Dave Winer: Podcasting Syncing Sucks

Aug 28th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players, Mobile Podcasting

Dave Winer, one of the creators of podcasting, offers his take on the process of syncing that is central to most people’s podcast consumption:

Why syncing sucks – I think synching is a bad idea, but Apple’s mobile technology is built around it. I dislike synching. I want my devices to go straight to the cloud, both ways. My podcast player should have a built-in podcatcher. And my podcast recorder should also be a publisher.

Seems unlikely that Google’s phone will depend on synching. It will be more Dave Winer-compatible than the iPhone is.

Winer’s main complaint about syncing appears to be the computer-centric way that it’s implemented with the current generation of portable media players; you subscribe to a podcast with your computer, which syncs content with a distant provider, and then the computer syncs podcasts with your portable media player.

As players get WiFi and other wireless Internet connections, portable media players should be able to access content directly, without a dependency on a computer. This may require better power management and new approaches to synchronizing content between computers and portable media players, but it will result in players with more timely content. This would make portable media players more suited to viewing/listening to things like news and sports.

Deemphasizing the computer could also help give a shot in the arm to the idea of mobile podcasting. Many phones and portable media devices can record audio and video, but it’s typically a geek-challenging task to publish this content wirelessly. As device developers¬†make better use of wireless connectivity, mobilecasting is likely to turn portable media player owners into Internet media publishers, just as blogging has turned many computer owners into Web publishers.

No Responses to “Dave Winer: Podcasting Syncing Sucks”

  1. Chris Doelle says:

    There already is an aggregator that sits on your device (it doesn’t even have to be an MP3 player.) It’s called myPodder by Podcast Ready. For some reason though, Podcasting News doesn’t give it any coverage.

  2. info says:


    You may have missed these articles that discuss Podcast Ready players:

    Podcast Ready is different than what Winer is talking about, because it’s still computer-centric.

  3. Only for devices that have no internet connectivity (such as the iPod or the products from iRivier) is Podcast Ready “computer-centric”, but at least in that form its not centered around any one computer – those devices can connect to any internet enable system and bring the content down right back to the player.

    For devices that do have internet connections, such as MS Mobile phones (with either carrier or Wifi connections) there there is no computer involved whatsoever.

Leave a Reply