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Internet Broadcasting Makes A Comeback 121

Mark Leaman writes "About six years ago I founded an internet broadcasting company called GT2K (Gametalk 2000) which featured Real Audio based radio shows on gaming in all its incarnations (table top, strategy, computer...). During the "plague years" we saw hordes of internet broadcasting companies belly up. But now internet broadcasting is making a comeback thanks to Podcasting. Although Podcasting isn't new news Yahoo has some nice coverage on the re-emergence of the medium."
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Internet Broadcasting Makes A Comeback

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  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:02AM (#11595878)
    NPR had a recent story on podcasting. They interviewed a guy that would record his commute to work every day and then put it on a web site so that people could then listen to his musings on their IPods. Scintillating.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:11AM (#11595931)
      Good God, are peoples lives so empty and devoid of meaning these days that they'll attempt to fill it with someone elses empty and devoid rambling on their own empty and devoid lives?

      Web Logging and Podcasting are the ultimate in ego masturbation. People can now fill their pointless lives with other people pointless lives. I'm not sure if this is the Internet analogue of the rise in reality TV or if some deeper societal shift has led to both Web Logging and reality TV equaly.
      • that is pretty narrow. many blogs are good journalism... and many podcasts are actual shows that have a point to them... there is a show called the maccast... there is a show that reads off the slashdot highlights fromt he day, Leo Laport turns his radio show into a podcast....

        yes, it is open to morons... but so fucking what...maybe people listen because they make fun of the losers.
      • by samael ( 12612 ) <> on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:17AM (#11595973) Homepage
        Yes! You're right! Talking about your feelings, beliefs and life is _pointless_. People should just shut up and get on with their lives. We only have friends for their entertainment value, and they should learn not to actually communicate about anything about themselves.
      • are peoples lives so empty and devoid of meaning these days that they'll attempt to fill it with someone elses empty and devoid rambling on their own empty and devoid lives?

        Soap operas, tabloids, entertainment "news"... there's a lot of crap that's worse and has been around for decades. Besides which, at no time in history has civilisation been so capable of recording the minutia of everyday lives, which historians will appreciate in the future. Archaeologists struggle to reconstruct information about t

      • Good God, are peoples lives so empty and devoid of meaning these days that they'll attempt to fill it with someone elses empty and devoid rambling on their own empty and devoid lives?

        Sounds like Reality TV.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "Good God, are peoples lives so empty and devoid of meaning these days that they'll attempt to fill it with someone elses empty and devoid rambling on their own empty and devoid lives?"

        I dunno, do people spend hours of every day listening to Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and a slough of other empty gasbags on talk radio?

        The only difference I see here is one of scale.
      • There is some useful information available via podcast too. For example, Air America Radio makes The Al Franken Show and The Majority Report available via podcast in case you can't catch them at their regular broadcast times. Unfortunately, they overcompress the shows a bit.
      • "Web Logging and Podcasting are the ultimate in ego masturbation."
        That's insightful?
        Most Slashdot posting is ego masturbation, too, but there's room for lots of voices, so there's usually something interesting to read, too!
        There are many interesting podcasts, and a lot of garbage, too. People interested in new technology should check them out and make up their own minds.
        Here's some good places to start:
        Podcast Directory [] or
        PodcastAlley []
        The lack of commercials alone was enough to get me interes
    • Recently I asked Bob Boilen if he would do a podcast of his web show "All Songs Considered", which I find to be a great source of new music and artists. His response was not surprising but disappointing: "We can NOT make a podcast of this show because of licensing restrictions". As far as I'm concerned this is another grievance I have in a long line of grievances regarding distribution of digital media and I hope that by ripping and sharing this I am contributing, in a small way, to the demise of some rec
    • Id=4473787 []

      "NPR's Robert Smith reports on the rise of "podcasts" -- amateur music and talk shows created by the users of Apple's popular iPod personal music devices and other digital music players. Whole "shows" of music and talk can be downloaded from the Internet to individual players automatically, and some of the show hosts have become celebrities among the burgeoning podcast audience."
  • Not "Broadcasting" (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) * on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:09AM (#11595920)
    It's "Narrowcasting," actually. Fine, Comm-school distinction, perhaps, but worth noting in this case. You don't want this to be broadcasting, as that would assume a lot of very low and common denominators and all that attendant government scrutiny.
    • by turnstyle ( 588788 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:19AM (#11595984) Homepage
      Warning! Plug coming up...

      Personally, I'm more into "on-demand" playback rather than "broadcast" -- that's why I built Andromeda [] -- it turns your folders and files of MP3s (OGGs too) into a complete browsable/streaming site (needs PHP or ASP)...

