Boy, did I get an introduction to podcasting at Tech-Ed. By chance, the webcast team shared central control room with the Podcast crew. These guys were working, literally around the clock, to capture video moments of all sorts at TechEd. Leading the charge was Mike Hall, Technical Product Manager at Microsoft's Mobile Embedded Device group. Here's Mike's intro on podcasting that you can also read on the TechEd podcasting page:"A podcast is an audio or video file that you can subscribe to online. The advantage to a podcast is that you don't need to remember to go back and get the newest information from your favorite online source. Once you subscribe to the podcast it will automatically show up in your reader. The readers are usually free or low cost. The majority of podcasts are available as audio files in MP3 format, syndicated through an RSS (XML) file. Other formats and other types of files, such as video, can also be podcasted. The content is downloaded to your desktop PC or mobile device. It's not streamed, so you can access the content when you want."
These guys got me into the act. Check out my podcast espousing the wonders of TechNet webcasts and blogs.
The TechEd Bloggers dudes put together a page where you can view all the TechEd podcasts without a podcast reader, if you want a quick introduction.
We podcast one of our MSDN webcasts this week, to try it out. Here's Joe Hummel, MSDN presenter extraordinaire, broadcasting from the Podcast room:
And here's the view from your machine. That's Pete Grondal of Microsoft Studios on the desktop shot. Pete's got the passion for Podcasts. Meanwhile, Craig Mathewson from MSStudios was editing editing editing away on all the video footage these guys shot over the week. I used to work with Craig editing videos from my Microsoft Interactive Distance Learning days. These guys roamed every square inch of the convention center on Segways shooting up the conference.
These guys are pushing the envelope of podcasting at Microsoft. Pete describes podcasting as a genre, much like rock or country of pop. If you check out genres on a portable media center, they're listed there. It's your own daily news show, or documentary, or Day in the Life. A slice of time. The cool thing about it is that the content is pushed to your desktop by the RSS podcast reader. You don't have to go looking for the content, it comes to you after you subscribe to a podcast feed. And it's non-linear- you can watch just what you want.
How will this change our webcast world? Remains to be seen, but wouldn't it be great if you could register for an entire webcast series to be pushed to your machine as they become available? Not just links to the content, but the actual media files- the actual content! Stay tuned for more here.... Do you have ideas on how we should be using podcasts? Let me know.
I leave you with a shot of the podcast crew on their segways on a mission for their next shoot.