Apple CEO Steve Jobs provided more details on how podcasting will work in iTunes 4.9 today, lauding the technology as “TiVo for radio.” As he has previously mentioned, Jobs said that iTunes 4.9 will support podcasting directly, and demonstrated a version of the new software at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) today in San Francisco.
“We see it as the hottest thing going in radio,” said Jobs, who noted that there are now over 8,000 podcasts, many of which are produced by radio professionals.
Previous versions of iTunes have not had built-in Podcasting support. Instead, users have needed to rely on third-party applications, such as iPodderX, to subscribe to and download podcasts. The new version of iTunes simplifies this process, building support directly into the application. Podcasts appear a discrete Podcast directory in the iTunes Music Store.
Jobs demonstrated by launching the iTunes Music Store and clicking on a podcast link, which then displayed a directory of podcasts. Clicking on podcaster Adam Curry’s name presented a hierarchical list of podcasts. Jobs then subscribed and listened to a short segment.
“We think it’s going to basically take podcasting mainstream, to where anyone can do it,” said Jobs, who also noted that Apple would get into the game with its own “New Music Tuesdays” podcast.