      • Hey!!! *So* glad you "plugged".

        I am a freelance web developer who is currently in the employ of a production music studio who is looking to get their library online. We have decided on a CMS solution and have been going through the process of deciding how to handle the library itself. I was going to code up something from scratch, but Andromeda seems to be everything we will need! You will be hearing from us shortly regarding licencing!

        For once, slacking off on slashdot has actually had a positive effe
  • (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SamSeaborn ( 724276 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:10AM (#11595929)
    Internet broadcasting was on a down-trend?

    Wierd, I listen to [] and local talk radio over the internet everyday. Have done so for years.


    • (Score:5, Informative)

      by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:16AM (#11595969) Homepage
      There was a time when traditional radio stations had some kind of licensing issue with a union that covered on-air personalities - with respect to payment for ads they read and whether or not they were fairly compensated for that.

      I know it took WABC radio offline for several months, and various other stations as well. Some took to playing "dead air" on the stream while live-read commercials were playing.

      There have been non-traditional broadcasters all along, including Digitally Imported, Wolf FM, Radio Paradise, etc, which have been rather continuous for years, but the flurry of "ooh, I can run Shoutcast" broadcasters which popped up running 24kbps streams seems to have hit a low maybe 18 months ago and is again on the rise. This might be coincident with rises in upstream and the relative cheapness of dedicated servers with truckloads of bandwidth included.

    • I've met Steve Wolf. He is an interesting man, and also, he's completely hilarious.

    • Totally agree. Radio ain't dead. It's evolving quickly but there will always be room for original programming. That is why HBO is kicking butt- good editors, good writers, great programming (no I don't work for HBO). Podcasting is not radio-to-go - it is downloading an original playlist from a trusted source. There's no difference between podcasting or ipodding, only a different way of 'programming' your ipod. Simply put, the vehicle through which one wants to hear the music doesn't matter, it's alway
    • Radio Paradise [] has also been operating for years. 7,226 Listeners on right now - I'm one of them. Not too shabby for a station that's listener supported.

      Their 128 k MP3 feed [] is quality enough to pump through a home stereo system.

      That is... if you like the music.

  • he podcasts his radio show on KFI I love listening to that guy.

    Fuck G-fuck/bletch tv
  • hardly broadcasting (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Podcasting is hardly broadcasting. Recording to MP3 and making it downloadable isn't in my definition of a 'broadcast' - what next? saving images to your iPod Photo will be labeled Photocasting? please. Satellite radio [] is the future of digital audio, not the mindless musings of people with too much time.
    • what next? saving images to your iPod Photo will be labeled Photocasting?

      You mean like this [] stuff? Actually, you may be onto something- adding moblog photos to podcasting sounds like the next step.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Real Audio based
    how could someone geeky enough to broadcast table top games use real audio? ;)
  • WFMU Podcasts (Score:4, Informative)

    by parsnip11 ( 637516 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:19AM (#11595985)
    More and more broadcast radio stations are doing this but unfortunately few have provided music because of copyright fears. WFMU [](91.1 FM) is a notable exception... []

    They offer two shows of old 78s which are public domain as well as two other amazing shows (Advanced D & D with Donna Summer.... breakcore / random bedroom electronics and Downtown Soulville which is pure funk 45s from the 60s / early 70s and is extremely addictive. Especially of interest if you like stuff like Peanut Butter Wolf's Funky 16 corners comp from a few years back).

    As for npr podcasting you can get on media as a podcast at []

    • WFMU is an independent freeform radio station broadcasting at 91.1 fm in the New York City area, at 90.1 fm in the Hudson Valley, and live on the web. []

      WFMU has ten separate podcasts:
      Audio Kitchen with The Professor [NEW]
      Antique Phonograph Music Program
      Aerial View with Chris T.
      Dave Emory [NEW]
      Jonesville Station
      Seven Second Delay with Ken and Andy
      The Speakeasy with Dorian
      Advanced D & D with Donna Summer
      Downtown Soulville with Mr. Fine Wine [NEW]
      Thomas Edison'
  • P2P Streaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by popo ( 107611 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:21AM (#11595997) Homepage
    I'm not sure PodCasting is creditworthy when it comes to bringing back web broadcasting.

