iPod Platform

I copied the title of this post from something Steve Gillmor said on the latest installment of IT Conversations' 'Gillmor Gang'. I gather from his show that Steve also believes in a 'download market'. And with millions of iPods (a general name for the Apple mp3 player and similar devices) there's real fun to be found in creating some common methods of distributing mp3 encoded audio.

This isn't just about music, copyrighted or not. iPod content includes other audio 'programming' like IT Conversations, Morning Coffee Notes, my own Source Code or any number of audio blog posts.

The creators of these audio programs are finding good use of RSS Enclosures for syndication, subscription and ultimately for distribution of their work.

One half of the equation is creating a feed. Most blog software does this for you, but it isn't very hard to use any number of editors (including notepad.exe or TextEdit) to write your own feed file. I recently created a script that removed the repetitive tasks associated with publishing my finished audio show. There will always be far less publishers than subscribers and many publishers will naturally drift towards a publishing solution customized for them. Eventually I expect some form of standard method will surface.

On the other side of the connection we have millions of potential subscribers, who probably can subscribe to a feed (with an aggregator) and extract the enclosures, but there is still a gap in the subscription process.

Getting a new audio show onto your iPod is analogous to watching tv after you've plugged in the cable, power cord and installed new batteries in the remote. Repeat for the next show you want to watch...

To gain as wide an audience as possible, getting the shows onto those millions of iPods has to be as simple as turning the damn thing on.

That's why I made iPodder. You run it, it checks for new stuff and loads it into your ipod, all you have to do is choose what new items you want to listen to.

This seems to be catching on, and as I had hoped, experienced developers are improving on the concept and building their own iPodder systems with better functionality in other languages. Check 'em out: