updated 02:25 am EST, Thu March 9, 2006
Apple tweaks podcasts
Apple has made changes to its podcast delivery service to enable restricted access to some iTunes podcasts, according to a new report by political radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. After receiving requests to make his popular audio and video podcasts via iTunes, Limbaugh said that he has been working to Apple to achieve a solution to allow members of the (paid) Rush 24/7 service to access restricted content on iTunes: "There's no additional charge for the podcast service, but it's only available to members, and so having it downloadable via iTunes was not compatible with Apple's method of doing business. Well, that didn't stop us.... We have been working with the powers that be at Apple, and we have reached via technological advancement and software," according to a transcript on Limbaugh's website.
The podcast delivery changes would presumably allow any content creator to offer member-only content via the iTunes Music Store. While the listing of restricted content is a departure from the current listing of freely available podcasts, Apple's move will help drive traffic to the iTunes Music Store and help it maintain a comprehensive listing of all podcast content.
The report says that the change is expected to go live on Monday and will seamless enable access to podcasts to members of Rush 24/7 as well as allow users to store their name/password for future access. RUSH 24/7 currently charges $50 for access to content for one year or monthly membership for $7 per month.
"This is as idiot proof as anything I have seen on a computer. What will happen on Monday if you are a subscriber at Rush 24/7 you will go to the new page that we will set up, and there's a link there, and when you click on that link, automatically your iTunes will open, be it Mac or Windows: iTunes will ask you for your user name and your password. You enter that, you click the box that says "remember my password," and you never have to do another thing again. The following day, or that day, later that day, the next day, every podcast will automatically download to your iTunes as long as your iTunes is open and running."
Apple's new podcasts delivery tweaks will enable access to all new podcasts released after Monday, but not access to ones previously offered. Limbaugh also praised Apple for working to bring his podcast content to iTunes.
"The people at Apple were great. I mean, they realize there's a lot of podcast content out there, and they're just trying to find ways to drive traffic to the Apple music store and iTunes is the way you do that. So, no. It's a win-win for everybody. Win-win for everybody. I'm really excited about it. I'm going to continue my own rigorous testing but it worked for me the first time."
On Wednesday, Apple introduced new "multi-pass" monthly access to certain TV shows, offering "bundled" access to multiple episodes.