The iPod is useless, however the podcast lives

Pour one for the iPod, the attractive little gadget of my teenage goals. Whereas Apple lastly discontinued the newest iPod mannequin this week, the “pod” lives on within the digital audio medium all of us love and obsess over.

The iPod was by no means actually the format the place podcasting flourished (that might be the smartphone), however when podcasts first began, the iPod was just about the one recreation on the town. In 2004, the iPod managed 60% of the whole marketplace for MP3 gamers. It was the default choice for listening to audio broadcasts on the go, in the event that they had been inelegant.

“It was a horrible expertise,” says Leo Laporte, founding father of a primary digital audio outlet This Week in Tech (TwiT) and radio present host The Tech Man. “You needed to obtain it to your pc, join your pc by way of iTunes to your iPod, copy it to your iPod, after which you could possibly take heed to it.”

However with the ever present gimmick, the title “podcast” appeared like a pure match for the rambling on-line audio broadcasts that had been starting to emerge. So pure that two folks declare to have merged “iPod” and “broadcast” individually. The primary recorded case is in a 2004 Guardian article by journalist and technologist Ben Hammersley the place he tossed out potential names for the media (“GuerillaMedia” did not get it). That very same 12 months, digital audio pioneer Dannie Gregoire named one among his software program “podcaster” and registered domains containing the phrase “podcast”, then popularized it with the assistance of former MTV VJ and early podcast host Adam Curry. Gregoire says he was unaware of Hammersley’s article earlier than developing with the title. “That is an apparent phrase to provide you with, given the know-how,” he stated. Hammersley didn’t reply to request for remark.

Anyway, it took. Apple not solely let the phrase reside, regardless of potential trademark infringement, it embraced the medium wholeheartedly by making a podcast listing on iTunes in 2005. That very same 12 months, George W. Bush started publishing his addresses. presidential radio within the type of a podcast. The New Oxford American Dictionary took be aware of all of the hubbub and named “podcast” its phrase of the 12 months for 2005.

Not everybody was completely satisfied. For years, Laporte fought — and misplaced — the battle to rebrand “podcasting” as “netcasting,” arguing that the phrase tied the shape too intently to Apple. Time has confirmed him proper and incorrect. Sure, the iPod was a fleeting section within the podcasting race. However the phrase has overtaken its namesake to the purpose the place Apple is simply a part of the podcasting ecosystem and never even the dominant one. Spotify has established itself as probably the most broadly used platform for podcasting, and Apple’s podcast lineup is minimal at finest.

Even so, the phrase is inescapable. A couple of years in the past, Laporte gave in and ultimately modified the TWiT Netcast community to the TWiT Podcast community. “That is how language is,” he says. “You’ll be able to’t struggle it.”


This story initially occurred in scorching capsule, The sting‘s preeminent audio business publication. You’ll be able to subscribe right here for extra scoops, evaluation and stories.

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