Podcasts with embedded URLs?

This is an old topic, but I subscribed to a couple new podcasts the other day and it came to mind again.

I don’t understand why podcasts don’t have embedded URLs.

MP3’s have a header section where you can store all kinds of data that is never played.  It’s where ID3 tags are stored that store artist, song, album and album art info.  Seems rather straightforward to build an XML structure in it such as:

     <link from="0:30" to="1:30" url="http://www.broome.us" />
     <link from="1:30" to="2:14" url="http://www.apple.com" />

It declares that from the 30-second mark to the 1 minute, 30 second mark of playtime, the url “http://www.broome.us” should be reachable by some user-click on a button presented in the podcast player UI.  And then from 1 minute, 30 seconds until 2 minutes, 14 seconds, the url reachable should be http://www.apple.com.

This would require an obvious “button” item to be made available in player software when such a linklist is available, but opens some interesting opportunities for podcasts to reach further than audio.  The links can be used for

  • More information on this topic – view the graph, demo, full article, etc.
  • Contact the speaker about this topic
  • FB “Like” this topic
  • Bookmark this info to view/listen to later via a service like Pocket, InstaPaper, etc.

This is, of course, simplistic.  It could be expanded to contain full html, even – such that the podcast itself could embed within it information to be displayed (text/images, etc) in the player at certain parts of the audio… but I’ve kept it simple to start.

I can’t figure out why this hasn’t been built in from the start – but I never see it anywhere.

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