48 votes

“Wherever you get your podcasts” is a radical statement

27 comments

  1. [15]
    stu2b50
    Link
    It's a bit of a house of cards, though, because the hidden underlying infrastructure that allows "wherever you get your podcasts" to work is the Apple Podcasts repository. Pretty much every...

    It's a bit of a house of cards, though, because the hidden underlying infrastructure that allows "wherever you get your podcasts" to work is the Apple Podcasts repository. Pretty much every podcast player (outside of things like Spotify, of course) maintains a podcast index by using the XML file Apple Podcasts has. If it didn't exist, the ecosystem would have a much more challenging time making sure podcasts players could have roughly the same list of podcasts available to them.

    24 votes
    1. FluffyKittens
      Link Parent
      Someone posted this on the HN thread for this article a few days back: https://podcastindex.org/ On the whole, I feel optimistic that the ecosystem could pivot pretty quickly if the Apple index...

      Someone posted this on the HN thread for this article a few days back: https://podcastindex.org/

      On the whole, I feel optimistic that the ecosystem could pivot pretty quickly if the Apple index turned sour.

      23 votes
    2. fxgn
      Link Parent
      I'm using AntennaPod and it also uses Fyyd and Podcast Index for search results. The Podcast Index website has a list of apps that use it and it's pretty big.

      Pretty much every podcast player

      I'm using AntennaPod and it also uses Fyyd and Podcast Index for search results. The Podcast Index website has a list of apps that use it and it's pretty big.

      9 votes
    3. [12]
      dpkonofa
      Link Parent
      It seems the author forgot that the entire reason podcasts are named as such is because Apple created them for the iPod. While I’m quite happy with Apple’s contribution, I would hardly call it...

      It seems the author forgot that the entire reason podcasts are named as such is because Apple created them for the iPod. While I’m quite happy with Apple’s contribution, I would hardly call it open in the way the author is.

      7 votes
      1. [5]
        semitones
        Link Parent
        I would call it open - even though Apple invented and branded it, and has the largest podcast directory, they cannot control it. If they pulled the plug, podcasts would continue just without their...

        I would call it open - even though Apple invented and branded it, and has the largest podcast directory, they cannot control it. If they pulled the plug, podcasts would continue just without their index.

        I do think it's weird that the author doesn't talk about how in the old days, Apple made something open. I think that would have been an interesting angle to write!

        14 votes
        1. [4]
          dpkonofa
          Link Parent
          They cannot control it now but it feels weird that it’s not even mentioned that podcasting wouldn’t exist (or at least in the form it’s in) without Apple. Also, I’m not sure what your second...

          They cannot control it now but it feels weird that it’s not even mentioned that podcasting wouldn’t exist (or at least in the form it’s in) without Apple.

          Also, I’m not sure what your second statement is in reference to. Apple makes lots of open things and contributes pretty significantly to the open source community.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            deimosthenes
            Link Parent
            While it's not a debate I'm interested in hashing out in any great detail, I imagine they were referring to the broad public perception that many Apple products tend towards walled gardens. Good...

            While it's not a debate I'm interested in hashing out in any great detail, I imagine they were referring to the broad public perception that many Apple products tend towards walled gardens.
            Good interoperability when you stay within their ecosystem, some glaring holes if you don't. Resistance to allowing any browser engine other than WebKit on iOS. All the drama about RCS and iMessage. That kind of thing.

            I think there's some truth to the perception, but it doesn't mean they don't also contribute to OSS or have admirable initiatives in other areas. A company that large is rarely monolithic.

            4 votes
            1. dpkonofa
              Link Parent
              Sure, but that has always also been the case. I mean, we’re talking about podcasts here which, at least initially, required a Mac, iPod, and iTunes. Apple has always operated on the principle of...

              Sure, but that has always also been the case. I mean, we’re talking about podcasts here which, at least initially, required a Mac, iPod, and iTunes. Apple has always operated on the principle of being a closed hardware/software ecosystem.

              I’m just not understanding why the parent comment thinks that there’s been a change. Apple has been a “walled garden” forever and has also contributed to open source forever.

              1 vote
          2. semitones
            Link Parent
            Agree completely on the 1st! Seems so weird that they would leave out Apple in this story, when it was podcasts syncing to iPods downloaded on iTunes that started this whole thing. Video podcasts...

            Agree completely on the 1st! Seems so weird that they would leave out Apple in this story, when it was podcasts syncing to iPods downloaded on iTunes that started this whole thing. Video podcasts pre-dated YouTube as viral videos, and it is thanks to Apple leading the market.

