Slate Intros Textcasts

May 17th, 2006 | By | Category: Corporate Podcasts, News Podcasts

Slate magazine is making one of its most popular features available as a “textcast,” a podcast in which the main thing being delivered to your iPod is text rather than audio.

Slate’s Todays’ Papers textcast is a small file containing a summary of the top stories from the nation’s best newspapers. You can then read the text right on your iPod’s screen.

Textcasts are an innovative use of podcasting, but also a bit of a kludge. According to Slate’s Andy Bowers, “the iPod is not currently configured as a text reader, so we’ve done our best to work around the device’s limitations. Here’s hoping Apple will make its cash cow more text-friendly in future releases.”

“That said,” adds Bowers, “I’ve been testing the TP textcast for several weeks now, and I find it very easy to use. Plus, I love that Today’s Papers just shows up in my iPod automatically each day.”

The text is actually contained in a 15-minute audio file. It’s 15 minutes of silence, so the file is small. Play the file as you would any other podcast, and then hit the iPod’s center button two or three times until you reach the description field, which contains the text. You can scroll through the text using the iPod’s scroll wheel.

The Today’s Papers textcast is Slate’s first text-only offering.

“We think of it as a great way to increase the number of Slate features available as podcasts without making me and June Thomas hoarse from too much reading aloud,” adds Bowers.

Slate Textcast Podcast Details

Leave a Reply