Day: May 15, 2006

The iPod threat to publishers??

While pottering the web today I stumbled across an interesting post on Macuser.com. The author was highlighting the way Slate magazine was throwing out textcasts (see their own blog post).

It got me to thinking what if we have all missed a trick (as is so often the case) and the unintended consequence of the iPod and its success is that as well as breaking the mould of the music industry it is also the front wave of e-readers.

It is entirely possible it would seem to use the more modern iPods as a text reader. The Slate describes their innovation thus:

Here’s a little more detail on how the textcast works: The text is actually contained in a 15-minute audio file. (It’s 15 minutes of silence, which is how we make the file so small.) Play the file as you would any other podcast, and then hit the iPod’s center button two or three times until you reach the description field, which contains the full TP text. You can scroll through the text using the iPod’s scroll wheel.

It is a fascinating and exciting prospect. That in the hands of millions of potential customers are portable, readable devices which they merely have to plug in daily to receive a personalized package of news via an established service (iTunes).

If in fact this has been achieved in a quiet and unheralded way perhaps then RSS news feeds will be a flash in the pan and textcast will take over in the next few years. Will they also add a text cast to your audio book purchase I wonder? Much development awaits.

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Fun and Frolicks at the Fair

Just when you thought the world of Publishing and Book-selling was dull and boring the developing spat between London Book Fair and Frankfurt Book Fair gets interesting.

According to this story in the Publishing News both sides think they have booked Earls Court as a venue though it would seem that London have the better claim on the face of it.