With Apple's extraction of podcasts from iTunes to a standalone app, Dave asks if its time to re-boot podcasting
Apple's appification of podcasts presents an interesting opportunity to compete with their version of discovery and subscription
Before I dig deeper into the nuts and bolts, lets look at all the moving parts that make up "podcasting".
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
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
Many players allow you to create playlists that play a number of 'episodes' after each other as desired.
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'
Upon reviewing the new Apple Podcasts App, I realized that there is a huge opportunity in the discoverability of podcasts.
The app wants you to discover podcasts by either browing through a 'radio dial' metaphor, a directory of pre-determined subjects, or search
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
This infrastructure will facilitate exactly the discovery pieces that have been missing and misunderstood
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
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.
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.
On my River, there is a menu item for 'My Feeds', as well as the raw OPML file
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'
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.
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
One-Click subscription can be achieved through collections and rivers insted of proprietary apps and chicklets