A Different Approach to Podcasting

After having done “a”:http://www.zefhemel.com/archives/2004/10/10/my-first-podcast “couple”:http://www.zefhemel.com/archives/2004/10/12/podcast-episode-2 “of”:http://www.zefhemel.com/archives/2004/10/24/third-podcast-and-wordpress-rss-bug podcasts I came to rethink how it all got started, and why the format is the way it is.

Currently, most people doing podcasts do full-blown shows. They’re like half-an-hour to an hour long, they have an intro, jingles, music and an outtro. I came to think, “Why are they doing that again?” It’s because the people starting up this podcasting thing are people that were previously in radio, like Adam Curry. Also, having your own radio show was a child dream for many.

Currently there’s a “drawback”:http://www.zefhemel.com/archives/2004/10/15/text-audio-and-video-blogging in podcasting: it’s hard to skip bits that don’t interest you. If you don’t care about the music, you can attempt to skip it but you’ll have a hard time doing so, because basically it’s just guessing where the song ends. Same goes for some segments of particular shows that you may not like. It’s very hard to skip. Again, with text you can just skip the paragraph, it’s not so easy with audio content.

So, this is what I’m working on now. I’m not going to do full-blown shows anymore, they’re not practical. Instead what I’ll do is put up short bits, in length differing from one or two minutes to possibly an hour. But all about one subject. If I want to play music, that will be one podcast. If I want to tell a lame joke, that will be one podcast. If you don’t like it, you can skip it. Each bit will be prepended with a brief jingle, just so you know where it came from. Additionally the different bits will be spread over different “channels” or actually, RSS feeds. There will be a channel for each kind of content, “Music”, “News”, “Tips” etc. There will also be a channel that contains all content, for those interested.

Before you start screaming, “Hey! But you can’t just put up music, just like that!” Yes, I can. From now on I’ll only put up music that’s free to use. The music will be becoming from sites like “Garageband”:http://www.garageband.com. You might think that there’s a reason these people don’t charge for it, and I thought so too. But after downloading a couple of tracks I changed my mind, there’s some really nice music there.

So, all that’s holding me back right now is the software to do this. The software is trivial to write, which makes it hard for me to get it done: it’s soooooo boring. But I worked on it yesterday for a bit. I just hacked-up the code I used for my blog previously. I first wanted to integrate it into WordPress, but I’d either have to create a very nice generic solution, which would take a lot of time. Or I’d have to apply hacks that are so incredibly dirty that I couldn’t live with myself if I’d do that.

Stay tuned.