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November 11, 2005

Portable Media Expo, Day 1

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The gang and I just returned from Day One of the Portable Media Expo & Podcasting Conference. In some ways, it indeed did feel like the Woodstock of podcasting as Robert Walch of Podcast411 was quoted as saying in a recent Wired Magazine article. No doubt we witnessed some stuff today that will forever change the way that people consume media.

This morning we recorded a live podcast from the LA Podcasters booth. Kudos to Lance and the rest of the gang there for setting that up. It was fun to record with David and Seth for the first time and it turned out pretty well. We spent the rest of the day attending sessions, cruising exhibits and meeting some very cool people at some amazing companies.

First up, I want to give props to the people at Taldia. A while back I thought that it would be pretty neat for someone to be able to set up a customized list of stuff that you could list to during your commute. For example, let's say that you had a commute of 25 minutes in the morning and wanted to listen to ten minutes of sports stories, five minutes of politics and ten minutes of your favorite podcast. You would be able to set up the service, go to sleep and wake up in the morning with that content pre-loaded to your iPod.

Well, after two years of development Taldia has pulled off something remarkably like what I had envisioned. It's a cool little service and although there are still some things that I think could be improved it could catch on pretty quickly. They have a large content pool and a clean interface. The only thing they are missing is a good domain name. Perhaps I'll be able to interest them in CustomCommute.com (a name I registered back when I had the idea)... :)

Next up, let's talk about Audible.com. They launched their WordCast service at the Expo and it's also quite impressive. Essentially it's a platform for people looking to monetize podcasts, either through advertising or through an upfront fee. By being the first to market with this tool they've beaten others like Odeo and Podshow to the punch. Their reach and experience in the space makes this look like a category-killer. Kudos to those guys for doing another thing well.

A few more random shout-outs to some people I bumped into along the way today (in no particular order): Steve Sergeant with The Wildebeat, Limelight Networks, Mel Sparks at Clever Girl Pictures, the folks at Bitpass, Dave Sampson at MixMeister, Paul Colligan at PremiumPodcasting.com, Obadiah Greenberg with UC-Berkeley the gang at ioda and everyone else who I met today and can't scrape up a URL for.

A few final thoughts:

-Adam Curry's reception at the Podcasting Awards was a little subdued. I thought that was unfortunate. He has done so much for podcasting and should have received a standing ovation.

-Tim Bourquin who put the event on is an absolute class act. The first day of the conference went amazingly well especially since it was the first event of its type. A tip of the hat to Tim and everyone else involved for all of their hard work.

-The podcasting community is fun. It's pretty rare to see such a diverse group of people at a conference ranging from hard core techies to brash entrepreneurs to inquisitive academics types and much more.

I can't imagine having much more fun tomorrow but I'll try. And I'll be back with another report tomorrow night.