by Dean Whittaker

The iPod, Apple Computer’s deck-of-card-sized device for listening to music, has long been a hit with the younger generation–now it is starting to find its way into the hands of us oldsters. To date, 42 million iPods have been sold since its introduction in 2004.

These devices have spawned several additional new services, one of which is called Podcasting. Similar to broadcasting, Podcasting provides the opportunity to create your own pre-recorded radio show and broadcast it through the Internet. Listeners can subscribe to a particular Podcast, which is downloaded to their iPod when it is connected to their computer. Currently, there are several hundred Podcasts to choose from through iTunes, the free Apple Computer software that manages the music, images, video, and Podcasts on the iPod

Apple’s original concept was to provide a device through which they could sell music downloaded from their iTunes website. You can download their free software to your computer at When you installed the iTunes software to allow you to download your favorite tunes to your iPod from your CD collection or purchase songs from iTunes’ music store, you may have also noticed a Podcast choice in the menu. Clicking on Podcast takes you to a completely new world of audio programming, beyond music into a realm of user-created audio programs from the informative to the vulgar. There is no FCC regulation of this form of broadcasting.

Podcasting is to radio what the Internet is to publishing. On the Internet, everyone can be a publisher. You can publish your thoughts to the world through your webpages or weblog. Podcasting allows you to record an audio program and distribute it through the Internet.

Recently, I receive a notice for the Mid-America Economic Development Conference held in December in Chicago . As part of the announcement for the conference a Podcast was attached. The Podcast contained an interview with the keynote speaker in which he discussed what participants could expect to learn from his presentation.

While Podcasting is not for the technologically faint of heart, there are a number of helpful tools including a series of Podcasts on how to do Podcasting. These can be found at Also, there is a Podcasting for Dummies book available through Wiley Publishing to help you through the process.

Time for some Feedback…

This issue of our newsletter is the 49th, in our fifth year of sharing what we are learning at Whittaker Associates. This “free” newsletter comes at a cost of your time. I would like to make good use of this most precious resource…your time.

While we do receive comments from time to time about how the newsletter has been helpful, I would ask that you take a moment to provide us with your feedback. How can we make it more useful to you? Are their features or topics you would like to see? What do you like and what is a waste of your time?

Please drop me a note at or call me at 616-396-4500 and let me know what we can do to better serve you.

Book reviews

Two new books that you might want to check out…

Massive Change by Bruce Mau – Mr. Mau describes the role of design and the convergence of changes taking place in a number of scientific fields along with their implications to society. There are a number of interviews with thought leaders within key fields of study. For those of you interested in emerging industries, this will give you a great overview of what’s next.

The United States of America by Juan Enriquez – Dr. Enriquez discusses the fracturing of our political boundaries and the polarization taking place in the world, resulting in increasing numbers of political subdivisions. What if Texas decided to exercise its constitutional right to secede from the United States? What if California decided to become its own country (many would say it already is)? The book is a fascinating look at a global trend that will impact all of us.

News you can use…

Here are a couple of nifty websites: – After a four-year project decoding the mathematical structure of music, software developers have created a website that mathematically matches your taste in an artist or song with similar artists or songs. – this website offers the frequent traveler a convenient way to shop for the best airfare and hotel room by simultaneously searching multiple travel websites looking for the best deal. Well worth a look. Check it out.