ETech 2005 Trip Report: Odeo — Podcasting for Everyone


These are my notes from the Odeo — Podcasting for Everyone session by Evan Williams.

Evan Williams was the founder of Blogger and Odeo is his new venture. Just as in his post How Odeo Happened Evan likens podcasting to audioblogging and jokingly states that he and Noah Glass invented podcasting with AudioBlogger. Of course, the audience knew he was joking and laughed accordingly. I do wonder though, how many people think that podcasting is simply audioblogging instead of realizing that the true innovation is the time shifting of digital media to the user’s player of choice.

The Odeo interface has three buttons across the top; Listen, Sync and Create. Users can choose to listen to a podcast from a directory of podcasts on the site directly from the Web page. They can choose to sync podcasts from the directory down to their iPod using a Web download tool which also creates Odeo specific playlists in iTunes. 

The Odeo directory also contains podcasts that were not created on the site so they can be streamed to users. If third parties would rather not have their podcasts hosted on Odeo they can ask for them to be taken down.  

The Create feature was most interesting. The website allows users to record audio directly on the website without needing any desktop software. This functionality seems to be built with Flash. Users can also save audio or upload MP3s from their hard drive which can then be spliced into their audio recordings. However one cannot mix multiple audio tracks at once (i.e. I can’t create an audio post then add in background music later, I can only append new audio).

The revenue model for the site will most likely be by providing hosting and creating services that allow people to charge for access to their podcasts. There was some discussion on hosting music but Evan pointed out that there were already several music sites on the Web andd they didn’t want to be yet another one.

Odeo will likely be launching in a few weeks but will be invitation-only at first.


Comments (1)

  1. Ujala says:

    Podcasting is now supported, for free, in nightlies of Mozilla Thunderbird, and guess what, it’s only going to get better.

    Why would anyone pay for this? This is back to dotcom economics – mediocre idea already done by Free Software, with no business feasibility.