Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Where's the Music in Podcasting?

I am intrigued by podcasting and have wanted to try it out myself. I am also a fan of radio via the Internet. The death of my little radio at work coincided with the birth of CBC Radio livestreaming. Truth be told, I'm also fond of Groove Salad, an ambient music station with no commercials or conversation from volunteer-run Soma FM broadcasting from San Francisco.

So, wouldn't it be cool to have some of my favourite music in a podcast format so I could download it to my MP3 player, so I needn't be tied to my computer to hear it?

USA Today has published an excellent article on this very topic: Storm clouds gather over podcasting. It explains that music is not yet allowed in podcasts:

Since podcasts are recordings, they can be played at any time. Listeners can pause, fast-forward or rewind them. And since podcasts are posted online, listeners can download programs from radio stations and independent broadcasters from all over the world.

The podcasts can also be hacked and pirated. An enterprising listener could pull songs out of a podcast and turn them into music files or CDs.

That's why many record companies say the technology is promising but problematic. For example, OK Go and several other emerging bands with EMI have their own podcasts. But EMI is not ready to approve a blanket podcasting license.


Record and radio companies have struck a blanket licensing agreement for streaming based on traditional radio licenses. No such agreement exists for podcasting.

So, until such time as agreements change for radio stations, podcasting will remain the domain of talk programs and instructional dialogues. Now I know why.


James Milles said...

A lot of podcasters have turned this into an opportunity to promote independent music. See Podsafe Music Network. For Canadian content, see The Bob and AJ Show and mostlytunes.

Connie Crosby said...

Excellent point, Jim. I note in the PodQuiz website I just posted to, they are including "podcast friendly" music. What a great way to promote indy music.

Thank you for the terrific links!