    If any technology or trend is responsible for the rebirth of web broadcasting, it is undoubtedly P2P Streaming (like

    I can't figure out why p2p streaming isn't getting more hype than it is. I downloaded my first P2P streaming client about a month ago, and was pretty amazed at both the quality and the possibilities.
    • p2p is a dirt word. you say that and immediately the RIAA and MPAA hate it and lobby congress to stop it.
    • Re:P2P Streaming (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tunabomber ( 259585 )
      Maybe because:

      1. There aren't that many P2P streaming stations.


      2. Streaming is overrated.

      Seriously, the main reason streaming exists is so that the content provider can force you to watch/hear commercials and make it harder to watch/listen to the same 'cast twice.

      I think if we could timeshift every piece of media we watch at will, timeshifting will be the rule rather than the exception. After all, why the hell should we adjust our life to the schedule of a broadcaster?

      • Re:P2P Streaming (Score:3, Interesting)

        by popo ( 107611 )
        I'd have to respectfully disagree on two fronts.

        First off, you're taking streaming to mean sequential songs or shows, whereas streaming simply means "you watch as you download" (typically with a slight buffer).

        P2P streaming essentially offers video-on-demand (or audio on demand) while skirting bandwidth related expenses.

        Secondly -- with regards to timeshifting being better than a broadcast (not that timeshifting doesn't rule) I'd have to say that I'd rather listen to a commercial free audio broadcast tha
    • Maybe because people don't have much upstream bandwidth so I can listen to a 128k station easily but I can't upload that quickly. Also, you tend to get more breaks because if your audio has been through four people before it gets to you, there's more of a chance that someone will get a break in the stream and need to rebuffer, this is less likely when connecting to a central server.

      • Well.. if upload bandwidth is the only thing keeping p2pstreaming technology (which is essentially free video-on-demand) from being mainstream, I'd have to say its only a matter of time...
      • Which is why it is P2P and not client/server... Instead of having a server host an mp3 file that is downloaded to many clients... You use icecast, p2p radio casting, or modified bittorrent (there was a /. on this a while back) that basically makes the author only upload to 1 or 2 people, and those users stream to users to who join later, etc, etc.
  • Lost revenue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mushupork ( 819735 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:27AM (#11596037)
    Does anyone have time for commercials anymore? I don't. Tivo TV, burn radio streams to my iPod, and skip thru the commercials. Number of commercials I have to listen to nowadays: zero. Good friggin riddance.

    Perhaps this is part of the declining TV viewership companies have begun to bemoan, blaming yet again the revenue-robbing Internet.
    • Yes good riddance.

      But wait, if no one anywhere were listening or watching commercials you wouldn't be getting that free content.

      And if big business hadn't started pouring money into the internet, that reasonably priced broadband connection you enjoy wouldn't exist. Oh and most likely neither would your ipod. Tivo either for that matter.

      Amazing what you realize when you use your head to think about something.
      • That's funny, I listen to Soma FM [] all the time, never heard a commercial. I HAVE sent them a check a couple times to help out. I didn't have to but I recieve so much pleasure from it I felt it would be rude not to help them out. As the cost of bandwidth continues to drop the cost of doing non-traditional radio over the internet will as well. Not only that but wireless internet access will mean that we can get new content almost anywhere at any time. I hope the old media cartels fall hard, but somehow I thin
        • Again, amazing what you realize when you use your head.

          The cost of bandwidth would not have, and would not continue to drop without commercial business.

          It's not difficult to understand, you people just don't want to think.

          Soma FM wouldn't even be possible without low cost internet access. It's highly unlikely you were even around before businesses had a presence on the net. Guess what junior. There was none of this stuff then, even getting a decent connection was a pain.

          All of these free services, the f
          • That's funny, I was on the Internet back when it was mostly the NSFnet backbone, through a free dialup connection to the local library which peered through the Cleveland Freenet which provided FREE Internet access. So yes, I was around before commercial intersts overtook the Internet. It was the progress of technology, not just commercial interests which sped up Interent access. Wireless networking in this case was refering to fourth generation cellular and ultrawideband mobile wireless as will be available
    • Does anyone have time for commercials anymore? I don't. Tivo TV, burn radio streams to my iPod, and skip thru the commercials. Number of commercials I have to listen to nowadays: zero. Good friggin riddance.

      Citizen 819735 please report immediately to Consumer Re-education Camp Bravo for an adjustment to your consumption motivation index.

  • Question. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:33AM (#11596089)
    It seems to me that podcastion is the same as recording some sounds, providing a link to a website where the recordings can be downloaded by whoever is interested. Am I correct?

    If that is the case, then I'd say that many stations have been doing this for a long time. Nothing for the iPOD.

