Two things are on my mind in a big way this week, so please indulge the overwhelming coverage of geo-location and the new version of iTunes. Location aware services are becoming particularly important as MSN, Yahoo and Google race to embrace local search with open technologies perfect for creating extended applications. iTunes 4.9 is a big deal for me because it’s pushing podcasting into the mainstream and helping put the radio show on the map in a different way.
There’s a certain irony to our inclusion in the iTunes podcast directory. The Chris Pirillo Show is sponsored by Microsoft Windows Media on an ongoing basis and MSN Search plays a key role in sponsoring our coverage of conferences like Where 2.0. Without Microsoft technologies, the live stream of the show wouldn’t be possible because the entire backbone of streaming services is built on Windows Media technology. Now Apple is comes along and make subscribing to podcasts a simple process inside an interface everyone is comfortable with – media player software. If you have iTunes installed on either Windows or Mac OS X, I can direct you to our page in iTunes with a link and there’s no additional software to download or understand.
The next step is figuring out how to tie geo-location information to the show recordings so we can deliver a better experience about where in the world we are located when a recording is made. Where isn’t always a relevant question, but when we talk about a specific location it might be more interesting if you could easily launch a map and find out something about the area we’re talking about.
A more practical use for this is tying location specific information to photos. There are a few specialized cameras and camera add-ons capable of tagging photos with latitude and longitude coordinates, but there’s very little available for making use of the information. What I’d like to see is every camera offering the option of GPS so that if I go on vacation somewhere, I could post the pictures online and re-create a map of the vacation using the photos, tying the images with each location I visited. The technology to do this is already available; it’s lacking in sensible implementation to make it all stick together.