Podcasting as we know it today started life just over ten years ago. None of the technologies that now serve, advertise and download and play podcasts existed back then and it was all very experimental and suck-it-and-see. Indeed, the term “podcast” hadn’t yet been applied to such audio content – I called it an “audioblog”.
The spark of interest that set me off came from Dave Slusher, that Evil Genius, Adam Curry, and another whose name I’ve forgotten. My podcast was certainly among the very first in the world, and certainly the first in Australia.
Another early podcaster to remember is Mr. Enthusiast for Enthusiasm himself, Mark VandeWettering. Mark started recording audio blogs a few weeks after me.
My idea for my contribution to this experiment was to supply an audio description of the photographs that I’d taken that day for my photoblog, lookANDsee. I used “Audacity” open-source software to record and edit my words, and I used WordPress blogging software to publish the audio file alongside the photographs.
In my world, in order to qualify as a published podcast, my blog’s RSS feed had to contain a pointer to the file. Given that this was all very experimental I had to hack the PHP code for a WordPress plug-in to include the audio file as an enclosure.
Others were writing ‘podcatching’ software and used my podcast as test material which helped advertise its presence.
Again, this was early days. Far too early for Apple to have included the mechanism to permit subscribing to podcasts in iTunes.
I went as far as including the day’s photographs as album art in the .mp3 file in order to better present the audio and images as one file.
I made some live recordings – i.e. described the environment as I walked through it while looking for that day’s image.
I also recorded an episode while mobile – driving home one evening – as I said, all very experimental.
One fun podcast was my recording of me walking the dogs one summer morning and presenting it as the day’s content for my photoblog – a soundscape in place of a landscape.
In all I recorded around 110 podcasts before the novelty wore off and I moved on to other things.
All audio files still live on on my photoblog, the first being published on August 25, 2004. Ten years ago today.
If anybody’s particularly curious all podcasts can be accessed, in reverse chronological order, via the tag “podcast” on lookANDsee.