By Jason Snell
July 17, 2015 2:18 PM PT
10(ish) years of podcasts
This month Apple’s celebrating “10 Years of Podcasts”, meaning that it’s been a decade since Apple introduced podcasting features into GarageBand and iTunes and added a podcast directory to the iTunes store.
Of course, podcasts have been around for more than 10 years. I remember Shawn King broadcasting radio on the Internet in 1994, and several other Apple-themed podcasts date from the early 2000s.1 Leo Laporte founded TWiT in 2005, though in a fit of pique about Apple making noises about owning the word podcast, he re-dubbed them netcasts and you still hear that word on TWiT’s promos today.
Prompted by Rene Ritchie, I looked up the first podcast I actually hosted. It was probably Macworld Podcast 27, February 8, 2006, live from a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean—though I more vividly remember the very next episode, which featured Leo Laporte and was largely conducted in a shipboard bar. As Leo and I talked, more geek cruisers stopped to watch. By the end of the chat, Leo and I had gathered a studio audience, which applauded when we concluded. It was awesome.
The first podcast of my own was the original TeeVee podcast, in July of 2006. It was sporadic and didn’t last very long. I didn’t resume podcasting independently from my job until August of 2010, when The Incomparable debuted. Hard to believe it’s been nearly five years, until I look at the calendar and see that I’ve got to prep episode 256 for posting tomorrow.
These days I host or co-host four weekly podcasts and produce several more.2 Thanks to the rise of podcast sponsorships (and my departure from my old job), I can say that I’m not just a writer and editor who podcasts on the side—I’m also a professional podcaster.
That’s weird, but it’s good. I love to listen to podcasts and I love to make them. It’s good to be doing something you love. If podcasting couldn’t help me make a living, well, I’d still be doing it. (Just probably not quite as much of it!)
Upgrade (Mondays), Clockwise (Wednesdays), TV Talk Machine (Fridays), and The Incomparable (Saturdays) are my four weekly podcasts. I also do Total Party Kill fortnightly, TeeVee weekly during “Doctor Who” and “Game of Thrones” seasons, Robot or Not irregularly, and parts of the Incomparable Game Show. ↩
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