Seth Godin has
two four thoughts on Podcasts. The first two are at first glance pessimistic and address the lack of browsability of podcasts and the time commitment they take. Then the next two are about how much he likes podcasts but questions whether there is a business model. So what would make a podcast an A list podcast?
Fred Wilson also has a very interesting post about his take on the business of podcasting. He likens it to photosharing and also thinks the browsing is a problem.
Perhaps someone will come out with an easy way to create time code based TOCs for the files. In the meantime to get around this couldn't you put a TOC on the post. At Voyager I was briefly in charge of a program called CDLink (Voyager shut shortly after I started trying to figure out what we could do with it. ) It was a sort of brilliant yet hard to place application. It enabled you to create links in web pages that would trigger a cd to play a specific track at a specific time-code. It was great for writing liner notes and essays. A critic could write about what they loved about an album, a composer could comment on their piece, etc. The flaw was that you needed to own the CD so like many Voyager products had a somewhat limited mass-market appeal. Is there a reason why real media files can't be podcasts? I had thought that you could trigger events on time code in that. Anyway I think if this is a real issue perhaps people can be creative and get around it. The issue of how to make time and sort through it is also real but just as we turn to editors for guidance we may end up with that as well.
Here is an article on MediaPost that compares Pod-Casts to Razzles.
Can podcasts survive and flourish as stand-alone artistic expressions? Remember Razzles? The product was excellent. The ad promoted sampling and once sampled, the product sold itself.
Don't forget, popularity has never been a measure of quality, and similarly, quality has certainly never been a measure of popularity. Hits are not science... they are magic.