Looks like podcasting support . . . but not so fast.
The Media Player 11 beta was released to the public, myself included, a couple of months ago. There has been not chatter or discussion over a glaring omission from the functionality of MP11 . . . no RSS support! Which means no podcast support or Microsoft podcast directory.
Maybe this is part of some super secret plan for the full release to include support for RSS and a bang up podcast directory. Whatever the reason for not including RSS, podcasts and a podcast directory into MP11 beta is beyond me.
Free non-DRM content both audio and video is waiting to be plucked from the internet by a new audience. An audience that is afraid of iTunes and less tech saavy than a user of Odeo, Melodeo or Juice is a fresh market, an eager market. Not to mention the boost that it would give to podcasters and the DIY media movement. Guess that isn't in the interest of Microsoft.
That is the part that confuses me most. You see, Internet Explorer 7 beta supports RSS with a brilliant XSL stylesheet to display the feeds. To boot, it recognizes the enclosure tag and creates a link for the media. The new MS Office beta supports RSS also. And every thirty minutes I get a hit on two of my RSS feeds from an agent that identifies itself as "Microsoft Research" and believe it or not the IP resolves to Microsoft.
So what gives? No clue.
I hope they have something big up their sleeves. They have an opportunity to blow podcasting and DIY media wide open and bring that content to new audiences. With this beta they have failed and let us all down. I say this not only as a content producer but a user. I really wanted to like MP11
Oh yeah, before I forget, MP11 has a great new addition to it's system scanning for media . . . it aggregates all non-DRM content from your iTunes library. So it is sort of like podcasting support, you just need to use iTunes first.