NPR began distributing 'This American Life' as a podcast. TAL is one of the best radio shows out there, and it kicks ass that NPR is being forward thinking enough to jump on the podcasting bandwagon.
This American Life is available for download only for the week it is aired. After that, you can buy it from Audible for a buck. As people can turn on their radios and listen to the show for free, podcasting it loses them no money, and increases their exposure/word of mouth.
Apple took this great plan and screwed it up just because they can...
For some reason Apple assumes that an iTunes library is a single, personal thing, and it would never be shared between multiple people. For that to work, everyone with an ipod MUST have a computer.. As you can't (to my knowledge) configure iTunes to support 2 libraries simultaneously on a single system.
My wife has an ipod. I have an ipod, we share a library. I like her music, she likes some of mine, and we coexist within the same copy of iTunes. She has no interest in managing a massive iTunes library. Therefore, that responsibility defaults to me.
This is generally a workable situation. iTunes allowed me to authorize songs purchased on my account. (the only one we use) on both ipods.
Where this setup falls flat is podcasts. Podcasts are like news, 'read' stuff falls off your ipod, 'unread' stuff syncs to your ipod. When I listen to a podcast... it falls off my wife's ipod. :/
So. Back to how Apple screwed up This American Life... I listened to both of the first 2 episodes of this american life. I synced my ipod, and APPLE DELETED BOTH EPISODES.
My wife hadn't had a chance to listen to either episode, but they are well and truly gone. When I go to the apple store, there is no 'download' link for those episodes (not even the current week's episode which is freely available!) You just can't get it again.
I sure am glad Apple's DRM has provided me with so many wonderful choices about what I put on my ipod! Thank you Apple!
(Since I started typing this rant I came up with a solution. Don't use Apple's podcast directory. You can subscribe to This American Life's Feed at: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast.xml ) and Apple will have no say about removing it from your computer. You get a nice, shiny DRM free mp3 that you can listen to as many times as you want.
Hey, apple, good luck with that whole... foot shooting.. thing.