Apple Podcasts Missing One Big Time Podcaster

    June 30, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Though the Cupertino-based producer of iTunes has about 3,000 podcasts on tap for free, they’re missing one.

Apple tried to work out an arrangement with the radio juggernaut that is Rush Limbaugh, but the two sides could not work out an amenable agreement on distributing Mr. Limbaugh’s daily podcast.

With some 600 stations carrying his show, Mr. Limbaugh can ask of his listeners what an Al Franken could only dream of getting: paid subscriptions in exchange for access to the daily podcast of the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Apple’s stance, and it should be called Steve Jobs’ stance for the two are inexorably intertwined, holds that podcasts will be available through iTunes for free. Users can find, listen, subscribe, and manage their particular podcast selections through the iTunes interface.

Further, Apple’s iPod line now has updated software including a Podcast menu entry, and the software supports bookmarking. Mr. Jobs’ company does user interfaces extremely well.

But Apple’s inability to support Mr. Limbaugh’s podcast as tagged for download by his subscribers only was the sticking point, a technological issue the otherwise excellent engineers at Apple could not work out.

Making that podcast free would have been hugely unfair to Mr. Limbaugh’s listeners, who pay upward of $49.95 annually for access to his podcast. Mr. Limbaugh was very gracious in his comments about Apple and why he is not on iTunes.

“They were very cooperative at Apple but they’re doing it the way they want to do it,” Mr. Limbaugh says on his web site.

Someone at Apple seems to have a sense of humor about the situation. On Apple’s home page, where the company touts the podcasting introduction for iTunes, a picture of Mr. Franken appears front and center of the main graphic. That certainly didn’t get there by accident.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.