One of the ideas being toyed with by our Learning Newsroom Tech Gang is having The Spec.com deliver the work of some of our key personalities via podcasts.
(Podcasting is a way of publishing audio content - allowing subscribers to download and listen to recordings when it's convenient for them, as opposed to radio when you have to catch it when it happens to be 'broadcast'.)
As an experiment, we're posting the Spec's first podcast Download jeff_test_two.mp3 4 minutes and 43 seconds of Jeff Mahoney reading "Of Lice and Men", a column from earlier this year. Sound Engineering god Rob Faulkner recorded Jeff on his pocket Olympus digital recorder which, while offering sound that is something short of broadcast quality, is still pretty good for a test. (Depending on how your computer is configured, it may start playing all by itself, or you should be able to listen to the file by double clicking on it, or by dragging it into an open web browser window, or by launching iTunes and dragging into the "library window" and clicking play. Tap me on the shoulder if you're having troubles.)
Just a gimmick?
But maybe not. Podcasting is gaining wide acceptance on the web, moving beyond the amateur audio bloggers (geeks talking about Deep Space Nine or the latest Linux hack) and into a professional broadcast alternative. Apple's wildy successful iTunes music store offers a Podcasting section with thousands of podcast 'feeds' including ABC News, and ESPN.