Odeo Disappoints

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?