I have been accused of being a real devotee of the house that Steve built. I admit that yes, I do love me my Apple gear…
- MacBook Pro…check
I have drank the Kool-Aid and I want more. I am impatiently waiting for October so I can treat myself to an iPhone 4 for my birthday. I love-love-love-love Apple…
…but today, my dearest love punched me in the nose. Really, really hard.
From Mur Lafferty’s Twitter feed came a posting that made me go “Wow…just…wow.” Apple is celebrating Podcasting’s birthday with a celebratory banner (seen above), featuring many “trailblazers” of the medium. Very cool…until you note the birthday.
I was willing to scoff at Steve Jobs when he went on record to say “Folks who want porn can buy a Droid.” I was okay with a face-palm when Jobs told their iPhone 4 users “You’re holding the phone wrong.” All of Apple’s recent successes could just be making him giddy with elation…
Today, with me and a few others, a line was crossed. So for Steve Jobs and the folks at Apple, allow me — one of the authors of Podcasting for Dummies — to give you a brief history lesson.
Podcasting came into wide distribution in 2005 when iTunes recognized it, I’ll give you that; but podcasting had been around a bit longer than iTunes claims…and some of their “early adopters” were pre-dated by others. Podcasting for Dummies traces the first podcast back to August 2004 (although just today, I was shown an article penned by The Guardian’s Ben Hammersley where the term “podcasting” is used — thanks, @ghostfinder!) when Adam Curry and Dave Winer created the code in RSS that made the magic happen. Apple didn’t jump on to podcasting until nearly a year later. June 2005 with iTunes 4.9, if you should ask (PfD, Chapter 1, page 24). While it can be debated which came first — the RSS or the iTunes — the truth is that there were podcasts available as far back as 2004, some of them including:
- The Dragon Page
- Slacker Astronomy
- Geek Fu Action Grip
- Useful Sounds
- Escape Pod
- The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd
…and a few others.
Many of those “few others” went omitted from the “Early Adopters” such as Mur Lafferty, Michael R. Mennenga, Evo Terra, Chuck Tomasi, Kreg Steppe, C.C. Chapman, Rob Walch, and Todd Cochrane. Podcast authors, including the early adopters such as myself, Mark Jeffrey, and Scott Sigler, went completely omitted.
I recall launching into this uncharted territory in 2005 with no help from Apple in the ways of distribution, and still I managed to find listeners around the world. I remember tracing the steps and working on roadmaps for people to try and avoid the pitfalls. I remember Steve Jobs condescendingly referring to podcasting as “the Wayne’s World of Audio” right before announcing that iTunes would provide a directory.
And I also remember when Apple made early adopters rewrite their RSS feeds in order to appear in said iTunes directory.
Still we managed through the up’s and down’s and the lack of a “real contact” at iTunes, particularly when it came to their “Show Approval” notices and rejections, and now, podcasting is rapidly approaching its birthday. We have now evolved into video, and there are still enhanced podcasts working their way through the podosphere. Some voices may have faded into the night, but more talent continues to appear on the iTunes Directory and share their thoughts with the world.
I do agree that this is a time for celebration. And gifts. So for you, Apple, I come bearing the gift of knowledge.
Now you know better. Happy birthday. In two months.