iTunes – do you use it? It’s the music player program for your PC (or Mac, for those of us who have converted) that allows inbuilt purchasing for music online. With the release of iTunes4.9 on June 28, the ability to directly download podcasts through the iTunes Music Store was made available. The most recent releases have added video to that capability.
To get a podcast online you don’t have to have it in the iTunes podcast directory, but it certainly gives it more publicity. The problem was that unless you had a credit card linked to an iTunes Music Store country’s bank (eg in the US, UK, France) you couldn’t make an iTunes account, hence couldn’t purchase music from iTunes or submit a podcast to their directory.
Well, the big news is that today, we officially have iTunes Music Store Australia. That’s right, as of today you, the average Australian, can more easily purchase music online. Also, Ashgrove would be able to submit a podcast of our sermons to the iTunes directory, if we were ready to. There is an official announcement sometime today, but the store itself is already open. Naturally I already have an account, otherwise I wouldn’t be so hyper about it.
So that’s my big long post. As an aside, check this out. I’ve been keeping an unofficial track of the number of podcasts available in different categories in iTunes. Some categories had subcategories, like Religion and Spirituality had seven subs, one of which was Christianity. Sometime in the last two weeks iTunes removed any subcategory distinctions, so now you can’t specifically tell which were tagged Christian as opposed to New Age cheap viagra from uk or Philosophy.
But until they removed those subcategories, what was the largest single categorisation of podcasts available worldwide through the iTunes Music Store? That’s right, Christian ones. On October 10th there were 1,045 different Christian podcasts available, beating out the generic Audio Blogging category by only 44 available podcasts (991).
Today, the Religion and Spirituality category sits on an even 1500 podcasts out of 14,719 available. While this is only those podcasts available in iTunes, I think 15,000 podcasts (which it will hit in the next week) is a fairly good sample to base an emerging trend on.
How’s all that for your useless bits of information for the day? Glad I could oblige.