Thursday, January 25, 2007

[Rant] Every MP3 is not a podcast!

Ok, this is becoming annoying. I simply cannot stand when a site says "We have many podcasts for you to download and listen to" and then what they have is a bunch of links to MP3s.  Every MP3 file is not a podcast!  The word "cast" is in there for a reason, people.

If somebody tells me they have a podcast, I expect to find a link to an RSS file that I can copy into iTunes.  When a new MP3 file is available (or even if they have already all been made available) I will see it on my list of available episodes, and I will specify in one place which ones I want.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the latest site to pull this nonsense.  They even have a special little orange button that says POD on it.  How cute.  But it points to the stupid MP3 file!

By linking to the MP3 file, you require me to do the following before I can have the content in the format I want it:

  • Right click and choose "Save link as."
  • Decide where on the file system to save it, and by what name.
  • Repeat for every episode I'm interested in.
  • Go into iTunes.
  • Go into "Add Files to iTunes".
  • Find each file I've just downloaded, and wait for iTunes to recognize them.
  • Create a special playlist to manage my new files.

My playlists are all centered around the concept of "new episodes of podcasts I'm subscribed to."  They are sensitive to newness, and to getting rid of episodes I've already listened to.  If you have a real podcast feed, you will show up in my listening stream pretty much immediately and entirely automatically.  But if you give me nothing but a batch of MP3s, then you're pretty much not giving me anything I couldn't get 5 years ago, so please get off the buzzword bandwagon until you're ready to do it right.  Argh.

Rant over.


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