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When Is a Podcast Not a Podcast?

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 26, 2005

When you can’t actually download it, as Stowe Boyd points out in a critique of our first podcast. However, in this case, you can do just that. We just didn’t point out exactly how; our bad. Instead of just clicking on the link, which opens up a stream (and no, that doesn’t constitute a podcast), right-click on it and save it as an MP3 file, which you can then load onto an MP3 player. That’s a podcast, right? We also do have an RSS feed you can set up; instructions are here. Not too obvious either; our second bad.

Stowe has another criticism: "Shouldn't there be a thunderclap when Ira Sager asked Steve about podcasting being coopted by big media or corporations? I mean, it's BusinessWeek (a brand of McGraw-Hill) trying to break into podcasting here, after all, not two guys in a garage arguing about open source, their wives, or the NBA playoffs. They are a media giant. They are talking about themselves in the third person."

Well, yes, but surely our readers and listeners understand BusinessWeek is a big media brand and any comments we make should be read in that context. And since we're not the sum total of all big media by any stretch, it doesn't seem unreasonable to talk about big media in the third person.

All that said, Stowe, I appreciate the critique, since it suggests ways for us to do better. We'll be trying, so jump in with your own comments.

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Reader Comments


May 26, 2005 01:13 AM

>> That's a podcast, right?
Nope, that's just an MP3 audio file. They've been around, and downloadable, forever.

>> We also do have an RSS feed you can set up
That's a podcast :-)

steve baker

May 26, 2005 07:41 AM

Just one more point about big media taking up podcasting. I took and take the question in the context of radio. Will the likes of Infinity and Clear Channel turn to podcasting in an attempt to maintain their dominance of the medium? (Answer: Sure, but their dominance will diminish as the grassroots grow.) BusinessWeek is not a media giant when it comes to radio, and even as we turn to podcasts and video to enhance our offerings, I doubt we ever will be.

Rob Hof

May 26, 2005 10:48 AM

PxLated: Thanks, point taken, and we'll work on making the RSS feed easier to set up.

Mannerism Smiley

May 26, 2005 11:53 AM

The RSS Feed with enclosures is the integral piece.

Craig Patchett

May 26, 2005 01:45 PM

As has already been pointed out, it IS the RSS feed that turns an MP3 into a Podcast. Why? Because it now becomes something you can subscribe to and have downloaded automatically to your computer without having to manually monitor a web site for updates. That one nifty little feature, combined with the fact that anyone can create an MP3, is why podcasting has become so popular so quickly.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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