The mushroom cloud you will be looking for is from the explosion that is going to happen over the next few days/weeks. Today Apple released an update to it's music software application iTunes and it now supports podcast subscriptions so those of us who dig podcasts don't have to have a crazy little program to get them.
Normally you would have to download an application like Podcast Tuner and when you found a podcast you enjoyed have it download the podcast for you automatically or you would have to track down the website and get them manually like I do at work. Then you would have to copy and paste in a line of code or an address like a URL called an RSS feed into the software so it would automatically download the latest podcasts from those folks. It sounds somewhat technical, but it was really easy to do.
But now you don't have to worry about that because Apple made it easier and it's all built into iTunes.
What is even better about this release is that Apple has set up a podcast directory that is almost identical to their exquisite iTunes Music Store. For those of you who don't know about the music store, you can pay 99 cents for a song or as low at $9.99 for a CD and download the songs. There are other music downloading services that you can use and they sometimes are cheaper than iTunes, but what makes it great is the way they have it set up. There is something to be said about the shopping experience and it seems like most people will pay the few extra cents to go first class with iTunes.
So in this podcast directory you can easily search through all of the podcasts that have signed up and even publish your own podcast if you get frisky.
To put it in perspective, there are only about 3,000 to 5,000 people at the most that are actually podcasting. You might think that this is a big number of people, but it's not in the grand scheme of things. There are millions and millions of people on the net and some say about 8 to 10 million are blogging like we are here at the Incongruent-Affect.
Basically Apple has just spent probably millions of dollars developing this software and setting up this directory for iTunes and they did it so these 5,000 or so people could have a way to distribute their little radio shows.
5,000 people did this and Apple obviously sees a lot of potential in this podcast medium. Imagine what will happen when those 5,000 are 100,000. And I'm not sure that I may not start a podcast myself. I can just post the links and RSS feed right here for you all to download. Merlin could create the first ever psychiatry podcast and go off on Tom Cruise every other day.
If you get in on it now you have a chance at labeling yourself a pioneer.