Technology

Doc Searls: Why Podcasting Isn’t Radio.

Doc comments on Chris Parillo’s explanation of podcasting. I still haven’t listened to Chris’ program yet (being saddled with a 56k connection at the moment). I think there is a bit more to this than Doc is touching on. Way back, nearly all radio was completely live – peformers, advertisting and entertainment. Later, and this continues today, it was a combination of live (DJs) and pre-recorded (records, tapes, CDs and today recordings stored on computer). Some Internet radio used this later format, and some went to completely prerecorded, including one of my favorites, LiveIreland.com. None of their shows are live, but stored on a server, and when I tune in I’m hearing the same program, at the same point, that everyone else who is tuned in hears.

The biggest difference in this last format and in podcasting is that if LiveIreland podcast, I could simply download the file, and listen to the program from the beginning at my convenience. It is definitely the next logical step in the evolution of audio programming. And as such, copyright holders for material that is “podcast” will view it in the same way as they do “live” radio broadcasts, as well as “live” or prerecorded programming via the Internet – another revenue stream. The NAB is not going to look at this any differently than they did Internet broadcast, or that traditional journalists viewed bloggers. It’s simply a percieved threat to the “pros”, at least until they figure out a way to make money off of it themselves. Congress will undoubtably side with the lobbyists and special interest groups as well.

Legality wise – I don’t know; I’m not a lawyer. I am interested for my own reasons. I’m a DJ on a Hawaiian language radio program that broadcasts weekly in Hilo on “KWXX”, called “Alana”. We used to do a live stream of the show, but because of the cost and lack of a way to generate revenue, the owner had to shut the stream down. If we could podcast it without having to pay exorbitant licensing fees I’d look into doing it.

FWIW, I’m a voting member of both “HARA” and “NARAS”, so I’m not unsympathetic to the creative community that generates some of the material that is being podcast. I’ll keep monitoring developments to see if it is feasible for us to do.

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