            The second point is you just wouldn't expect the Apple of today, with it's walled garden app store, iMessage lock-in, etc., to be responsible for something so open and cross-platform as podcasts. (And wifi, too, for that matter). They may contribute to open source software, but are staunchly anti-interoperability for anything that makes them money.

            2 votes
      2. [6]
        balooga
        Link Parent
        What? That’s not what happened. Podcasts arose organically as an extension of the RSS protocol. The name wasn’t coined by Apple, though it spread because of the prevalence of iPods at the time....

        What? That’s not what happened.

        Podcasts arose organically as an extension of the RSS protocol. The name wasn’t coined by Apple, though it spread because of the prevalence of iPods at the time. Apple didn’t invent podcasts or the name. Apple did eventually capitalize on that association and started indexing them in iTunes, but they were late to the party.

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          dpkonofa
          Link Parent
          The name is “Podcasts” literally because of the Apple Podcasts directory. Prior to that, it was called “audioblogging” and it barely had an audience. It grew to become what it is because it...

          The name is “Podcasts” literally because of the Apple Podcasts directory. Prior to that, it was called “audioblogging” and it barely had an audience. It grew to become what it is because it exploded thanks to the iPod.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            balooga
            Link Parent
            No, that's not accurate. Ben Hammersley coined the term in this article for The Guardian in February 2004. Apple didn't launch their podcast directory until June 2005, capitalizing on the...

            No, that's not accurate. Ben Hammersley coined the term in this article for The Guardian in February 2004. Apple didn't launch their podcast directory until June 2005, capitalizing on the popularity of the term (and its implicit reference to the iPod). The New Oxford American Dictionary declared the word "podcast" their Word of the Year in 2005, acknowledging that it had been in the running the year prior but was still a bit too obscure at that time. Apple definitely played a role in popularizing it, but didn't invent the term!

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              dpkonofa
              Link Parent
              I never said they invented the term, though. You admit that the term was coined directly because of its association to the "iPod", which is all that I'm arguing, so I'm not sure why you're trying...

              I never said they invented the term, though. You admit that the term was coined directly because of its association to the "iPod", which is all that I'm arguing, so I'm not sure why you're trying to revise history to remove Apple's association with it. Without Apple and the iPod, podcasting wouldn't exist the way it does and wouldn't have permeated culture the way that it did. There's a reason that Google Trends and other notable uses of the term exploded after Apple introduced the directory. If it wasn't for the popularity of the iPod, we'd probably be stuck with "audioblogging" (a very niche form of consumption) or what we know today would have simply been relegated to episodic time-shifted radio content. The fact that people could load up episodes in 1 fell swoop in iTunes without having to set up their own RSS ingestion or feed-processing is exactly why podcasting became so ubiquitous.

              That's all I'm saying. It's just odd to me that the article fails to recognize Apple's role in this when that role is precisely what led us to the current podcasting environment.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                balooga
                Link Parent
                Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying. I got hung up on this part of your first comment... ...and I thought you were asserting that a) Apple created podcasts, and b) Apple coined the term "podcast." I...

                Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying. I got hung up on this part of your first comment...

                the entire reason podcasts are named as such is because Apple created them for the iPod

                ...and I thought you were asserting that a) Apple created podcasts, and b) Apple coined the term "podcast." I was just trying to set the record straight about the origins of both the concept and the name. Now I understand what you meant!

                4 votes
                1. dpkonofa
                  Link Parent
                  That's my bad. I should have been clearer. That part of my statement, taken as is, is objectively wrong so I can completely understand that. Cheers.

                  That's my bad. I should have been clearer. That part of my statement, taken as is, is objectively wrong so I can completely understand that. Cheers.

                  2 votes
  2. [12]
    DefinitelyNotAFae
    Link
    This was really a good read ty It made me miss the RSS feed days, where I read my webcomics and everything in Google Reader (and before that I think it was something in the Firefox suite of...

    This was really a good read ty

    It made me miss the RSS feed days, where I read my webcomics and everything in Google Reader (and before that I think it was something in the Firefox suite of products?)

    Feedly doesn't work for me and I miss the simplicity of all my daily updates in one space. But yeah podcasts basically do the same thing.

    19 votes
    1. [4]
      Eabryt
      Link Parent
      I started hosting my own RSS server with FreshRSS about a year ago and I've really enjoyed it. It's helping me get back into reading more long-form articles.

