Pete Clifton, Podcasting, backstage.bbc.co.uk, iTunes and a Dalek

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 2 July 2005

I'm concerned that Pete Clifton may be writing his "From the editor's desktop" column for BBC News purely to make it impossible for me not to blog it - this week he managed to talk about Daleks, online voting, podcasting, iTunes, backstage.bbc.co.uk and being a gay icon. Only the last of these items wouldn't immediately compel me to put fingertips to keyboard.

Dalek in Pete Clifton's BBC News Column

The reason backstage.bbc.co.uk, podcasting and iTunes got into the mix was because one of the prototypes - - made it big in Apple's official directory of podcasts.

A year ago we'd have thought podcasting was something for the allotment, and now it's in full bloom.

The BBC has been commendably quick to engage with a range of content available. They've been fantastically well-received, and lo and behold a BBC-related product was number one in the "top podcasts" listed on iTunes this week.

So which top drawer piece of audio was it? From Our Own Correspondent, In Business, the 0810 Today interview? Unfortunately not. Step forward the Dalek, for all those who think star newsreaders are overpaid and easily replaced.

It's one of the quirkier products of the BBC's new Backstage project, where people with enormous brains, mad haircuts and pale complexions do extraordinary, innovative and often frightening things with our content. Perhaps one of you could automate this column?
Top Podcast

It is great to see one the backstage.bbc.co.uk prototypes making it big, even if

  • Pete Clifton thinks it sounds like a Dalek and might be "frightening"

and

  • The podcast functionality seems bolted onto the side of iTunes like a kind of architectural carbuncle

I downloaded iTunes 1.9 myself the other night, and I think Sven-S. Porst is pretty spot-on with his assassination of the tacked-on nature of the beast. What seemed like a brilliant application to manage my music is gradually turning into an operational behemoth. The fact that I keep magically 'losing' tracks off my iPod because iTunes can't see them in the library, even though the files haven't moved, isn't endearing me to the reliability of the whole iPod/iTunes on PC experience.

And now its got an added horrible purple kludge in it that I can't switch off.

Podcast Kludge Invading iTunes

1 Comment

Hi Martin - steady on, I'm not frightened by a dalek voice. I didn't even cower behind the sofa. I think Backstage is an amazing place and people making merry with content is inspiring. It just makes us think a bit.... when people are doing radical new things with our feeds it can be temporarily unnerving when you are an old git like me. But I'm getting in the swim of it. And bring on the daleks. Pete

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