I’m back in the office today following a short vacation to my former hometown, San Francisco, a city close to my heart and one that’s always got its finger on the pulse of technology.
Whenever I’m on vacation, I try not to think about work too much or to give Articulate sales pitches in the airports, but it inevitably ends up happening. I suppose that’s just one of those things that comes with being lucky enough to really like one’s job.
Along these lines, I read a story on the front page of the business section of Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle about Podcasts, the latest Web trend and self-publishing phenomenon since the advent of the blog. According to the Wikipedia’s definition, “‘Podcasting’ is making audio files (most commonly in mp3 format) online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user’s convenience.”
It seems that the idea behind the podcast is an audio file to go — akin to a blog entry that you download to your iPod and take on the road.
However, one of the drawbacks of this approach, based on my quick assessment of some of the existing podcasts I could find, including the one featured in the Chronicle story (Sports Pod Podcast), is that podcasters are deploying to their users a flat file, often large in size, that requires a download and/or third-party software/browser plugin to hear. Couple that with the heavy hit that a large audio file puts on a server (not to mention large amount of server space required — about a megabyte a minute in this podcast), and I see potential roadblocks before this medium can really take off.
Enter Articulate Presenter.
If you’re a podcaster or aspiring to be one, why not import your audio into Articulate Presenter, convert it to Flash, and make it available online? Not only are you going to improve your file size, but you can split your audio into more than one section and even add (via PowerPoint) any images, sponsorship, or other interactive elements you’d like.
Of course, the one drawback about this method is that it assumes online or CD-ROM-based listening, since you can’t exactly publish Articulate Presenter content to your iPod. But you could offer two versions — “to go” and “interactive.”
That’s my two cents related to this emerging podcast medium… and how Articulate Presenter can be leveraged in so many ways.
Now where’s that darn mic for me to turn this commentary into a podcast?