Thursday, July 21, 2005

iTunes Podcasting support Part Two

The following is a press release that our podcasting association AMP released today:

Is Apple Thwarting Independent Music Podcasters?

Despite the widespread proliferation of podcasts through Apple’s new iTunes version 4.9, it appears music podcasters that legally distribute independent music are being left behind and effectively locked out of the iTunes podcast directory, which is fast becoming the primary vehicle to find podcasts.

The Association of Music Podcasting (AMP) represents the largest podcasting content group in the world, with forty three members. As of this release, three weeks after the delivery of the latest version of iTunes, thirty four AMP podcast feeds remained unlisted in the iTunes directory. These podcasts were subsequently either listed in the iPodder.org directory that served as the initial basis for the iTunes client ,or were submitted within twenty-four hours of the iTunes release.

It appears Apple has placed procedural obstacles for many older, established podcasts to quickly enter its iTunes directory. Despite that brand new podcast submissions appear to be taking a reasonable amount of processing time (approximately 48 hours), many legacy podcasters have waited weeks to no presence on iTunes.

Moreover, podcasts taken from the original iPodder.org listing are barred from resubmission, with no available option to resolve the issue of podcasts "on hold."

“It’s frustrating,” says Chris MacDonald, owner of IndieFeed Podcasts, founding member and Director of Legal Affairs at AMP. “We’ve been podcasting since mid September of 2004, when this thing really got started. I have thousands and thousands of listeners; yet our fans can’t migrate to iTunes easily. We are losing loyal listeners who aren’t technically savvy or who choose not to run two podcast aggregators at a time. It’s silly to suggest Apple can’t add those feeds to their directory in a reasonable amount of time. It’s also very odd that my non-music feeds, which were provided to Apple at the same time, migrated to the iTunes directory in only two days.”

"Corporations are looking to take advantage of the roadwork that the existing podcasting community has created via an unfettered, open-choice format,” says Derrick Oien, President of AMP. Oien is one of the earliest legal music podcasters, going back to the fall of 2004. His show is among many not yet listed in the iTunes directory. Oien adds, “It appears that Apple is more concerned with molding the community to their immediate commercial needs than with embracing this open community and adhering to an effective long term strategy. We have witnessed the early evolution of podcasting at a break-neck pace, partly because podcasting’s open format rapidly adapts to fit the needs of the community at large, and successful corporations will embrace rather than attempt to control this phenomenon. AMP continues to rapidly amass a large and dedicated collective audience, and we are working with people and organizations that approach podcasting in the spirit in which it was conceived. We look forward to working with them. At some point we expect that the support we receive daily from listeners and artists will get Apple's attention."

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