“The new iTunes client is here and the podcasting support is excellent,” Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg writes in his blog. “What’s really cool is the control I have over the podcasts. I can download one, subscribe to a feed, keep a set number on my device and have them automatically deleted after I’ve listened. In short Apple’s done for podcasting the same thing they did with RSS in Tiger. They made it usable by the mass markets and at the same time, they have the what is going to be the most widely used podcasting client on both Macintosh and Windows and that will make their directory the one to be listed in.”
Gartenberg writes, “Apple also tweaked the firmware in all the iPod so there’s no a separate podcasting category, which means podcasts won’t get shuffled with my music and will support bookmarks so I can listen to podcasts and resume where I left off. So it’s not just the premier podcast PC client, the iPod itself is now first among devices with integrated podcast support. Combine this news and the new pricing and the integration of iPod photo into the core white iPod line and you see why Apple remains the player to beat in this space.”
Full article here.
Jupiter research analyst David Card offers the following notes regarding iTunes 4.9 and podcasting:
• Apple claims about 3,000 entries in the podcast directory at launch
• Publishers and podcasters that want to be in the directory fill out submission forms. (Apple is recruiting premiere partners like NPR, ABC News, ESPN, etc.) Apple claims it won’t have much editorial judgement, other than no porn, no hate messages, no licensed music. It’s hoping the community will police itself for that kind of thing – its small editorial staff will look for highlights to promote rather than prevent. Top 20 lists are automatic.
• Podcasts are in AAC or MP3 (AAC required to support bookmarking and indexing) but not DRM-wrapped
• Music will be one of the 21 categories in the directory, but Apple’s not too excited about the opportunity to pay Webcasting royalties for mainstream music shows. It’s keener on music shows that are promotional, i.e. playing unlicensed, unsigned artists.
• Apple will produce its own weekly music show along the lines of New Music Tuesday or Top 20, but it will only include 30 second clips.
Full article here.
David Card has spoken with MarketWatch in a audio report where he says that Apple’s updated iTunes music service featuring podcasting may generate only a mild iPod sales spike, but will also further cement Apple’s position as king of digital audio.
Full clip (Windows Media or Real) here.