The First Rule of Podcasting...
... is that you don't talk about podcasting.
Remember when you first started blogging, and basically every third post was something like "isn't this weird? Look at this odd activity I'm doing. And look, here's a link to someone else thinking about blogging too. Wow." That's pretty much what's happening with the newest form of audioblogging called podcasting (same thing, with some automated downloading thrown in). I've listened to several "podcasts" out there, and from what I've heard so far they're mostly about the details of podcasting. Urgh. It'd be nice if they got on with it already. I remember there was definitely a point in my blogging life when I finally said, alright, no more blogging about blogging. I think the podcasting folk need to do the same very soon...
That said. Something struck me as I was listening to this Gillmor Gang at Gnomedex (which was all about the subject as well). The most important thing said was when Steve Gillmor asked the assembled crew if they had an iPod, and Dan Gillmor responded, "Yes, but I don't use it any more because I have a large memory card in my Treo."
You know Salesforce.com's anti-software button? Well I just made an anti-MP3 player button. It doesn't mean that MP3 players are bad, it means that mobile phones are going to eat their lunch. At first software on the web seemed ridiculous, no? But now CRM as a service seems like a no brainer. Same thing here. First it'll be just audio on your mobile phone's memory card - like my Nokia Series 60 device, or your Treo 600. Then it'll be on-demand streaming media. With my UMTS 3G phone I get over 200kbps downstream... about as good as basic DSL. Why bother copying music over to my device before I leave the house when I'll be able to just play it on demand?
This the real future and where all this stuff is going. Podcasting (defined as automatic download and syncing of non-commercial audio to your hard-drive driven audio device) is just a temporary stop-gap to this obvious end. My wife still loves her iPod mini and I don't listen to the 200MB of MP3s I have on my phone much because I'm usually near something that plays audio back with better quality. But soon, everyone will be like Dan, listening to their audio on their mobile phone, first on their big-ass memory card, then via streaming cellular data.
And the thing that's going to surprise everyone? It's how fast this will all happen.