Simple, Free & Powerful

30 Jun 2005|Christoper Ireland

iTunes caught me by surprise this morning. Instead of my normal email announcing some new music they thought I’d like, I got a note headlined “This just in: Podcasting on iTunes.” Hmm, that’s fast, I thought. Podcasting has been around awhile on the geek circuit, but most normal people don’t have a clue what it is yet.

I decided to follow iTunes advice and check it out. The result is what makes Apple so amazing…

I clicked on a link in the email that took me to a site where I could download iTunes 4.9. Normally, I’m not up for this type of task in the morning as most downloads are guaranteed to screw up your day. But, I held my breath and took the risk: 3 minutes later, the new version of iTunes was installed and working.

I opened the application, reasonably sure that I would be unable to figure out how to subscribe to a podcast. I’ve tried on other sites before and given up after getting immersed in a sea of unintelligible acronyms or reading instructions like “the best way to get TWIT for now is still using a podcasting client that does like iPodderX.” But, here again, I underestimated Apple. Clearly visible in the left column it says “Podcasts”. How refreshingly simple.

I clicked on Podcasts and up came a list of well organized podcasts. I found three that I liked, clicked on the “subscribe” button and I was done. No need to enter any information. No choices or options to decipher. No pop-ups offering me even more cool stuff. I quickly synced my iPod and within 10 mins of getting the introductory email, I was out the door listening to KCRW’s Left, Right & Center, followed by This Week in Tech, and a quick dose of Consciousness: the Inside Story.

How much did this cost me? Nothing. How much value did it creat for Apple? Let’s see, I make most of our family’s IT decisions and we’re about to buy a new computer. Want to guess what brand it’s going to be?

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