Harold Gilchrist has been doing an investigative reporter style series of posts about aspects of podcasting that predate the commonly understood “birth date” last summer. I am more than happy to shift the credit over to him, and change the “Adam Curry invented it” story to the “Harold Gilchrist (or whomever) invented it, Adam Curry popularized it” story.
Where Harold loses me is with the conspiracy theory crap, implying that there is some sort of organized effort to keep things hush hush about the prior art. I can tell you that I’m not actively trying to supress stuff I had never heard of before yesterday, like the program Enclosure Extractor. I will note that he seems to think this trumps iPodder, but it doesn’t seem to have the one feature of that script that is the most important, automatically adding the downloaded audio into iTunes or WMP for lights-out syncing with a device. This particular gun may not be smoking as much as he thinks. Who has claimed that iPodder was the first thing that ever downloaded enclosures? It’s the “last yard” handling that was the tiny wrinkle that changed everything for me.
Where I think he is probably actively wrong is his insinuations that Curry plagiarized or somehow took responsibilty for the work of Kevin Marks. I know nothing specifically about the goings on there but I tried to hack on Adam’s original iPodder Applescript. No disrespect to him, but I can’t imagine that coming from the hand of an experienced programmer. Frustration with working on it led to me writing the act-alike get_enclosures Perl script. I thought Adam told the story in his show how he tried to previously get things written that would do this functionality and couldn’t get anything working from the programmers so he sat down with the manuals and learned enough Applescript to write it. If I remember from his weblog, it took him several weeks to write this few hundred line script. None of that story seems implausible to me.
So Harold, once you made all this public of this I blogged about it. Now what?