The History of Podcasting

First generation ipod Released October 2001
First generation ipod October 2001

In the ever evolving world of digital media, podcasting is at the forefront of this current media revolution. People are consuming more and more information from the media on a daily basis, but most are missing their regularly scheduled program.

Yet, most are still able to watch their current shows, catch up on the latest tech news and serve up the best content then can through podcasting.

For those who don’t know what podcasting is, or where it got its name, well, you can thank Steve Jobs for some of that.

When he unveiled the iPod in October 23, 2001 it was heralded as an ultra portable device in a portable age; and the word iPod rolled off the tongue as easy as money flowed into apple coffers. It fit well into its strategy of iMac, iBook, brands. Podcasting borrowed from the name in that: one, it was portable and two, it was broadcasting or media. The name didn’t infringe on any trademarks owned by Apple and gave them free advertising.

Adam Curry
Adam Curry speaks at Gnomedex

Originally, podcasting was just in audio format and it was audio that had already been recorded and was now available for download on the internet. You had to, however, download each and every episode or file yourself and you were never really told when a new version of your favorite show was available. RSS feed syndication had been invented by Netscape in 1999 and was in use, podcasting, didn’t have widespread usage. Although podcasting now uses the RSS feed syndication thanks to Adam Curry who first made podcasting viable format of delivery.

But it was still difficult to get your podcast on your ipod. There were some applications (eg. iPodder was one, but is now named Juiced after a cease and desist letter from Apple over trademark license infringement) and most early adopters were tech savvy enough to make it work, but mainstream usage was still far away.

Part two will cover the ethics of podcasting

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