      I started hosting my own RSS server with FreshRSS about a year ago and I've really enjoyed it. It's helping me get back into reading more long-form articles.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        When people start talking about hosting their own servers, it usually exceeds my energy level. Sometimes also my ability. I mostly want to be able to log onto my work computer, phone and home...

        When people start talking about hosting their own servers, it usually exceeds my energy level. Sometimes also my ability. I mostly want to be able to log onto my work computer, phone and home computer and catch up on feeds.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          Eabryt
          Link Parent
          That's fair. A few years ago I invested in a Synology NAS to host my Plex content and slowly over time I've been spinning up more and more docker containers to run things. I haven't gone through...

          That's fair. A few years ago I invested in a Synology NAS to host my Plex content and slowly over time I've been spinning up more and more docker containers to run things. I haven't gone through the work to make it super accessible outside of my home network, which I think would require a bit more energy than I've got for this.

          3 votes
          1. DefinitelyNotAFae
            Link Parent
            Plex is a thing I recognize. (None of this is helped by me living on a campus for 8 years and this having to fight to get my Chromecast on the campus network. I have let much of my "elder...

            Plex is a thing I recognize.

            (None of this is helped by me living on a campus for 8 years and this having to fight to get my Chromecast on the campus network. I have let much of my "elder millennial tech skills" atrophy. )

            6 votes
    2. [5]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      For me, the RSS days never ended. I use NewsBlur to read web comics and blogs.

      For me, the RSS days never ended. I use NewsBlur to read web comics and blogs.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        How does it compare to the "old days"? Like I said, Feedly doesn't work for me- I think mostly because it doesn't load in app.

        How does it compare to the "old days"? Like I said, Feedly doesn't work for me- I think mostly because it doesn't load in app.

        3 votes
        1. burkaman
          Link Parent
          I've been using https://bazqux.com/ for 7 years and I would recommend it to anyone, it is paid but at least for me it's more than worth it. It is permanently open in a pinned tab and I check it...

          I've been using https://bazqux.com/ for 7 years and I would recommend it to anyone, it is paid but at least for me it's more than worth it. It is permanently open in a pinned tab and I check it probably 10+ times a day. It works perfectly on my phone as well. Most things you can read directly in the reader, unless it's behind a paywall so you need to visit the site and be logged in.

          It is intentionally modeled after Google Reader, which I never actually used but it might feel like the old days you remember.

          5 votes
        2. fxgn
          Link Parent
          I'm using Feeder on my phone to read everything from news to Telegram blogs and it works great

          I'm using Feeder on my phone to read everything from news to Telegram blogs and it works great

          3 votes
        3. skybrian
          Link Parent
          My memory is fuzzy since it's been a long time, but I think it can do anything Google Reader could do? NewsBlur can be a little clunky but it's highly customizable. There are several options for...

          My memory is fuzzy since it's been a long time, but I think it can do anything Google Reader could do?

          NewsBlur can be a little clunky but it's highly customizable. There are several options for how to display blog posts that you can set per-blog. I go back and forth between reading them within NewsBlur versus opening up the article as a separate browser tab. It depends on how much I like the blog's web design and how much they included in the RSS feed.

          I use the web version (desktop), Android version on my phone, and iOS version on my iPad, and they all sync.

          1 vote
    3. [2]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      I miss Bloglines, anybody else remember that one? It was simple but awesome. I loved that I could get news, comics, friends’ blogs, and random other blogs in one place. It felt like the future. I...

      I miss Bloglines, anybody else remember that one? It was simple but awesome. I loved that I could get news, comics, friends’ blogs, and random other blogs in one place. It felt like the future.

      I still use RSS feeds for all my podcast listening and will seek out an actual XML source even if a particular show doesn’t list theirs publicly. I actually wrote a podcast RSS feed aggregator in PHP years ago. It fetches feed URLs from a JSON config file and stitches them into a single combined feed. At the time my goal was to skirt around the subscription limit imposed by the free version of a podcast player I liked. But later I added features like regex-based filtering of episodes, and a “replay” mode that steps through old episodes in order according to cron scheduling syntax.

      I’ve been using this for something like a decade now. That’s “where I get my podcasts.” It’s something that’s only possible because of the open RSS standard and I hope it never goes away.

      1 vote
      1. DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        Never heard of Bloglines. For podcasts, I use podcast addict and used podkicker before that. And I love being able to snag a feed and drop it in, Patreon, public, doesn't matter.

        Never heard of Bloglines. For podcasts, I use podcast addict and used podkicker before that. And I love being able to snag a feed and drop it in, Patreon, public, doesn't matter.

        1 vote