Apples Jobs Announces iTunes Podcast Support

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2005-05-23 Print this article Print

Apple is making it easy to subscribe to Podcasts via iTunes—with just a single click.

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated a new version of iTunes here Sunday that adds a Podcast directory and one-click subscription. Speaking at the D: All Things Digital conference, Jobs showed off the new version of iTunes, which will include a searchable directory of Podcasts. Apple plans to make it easy to find and subscribe to Podcasts via iTunes—it will take just a single click to subscribe to a Podcast once it has been located. One of the more recent Internet fads, Podcasts combine the subscription capabilities of RSS with digital audio files to automate the process of downloading digital audio files from the Internet to desktop computers and digital audio players.
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Version 4.9 of iTunes, due within 60 days, will include the Podcast directory and the subscription manager. Using RSS, iTunes will automatically connect to the Internet and download new audio files—and then transfer them to a connected iPod. Decrying the current state of Podcasting as "really hard to do so far," Jobs said he plans on simplifying the identification and downloading of audio. Apple also plans on adding an editorial filter to its Podcast directory. "Well highlight the ones that are really good," Job claimed, to help the cream rise to the top. The new version of iTunes will work with industry-standard protocols, Jobs promised, which means users should be able to add any Podcast available via the Net—whether its included in iTunes or not. And initially all the Podcasts will be available for free, although Jobs left the door open for premium content down the road. Podcast listeners will also be able to interact with downloaded audio streams, downloading artwork for music being played, and even buying the song from iTunes with just a click of the mouse. For insights on the Mac in the enterprise, check out Executive Editor Matthew Rothenbergs Weblog. Jobs cited more than 8,000 Podcasts, with new ones from Business Week, Forbes, Disney and Sirius, as proof that Podcasting has gone big time. But even while touting the new subscription-based audio features in iTunes 4.9, he downplayed any upcoming Apple foray into video aggregation. Jobs flatly denied the rumors that Apple is looking to buy TiVo, pointing to how the set-top box market limits innovation. Jobs went on to downplay any Media Center-type device from Apple, saying, "Microsofts media center is a fun product, but has not sold high volumes even by our standards," referring to Apples paltry 4 percent of the U.S. market. Next Page: Jobs on corporate America, iPod, Spotlight and Apples legal actions.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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