More Uses for the iPod

The previously reported Duke iPod pilot program which supplied an Apple iPod to incoming Duke Univeristy Freshman is reportedly going well.

The $500,000 project provided 20GB iPods as well as Belkin microphone recorders to incoming Freshman:

The iPods have been used mostly for recording lectures and interviews and replaying them on the go. Other academic uses include analyzing music, not only in a music theory course but also in engineering labs, which examined music from the standpoint of its sound properties.

Widespread publicity about the program has prompted queries from textbook publishers, who might include more audio material with their print offerings as a result. That is an unexpected benefit, O'Brien said.

The iPod has spawned another interesting use... Podcasting. Spearheaded by Adam Curry (former MTV VJ), it involves distribution of audio shows to iPods:

Before podcasting arrived, Curry was frustrated by the state of broadcasting on the Internet, which is often done by streaming feeds. Unlike with traditional radio, streaming costs grow with the audience, and it's difficult for listeners to do save the show or do anything else with it afterward.

By comparison, regular downloads of audio files can be more evenly distributed over time and let listeners move programs to portable devices. Before podcasting, however, there was no simple mechanism to do that automatically.

For more info, see iPodder.org

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