The Birth of Podcasting, Chocolate and Peanut Butter, and BitTorrent

In his keynote speech at Gnomedex 5.0, podcasting pioneer Adam Curry tells the story of how he and Dave Winer accidentally created podcasting. He uses the analogy of Chocolate and Peanut Butter from the legendary Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial and the analogy of switching places from Tom Hanks’ movie Big (1988). It’s a very entertaining tale of how it all got started, and Curry covers where we are today, the impact that podcasting is having on music producers and music listeners alike, and he gives a call-to-arms regarding things podcasting developers should fix right now.

Wonderfully, Curry makes the announcement that he is going to embrace BitTorrent as a distribution mechanism for his Daily Source Code podcast. This is important because, politically, as a peer-to-peer technology, BitTorrent needs some high-profile examples of legitimate, non-infringing use. Through its peer-to-peer design, BitTorrent is able to reduce the bandwidth costs for the podcast producers and increase the download speed and efficiency for podcast listeners. Curry’s announcement parallels Doug Kaye’s intention to adopt BitTorrent for his new IT Conversations venture.

If you are at all interested in podcasting, or just curious about this new medium (by the people!), I encourage you to go download and listen to Adam Curry’s speech.

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