Odeo Disappoints

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My patience with Odeo has run out.

The first time I wrote about Odeo was on June 13, 2005. The service actually launched on June 22, about the time that iTunes 4.9 was released and hit the podcasting world like a ton of bricks.

Odeo had tools to listen and sync, and a directory (iTunes, iTunes,and iTunes), but lacked the feature that everyone was looking forward to: the podcast creator. It was the sole feature that made Odeo different from iTunes. Fans eagerly awaited its release.

In the 4-5 months since the product was launched, Apple has released yet another version of iTunes and Podshow raised nearly $9m from Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia. Did Odeo release its studio tool?


Instead, they released a desktop widget.

Last week Odeo did get its studio product out. It’s visually appealing. But it is so feature poor that it’s effectively a non product.

Odeo Studio

Creating a recording is very straightforward. Click a button to record. Click another one to stop. It’s built on Flash.

You can choose to add a picture to the podcast. It can be made public or just shared with friends, including by email. If you share by email, a link is sent to the recipient (v. directly sending a MP3 file).

And…that’s it. Don’t like part of the podcast? You have to start over. No editing tools. No effects. No enhancements. Nothing else whatsoever. All they’ve done is turn on your microphone, turn it off later, and record what happens in between. The guys at slawesome built this in two weeks a couple of months ago. Waxmail did something similar and attached it to Outlook. This has been done already at least twice.

By the way, if you want a free open source editing tool for podcasts, try Audacity. It’s what I use.

Odeo is not an innovator. At best they are a follower. I’m hoping they start building new and interesting podcasting features soon. But for now, even nonprofits are way ahead of them in doing interesting things with audio.

Odeo: What are you going to do to make your product relevant?

  • http://bittermancircle.com Aronski

    It’s all happening at once. This conversation took place just before Leo’s over at Newsgang Live…


    It dovetails with the post and Leo’s bold move. At this writing, he’s building his own over at his place. The urgency of Now, indeed. Thanks for a great post, Steve.

  • http://christianburns.wordpress.com/ Christian Burns

    Here is the GillmorGang link to the newsgang call. http://gillmorgang.techcrunch.com/2008/08/20/newsgang-live-082008/

    We just live in a great time. The boulder is rolling gradually downhill. The momentum is not changing.

  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/ Karoli

    Thanks, Christian for posting the link to today’s NewsGang Live. I was going to do it too. :)

    And Steve, thanks for drawing together the issues. The track issue is huge — I definitely want to be able to track across laconica instances, and it sounds as though that’s not in the cards.

  • Steve Gillmor

    Identi(Laconica)Spy will do exactly that Karoli.

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    Hmmm. Identispy has been down since last night. Too many users after all the attention?

  • http://staynalive.com Jesse Stay

    Now, we just need Scoble to jump and Twitter users will start following. Leo’s got his band of users – I think if you get Scoble you’ll have the other half of Twitter.

  • http://manwithnoblog.com Gary Barber

    Didn’t Leo put his weight behind Jaiku for a while too. Mind you I do like Identi.ca. It just needs crowd momentum

  • http://www.scrowed.com/twitter-and-the-future/2008/08/21/ Twitter and the Future at Scrowed

    […] You Can’t Get There From Here […]

  • http://chrismlindsey.com Chris

    Is there anyway to import all of my tweets from Twitter into Identica? I have a ton, and they are keeping me at Twitter.

    Originally I thought it would be the SMS tweeting capability that would tie me to Twitter, but I would switch to Identi.ca if I could just move over all of my tweets.

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