Dave Winer On Improving Podcasting

Jun 14th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Citizen Media, Video Podcasts

The BBC has published an interesting story featuring blogging and podcasting pioneer Dave Winer.

In the article, one of the topics that Winer touches on is his vision for a better portable media player for listening to podcasts:

In order to really work for podcasting, I think a new kind of player needs to have built-in wi-fi, and when you come within range of a signal, a light comes on and you can press a button to have it automatically connect to the internet and download the latest episodes of shows you’re subscribed to.

It would work much the way a Blackberry gets e-mail, without you having to do anything.

I’d like to pay a few bucks to beam my thoughts to a nearby solar system that might have intelligent life

Also, like blogging, podcasting is a two-way medium, so every portable podcast player would also be able to record, and with a single button-click upload and instantly publish new podcast feeds.

If you think about it, all successful computer platforms have the ability to create the software they play, and a podcast player is definitely a computer.

Another thing I really want from podcast players is that they be open to running new software. Today, if I wanted to add a feature to a player I already own, I need to get into the hardware business, and that’s prohibitive.

But if someone made a player that had a simple scripting language that would run software I (or anyone else) wrote, we would certainly see a huge amount of creativity very quickly.

It is sad that today’s podcast players are all closed boxes and only run the software that the manufacturer supplies. What a waste.

Winer’s packed a lot of ideas into a few paragraphs.

One of the key points is that there’s an opportunity for someone to come out with a portable media player/audio recorder that is really optimized for podcasting. Ideally, a device like this would let you manage your subscription list directly, sync using WiFi, let you record at M-Audio MicroTrack quality, let you publish your podcasts directly, and work with popular blogging/CMS APIs.

Another interesting aspect of Winer’s article is his advocacy for treating podcasting as a two-way medium. One way this could be implemented would be through plugins for WordPress and other blogging platforms that would allow users to leave short audio comments. Another approach might be to extend the idea of Trackbacks to capture audio responses. In other words, if someone published an audio response to your podcast, your site could display links or a player that would let visitors listen to the discussion your podcast generates.

Winer also discusses his desire for web hosts that would guarantee to host your site after you die, and for a service that would publish content to the cosmos.

4 Responses to “Dave Winer On Improving Podcasting”

  1. Podcast Ready has been working towards this very thing for quite a while now. At the moment the devices shipping with our software are their own self-contained podcast receivers. As the manufacturers add Wi-Fi the functionality will become 100% mobile (no computer required at all). And the publishing aspect has always interested us and is in the works.

  2. Luc says:

    I agree with mr Winer. Podcasting must become ‘granny proof’. In a wold full of wifi (in 2 or 3 years) this would be the device we need. But that device must also have an FM transmitter -built in- so you can play your podcasts on your Hifi or in the car without cables.
    Why does’t the Iphone or the Nokia N95 didn’t come with these features ?

  3. [...] La ricetta di Dave Winer per facilitare l’adozione dal grande pubblico assomiglia molto a qualcosa gi√† sentito da queste parti. [...]

  4. zarinseo says:

    Thank you so much for your content , Podcast Ready has been working towards this very thing for quite a while now !

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