iTunes Podcasts Tops One Million Users 
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Written by Naitze Teng   
Tuesday, 05 July 2005

Apple released iTunes 4.9, the latest version of their popular music management software for PC and Mac this past Tuesday. The most noticeable change comes in the form of podcast support that lets users select podcasts as a source of music, along with their libraries, radio and iTunes music store. Podcasting is the idea of a content provider, like an Internet radio station, a newspaper or news channel, sending content directly to your MP3 device. The iPod is the king of portable music storage and, when sitting in its doc overnight, it can automatically load itself with a truly impressive array of content. Podcasters enjoy morning commutes and afternoon workouts with the entire Wall Street Journal or unique Beatles performances right on their iPods.

Podcasts and software for managing them have been around for some time now, catering to a loyal but still small audience seeking an alternative to traditional radio broadcasts. With the latest iTunes release, though, podcasting is being thrust into the spotlight. Only two days after its release, Apple announced over a million users had subscribed to one of the 3,000 free Podcasts listed on their directory. KCRW, a popular public radio station in Los Angeles, has been offering podcasts of their programming for months now. After being included in the Podcast directory, KCRW reported a tenfold increase in downloads.

While Apple isn’t the first to offer podcasting management, iTunes offers unparalleled integration. It makes podcasting, which some people have found too technical or confusing, simple and easy to understand. The Podcast Directory has the ability to popularize podcasting in the same way that the iTunes Music Store changed the face of legal music downloads.

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