This week in ExtraBITS, Apple finds itself at a crossroads when it comes to podcasting, as big-name podcasters demand changes, but developer and podcaster Marco Arment warns colleagues to be careful what they wish for. In other news, satellite TV provider Dish is now offering house calls for sick and injured iPhones.
Apple at a Crossroads with Podcasting — More than a decade after Apple officially started supporting podcasts in iTunes, they are booming in popularity. In that time, however, little about how Apple manages the popular iTunes podcast directory has changed, which has some podcasters concerned. The New York Times reports that complaints include having to woo a single Apple employee in charge of promoting podcasts, not receiving enough listener data, and the difficulty of sharing podcast episodes to social media. As Google and Spotify add podcasts to their music subscription services, providing extra perks for podcasters, Apple may be considering changes, based in part on talks held with leading podcasters in a Cupertino meeting in April.
Marco Arment to Podcasters: “Be Careful What You Wish For” — Podcast-client developer and podcaster Marco Arment has penned a response to the New York Times article about Apple’s tepid support for podcasting, warning podcasters to be careful what they wish for. Arment calls the New York Times article “ill-informed” and cautions that many of the suggestions therein could damage the podcasting medium. He warns that providing the listener data that some large podcasters want could make podcasting as intrusive and annoying as the Web, and he says that giving Apple more power over shows and revenue would have negative consequences. “It would not only add rules, restrictions, delays, and big commissions, but it would increase Apple’s dominant role in podcasts, push out diversity, give Apple far more control than before, and potentially destroy one of the Web’s last open media ecosystems.”
Dish Now Offering iPhone House Calls — Satellite provider Dish has an intriguing new service: on-site iPhone screen and battery repair. You’ll pay a premium for its services, which range from $74.99 to $184.99. That’s more than even Apple typically charges, but it might be worthwhile if you don’t have an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider nearby. $35 of the fee is a “Drive to Me” fee, which Dish waives for additional devices repaired in a single visit. While Apple’s original warranties won’t cover devices fixed by Dish, Dish warranties its work for 60 days.