Friday, December 16, 2005

irrate about 'Podcasts'?

From my ASCILITE blog - a comment spurred my response:

Comment from: Moggy [Member]

Does a Podcast work on anything other than Apple software/hardware? Why are we calling them Podcasts? - iPod is not a genre, it is a brandname. The marketing guys must be laughing all the way to the bank. Do we soon require of students that they all buy the one brand of MP3 player to be able to view, just as many insitutions require of them Microsoft products? I'm curious because I own an MP3 player that isn't an iPod and I am of the opinion that iPod's are, on the whole, overpriced.

Anyone who has any experience is welcome to comment, I'm not being critical although it might sound I am, just interested in the crossplatformability of our stuff.
16/12/05 @ 15:56

My Reply

Comment from: Thom Cochrane [Member] ·
A podcast will play on any device that supports the audio codec used when compressing it. The term was coined by a journalist, just over a year ago, in reference to the most popular mobile audio device at the time - the iPod. A Podcast is any pre-recorded audio file that is available for download as an enclosure associated with an RSS feed (So strictly speaking my 'Podcasts' aren't - as they have no RSS feed associated currently.) allowing the listener to subscribe to podcasts as they become available.

My Podcast is compressed using the AAC format, not mp3 (because it creates higher quality results with smaller file sizes - the mp3 format is actually very old). However most modern mobile devices are capable of playing back both mp3 and AAC format files. The AAC podcast and screencast (podcast with video) play back great on my Palm PDA, as well as an iPod, a Mac or a PC.

While I think the iPods are great - I do agree they are over-priced, however you are buying into a great software solution when you go the ipod route as well (for recording, editing and distribution...). I was surprised how easy it was to do this (my first Podcast!), and can see great educational potential.
16/12/05 @ 20:51

PS - the other reason I used AAC format rather than mp3 is to subvert our IT department! - they have packet-shaped mp3 downloads out of our network - to stop students files sharing mp3s, but AAC format files get through fine ;-)
16/12/05 @ 20:55

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