About a month ago I tripped over a bootstrap I'd been trying to tie for 5 years.
The promise of a global 'broadcast network' has inspired an entire industry of streaming media which has so far failed to effectively compete with the quality and most importantly, the mobility of radio and television.
Radio makes its money during 'drive time'. This is the period when the audience is in their vehicles commuting to and from work. It's big business and believe me when I say the NAB is a hundred times more powerful than the RIAA.
Radio is beautifully simple, you send an audio signal into a transmitter, and everyone within range with a cheap and ubiquitous receiver can tune in to the sounds as they are reproduced through the speakers of ther mobile boom-box.
Now shrink that down to pocket size, and you've got the iPod. Apple's very sexy and extremely popular mp3 player
Problem is that Apple, as well as Microsoft and Real Networks are all concentrating on selling you music at 99 cents a pop to fill your iPod with. The rest is up to the felon in you, to rip and download as much as you can in an attempt to make best use of your player's massive storage.
But radio isn't just about music.
Next time you're in the car, give the dial a spin. Check AM too. There's a lot of talk going on, and it's not just news and opinionated loudmouths. It's also the guy who does the local restraunt review, even the DJ who talks over the records half the time, but still informs you about the weekend's 'club calendar' is talk that many listeners appreciate.
Sure, not all talk is interesting, not all topics will be ones you want to hear. Just like music. In that case you switch the station, 'cause you can't skip ahead in the program. Or can you?
iPod filling station
Once the iPodder project removed the process of clicking, waiting, downloading and transferring an mp3 to a mobile player, the user controlled 'radio' was born.
By subscribing to 'Podcasts', these audio programs are automatically refreshed and availble to the listener on their terms. It's the TiVo of radio.
It's a Weblog!
A weblog gives you complete freedom of expression within the confines of HTML
Podcasting offers complete freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
Speech you create yourself on your pc can be distributed as easily as weblogs using rss and an aggregator. In fact, all of this runs on existing weblog protocols and formats!
Ask not what your podcast can do for you...
So what are we going to do with our shiny new transmitters?
How do we make them work better and reach larger audiences
Can we use them to change the world?
Do we take requests?
The discussion I'll be leading at BloggerCon III is where users and developers can party together. Bring your mics and mixers, your pods and playlists. Can we talk?
The next BloggerCon is in San Francisco, June 23-24, 2006.