Public Radio Podcasts: or lack thereof

I’ve never thought much about podcasts – why do I want to listen to some pimply-faced nerd’s heavy breathing over his thoughts on Magic The Gathering? *Until Now…*

One thing (ok, the only thing) I miss about not driving to and from work is listening to the radio, specifically the news in the form of MarketPlace Money. Without a portable radio, and with a good chance of being underground on a train that time of day I’m pretty much out of luck – enter the podcast!

But wait, even though I can stream the show live when its on WBUR, or anytime from the marketplace website, they don’t offer podcasts. I can listen to the show anytime, anywhere there’s internet for free, but if I want to download the show to place and time-shift **offline** I am asked to fork over some money. It would cost them nothing extra (as in close to zero marginal cost) to get a small script written that will generate a podcast XML file and provide that file along with an MP3 of the show (at a negligable bandwith difference over streaming) .
I’m all for public radio making enough money to continue production, but it doesn’t ring true that podcasts are more expensive than streaming- especially since real audio server probably costs money, and none of the tools for podcasting have to.

Fortunately its pretty easy to record the realaudio stream to an MP3 and create an XML wrapper, and I can have my damn podcasts. (Unfortunately they don’t stream any faster than real time when recorded) Fair use? Isn’t it the same as if I recorded it off the radio directly?

Is the audible.com fee for podcasts just a tax on lack of scripting savvy?

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