I Want My MP3: Former VJ Offers Web Users Syndicated Shows On MP3

As it turns out, you can do more with mp3s than just play music. Adam Curry, weblogger and former MTV VJ, has started offering visitors what he calls a "daily audio log" of syndicated radio shows through an iPod or other mp3 player. The project is called iPodder, and it uses RSS (really simple syndication) feeds with mp3 enclosures to allow users to download audio files from the Web to their mp3.

On an "iPodder" Web site, which Curry created, he writes that those who syndicate their material via iPodder have found the tool helpful in distributing their work. He notes that iPodder is still in development--it's only a month old--but adds that hundreds of people are using it every day.

iPodder makes audio mp3 or Windows Media Player files available via RSS--an electronic content feed with a piece of XML attached to it, enabling the content to be delivered over real-time networks to recipients. Users choose the feed they want, and aggregators then cull the files from Curry's iPodder site and deliver them through an application to an mp3. Audio blogs currently being syndicated via iPodder include: Adam Curry's The Daily Source Code, RSS founding father Dave Winer's Morning Coffee Notes, IT Conversations, Evil Genius Chronicles, RasterWeb, Blogdigger Audio, and FreeFlow.

The creation of iPodder raises the prospect of true, open source audio programming on the Internet. Think TiVo for audio files that continuously record your favorite shows for you, so you can listen to them while you're walking, driving, running, or gardening.

Currently, versions are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. The Mac version uses AppleScript; other versions are offered in the Perl and Python XML programming languages.

Curry writes on the iPodder Web site: "This isn't just about music, copyrighted or not... Getting a new audio show onto your iPod is analogous to watching TV after you've plugged in the cable, power cord and installed new batteries in the remote."

A short article Tuesday from tech blog Slashdot.com resulted in a surge in interest from the developing community for the iPodder application. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 63 messages from 54 developers involved in a community workshop.

"To gain as wide an audience as possible, getting the shows onto those millions of iPods has to be as simple as turning the damn thing on," Curry writes. "That's why I made iPodder. You run it, it checks for new stuff and loads it into your ipod, all you have to do is choose what new items you want to listen to."

iPodder is not Curry's first high-tech venture. In the 1990s, he was the chief technology officer for THINK New Ideas, Inc., which merged in 1999 with the Answerthink Consulting Group at a $230 million valuation.

Adam Curry did not respond to an interview request by press time.