More on iTunes

This iTunes support of podcasting thing is slowly sinking in. Since almost the beginning here, I could make the assumption that the vast majority of podcatching clients supported Bittorrent. Unless some heroic Apple engineer puts in support and quick, that assumption is going to change when iTunes does their thing.

Everything I’ve seen has unquestioningly been on the side that this is good for podcasting, but I’m not sure that it will be. Over and over, almost since the very beginning people have been making these statements that “what podcasting needs to be really popular is X”. That’s not been my focus. Like I’ve been saying in the podcasts, explosive growth just for the sake of it is not a good thing in my opinion. I’ve never felt that we had to be in a hurry here. While there is a coolness to the notion that my listenership might go up in a big hurry, it also has the potential of being an unintentional denial of service attack. I’ve liked the pace things have been growing at, which allowed the tool creators and the podcasters and everyone to build and figure out how to do things.

I’ve built up the Bittorrent infrastructure because of its sustainability and ability to grow over time without killing the server box or using too much bandwidth. Putting out a tool that can bring in an assload of listeners but without using that infrastructure is not necessarily doing me a favor. If it goes like I think it might, I’m going to be including a short MP3 in my feed begging iTunes users to get a tool that supports Bittorrent like every major one has up to this point.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

6 thoughts on “More on iTunes”

  1. Andy says:

    I’m not saying this is going to happen, but wanted to throw it out there…

    Do you think iTunes will cache a copy of each show that is requested? There are two reason I’m saying this. First, Apple already doesn’t seem to care how much bandwidth people using a .mac account are using. Second, if iTunes can’t download a show because a server gets shutdown, who does the end-user think is to blame? If they can’t get a song from the ITMS, they would blame iTunes – if podcasting is built into ITMS and people can’t get their shows, I have a feeling Apple would be getting a lot of calls about this and Apple wouldn’t want their product to seem inferior.

    These are just my thoughts – I have no idea if this is actually the case. But if I was Apple and wanted to make sure people could “always” get podcasts from my product, I’d make sure I was the one serving up the show. Afterall, they already serve all those songs so what’s another few thousand podcasts! 🙂

  2. tiltededge says:

    Keep away from iTunes.

    After hearing Apple gripe about Microsoft and Microsoft’s unfair business practices for years, I was shocked when Apple bought Emagic and promptly decided that Emagic would no longer release products for the Windows platform thus isolating 90,000 Windows/Emagic users. I had bought an Emagic MIDI interface just a month previous to this and there had been no hint of impending doom.

    iTunes is currently the leader for music downloads. This will not last and that is a good thing.

  3. Bob says:

    Enjoy your show immensely!

    Hopefully iTunes will add in Bittorrent support. I’m putting my hopes behind them because the podcast aggregators (at least for the Mac) are barely beta versions. The new ipodderX has had me spending waay too much time troubleshooting and deleting duplicates…

  4. rob says:

    I agree with Andy on this. I’m thinking Apple will have be hosting a copy of everyone’s show.. at least those featured on the main page of the iTunes podcast area. Otherwise there will be a lot of server melting going on.

  5. dave says:

    Not that I care that much, but assuming y’all are correct I can see people howling about this for a variety of reasons. Unless Apple is willing to provide download statistics to everyone whose podcast they are caching, they are effectively taking money from people whose compensation is tied to audience size. It puts Apple in the position of having more knowledge and control over the distribution of your show than you do, which I see as wildly problematic unless there is an opt-out.

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