February 10, 2005


It must be the week for software upgrades beacuse here comes another one. Doppler 2.0 has finally been released. It must also be the week for podcasting to hit the mainstream press. Yesterday, USA Today had several articles on podcasting. For those who don’t follow podcasting (or podcasting on Windows), the Doppler announcement will be meaningless. So here’s a quick overview of podcasting and Doppler.

Podcasting is a means of distributing canned audio content across the Internet. This doesn’t sound like anything new. And on its surface, it really isn’t anything new. After all, you’ve been able to get live radio broadcasts from the web for years. You’ve also been able to download MP3 files for delayed listening. But podcasting is like Tivo for the web audio biz. A podcaster records audio content (e.g., vocal commentary, music, etc). This content is then posted on a web site for downloading by end users. The podcaster is responsible for creating a syndication (or “feed” of audio files). BTW, the means of syndication is the RSS (really simple syndication) protocol.

The client uses an RSS reader to assemble the “feeds” into a downloadable list of files. I use the Firefox Live Bookmarks facility for most RSS text feeds. But a typical RSS reader does not take care of the business of downloading the recorded audio broadcasts. That’s where Doppler comes into play. Doppler can read the RSS feeds. Doppler will then download the audio files for use either by WMP (Windows Media Player) or iTunes. I use both but prefer iTunes. Again, either will work. And you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast. You can download and listen to content w/o an iPod. But the iPod (or an iRiver, or any other MP3 player) can make your podcast listening a portable experience.

There are lots of podcast sources. I won’t even try to list them. But here are a couple of good sources to scan: Podcast Alley, and Podcast.Net. Personally, I listen to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code and the The Living Word. But I am sure that you will find something to meet your needs.



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