Given that Apple has started to crack down on people using the term “podcast” it may be time to finally take another look at what we are calling these things. Funny that I remember walking home from work two years ago — actually it was September 2004 — listening to my first podcast on my iPod. I was listening to the “Daily Source Code” with Adam Curry … man, it was mostly Adam babbling on about his life, but there was something very interesting about the whole thing (BTW, Adam doesn’t see any of this as a problem). I instantly launched into research mode to understand how it all worked and when the dust settled I couldn’t stop talking to people about how imprtant this was. I got a lot of strange looks that basically said, “it is just radio on the web.”
The big deal was and always has been the delivery method. Being able to subscribe and receive stuff via the RSS enclosure is a powerful concept and one that most of us are just now exploring. Even Adam used to say that the naming is a bit unfortunate, but the iPod was the device and it just worked. I also remember Microsoft trying to rename podcasts to blogcasts or something. The point is that Apple did not invent the podcast — as a matter of fact they were a little late to the party. Podcasting support in iTunes arrived last summer with iTunes 4.9 … not saying they haven’t pushed the space forward, but … so the question is now emerging, what do we call this stuff? Could Microsfot have been right?
Update …Ok, so maybe the inital hoopla was hot air … Apple isn’t going after the use of the word podcast. It does not change the fact that the general public has embraced a name that does share a big piece of Apple’s brand. It is worth thinking about over the long haul.