Two big things happened in the last few days concerning podcasts and syndication.
First, Microsoft announced that RSS is going to be very deep in Longhorn guts. Since Longhorn is not near yet, I'm not terribly excited about this, but it is a sign that blogs 'n' feeds and stuff that has grown around that, is here to stay. And other OS's will get similar support, probably even before Longhorn ships. It'll be much easier to convince my mother to subscribe to news feeds and loose newspaper subscriptions.
Even more important is Apple's new iTunes with podcasting support. There are lot's of podcasting clients out there but none of them has proven to be the right one. And most of they use iTunes or Windows Media Player for syncing with devices anyway. So why not just use iTunes!?
What's cool about iTunes is that podcasts are part of the iTunes Music Store. It's clean, it's beautiful and it's popular. It's going to bring lots of new listeners to podcasts. Apple's podcast directory is kicking other podcasting directories butts as we speak! I also like that podcast are not music files - they are separated from library so you don't end up listening to a forgotten podcast file when you shuffle.
Unfortunately, iTunes don't support Bittorent podcasts. DotNetRocks/Mondays use feed like that and Adam Curry is also going to. I can't speak for others but to me it seems to be by far the most sensible way to distribute podcasts, otherwise you burn too much bandwidth.
And this brings as to the blow that a court has brought to the podcast world via the Grokster case. I'm not much of a lawyer but this ruling definitely means that P2P software developers will think twice before doing any more work on their software. And I'm not talking about software for distributing illegal content, I don't fear for that. But it will hurt the legitimate use of P2P that is finally getting some respect.