Apple unveiled the next update to its popular iTunes media distribution tool to developers recently and something was very quickly noticed: it doesn’t have a section for podcasts anymore. Here’s why they’re removing it from iTunes and why it’s a good thing.
Wait … Podcasts? Again?
A few years ago, podcasting was supposed to be the next big thing. All of the marketing gurus and experts were telling us that if we weren’t recording for podcast distribution, we were going to be left behind.
That didn’t happen. Just like the later “video or else” boom, podcasts didn’t really pan out the way many had expected. Now, though, there appears to be a resurgence of podcasting amongst the Internet at large as, anecdotal evidence seems to say that more and more are turning to podcasting as an option. It’s certainly become the new age of radio, with nearly all talk and even some music radio going digital and online.
Nixed from iTunes
The next version of iTunes doesn’t look like it’ll include podcasts as a genre or menu option. It’s expected that the new version of iTunes will release publicly later this summer, but when it does, rumor says that something else will be coming too.
A few years ago, iTunes still included smart phone apps for iOS devices. Then, suddenly, they weren’t there anymore and Apple’s App Store was born. This created an app mecca for iPhone users. Now, it’s just considered standard for Apple device owners to go to the App Store when they want new software and to iTunes when they want media.
The same is going to happen to podcasts. Apple seems to think they’re important enough to give them their own app. It will release with the iOS 6 software coming out later this fall, says AllThingsD.
This isn’t unprecedented in Apple history. Along with the App Store, in recent memory, Apple also separated the music and video sections of iTunes and when iBooks launched, it was its own app as well. Apple’s educational iTunes U has its own app and will, reportedly, also be removed from the regular iTunes menus with this new release.
A Good Thing?
This move makes podcasts seem more important and thus will probably help to promote them as a communications medium. For Apple, this helps to consolidate the iTunes offerings and meet with customer demands that it be slimmed down so it’s easier to use.
In the end, this is probably good for podcasts and Apple consumers as a whole.