    • yes, but in this case it is an RSS 2 feed and software can download it and make it available for syncing with your favorite portable music player with out you actually doing anything other than subscribing to a feed.

      makes it very convenient.
    • The new component is the RSS feed that describes the locations of the files in a machine-readable syndicated way. And the applications that make the downloading of feeds that you subscribe to automatic, ensuring that the iPod or other music player is always loaded with up-to-date shows.
    • Re:Question. (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      the whole point about podcasting is not that the technology or technique in and of themselves are particularly 'new', but that the acccessibility of the medium to the average computer user is very new. Yes, there have been professional radio stations doing this kind of thing for years, but now, for the first time, so can your grandma. That's what's cool about it. It's a socio-cultural innovation, not a technological innovation.
    • Some podcasters might have their shows available on their website. But you shouldn't confuse podcasting with a website linking to mp3s.

      A podcast is a RSS feed with enclosures linking to the show. You use an aggregator to subscribe to the shows. The aggregator will automagically download the shows you subscribe to your harddrive. The aggregator will also automaticaly copy the shows over to your mp3 player (assuming you have one).
    • The new bit is that the iPOD moves around :)

  • Podcasting itself is just the concept of archival retreival and playing back on your own handheld type device.

    Nothing would stop podcasting from riding on top of p2p type networks, so thats not really the issue here.

    I think the issue goes back DRM - who owns what, and who can listen to what. I think the last thing podcasters would want happening is having someone replay content for public consumption without licensing such content.

    I know when i would produce a radio show i wouldn't care.. not in it for
    • rue, but rush can always distribute it just to his ditto heads who pa for access to his site content.
      • Re:Interesting.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Augie De Blieck Jr. ( 13716 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @11:03AM (#11596329) Homepage Journal
        He already does maintain show archives that are available to subscribers. With the right amount of hacking, one could automate the process of downloading the content daily, converting it from Real or Windows Media and into MP3 to pop onto their iPod, I suppose.

        But that's the smart part about Podcasting that most people in this comments thread is missing -- it's more than just recording an MP3 and posting it on a website. The Podcasting program is a huge part of this -- a central program used to automate downloads and transfer of the files from the web to your local machine or iPod or iRiver or what have you.

        It takes all the work out of checking a dozen web sites looking for things. It's an RSS Aggregator with attachments. I'm somewhat afraid that point is getting lost in this whole conversation.
        • I think you are correct.
        • I'm not disputing the technology and idea of podcasting, just the fact that for commercial or historical purposes there has to be a way to validate the integrity of the content.

          podcasting can be done through web/rss/p2p or even pvr type functionality that you schedule on your own.

          My point is without having a subscriber base and decentralized podcasting units particular to each vendor there is no way to validate and enforce content integrity of your podcasted works unless there is a DRM and or other types
    • limbaugh has already been hacked gh +i%27m+a+nazi&btnG=Google+Search
      • some looser hates Rush that much that he would record rush and (badly) splice his words together to make it sound like he is singing a song like that?

        christ... how fucking pathetic can a person be?
        • If only you knew how extreme the pundits on all sides can take the issues and the measures they would go to to cause the havoc that could potentially happen.
  • Live365 has made a difference because it's legal to broadcast music, so no problems on that end. They handle the licensing for your netcast. I have two stations [] using live365.
  • Shoutcast? Anyone? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Shoutcast is awesome and anyone can run a station. There number of listeners is only limited to the available bandwidth. There are many stations that run on donated bandwidth. Listeners listen using Winamp, XMMS or a program that is compatible with Nullsofts MP3 streaming format. Nullsoft recently released a TV steaming format that works very similar to their MP3 format. The best thing is that everything is free.
  • by novakane007 ( 154885 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:54AM (#11596248) Homepage Journal
    I listen to Digitally Imported Radio (DI []) every day. In fact, since I have something always available I rarely download music anymore. It's simply more convienent to just tune in than it is to go searching for what I'm interested in.
  • by hwestiii ( 11787 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:54AM (#11596249) Homepage
    Todays Trib has a pretty good story on Podcasting that quotes many of the regulars (Adam Curry, etc.).

    The story is here [] and may require registration.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    During the "plague years" we saw hordes of internet broadcasting companies belly up.

    This had little to do with "dot com" ("" is redundant) failures. Internet broadcasting failed because Yahoo! bought out all the major net 'stations' to merge into its project - which it then killed itself through gross mismanagement once every competitor had been acquired. It still exists [], and it still sucks.

