I know I don’t “blog” much like I do, but sometimes I think it’s necessary. This is one of those times. The audio portion of my podcasts are not searchable, at least not using Google, so Blogging gets stuff out so more non-listeners can read it.
Apple is once again threatening shows/products with cease and desist letters. The first did it with the podcatchers iPodder and iPodderX – those I could see as valid, since they use “iPod” in the name… well this time, it’s more about “POD” than “iPod”, and I think their legal team is running out of money or something… They’ve recently issued a C&D letter to Podcast Ready (a growing podcast catcher software that actually runs on the mp3 player!) This is crazy! Apple is claiming that “Podcast Ready” and “myPodder” infringe on their trademarks and cause confusion among customers. WHAT? The word podcast is enough to cause confusion among customers. Say it with me now… “You don’t need an iPod to listen to Podcasts!” If that isn’t confusing, I don’t know what is… I have been asked many times by people, “Don’t I need an iPod to listen?”… To which I reply, “of course not, you can use any mp3 player, your computer, even burn it to a cd and listen in your car!” Not sure if it wins listeners, but the public needs to be educated that “Podcast” does not equal “iPod needed-Cast”…
So what to do? We can fight the big fruit and stand up for a name which we created… Or we can change the name to one which is less like a piece of hardware and more geared to what it really is.
Leo Laporte, of TWiT fame, has made the suggestion to change the name to ‘NetCast’, which is a good name, but still implys that you listen over the internet – which isn’t completely true. while you do need a internet connection, you don’t need that to listen. In fact, the future might mean you can use a portable listening device with WiFi support to download the mp3s… Would that be, WiFiCasts? No… I think we need something more general.
On my business cards, which do hand out to the people who ask if they need an iPod, I give a general definition of a Podcast:
“Noun: a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program. Made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player or via stream download directly from a web site”
How much general can you be?
How about making the name into “AudCast” for audio recordings, and “VidCast” for Video recordings? Quick, descriptive, and concise. No confusing customers, no thinking you need a specific piece of hardware – clear cut.
I think this would make the future much more clear for all of us, and would get the big white fruit off our backs for good… Of course, a change like this will take cooperation… and time. But it may be what needs to be done to make this medium blow up to the rest of the world…
For more info… Check out Digg, Netscape (another), Cruel To Be Kind blog, Mmeiser Blog, and Geek News Central