Apple Set to Tune the Mainstream into Podcasts

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-06-17 Print this article Print

Apple's upcoming support of Podcasting in iTunes could do more than make the process of finding and listening to the RSS-based audio downloads easier. It also could set the stage for paid Podcasts and lead Apple competitors to join in, say analysts and Po

When Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs took the stage last week at Apples major developer conference, he brought with him a message about the future of broadcasting linked inextricably to the iPod. Jobs gave the highest-profile blessing yet from a technology executive for an emerging form of audio downloads called Podcasting. He promised upcoming support in Apples widely used iTunes Music Store and media player for both finding Podcasts and automatically tracking and downloading the audio files.
Podcasting, which derives its name from the iPod, centers on the distribution of MP3 and other audio downloads through RSS-feed subscriptions and that are played on PCs or portable audio players.
Will Podcasting be a fad? Click here to read an opinion about the direction of Podcastings. The implications of Apples move, though, go beyond proselytizing the new medium of Podcasts. By building Podcasts directly into iTunes, Apple could help turn Podcasting into a more mainstream activity, usher in an era of premium downloads and pressure its digital music rivals to follow suit, say analysts and producers of Podcasts. The In an on-stage demonstration at Apples Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs showed how Apple is integrating both the discovery of Podcasts and subscriptions to their feeds into iTunes, including a directory of Podcast programs. Podcast support is expected in the release of iTunes 4.9, which is due out by late July. Jobs had given a similar Podcasting demonstration to a more limited audience during the media-focused D: All Things Digital conference. "Its going to basically take Podcasting mainstream to where anyone can do it," Jobs said at WWDC. Read the full story on Publish: Apple Set to Tune the Mainstream into Podcasts
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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