Stream a Podcast

I was on KUOW this morning along with three other folks talking about podcasting. Ironically, or not so ironically, the show is only available for streaming in Real and MP3 formats, but not for podcast or download.

The host, Steve Scher, is totally into it. Some radio people think it's incredibly stupid--just another fad. Others find it an exciting way that to reach a mobile listenership who want to timeshift their favorite radio programs without having to stream on the go. And that's just the professional radio side.

Me, I think that you'll see from this initial quick flowering of content an enormous growth when the existing syndication tools for headlines and blogs--which a Pew Internet study shows 5 percent of adult Americans with Internet access already use--incorporate podcasting downloads. Recording audio is relatively easy, but compressing it into a good MP3 format, uploading it so it's added to a feed, and having people retrieve it is all complicated.

I expect podcasting transmitter applications or add-ons for existing programs pretty quickly. I'm using Skype and Audio Hijack Pro to record interviews for podcasting, and I'm hoping a better way emerges soon, as it's a little kludgey, but produces pretty decent results.

One side note: Adam Curry was mentioned a few times because his name is well known and he's producing a very studio-professional regular program, but He Who Cannot Be Named should have been cited as well. He created RSS, he pioneered and popularized blogging, and he enabled and spread podcasting. That's a three-fer (so far) for citizen journalists, for private voices, and for a diversity of views reaching a larger audience.

Update: Dan Hale wrote in to note that KUOW uses a wrapper in the .m3u format for streaming, which contains inside it the URL for the MP3 which can then just be downloaded.