Sunday, October 24, 2004

Podcasting & BitTorrent

A few weeks ago I bought a portable audio player. After doing some amount of research I decided to go with the iRiver iFP-790. It was the only small player I could find that plays Ogg Vorbis files and stacks up well with other small Flash-based players. I had been thinking about getting one of these players for awhile, but wanted to wait long enough so that my purchase wouldn't immediately be obsolete. What finally convinced me to get in the game was the vague idea that I'd use the player to listen to time-shifted content from In the last few weeks I've discovered what's known as the podcasting revolution. If you don't know what this is, you soon will. 'Nuff said. One fairly obvious concern about podcasting is what might happen when it reaches the mainstream. The bandwidth requirements could easily make distribution costs too high for smaller publishers. That environment could quickly turn the podcasting revolution into yet another lame commercial radio system. I propose the following: The podcasting apps should incorprate BitTorrent functionality. It's easy to imagine how it would work. Publishers post their .torrent files, RSS readers download the .torrent, then download the actual audio file and save to the portable player. Since BitTorrent is Free, I'm surprised this hasn't already been done. It seems like a critical piece of non-commerical podcasting.