Friday, March 18, 2005

Odeo details released

Evan Williams, one of the founders of Blogger, has decided to take on podcasting as his next project, through a company he's started called Odeo. At this week's "Etech" developer's convention he finally did a public presentation on the service; MAKE magazine recently ran a synopsis of the talk, along with a number of photos of Odeo in action. As I guessed in the past, the company is simultaneously going to serve both podcasters and those who want to listen to podcasts, in what looks like a heavy dependence on Macromedia Flash to make it all work.

According to the MAKE entry, podcast creators will be able to record directly through their web browser if they want, via an application Odeo has developed; they can also upload standalone files if they'd rather do it that way, or use a phone to record their casts, much like Audioblogger currently works. Podcast owners will also be able to publish associated notes for a particular cast, and even charge money for subscribing if they want. Users, then, will be able to play the files in real time in their browser if they want, or download them (in both MP3 and WinMedia formats), search for specific topics by tag, post comments to the page where the original podcast can be found, and of course subscribe to different podcasts so that they're automatically delivered, which is where 'podcasting' got its name to begin with. For those who are curious, Williams says that there will be a combination of free and pay accounts for Odeo, and they're also going to start a related service, matching podcasters with advertisers if they want to do such a thing.

I'm excited!