Podcasting and the iPhone effect

It may seem that I was completely bashing the iPhone in my last post, but I wasn’t. Breaking things is cool, but the iPhone is still a pretty remarkable gadget in my book. Still, I would prefer to wait until a 2nd generation comes out, not to mention to wait out the potential problems that could arise. They don’t say “bleeding edge” without reason.

The iPhone does make me wonder about the effect this product can have on podcasting. It’s true that there are cellphones out there than can download podcasts and play them directly, but the interface is lacking in one way or another. The only reason I say that is because if it were so easy, and it didn’t take a geek to master the method, then we’d have a lot more people listening to podcasts as is.

Flickr photo by: retrocactus
Photo credit: retrocactus on Flickr

The cost of data plans aside, WiFi enabled cellphones is what purely sparks my interest in the iPhone. It’s a feature, besides Bluetooth, that I will look very hard at when it comes to purchasing my next cellphone, granted that the bank account can handle it.

Talking to Tod Maffin about podcasts at Northern Voice, he was surprised to find out that I listened to the hourly news updates from NPR and CNN. It struck him odd that anyone would subscribe to such things, mainly due to their timeliness, but I love them while running in the morning to get a basic low down of what’s going on in the world.

Imagine taking that concept and applying that to a situation where you are standing in line at your favorite coffee shop that has free WiFi. While waiting for people ahead of you to order their drinks with ridiculously long names, you’re snagging the latest news podcast. Better yet, you’re a hockey fan and notice that The Crazy Canucks published an episode last night and want to snag that for your commute home(had to get a plug in there). Download as you wait, get your coffee order, burn your tongue while taking the first sip, but are happy that you have something to listen to get your mind off the pain.

This is what excites me about the iPhone. Being such a prominent product in the cellphone market, I would like to see it revolutionize the whole spectrum in the realm of getting more phones with WiFi built in, not to mention bringing the price down. User interface will be another issue, but keep it simple and easy for developers to make simple and easy applications for people to easily subscribe and listen to podcasts.


2 Replies to “Podcasting and the iPhone effect”

  1. I’m excited about not only podcasts but the potential for the iPhone as an ebook reader. Finally, we’ll have something that’s suitable for reading books in electronic form, in addition to the phone, wifi, web searching, etc. Plus it could boost the moribund magazine market (and give “print” zines a new life) if those publications issued an “iphone-enabled” pdf version of their publication.

    Of course, the damn thing has to get to Canada first…..

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