I just think it’s interesting that podcasts which were originally just an MP3 file and an RSS feed. A perfect example of standards (even if they aren’t all open) working together to create something new. Back in the heyday of RSS feeds podcasts were a brilliant new innovation.
But what’s weird to me is that as podcasts have exploded past any meaning (putting out a video 5 days a week for 4 hours doesn’t mean you have a podcast, It means you have a youtube show) and everyone and their mother has one. I think there at three The Office podcasts right now over 5 years after the show ended, TWO of which feature actual cast members, there are let’s watch every episode and comment podcasts for One Tree Hill, random MTV show I’ve never heard of an lots more oddly specific “why is this even a podcast” topics like “me and my best friend” or “Me but I’m a celebrity and my best friend”.
But my prejudice against certain types of podcasts aside what’s more worrying is how people understand them. Podcasts are hosted on a server just like any other website content but you just download them via RSS feed and listen when you want. But more and more I’m seeing podcasts linked to specific sub-services. Like streaming it on Spotify of SoundCloud. Services that very specifically don’t allow you to download the episode. For all that stitcher let’s continue where you left off on different devices I think there’s something lost when you have to stream the podcast. Even more when that’s your only choice.
All those choices are fine but where’s my direct RSS feed link?
I used to laugh at the idea but when Joe Rogan’s podcast went exclusive to Spotify that was kind of the canary in the coalmine. I have many thoughts on Joe Rogan and his podcast but the only relevant one is that an exclusive podcast is beyond the point. Like a CD that can only play on Sony players. Even the fact that “Apple Podcasts” is the biggest aggregator of podcast feeds but at least technically they’re still feeds and pretty much any podcatcher can use them.
It’s just frustrating to watch tech trend against openness and usefulness like watching phones remove bezels and inject notches, or remove headphone jacks and stop shipping with required accessories all while scaling up higher and higher in price. Like trying to find a desktop application RSS feed reader that isn’t web-based.