iTunes 4.9

Used to be you waited a week, maybe a MONTH to upgrade.  But those were the days before OS X.  Having NEVER had a fuck up with an upgrade yet, I downloaded iTunes 4.9, and its companion software, iPod Updater 2005-06-26, TODAY!  You see, I just don’t want to be left out of the podcast REVOLUTION!

Oh, I was intrigued by Dawn and Drew.  But when Nicole Sandler placed her interview with Ray Davies from the old 101.9 on her Website, I had to listen.  I was PLANNING on taking it into the mountains with me, but I just couldn’t wait, I listened to it on my desktop, I was just that interested, even though the conversation was half a decade old.

Used to be you MISSED your favorite band on the radio, you either made an appointment or the appearance escaped into the ether, never to be heard again.  But now, we’ve got kind of a TiVo for radio.  Playing back all that stuff we weren’t even sure we wanted to listen to, whenever we want to hear it.  FURTHERMORE, unlike regular radio, you can fast forward through it.

It’s EXCITING!

That’s what the music business is missing, EXCITEMENT!

Oh, I yearn for the days of 2000.  When Derek Shulman told me his seventy-odd year old father-in-law was downloading old Yiddish music from Napster.  When everywhere I went people wanted to talk about music.  When Napster was on the cover of NEWSWEEK!  Today this buzz is gone, replaced by the comings and goings of faux celebrities.  Music is just another entertainment medium instead of THE entertainment medium.

Installing Tiger, downloading iTunes 4.9, it’s like buying "Let It Bleed".

Yup, I was with Marc Goloff at Korvette’s.  He bought the record, we came back to his house, dropped the needle and heard GIMMIE SHELTER!  It’s a moment I’ll never forget.  I felt fully ALIVE, a member of a secret CLUB, better than the one everyday people belonged to.

iTunes 4.9 integrates podcasts.  It allows you to SUBSCRIBE TO THEM!  It makes the revolution REAL!

You don’t have to be a Mac user to participate, the software works on Windows (although I won’t guarantee flawless installation).  Please, go to apple.com and download iTunes 4.9 RIGHT NOW!

And, after installing it, click on the program’s icon, load it.

Under Library you’ll see a new menu listing.  PODCASTS!  With a purple microphone icon.  God, it’s like those colors they use in the iPod ads, just a little unsafe, just one step over the edge, just what mainstream corporations are afraid to use, since their focus groups are not FAMILIAR with the color and do not react positively.

But if you click on Podcasts, you find nothing.  Turns out this is just the REPOSITORY for YOUR podcasts.  But, at the bottom of the window, click on "Podcast Directory".  Suddenly the iTunes Music Store will load, suddenly, you’ll be at Ground Zero of the podcast revolution.  YESTERDAY, podcasting was underground, you had to hunt and search.  TODAY, behind the scenes workers have assembled a fully-finished WORLD!

There’s already a listing of the Top 100 podcasts.  There are twenty one categories.  It’s a veritable CORNUCOPIA of information!!

Click on a title.  You can either listen right there, right now, in iTunes, or you can DOWNLOAD the show, so it will sync with your iPod and you can take it EVERYWHERE!  And, if it’s an ongoing series, you can SUBSCRIBE!

It’s MESMERIZING!

Credit Adam Curry.  The man truly invented a whole new MEDIUM!  It’s not television, it’s not radio, it’s on demand INFORMATION, that you can listen to wherever you want whenever you want to the degree you want to hear it.

And all the shows are free.

God, Apple said they’d release this software within sixty days and it’s barely been over thirty.  When was the last time a RECORD COMPANY ever released a product EARLY, when did we get MORE than we expected, when were we WOWED!  Rather than sit back and wait for a market to develop, Apple has found a cool idea and is CHAMPIONING IT, developing it, BUILDING IT!

Where’s MICROSOFT?  Where’s REAL?  Where’s NAPSTER?  It’s not like podcasts have been hidden.  It’s just those companies don’t believe in innovation, they just capitalize on what others create.  And now they’re mad that Apple has created a music market and they’ve been LEFT OUT OF IT!

Not that there’s much in the way of music podcasts.  There’s plenty of talk, plenty of information, a few unsigned acts.  But exposure of full songs by developing acts??  The major labels can’t have that.  You’ve got to keep the tunes LOCKED UP!  Someone might slice and dice them, turn them into MP3s, TRADE THEM!  The labels need to get PAID!  New technology is only good when it comports with the old model.

Music should be driving the podcasting world, instead it’s the laggard, bringing up the rear.  The labels have done SUCH a good job of scaring off the proletariat that they’ve KILLED the market.  God, they should be licensing people to broadcast their songs like CRAZY!  Certainly all the new and developing acts, the ones MTV and radio won’t play.  PODCAST THIS STUFF, FUCK MTV and radio.

Not that the renegades are being held back.  On the upper lefthand corner of the Podcast homepage, you’ll see "Publish A Podcast".  Click on this.  You’ll see it’s as easy as providing the link to the RSS feed of the podcast.  (Oh, you don’t know what RSS is? I feel sorry for you.)  Yup, suddenly the indie, the INDIVIDUAL, is on the same footing as the major label, it’s their WORST NIGHTMARE!  You’d think Zach Horowitz and Andy Lack wouldn’t let this happen.  But they’re too busy trying to sue people into the past to embrace the present.

Podcasting is no joke.  It will change your life.  Today, if you download the software and update your iPod.  Or tomorrow, when you hear all your buds talk about it and you feel left out and you finally purchase an iPod and partake.

Oh, you could have purchased a Creative Zen to have tethered downloads from Napster.  But then you’d be left out.  It’s like going to see Bobby Sherman when everybody else is at the Led Zeppelin stadium show.

Oh, you can compete with Apple.  By stepping BEYOND them.  But, if you’re playing catch-up, you’re fucked.

In trying to protect their fief as opposed to journeying outside its walls and integrating with the new reality, the major labels are just insuring their marginalization.

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