The Ongoing History of Podcasting


August 13, 2004 was the day former MTV VJ, Adam Curry recorded a show while driving to the Netherlands. “Well, good morning everybody, and welcome to the Daily Source Code”, were Curry’s first mutterings. “Thank you very much for taking time to download that MP3 file”, he continued, “Some of  you may have received it overnight as an enclosure in your aggregator in that case, thanks for subscribing”.

Podcasting pioneer and former MTV VJ Adam Curry confusing a microphone for an ice cream cone.

Podcasting pioneer and former MTV VJ Adam Curry confusing a microphone for an ice cream cone.

While Daily Source Code  plays an important landmark in the history of podcasting, it wasn’t the first podcast to ever be recorded. That honour goes to Christopher Lynton, who recorded a show just over a year earlier . Still,  Daily Source Code, which continues to air in podcast and public radio form,  was done to recorded in order to aid  Cury’s first steps into software development,. This experiment got us one of the first “podcatchers”,   iPodder,

As a life long radio nut, who spent much of my teenage years around many radio studios in Toronto, when I first heard about the idea of being able to broadcast from my basement with no big brother monitoring my every word, I just had to give it a try. After a few attempts, I finally found my niche a few years ago when i started the Shane Alexander Show – something I did while doing some freelance work. Around that time, other local podcasts started to appear and catch on.  Humble and Fred Radio,  started a trend for local unemployed radio giants to be able to get out and play with unadulterated formats.

Like with any new medium, it needs work to build. Howard and Fred did it. I even did it. And so did Curry. Along with software developer, RRS evangelist and head of popular blog, Radio Userland, Daee Winter, the duo worked for four years to get  subscription and automatic file downloads of video and audio content to be gained easy by the public.

Apple added podcasting to its iTunes 4.9 music software and were building a directory of shows in their iTunes Music Store. They promoted creation of podcasts using its GarageBand and QuickTime Pro software and the MPEG 4 Audio format – instead of the popular MP3. Even the President was podcasting in 2005. The White House added an RRS 2.0 feed to the previously downloadable files of the president’s weekly radio address.

While locally, Humble and Fred were the first that would go from terrestrial radio to podcasting,  the first duo to do that were Jack and Stentch who had gotten axed from KYSR (Star L.A.) in 2007 and fronted their own subscription based podcast. At $5.00 a pop, the loyal followers were able to hear an hour show – free of spots. Still going strong, with over 1200 podcasts, The Jack and Stench Show  Others that have followed the popular California talents includ Adam Carolla who started a weekday podcast in March 2009. By 2011, the podcast had been downloaded 59.6 million times.

And folks,  long story short, that was the history of podcasting. While it might be the story till this very moment, the ongoing history of  Podcasting is still going. Evolving. The tech nerds will continue to find the next toy. New ideas and new forms to broadcast out to the world. We, as listeners, just have to try to keep up.



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