Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Podfather Reviews: Podcasting, 2000 B.C.

I was a toddler when podcasting first made its major appearance in the world, and I’d say I was pretty cute toddler, also. I don’t remember what some of the first podcasts sounded like because I was too busy watching the first episode of “Dora the Explorer.” I had other priorities at the moment.

Podcasting in the late '90s and early 2000s started on the internet like all podcasts, but there was no Apple podcast app or Stitcher — there was Real Site Summary. Known as an “RSS Feed” for short, it allowed for users to subscribe to podcasts from around the web to be sent to their individual computers on-demand. 

It was the first "podcatcher," and many of the first podcasts out on the internet took advantage of it. I listened to a few of these podcasts this week to see how they compare to modern podcasting. And trust me, it was bit hard to find some of these older podcasts. Some are archived on obscure websites, but most are lost and gone from the web. 

But what I did find surprised me. Some of the first podcasts definitely shared characteristics of today, but it’s easy to hear how far podcasting has come from the “jurassic” age of the early 2000s.  

“Daily Source Code”

If this show doesn’t exemplify how far podcasting has come in terms of content, then I don’t know what will.

Adam Curry, considered to be a “pioneer” of podcasting, created the Daily Source Code as an avenue just to talk about everyday news, personal life events and play music. It began in 2004, and he kept the show running for almost an entire decade, amassing more than 500,000 subscribers at the podcast’s peak. 

With the episode I was able to find, the podcast almost sounds like a “classic hits” radio station, where the radio DJ intros each music break with a cheesy, metal guitar solo. It’s not much of a different experience than from what you would hear listening in a car, except the fact that the show’s length is however long Curry wants it to be. 

At this point, I don’t think Curry fully realized the capabilities that podcasting could have with the kind of content one could create beyond traditional radio. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t realize it either. That’s why I feel like I can’t criticize this podcast as much for its lack of creativity. 

I mean, Curry was on the leading edge of the podcasting industry at the time by just creating a podcast in itself. Curry’s personality shines through well, which is why I think people liked his show. 

It’s an interesting listen, but not something I would do again.

Rating: 3 out of 5 earbuds

“This Week In Tech”

This podcast was started by Leo Laporte in 2005 as a show to talk to industry experts about up and coming cool technology that was hitting the scene, and it was considered one of the top ten podcasts of 2006 by TIME magazine.

I can see where “round-table discussion” style of podcasts potentially get some inspiration, as this show is a classic version of exactly that — a group of people sitting around a table discussing a topic.

Laporte is a skilled host directing questions at experts throughout the show, and the episode I was listening to from 2008 has some hilarious, dated references. Does anyone remember the cringe-inducing, fiery-train-wreck Microsoft Vista software? I sure do, and Laporte was just starting to wrestle with it. He had no idea what was coming.

The show is pleasant to listen to in the background, and it passes along fine as a standard podcast one would hear today -- not too shabby.

Rating: 2 out of 5 earbuds

“Radio Open Source”

This show, hosted former public radio announcer Christopher Lydon, was inspired by Lydon’s audio “web blogs” where he would interview guests in a makeshift recording studio in 2003.

There’s a bit of a debate between whether Christopher Lydon or Adam Curry created the first podcast, but nevertheless Lydon’s podcast eventually became what is now known today as Radio Open Source

I admit: I cheated a bit with reviewing this podcast. I couldn’t find any verified episodes from 2003, so I listened to an episode from 2012. 

Lydon’s influence from public radio is evident, as the show’s format is setup like any other public radio style interview show. It’s really informative, and Lydon seems pretty comfortable in front of the microphone.

It’s not much different from other interview shows out in the podcasting industry, but it’s definitely well-produced. Because the podcast is still running, it would probably be worth listening to some of the more recent episodes, too. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

Liam Niemeyer is a senior studying journalism in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Will you give these a listen? Let Liam know by tweeting him @liamniemeyer.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH