I’ve been pondering the dedicated podcast devices tossed around by Rojas-Winer-Calacanis. The power and simplicity of it are quite attractive.
I’m on board with the following:
- Data Input/Output: Wifi. No need for anything else.
- Supported Media Formats: MP3, Ogg Vorbis, anything else open & cheap.
- Pre-selling a small initial run as financing.
As an interface designer and podcaster, the biggest challenge I see in this device is the interaction to discover and subscribe to podcasts.
Even today, this process is fairly complex . The attempts I’ve seen to simplify it only add to the problem (TiVo, iTunes, etc) by creating a proprietary, artificially restricted silo.
Some initial thoughts:
- A default link to the podcast.opml.org directory and Share Your OPML on some
- A custom keypad specialized for RSS subscription. Maybe keys for ‘org/com/net’, etc. I’d be unfortunate to see a full-size keypad or a constrained phone keypad – neither of those work great for mobile devices.
- Since we’re using WiFi, this device could have a web server baked-in and subscriptions managed through a web browser accessed from another computer. Even remotely – so others could recommend podcasts to their friends (via OPML?).