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Podcasts, Rivers and the World Outline
By Adam Curry on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:25 AM.
With Apple's extraction of podcasts from iTunes to a standalone app, Dave asks if its time to re-boot podcasting permalink
Apple's appification of podcasts presents an interesting opportunity to compete with their version of discovery and subscription permalink
I'm only focusing on audio, it comes packaged as an mp3 file permalink
MP3's can contain additional metadata. One of these is Album Art. The art is a big USP for Apple, since they base most of their visual discovery on extracting it from the files and displaying it for each episode if available permalink
The data encoded in the MP3 file is irrelevant, but presumed to be some form of audio that has a consistent theme. It is a 'show', a lecture, a song, a news report etc. permalink
An RSS2.0 feed with enclosure, description and link for each 'item', or episode permalink
Since the MP3 files can be played on any MP3 aware player, a player can displays the album art of each episode. Some allow for multi-speed playback i.e. listening a double speed or higher permalink
Many players allow you to create playlists that play a number of 'episodes' after each other as desired. permalink
Most players will allow you to resume playing a show where you left of the last time you were listening permalink
Many players, such as Apple's podcast app will allow you to "subscribe" to a podcast from their catalog or discovery interface, or through proprietry chicklets on a webpage that open the apple app and subscribe with 'one-click' permalink
The podcatcher will download new and/or unlistened episodes to your internal storage for portability and instant playback when desired permalink
A file in OPML2.0 format that contains a number of nodes of type RSS2.0 with enclosures permalink
These lists are meant to be simple, portable and compatible between podcatchers and other RSS2.0 aggregators permalink
Upon reviewing the new Apple Podcasts App, I realized that there is a huge opportunity in the discoverability of podcasts. permalink
It was Apple's typical interface choice that made it all click in my brain. permalink
The app wants you to discover podcasts by either browing through a 'radio dial' metaphor, a directory of pre-determined subjects, or search permalink
Considering that a podcast is no different from a blog with a different payload, this is not the way we have learned to discover content. permalink
If we did, then presumable there would be some huge directory of blogs with a catalog, search and some form of browsing interface with 'recommendations. permalink
The way we *do* discover content is by looking at what our social networks are consuming. We are inundated with links and collections from our friends where we are exposed to new things and if we find itof interest, we follow, friend or subscribe to the source. permalink
My proposal is aimed at the only person who has the knowledge, skills and tools create this, Podfather Dave Winer. I am confident there is a large community eager and willing to help. I know I am :-) permalink
This infrastructure will facilitate exactly the discovery pieces that have been missing and misunderstood permalink
It utilizes Dave's existing and mature tools for aggregation, subscription and discovery permalink
There are many freely available mp3 players that have the features available that people want. Playing a podcast or managing playback is individualistic, and anyone interested in audio already has one or more they are comfortable working with permalink
When I presented the initial idea to Dave for background downloading of new episodes or items, it was before today's broadband infrastructure. Today one click delivers instant playback and download permalink
When a file is clicked for download, most modern mp3 players wil automativcally store the file for archive in an appropriate location for management with the players native content management permalink
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc have taught an entire generation to view content in a rolling stream of incoming data. This will work with podcasts as well. permalink
Here is an example of my Podcast River I can click on the player right under each new episode, click the Download link to get the file on my local storage device for immediate playback and each item will contain a subscibe button that adds that podcast to your own personal river.  permalink
Currently my river only has RT links, that allow for 'ReTweeting'. permalink
On my River, there is a menu item for 'My Feeds', as well as the raw OPML file permalink
Clicking on the individual feeds expands to reveal all the most recent episodes. The same player, Download and Subscription links should be included here (not implemented in my example) This would be created by a new OPML nodetype named 'podcast' permalink
You can also subscribe to my entire subscription list, and anything new that I add will show up in your river. permalink
Dave probably has all of this already mapped out in his head, or maybe even running on a development server for all I know, but the key here is that there is tremendous opportunity in creating a discoverable web of podcasts that is inherently social, with many future benefits, such as comparison and recommendation based on OPML subscription lists, and cross platform, open development that no single entity can own. permalink
Apple is telling us that we need to discover and manage our media on their terms. This makes no sense when history of social media is analysed. Humans discover and learn from other humans permalink
Local storage integrated with playback is negated by sufficiently high bandwidth permalink
One-Click subscription can be achieved through collections and rivers insted of proprietary apps and chicklets permalink
By linking OPML subscription lists through 'inclusion' and specific 'podcast' rss nodetypes, functions such as search and an open directory can be achieved without centralized ownership permalink
The one thing I have not taken into account in this overview is monetization. Frankly it has no place in the infrastrucutre and detracts from the core mission, which is discovery, subscription and sharing. permalink

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