talks iTunes 4.9, podcasting

iLounge recently spoke with iPodderX developer August Trometer on what impact the forthcoming iTunes 4.9 update will have on podcasting. As previously reported, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced iTunes 4.9 at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, and then later provided further details at this month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

Trometer told iLounge that he was by no means surprised at the announcement. “It was inevitable that Apple would take an interest in podcasting,” he said. “After all, the more uses Apple can find for the iPod, the better for them. So when iTunes 4.9 was announced, I wasn’t too surprised.”

Trometer said that in the long run, it’s great news for both podcasting and for applications like iPodderX. “In much the same way that Safari RSS is introducing a whole new audience to syndicated newsfeeds, I think iTunes 4.9 will do the same for podcasting. But, also like Safari RSS, people will soon tire of the basic feature set and want more capabilities than iTunes offers. These folks will look elsewhere and to other applications for their podcast needs.”

After seeing Jobs give a demo of iTunes 4.9 at WWDC, Trometer said Apple, like always, has come up with a great looking and easy to use solution to a technology many have yet to embrace. “I have to admit, iTunes 4.9 looks slick,” he told iLounge. “I have a feeling that people will get tired of the way it lists their podcasts—disclosure triangles for each feed will get tiresome—but overall it looks like a great introduction to the world of podcasting.”

Trometer said there are, however, a lot of unanswered questions with the new version of iTunes. “Where are the files hosted? Most podcasters have to pay for their bandwidth usage, so an appearance on the iTunes list could spell financial disaster,” he pointed out. “It’s more likely that Apple will host the files. How do they get there? What is the approval process?”

Trometer said iTunes 4.9 also doesn’t appear to support non-iTunes feeds. “It also, from the looks of it, focuses only on audio,” he said. “Now that could change, of course, but there are many Video feeds that are already very popular and will be left out.”

Apple will also begin to charge a download fee for some of the podcasts, Trometer told iLounge, like it already does for songs from the iTunes Music Store. “Some shows will be free, but the more premium content will be paid,” he said. “The independent, do-it-yourself podcaster will most likely get lost in the shuffle as Apple will be able to charge for an ABC show but not ‘Bob’s Comedy Show.’”

Trometer also sees the directory of podcasts included in iTunes 4.9 to be very limited and censored by Apple. “It will never carry edgier, more adult fare,” he said. “Most of the podcasts out there wouldn’t pass FCC regulations or Apple’s approval process, so anyone who limits themselves to the iTunes podcasts will miss out on a lot of really great content. Many people will feel constrained by Apple’s good taste.”

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Comments

1

Overall I agree with most of Trometer’s assessment of iTunes 4.9, except for the “non-iTunes feeds.” Jobs said that if we want to type a URL in to get some random podcast that isn’t in the iTMS, we can. And I doubt that just by introducing podcasting to iTunes that all those podcast servers will suddenly be “overloaded.” Very doubtful.

Posted by Greg on June 24, 2005 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

2

“And I doubt that just by introducing podcasting to iTunes that all those podcast servers will suddenly be “overloaded.â€? Very doubtful.”

I run my server…I totally disagree with you.  600 hundred people trying to download a 30-40MB file at once can clog the bandwidth I am able to afford.  Not my data transfer total allotment…I mean the amount I can transfer at any one moment.  If that 600 were to double, or triple because by some miracle my show got listed high in the iTunes listings?  I’m royally screwed too.  I can’t afford a fatter pipe.  Plain and simple.
I have already made plans to host the actual files for my show with a company that does nothing but serve podcast feeds…they have the data pipes I can only dream of.

We’re not even TALKING about those folks who are on a low monthly gigabyte allotment, they’re royally screwed if Apple doesn’t cache the files.

Posted by stark23x on June 24, 2005 at 1:04 PM (PDT)

3

Speaking of podcast clients that threaten financial disaster for podcasters, when is the iPodderX team going to fix their software?  Early versions of iPodderX would download the same podcast over and over again.  Version 3 has allegedly been “rewritten from scratch” but it still suffers from many of the same bugs of version 2.

Posted by chuck on June 24, 2005 at 1:48 PM (PDT)

4

The thing that would seem to make podcasting and other subscribed content distribution much more effective would be a way to easily queue users trying to download from the server.  I’ve encountered this when trying to plan some sort of BitTorrent automated download from an RSS feed.  There needs to be some way to keep the smaller pipes from getting on the download until there’s enough seeds.  And so on.

Posted by Jeff on June 24, 2005 at 5:23 PM (PDT)

5

I don’t know about Apple eating the cost of podcasts. I’m not sure that would be a justifiable expense as bandwidth can be expensive. Also, if a show gets that popular they should be able to find some way to support themselves somehow. I just can’t see faulting Apple for helping podcasts become popular.

I also question the idea that Apple will censer or limit content as they allow for adult songs on the iTMS and let you attach to radio streams uther than their own. So why wouldn’t they with a podcast?

Posted by doug Petrosky on June 24, 2005 at 8:00 PM (PDT)

6

Wouldn’t apple probally grab the podcast and download it to its own server so that when downloaded in iTunes it would be coming of there server where it is temporarily stored.  Isn’t this how it would end up working so technically if done this way it would only be downloaded once from the creators surver then distributed through itunes through apples servers.  Please feel free to correct me if im completely off base but couldn’t this be done.

Posted by Jonathan on June 24, 2005 at 9:40 PM (PDT)

7

>>“Wouldn’t apple probally grab the podcast and download it to its own server so that when downloaded in iTunes it would be coming of there server where it is temporarily stored.”

This is fine for paid content, the problem is the cost of -hosting- the files, not being able to d/l them to iTunes servers or not. As already mentioned above apple, just like anyone else, has to pay for the bandwidth costs when people d/l.

Perhaps apple will offer some free podcasts to test comsumer interest for a while, and start charging later on.

Posted by Greg on June 25, 2005 at 12:32 PM (PDT)

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