    After this 'coincidence', the RIAA attacked every remaining net.broadcaster viciously; the
  • This article is more an advertisement for someone's commercial venture than anything else. If he wanted to just post this rehash article about pod-casting he could have with out plugging his own web site. I'm surprised this made it thru the /. Standards.
  • Narrowcasting it is. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Admittedly a lot of this is like a lot of blogs and not of very great moment. But there is a lot of other stuff that you cannot get any other way. Try [] for some really good stuff. Conferences you couldn't go to, in depth interviews with authors (40 minutes rather than 5) and The Gilmore Gang which I wait for each week.

    Also there is stuff from the BBC which I am unlikely to ever hear on this side of the Atlantic plus NPR stuff that isn't carried on my station.

    Two of the mor
  • Podcasting? There's no future in it. In fact I didn't just spend a few months of my life developing a new service that allows you to start podcasting using nothing more than a telephone.

    Please move along, nothing to see here.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Monday February 07, 2005 @12:29PM (#11597286) Homepage
    There seem to be a lot of misinformed, or partially informed views of what Podcasting is or is not. Allow me to try and clear it up:

    From a "broadcaster's" perspective: you record a show to MP3, you make that available via some URL-accessible protocol (typically http or bittorrent), then you add an item to an RSS feed which includes that URL as an enclosure.

    From a consumer's perspective: you run an application (e.g. iPodder). You give the application a set of RSS feeds. The application polls these feeds, and when it finds a new item that points to an enclosure, it downloads the media. What happens then is application-dependent, but what iPodder does is use the iTunes API to import the new media into the iTunes library.

    Podcasting receiver applications like iPodder are meant to be "set up and forget". Once it's going, then assuming you dock your MP3 player every day or so, you are automagically going to find new content on your player whenever it becomes available. (I'm hoping that future versions will also automatically delete stale media).

    For the consumer, this is better than streaming because:
    - you can listen to it when you're disconnected from a network - e.g. on the bus, in the car
    - skipping, rewinding etc. is easy
    - being on a slow network (e.g. dialup) is not a problem
    - timeshifting is inherent. The user experience is very like having a radio TiVo, except there is no option to listen to live programming.

    Sure, it doesn't lend itself to live phone-ins, up-to-the-minute news bulletins, etc. -- but that's not what it's for.

    For the producer, the costs scale very nicely, and if you go for bittorrent, you could distribute a very popular show very cheaply indeed.

    So that's what it is. Here's what it is not:

    Podcasting is not just for iPods. It's a shame the name implies it. This is because it was invented by Mac-heads. Fortunately they're standards-centric Mac-heads.

    Podcasting is not just for no-budget audio equivalents of the personal blog or personal homepage. The BBC's trial of podcasting the excellent In Our Time series was by all accounts a great success.

    The absence of DRM means it may be difficult for some material to get cleared for podcasting, which may dissuade professional broadcasters from podcasting in some cases.

    The cheapness of podcasting means there's an awful lot of shovelware out there: like the middling days of, when there was probably good, free music on there, but who was going to wade through the chaff and sort out the wheat?

  • What if you could podcast a playlist in the Rhapsody service?

    In other words, you could play whatever music you want in your podcast( that was available via the subscription) with talking in between. The licensing features kick in so it's an end-run around the music webcasting licensing junk.

    That may be a hole in the iPods armor.
  • Naked News [] never went under. I wonder why that is....
  • Most are just people bitching about thier lives, yes. But some are very different and even *gasp* entertaining! I have a podcast called "TheCabin's r33tcast" that is hosted by an internet relay chat channel. Everything spoken within IRC is then the show. That way it's not limited to one person bitching, it's a full bitching conversation with anyone who wants to join! [] check it out if you're into the podcast thing. People seem to like it so far!
  • I want my Shasradio back. Shas, where are you?

    Shasradio was one of the original listener-driven internet radio stations. (No link since the domain no longer exists). Listeners rated songs either as they played or by browsing through the playlist database. For each block of 5 songs, the station chose 3 or 4 of the highest rated songs (based on the user ratings of whomever was *currently* listening), a request (if any), and 1 or 2 "no votes yet" songs (to keep it fresh).

    I loved that station and felt re
    • Go and try Last FM []. This one is even better: they team up with AudioScrobbler [].

      Basically works like this: they keep a play list of all the songs you play through their on-line station, or in your favorite MP3 player. They try to match your play list to other play lists that contain more or less the same songs, and stream that selection to you, so you end up with a stream of music you really like but which you may not know yet.

      Works really well in a musical sense, and it is legal, but server wise it is a bu

  • by Kizzle ( 555439 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @04:21PM (#11600071)
    I run [] which is a one stop shop for 30+ underground shows. There is a single RSS feed that can be used with podcasting clients that covers all these shows. It's amazing the content out there that only a handful of people know about.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes