I knew there were many reasons I enjoyed reading Jon Gruber, and this is one of them. In my last podcast, I spoke about Apple’s extension of RSS for features specific to the iTunes Music Store (ITMS). Jon does a much better job of explaining why this is by and large a good thing, in the end. He also points to some conversations that I also found in continuing to read up on the subject after the podcast, saving me from having to track down and post those links. He also provides the most clear write up of another issue on which I just couldn’t get a good enough handle to include in the podcast. That is problematic XML parsing in iTunes handling of podcast feeds. He shares some good conversational evidence, though, that Apple will make good faith efforts to address legitimate complaints.
The only point on which I disagree with Jon is about iTunes eventually including podcast production features. I agree with him that it is surprising that Apple has not addressed this need more strongly than their two week tutorials for using existing tools. Personally, I don’t find GarageBand that much overkill, but I don’t think it is a very comfortable fit, either. Regardless, if I understand Apple’s current approach, philosophy even, in designing software products, I would argue there is more compelling evidence of either a dedicated production tool or discrete and considered enhancements to GarageBand to make it as good a choice for the podcaster as the musician.
I am currently leaning towards the latter, because I think that would be more cost effective. I don’t like iTunes for the home of these new features because everything else about iTunes is about managing and playing back media. I don’t see the video or podcast enhancements as bloat, but fairly reasonable extension from just music into media in general. It just seems like too much metaphor shear to make it do that and any form of content creation.
I also would encourage you to follow up on his one footnote in this post. It’s given me a bit to think about, since I am three podcasts after my rather un-reflected decision to put my voice out there. I do not, as of yet, recant my decision to podcast, but I am planning on writing up and reading out a considered response to Maciej Ceglowski’s manifesto.