Regarding my thread on decommissioning the IT Conversations AAC/M4B feeds, I think it’s important to consider that there’s no reason Apple and other MP3-player manufacturers can’t support bookmarkable MP3s. If that’s what users want, they should let the manufacturers know or buy products that do support bookmarks for MP3s. It doesn’t make sense for publishers/podcasters to create twice as many files and feeds, doubling storage requirements, to support a feature that’s really a client-side issue.
But given that lots of people already have iPods and wish they could bookmark MP3s, here’s a recommendation and a request to the Apple developer community: Can someone please write a script (or two: one for Windows, too) that periodically looks at the files in a playlist (such as “Podcasts”) and converts all the MP3s in that folder to AACs? That would solve the problem for everyone and move it to the client side where it belongs. Now I know you’re going to tell me that AACs from MP3s won’t sound as good as a directly created AAC. True, but it’s damn hard to hear the difference. Do the tests yourself as I have.
This isn’t as good a solution as Apple supporting MP3 bookmarks, but it’s a heck of a lot better than requiring podcasters to create two types of files, at least when you take a step back and view the entire podcasting ecology.