It seems everyone is talking about podcasts these days. In fact, it seems there are now more podcasts out there than there are people interested in listening to podcasts. Podcasting is the new blogging, or the new black, I get confused.
Personally, my beef is with the term "podcast". "Podcast" appears to have become the catchall term of the moment for any MP3 file that is intended to be a broadcast of sorts. For example, if I were to put together a half hour audio file of myself talking about and playing my favourite tunes, that would be a podcast. In reality, it would be an MP3 of me talking about and playing my favourite tunes that anyone could listen to anywhere that MP3s can be played. This kind of thing has been around a great deal longer than the iPod.
Many media outlets have introduced podcasts. Metro Morning, the local CBC morning show, for example, offers a new podcast each day by noon. This is pretty damn cool if there's a piece you missed or want to review, but to access the Metro Morning podcast, they want you to copy this URL (http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/metromorning.xml) and paste it into your podcast software application. To hell with that, I just open the XML file in my browser, copy the url for the MP3 and throw it in a new Firefox tab. Try it... click here, find a title you're interested in and copy the url for it that ends in .mp3. Now paste that sucker in a new browser window. If you chose the Karla update, it would sound like this.
It's great content, but it's more accessible as a sweet and easy MP3 download. This podcast business is over complicating and needlessly geeking up a good thing.
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