Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Tale of Two Top Tens

I looked at the top 10 podcasts on Odeo and on iTunes to see if I can figure anything out from the lists.

Here are the top 10 from Odeo:
1. MAKE Magazine Audio Show
2. IT Conversations
3. SuicideGirls
4. The Odeo Channel
5. Engadget Podcast
6. this WEEK in TECH
7. Adam Curry: Daily Source Code
8. NPR's Science Friday
9. Free Radio SubPop
10. Future Tense

and the top 10 from iTunes:
1. CBC Radio 3 Podcast
2. iTunes New Music Tuesday
3. Quirks and Quarks
4. Z100 Phone Taps
5. Queer Eye Hip Tips
6. The Al Franken Show
7. Podfinder
8. Inside Mac Radio
9. this WEEK in TECH
10. ESPN Radio Podcast

What does this mean?
I think that both services have a lot of featured podcasts that show up in the top 10. I'm guessing that people see a featured podcast and subscribe to it (which makes sense). There are more mainstream media-based podcasts on iTunes than on Odeo. It's interesting how there are two CBC radio shows in the top 10 on iTunes and that's almost the entire CBC podcast lineup now.

The Odeo top 10 is closer to my own personal taste which is probably why I'm getting my podcasts through Odeo now (with my personalized RSS feed going into iTunes 4.9). Odeo users seem to be interested in more alternative music, technology, science and sex, while iTunes users are interested in music, technology, science, fashion and sports.

It will be interesting to see how the top 10 lists evolve as more people use these services and find new and interesting podcasts. With Odeo I'm a huge fan of tagging to generate categories and the ease of adding a podcast to the directory. You basically just add the feed and it shows up. While you can subscribe to outside feeds with iTunes, it takes a while for a feed to be added to their directory. But iTunes integrates it all into the iTunes interface, which makes it very easy to subscribe. But you can't change the category or add it it and your input (via iTunes) is limited to "Report a concern".

Another intuitive and neat thing about Odeo is how you can click on a link to update a podcast feed. It makes sense to let people do that. If nobody is wondering about updates it will automatically be updated the next time the system checks, but if someone wants to check sooner, it can happen. That's smart and simple and good.
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Anonymous said...

the reason that the two top tens are so different is that itunes has made a partnership with abc to leverage and feature their content. This causes many abc family podcasts to show up very high and distort the top ten. A very good top ten, like the odeo one, can be found at podnova http://www.podnova.com/ . Podnova also supports an rss feed that adds podnova rss subscriptions to your itunes.

Chris Campbell said...

Thanks Marius. I hadn't seen podnova before. It's great that there are alternatives to one centralized directory. It seems as if podnova is targeted at people who probably come from the existing podcasting community. This will make it easier for everyone to find things that are worth listening to.
While voting can work well for some things, what people vote for and what they may actually listen to can be different.
Here is the podnova top 10:
1. this WEEK in TECH
2. Adam Curry: Daily Source Code
3. The Laporte Report Audio Edition
4. KFI's Tech Guy
5. Engadget Podcasts
6. The Chris Pirillo Show
7. The Dawn and Drew Show!
8. this WEEK in TECH: 64kbps MP3 Torrents
9. Diggnation w/Kevin Rose & Alex Albrecht
10. Geek News Central

This Week in Tech is on all three lists as is Adam Curry.

Anonymous said...

Podnova is essentially a searchable version of the ipodder.org directory, although it accepts additions from other sources, like podcastalley or podcast pickle. Podcasts which are not listed within podnova are added shortly after they are user-submitted. The ipodder.org directory, actively compiled by Adam Curry and associates, was the first major directory of its kind and is often used as the basis of new podcast directories.

I agree with your sentiment about the rating/voting systems for podcasts. At the moment there is no way to accurately quantify the number of subscriptions a podcast has for the purpose of a definitive rating system. Hopefully some such service will eventually emerge.