Serious Question About iPodder

The idea of syndicating audio weblog entries rather than text entries has a certain appeal. Some people simply cannot write well, I unfortunately am one of them, so trying to talk to people via a broadcast is tempting.
But here’s the thing I don’t get. Lately there has been a lot of rending of clothes and lamenting over the load imposed by and amount of data transferred by a popular RSS channel feed. After all, people keep coming back over and over again and asking for all your new stuff even if the end user never even bothers to look at it (or in this case listen to it). So when you run iPodder for the first time it downloads a sample MP3 for the sample channel. It’s only 38 seconds long but almost 600K. Now, compare that to a typical RSS text channel which may run in the neigborhood of 10-20K. While I haven’t been worrying about the load put on my servers by people downloading my RSS text channels even I have to give some thought to the impact of huge numbers of downloads of large files every time I feel like saying something.
There are some mitigating factors here, the sample file was digitized at 128kbits and was in stereo. Taking it to mono and dropping the quality significantly would not be very noticable for human speech but then the length of a given audio weblog entry is likely to be significantly longer than 38 seconds too. So it may all even out.

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