Apple OS X Leopard Adds Podcasting, New Media Features

Oct 25th, 2007 | By | Category: Podcasting Software

Apple releases the latest version of its operating system, OS X, tomorrow. While the update offers more than 300 new features, most of them are incremental improvements.

There are also quite a few head-scratchers in the update. Do we really need birthday templates for email? We’d rather see Apple fix email, which is currently crippled by spam. Backgrounds for iChat? We’d rather see iChat integration with more Internet communication services, like Skype. Translucent menus & stacks? Pretty, boring.

For podcasters, though, OS X Leopard includes some features that may make the upgrade something to get excited about. Here are some of the top new features for podcasters and new media users:

Front Row

AppleTV has received a lot of criticism since its introduction, despite the fact that it makes a great peripheral for video podcasts. Critics would like to see Apple add a DVD player to Apple TV, include a bigger hard drive, let you control your Internet TV subscriptions directly from AppleTV, and have the device get content directly from the Internet.

In other words, a Mac mini with AppleTV’s interface.

With the new version of Front Row, Apple is turning every OS X computer into an Internet media center. It offers a simple interface to DVDs, your music library, photos, podcasts, video podcasts and other digital media. It will also let you view content from other iTunes libraries on your home network.


iChat recording is designed to make it easy to record audio and video discussions. iChat asks your contacts for recording permission before the chat starts, then stores completed audio chats as AAC files and video chats as MPEG-4 files. Yep – ready for podcasting.

We’d like to see iChat learn to play well with others, but with more and more people switching to Macs, especially in new media, this may become less of a concern.

Photo Booth

Photo Booth is a stupidtacular app. It’s really pretty useless and can eat up hours of your time.

Still – the fun-house effects can be hysterical.

Now you can record short videos with photo booth. Useless and time-wasting, yes. But probably hysterical, too.

Podcast Capture

Podcast Capture

With Leopard, Apple includes Podcast Capture & Podcast Producer.

Podcast Capture is designed to make it easy to capture high-quality audio and video from local and remote cameras and record screen captures. Podcast Capture records audio and video from a wide range of devices, including digital video cameras connected via FireWire, USB microphones, and iSight cameras.

Once captured, you can upload content into Podcast Producer for encoding and distribution.

Podcast Producer is designed to simplify the process of recording content, encoding, and publishing podcasts for playback in iTunes and on iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. Podcast Producer leverages the power of QuickTime to encode content into standard formats such as H.264 and MPEG-4.

Podcast Producer includes a dozen built-in workflows to automate publishing of podcasts to blogs, iTunes, iTunes U, or even multimedia-enabled cell phones over high-speed wireless networks using QuickTime Streaming Server. Workflows include the ability to archive recordings, apply custom Quartz Composer compositions with titles and watermarks, add opening and closing videos, notify the iTunes Podcast Directory of the new episode, and send out an announcement email.

Podcast Producer uses Xgrid distributed processing technology for large-scale podcast productions — encoding tasks are automatically distributed to other servers. All that is required is another server running Podcast Producer and a shared file system such as Xsan or NFS.

Podcast Capture/Producer’s focus appears to be on large podcasting operations, such as universities, where automation and workflows can be used to capture and podcast things like lectures.

10 Responses to “Apple OS X Leopard Adds Podcasting, New Media Features”

  1. Eric says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by Mail being crippled by spam. Mine isn’t. I’d suggest that perhaps you haven’t set it up well, or that you aren’t giving it any help from your ISP spam blockers. In my experience, expecting one application to stop all of your spam is… well… kind of “stupidtacular.”


  2. […] Podcasting News reports that we’ve got a bunch of very-cool Podcasting and New Media features in the new release of Leopard. I suggest a full read of their article but something really caught my eye here that means I just might head over to the Apple store tomorrow. […]

  3. James says:

    When it comes to SPAM always have a e-mail account which is not your personal one. Use a hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc and use that for newsletters, have to sign up to access a website, etc. Use your other one for personal contacts, family, friends, and business. That should slove your problem with SPAM unless your friends computer gets taken over by a worm or virus and captures their address book. Just a thought.

  4. Chuck says:

    So, again, in order to publish a podcast that the masses can use, I’m going to have to take my GarageBand output and run it through iTunes to get an mp3. Why can’t Apple add that output option?

  5. […] Podcasting Tools: Podcast Capture & Podcast Producer (Leopard – Mac) 26 10 2007 Apple is releasing their new operating system, Leopard, with two podcasting applications built right in: Podcast Capture and Podcast Producer.¬† Podcast Capture helps you to get audio and video and screen captures from internal and external devices (creating your content), and Podcast Producer helps you mix, encode, and publish that content so that fans can get it on a variety of devices (distributing your content).¬†¬† You can read more about it here. […]

  6. Eric says:

    Hi Chuck,

    I suspect the reason for Apple not including the mp3 option in their new software has more to do with having to pay another license fee to use the mp3 codec. They’ve already got it in iTunes, so why pay to include it in another piece of software. I do agree that it would be easier, but Idon’t think Apple users are getting any more of a raw deal having to with use iTunes to convert to mp3. A lot of people that use Audacity, as an example, also use a separate app to encode their mp3 files. So it’s not just us.


  7. Rhizoned says:

    Just installed leopard, and the only application installed is Podcast Capture.
    When I load it, a dialog box pops up stating “Podcast requires access to a computer running OSX Server with Podcast Producer.

  8. info says:

    Eric & James

    Email is fundementally broken – notthe mail app.

    The reason why is that email clients have to try and filter your untrustworthy stream of incoming email into something trustworthy-a losing battle.

    There are a lot of technical ways to fix email, but fhey would require vendors to work together.

  9. info says:

    chuck – you can do mp3’s from Garageband. Check your preferences.

  10. Eric says:

    Info, if all you’re talking about is email in general, why bash on Apple for not “fixing” it in this article? It makes no sense! Email spam is more than just an Apple problem, and one that can hardly be fixed by just one operating system release.

    I’d be more concerned about Leopard’s incompatibility with certain iMac models. That would be something that is related to the OS.

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