Podcast - why is Leo still so against this word? ;-)

I never understood why Leo disliked and fought against this word, saying that he is actually making netcasts, not podcasts. The thing is I never related this word to Apple, BECAUSE I believe those three letters POD actually mean Play On Demand! Apple’s iPod is long gone, but this meaning is timeless.
And that’s why this kind of media should be called podcast, because I download it and play it when I want - it clearly defines it :wink: I almost never stream it like I would youtube, which would justify naming it netcast :wink:

I think its for the exact reason you just said. You might not associate Pod with Apple but I think most people do. TWiT is more than just a podcast, it’s a whole network of Technology shows.


Podcast doesn’t make much sense for me because of my preferred way of watching is via the Roku.

“Play On Demand” sounds like a retcon. It was definitely “download a file to play on an iPod” when the term was coined.

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When they changed from “Netcasts you love” to “Podcasts you love” it was a bit jarring. I noticed it right away.

I wish the term stuck as it means more than just something I listen to on an iPOD. However Apple got the marketing behind it and won.


Oddly enough, no matter how carefully I listened, the original always sounded like “The casts you love” to my non-US ears.

Regarding the acceptance of the podcast word, that’s just one of those weird things that happens with language. It isn’t necessarily the most logical term that gains mass acceptance, just the one with the greatest staying-power. Upsets language theorists all the time: “But it isn’t right!” “Nope, but it’s what everybody says”. :joy:

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Doesn’t really matter to me, one way or the other…

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I get Leo’s point on this - and he’s not necessarily wrong. But all too often we (society) label things by attributes that aren’t directly related to the thing in question.

Take DVD and Blu-Ray, which are really nothing more than storage mediums of differing sizes. Yet the thing most people associate with them is movies. If a video of a TWIT (net/pod)cast was stored on a Blu-ray, we would likely be saying “I got the TWIT bluray”.

It’s the same thing with the term “broadcast” which is a reference to the time before cable when stations would send out a over-the-air signal (broadcasting) that was captured by antennas on people’s houses (which still happens today).

But the fact is that when people are talking about a downloadable show produced directly for consumption on a phone or internet-connected device - they use the term “podcast” and not “netcast”.

Personally - I think he can still keep saying “netcast” in the show bumpers. It’s just that the website and metadata need to use the term “podcast” to show up in search feeds. Alternately, of course, TWIT can ask Google and Bing to associate the word “netcast” with the word “podcast” so searches for one are linked with the other. I’m sure Microsoft would be willing to go that far for him. :slight_smile:


Yeah I heard the change the first time and I had to rewind, it’s one of those things that I just took for granted - just like the Cachefly notation. Now that it’s different, something new to get used to! :slight_smile:


Maybe they should be called Phonecasts now :slightly_smiling_face:


Also maybe consider word of mouth. If I told one of my friends about TWiT they’d be like “what the eff is a netcast?”

I found TWiT a few years ago just by typing tech into podcast search :slight_smile:


Whats in a name, net cast or pod cast… Who cares…

I remember when Leo started using Netcast, Apple was threatening to sue people for using the word ‘pod’, and he had callers to the radio show asking how to get a podcast if they did not have an iPod. Back in the day when you had to download it on the computer, then transfer it to a player.
So it made sense then, but after it was more inertia and then stubbornness. It did not hurt discoverability it seems, and I will miss it. :sob:


As I recall from that time, that’s exactly what happened. Apple started making noise about the word podcast and that it infringed on the trademark term iPod. It was really dumb, and some of us ignored it. But a number of folks seemed to think that they could get in trouble if they listened to podcasts. At the very least, Apple was making threats against and throwing cold water on an emerging technology, platform, and industry. Leo dug his heels in. I think it was the first time I’d heard him angry. I use the word podcast, but Leo has stuck to his guns for what, 15 years now? More power to him.

I don’t like the word “blog” either - what an ugly portmanteau - but I live with both because clear communication is more important than semiotics.

In the words of Humpty-Dumpty…

When I use a word ," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean —neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”


Good point - and if you replace Humpty Dumpty’s “I” with “we” you have a pretty good description of natural language growth. Few people in the 1920s who described something as “terrific” actually meant it inspired terror, just as few people who describe something now as “awesome” actually mean it inspires awe.

Some commenters go on about how many new words Shakespeare introduced to the language, but I prefer the view that suggests he had a sharp ear for new usages in popular speech and introduced them to his plays to make them attractive to the general audience, rather than the intelligentsia that scorned new formations. If it was a risk at the time, it certainly paid off well.

The alternative is “old man shouts at cloud”, and who wants to be that? Apart from the Académie Française, that is. :wink:

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