Podcasting: The Next Generation

No, I'm not going to start podcasting... you don't want to hear me um my way through trying to sound interesting. A lot of people who are podcasting today are doing it because they can, not because they're particularly good at it.

Podcasting is an interesting medium because it brings a pseudo-online experience to places where you're otherwise totally disconnected, like when you're driving, or when you're exercising. You can have your little mp3 player with you wherever you are, and listen to what someone has to say.

There are two ways I think the next generation podcasting tools can make radical improvements:

First, by including metadata in the broadcasts that describes what the broadcasts contain. A list of chapters, topics, songs, whatever. Give the podcasting tools the ability to markup a broadcast, and then either add metadata support to the players (eventually), or short term, have the podcasting software break the single broadcast up into multiple tracks so you can skip forward and backwards through the show.

This would be great for large shows like Luxux Musix where listening to a podcast is less fun than listening to other tracks on your player because you can't skip around in them.

The other way I think podcasting can be improved, and this is a bit of a stretch, would be to make it 2-way. Turn a podcast into talk radio by letting me record my comments on your post/track and trackback them back to you. This would turn a broadcast into a discussion - a round table among however many people want to participate. It could degenerate into chaos, or it could develop into something cool and unique. I'm not sure which. :)