Listen to me! Watch me! Read me!

eyes_ear_1There are more media choices now than ever before and I, for one, have too many. You got your DirecTV with TiVo; your podcasts; your Web; your books; and maybe soon your “iTunes for movies.”

I just finished listening to the latest Gillmor Gang podcast off of IT Conversations, and the discussion “was about the convergence of radio (most notably public radio) and “new media” if that term even makes sense any longer. That convergence is due to digital technologies and the fact that it’s now possible for nearly anyone to create broadcast-quality audio with a very small investment in equipment.

Fascinating stuff — and pretty exciting to anticipate what might come out of people’s homes or studios as new content (podcasts are just one type proliferating) as well as how accessible the world of media offerings might be in the near future. Though this on-demand media accessibility is pretty cool, I just wish I had time to listen, watch and read everything I want to consume. Heck…I just want to download and listen to the other podcasts available on IT Conversations (though I must admit to already having about 10 hours worth waiting for me on my iPod right now).

Besides hours worth of great podcasts waiting for me on my iPod, currently on my TiVo I have several hours worth of movies and shows recorded and waiting for me that I really want to watch. Not enough time to do so. My recent purchase of a RadioShark has allowed me to finally be able to record (for offline listening on my iPod) the National Public Radio (NPR) shows A Prairie Home Companion, Science Friday and Sound Money…three programs I almost always missed in the past since I was busy when they were broadcast. The kicker? I have three of each program sitting on my iPod waiting for me to listen to them right now. I’m struggling to find the time for them.

I used to beat myself up over having two, three and sometimes four books being read simultaneously. That seems laughable now since I have all this other content being listened, viewed or read in midstream too!

Public Radio’s Stephen Hill, on the Gillmor Gang podcast, was talking about what NPR is doing around the internet and podcasting as it’s clear they’ve got to embrace this shift. Then there is the conjecture that Apple is going to create an “iTunes for movies” with the recently introduced Mac mini. Now even more content is sure to become available and be queue’ed up waiting for my consumption!

There are good guides for finding shows to record on my TiVo. Modestly good ones are available on the Web for terrestrial radio, and now there are guides for podcasts like iPodder’s directory. I still don’t know where I’m going to find hours and hours of free time to listen to all the radio shows and podcasts I want to listen to today, let alone what might happen if I end up with a video/movie on demand Mac mini box hooked to my TV alongside my TiVo.

Seems to me that there are great opportunities here to develop a taxonomy and metadata stack so as to categorize all of this content, provide personalized directories to individuals based on their preferences, and make them available. I’d pay good money for a one-stop-shop for *all* content I might be interested in consuming. I pay for music via Apple’s iTunes music store; subscription fee to TiVo; and have not yet for podcasts. But I’d pay for a “super aggregator” to collate *all* my preferred content and direct it to the device of my choice.

Some great efforts are gaining momentum to solve this problem…there is a specification for managing syndication of content called attention.xml. A search engine for feeds called Feedster. There are also other attempts like Syndicat8, Yahoo, Chordata, and even one that allows you to generate your own feeds for new releases on the Apple iTunes music store.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.