I was on the WebTalk Guys this weekend talking about time-shifted audio content. You can listen here (it's a free MP3).
Also, I received a comment about one of my postings recently on the same topic, which bears repeating here and a full response:
This sort of Time Shifting is already available for streamed Internet radio. Check out Replay Radio here:
Replay Radio lets you schedule shows to record, and then it saves them as MP3 files or burns them to an audio CD automatically. The software costs $29.95, and you can try a free demo from the site to see how it works before you buy it.
Posted by: Bill Dettering at October 26, 2003 09:25 PM
Actually, no, that's not what I am describing. I'd like something far more radical than the time-shifting feature. I want to shift attention away from the mass media to the many media. Audible has had time-shifting for years, now, but the whole industry needs to go further!
Replay Radio requires there be a stream from an existing radio programming source to record in the first place, which means it is only a half-step away from today's media -- it's predicated on today's media. It's, as the site says, a VCR for the radio -- what we need isn't just TiVo, but a completely new channel for content offered outside of the streaming environment, which is still incredibly inefficient. I want to be able to subscribe to a program and have it delivered on my schedule without having to have to set a system to record from a stream.
For instance, I was on WebTalk Guys this week and the show was pre-empted on the local radio station because of a football game. I'd have missed the show using Replay Radio to record that stream.
Now, as for finding individual shows, Replay Radio does let you do that, but it doesn't provide the kind of marketing channel I think is needed to promote a show, since it funnels the entire experience through a single interface. If Replay Radio decides to be a marketer of programming the cost of getting exposure in the application interface will probably rise; if not, Replay hasn't got the incentives/resources to stretch a wide net to find new content and categorize it -- unless it embraces RSS with enclosures.
Replay Radio's Quick Capture feature is pretty nifty and probably would get the company sued if users recorded secured music from the sound card after it was decrypted. Not that I object to that, but from a pragmatist's viewpoint, it is something to consider.
Finally, the big thing is that Replay Radio isn't providing an economic model for the programmer to invest in time-shifting, whether that programmer is a ClearChannel or a single producer of content. Simply capturing audio doesn't enable any new business model to support content creation.
Clearly, I am far more concerned about how the small content player can get off the the ground. The fact that Audible, with whom I've worked for years, is embedded in most MP3 players and has a working secure delivery regime that is rational and fair to the consumer, allowing multiple copies and flexible playback options, makes it my platform of choice for the self-publishing audio efforts. They just don't do it yet and if anyone wants to see them do it, let me know and I'll pass it along to Audible as feedback.Posted by Mitch Ratcliffe at October 26, 2003 11:39 PM | TrackBack