Tag: iPod

If it’s not an RSS feed, it’s not a podcast

Recent­ly a pod­cast I like “moved to Spo­ti­fy,” which is the only place it can now be heard. A cou­ple weeks ago I was rec­om­mend­ed a pod­cast that sound­ed inter­est­ing, but it turned out to be exclu­sive to the Lumi­nary “pod­cast net­work.”

These are not pod­casts. It’s not a mat­ter of being behind a pay­wall (though Spo­ti­fy’s aren’t, as far as I know); sub­scrip­tion fees aren’t anti­thet­i­cal to pod­cast­ing (though they may be tech­ni­cal­ly chal­leng­ing).

A pod­cast is a text file, an XML or JSON out­line, that points a pod­cast play­er to a list of episodes. The pod­cast is indif­fer­ent to the thing down­load­ing it, and the play­er is indif­fer­ent to the thing host­ing it. Any­thing else isn’t a pod­cast — it’s just an audio show.

The term “pod­cast” has long out­grown its ety­mol­o­gy as “some­thing you play on your iPod,” but it’s nev­er­the­less notable that these new “pod­casts” can­not even be played on an iPod, oth­er than an iPod Touch with a WiFi con­nec­tion.

If I can’t lis­ten to it on my iPod Nano, it’s not a pod­cast.