Podcasting without the Pod

Ross: The real magic here is that this isn’t limited to iPod users -podcasting is limited to internet users with media devices. Podcasting builds on and extends the internet platform – the RSS/Syndication platform. Podcasting brings timeshifting to user generated content.

A few people have pointed out that the term podcasting is a bit narrow since you don’t necessarily have to have an iPod to receive a podcast, you could be using some other kind of portable mp3 player. Sure, makes sense.

What surprises me is that people think this is about portable mp3 players at all. It’s not. It’s cool to be able to take these mp3 files along with you wherever you go on a portable player, but is that really necessary or just a neat byproduct of the mp3 delivery method?

Since the iPod itself is not network enabled, a computer connected to the network is required to pull the mp3 file. While there are a great number of owners of iPod and portable mp3 players out there, they are just a small subset of the number of computer users who also happen to have a portable media player.

Why should podcasting be limited to Internet users with media devices? Radio is radio whether or not I listen to it in my car, on the porch, or in the house. Why should the definition of this new medium be limited by defining it as requiring some kind of portable media device? Is a laptop a portable media device? Is it not a podcast if I listen to the mp3 file on my desktop?

The key is that the content can be consumed wherever the user wants to. It may well be on an iPod. It could also be at the office with a pair of headphones or at home over the speakers while cleaning the house…