Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mobile Podcasting made easier

I've advocated over the last two years that one of the most simple to understand concepts of mobile phones is dialling a number and speaking.

There's no going online via a mobile web browser and fiddly URL's, no client to find and run (however good it is), just dial a number and speak.

Everyone gets this and the mobile phone user interface is highly optimised for this usecase - so why not use it more for creating and accessing mobile content ?

My few regular readers :) will know I think that voice is a ** vastly ** underutilised channel for mobile application and content mashups as alluded to in previous posts here, here and here.

So I liked this Voice to RSS service provided by BlogTalkRadio.
The output is an RSS feed of an mp3 enclosure of the podcast. The RSS feed is a uniqe URL based on your mobile number suffixed (thus I prefer not to link to the RSS feed here)...but you can see an example from Robert Scoble's blog post.

It's simple and quick - and there's no sign in (although I believe it's a feature for those that want it, that's coming soon). Similar to some of the services integrating mobile voice as notes, memos, blogs and tweets with companies like MySay/ReQall/Twitter/Utterz and SpinVox, this new service allows a very quick way of podcasting from the mobile.

Beware if you try it as the number to call is in the US, so might be a little pricey.

There are other ways to achieve podcasting from mobile, but as a quick and dirty comparison I uploaded a voice note from within the voice recorder app on my mobile to my public channel on Ovi for sharing.

It's not as simple as dialling a number and speaking your podcast. It's uploaded and stored as .wav file rather than mp3, also you have to have an Ovi account of course - whereas with BlogTalkRadio no account is needed. You can then listen to the uploaded voiceclip via RSS if you are subscribed to that channel in your RSS reader.

Will any of these types of mobile services including podcasting make it to the mass market? (although if you can download a podcast of the daily BBC news to your iPod - one might argue its already mainstream).
I listen to podcasts regualrly on the daily commute and this service makes it a lot easier to actually create a podcast from your mobile and then broadcast it on the web via RSS.