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iTunes Pushes Podcasting, Flirts With Phones

Although there’s no way I’ll be producing a podcast myself (too many geeks with annoying voices are doing it already), I’ve been a bit of a podcasting bore for the past six months or so. Anyone I know who might have the slightest interest in creative things has been told all about how it might take off in a big way and carry along the podcasters who manage to get established early on (similar to what happened with weblogs).

iTunes
As promised by Steve Jobs last month, the new iTunes adds podcasting support. It’s far from perfect, but nevertheless is a huge boost for podcasting, propelling it into the mainstream overnight. Now the hard work put in to get established pays off for those featured in Apple’s podcast directory, and the hard work coping with bandwidth demands really begins (maybe it would’ve been better for podcasting if Apple hadn’t moved until BitTorrent support is implemented and in widespread use..?).

Meanwhile, the ‘iPhone’ rumours keep flowing, with phone references found in iTunes 4.9 and another possible pic of an iTunes phone. Motorola has a terrible track record with their phones’ software, so it’ll be interesting to see if it features the same awful interface with an iTunes application bolted-on.

In the pic (which may well be a fake) everything is nicely colour-coordinated. The screen has probably been set to match the backlight, but what if it’s the other way round? What if Apple is making use of last year’s ‘chameleon’ patent to allow a device to alter the colour of its case? Products like Philips’ Ambilight TVs have already tried interesting things with coloured lighting, and I reckon it might work as a gimmicky feature for a music phone.


More iTunes-related news: Apple’s now effectively made the iPod photo the ‘iPod normal’, and this quote seems to indicate a possible ‘fair use’ deal for podcasters (although you can bet there’ll be daft restrictions):

Of course, some podcasters go ahead and play unauthorized music anyway on their shows. Music companies haven’t yet started widely cracking down on the practice. Mr. Jobs says Apple has an agreement from music companies that allows podcasters to play 30-second song clips in their shows.

WSJ.com: Podcasting for Dummies


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