an interview

just finished typing this out for a journalist, figured i’d put the unedited version here. it’s nice to have public records of interviews like this sometimes, and it’s kind of topical. so there.

what is podcasting?
podcasting is, at its core, just audio presented to you in a different way than you’re used to. what that means is that it’s an audio file (usually an mp3 file) presented to listeners through (free) subscription using a technology called RSS. it’s like having the newspaper appear on your doorstep instead of having to check the newsstand every day.

the importance of it relies not in the medium, but in the fact that it’s absolutely possible for the average person to take control of it. it’s a step towards taking control of the world around you and being a producer rather than a consumer.

what does setting up one’s own podcast entail?
honestly, it’s very simple. record your voice using either your computer or an entirely seperate device, and make an mp3 out of it. there’s all sorts of free software to do this, and you can learn how to do it in a couple of hours, max. once you’ve put that file up on a server, you set up a ‘feed’- a feed is what your computer (using iTunes or another application) uses to find out if a new podcast has come out… it’s what lets you be lazy self. your computer checks for you.

does it have anything to do with ipods?
not really. or if so, only inasmuch as ipods are the quintessential mp3 player. it’s just a convenient use of ‘pod’ to represent portable and digital listening technology, and ‘casting’ from broadcasting.

is apple benefitting from this anyway?
of course! if a technology that’s taking over audio had a name that resembles your popular music player, you’d be pretty happy too! it’s one of the reasons apple was an early adopter of the technology.

does apple control podcasting?
absolutely not. no one controls podcasting. the people control podcasting.

what impact is podcast having?

  1. it’s making companies bend to the will of the consumer and take their listening in the way the consumers want it. this includes WHEN, WHERE and HOW, which doesn’t sit well with radio. you don’t have to sit through a 30 second commercial to get to your favourite britney song, and that upsets the current institution.
  2. it’s letting people speak out. people with a computer and a bit of know how can reach people in ways they never thought possible before.
  3. listeners/consumers have a certain number of hours per day in which they consume media (tv, radio, internet, etc.). podcasting lets the little guy take a little bit of that pie be taken away from mega corporations and turn people’s attention back to regular people. when you wanted to get onto radio before, you needed radio’s permission. now you don’t need anyone’s. you’re gaining control again, a little bit at a time.

tell me about your podcast.
my podcast is called in over your head, and can be found at i have been doing it for over a year, and am one of the first people to try out the technology in canada. i didn’t really get the idea from anywhere – i just started recording my own thoughts on things and putting them to music i enjoyed. i didn’t have a plan to make it as popular a thing as it has become – that has been a positive, but coincidental, side-effect.

i do a variety of things on my podcast. i comment on issues of interest – political, social, or just daily life stuff. i play underground music – usually hip hop, electronic, or indie. sometimes i just do dj sets, sometimes i just talk or do interviews. it is a personal ‘station’ that represents my interests, which is also the interests of a lot of young people.

my podcast is honestly very hard to define. it doesn’t fit into any particular slot, and isn’t easily categorized. it needs to be listened to in order to really understand.

what is podcasting an upgraded version of?
it’s an upgraded version of whatever it is you’re interested in. if you like beer, there’s a podcast out there that will tell you about beer. if you’re enough of a sheep to love britney spears, i’m sure someone out there is just as interested in her life as you are. and if you don’t find one, START ONE. just start taking action to make yourself heard.





One response to “an interview”

  1. Ann Cooms Avatar
    Ann Cooms

    Understand very little abt this subject. What I really want to know is how a Community Radio Station can make programs available for anyone to download by using Internet. Does that make sense? Need to know how it would work, what permits etc, and some on cost. Please help – been googling for hours and your site it closest I’ve come. Many thanks

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