NY Times Podcasts without iTunes

[Updated on April 5, 2010: Added Freakonomics Radio. Thank you Illinoisjoe.]

I wanted to subscribe to some podcasts by New York Times, in particular Your Money by Ron Lieber. To my surprise, they only publish the podcast links for iTunes. Hello? What about people who don’t use iTunes or iPod?

Luckily I have their Weekend Business podcast in my open-source Juice podcast receiver from some time ago. New York Times must have published the plain podcast RSS links back then. I don’t know why they only give iTues links now. Is Apple paying NY Times for only showing iTunes links? It will not surprise me if that’s the case. All monopolies behave the same way: Microsoft, Apple, Google, in their respective world. They want to make it difficult to use anything except their product.

Using the Weekend Business link, and some trial-and-error in guessing the file names for the other podcasts, I got the plain podcast RSS links for these NY Times podcasts.

Backstory Jane Bornemeier talks to Times reporters about the top stories of the day.
Book Review Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review, discusses this week’s issue.
Ethicist Randy Cohen, Times Magazine columnist, answers readers’ questions on ethical issues each week.
Freakonomics Radio Hosted by Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
Front Page James Barron, a reporter at The New York Times, summarizes the top headlines every weekday morning.
Music Popcast The New York Times pop music critics discuss the latest albums and music events of the week.
Tech Talk A look at the latest technology news and Internet trends with J.D. Biersdorfer, Bettina Edelstein and Pedro Rafael Rosado.
Only In New York On the beat with Sam Roberts, metro reporter for The New York Times.
Political Points A weekly conversation on politics and the Obama presidency with reporters and editors from The New York Times hosted by Times correspondents Sam Roberts and David Kirkpatrick.
Science Times David Corcoran, a science editor, explores the topics addressed in this week’s Science Times.
TimesTalks Intimate discussions with people of note and New York Times journalists and editors.
Today’s Business Jeff Sommer talks to Times reporters about the day’s top business news.
Weekend Business Jeff Sommer, an editor for Sunday Business, talks to Times reporters and editors about the week’s business news.
World View Douglas Schorzman and Andrea Kannapell discuss the latest global news events with New York Times correspondents from all over the world.
Your Money Your Money columnist Ron Lieber and personal finance writer Tara Siegel Bernard talk about how to manage your money in these uncertain economic times.

Free content should be free to everybody, not just iTunes users.

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  1. SanDance says

    Thanks for figuring out these links. Now Apple will make you a big offer to buy your blog just to shut down this site and access to their competition.

  2. Harry Sit says

    @SJ – Right now I subscribed to Weekend Business, Your Money, and Tech Talk. I may try some others in the future.

  3. Roberta Petrocci says

    You are wrong about the Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards (the $30 annual fee one) We will no longer get $250 when requesting our reward of $200. I know as I missed it by 9¢

  4. Harry Sit says

    Roberta – You must have come from the old post on Sun’s Financial Diary where I made a comment in *2007*. Chase didn’t get rid of the $50 bonus on $200 reward back then. Nearly two years later, they are getting rid of it now.

  5. Jeff says

    I enjoy your podcast but had to comment on this particular post. In particular, the comment that “free should be free for everyone, not just iTunes users” struck me. Let’s remember that this is a business that’s providing this content, not a non-profit, and they have resource allocation decisions to make. Should they really prioritize having someone spend time creating and re-creating the content in the infinite varieties of free delivery formats? Or should they create the content in a format that a good part of the interested audience can use, knowing others who are interesting in different formats can choose to allocate their resources (time) to convert it? It seems to be perfectly sensible business behavior.

  6. Harry Sit says

    Jeff – I guess you don’t understand how these podcasts are done. NY Times decided to produce these audio content to promote their business. They put them on their servers at these “raw” addresses. iTunes provides a directory listing of these podcasts. When you download a podcast from iTunes, you are downloading from the NY Times servers at exactly these same addresses. iTunes simply masks these raw addresses. There’s no recreating anything or any additional resource allocation. It’s done once and only once.

  7. Jeff says

    You’re absolutely right – I did not understand that process, and what you describe certainly obviates the point I made. I’d still expect that there is a resource decision in there somewhere: is Apple paying for them to use iTunes as the delivery mechanism? Why would we not offer it through a different mechanism? etc.

    Really, though, all of this is peripheral to the question I *should* have asked at the start: why pick on a business that’s providing something for free? Hey, I’m with you on the frustration part: I’ve used Macs for 20+ years (no affiliation w/ Apple, other than using the product), and can’t count how many times something wasn’t available to me because of that. But if someone were giving away a free couch but required that it be picked up, and I didn’t have a car, could I honestly be annoyed because they won’t deliver it to me? Makes me think of the old saying: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

  8. Harry Sit says

    Jeff – I agree. I speculated that NYT might be paid by Apple for only advertising iTunes links. I don’t know if it’s true or not. Even if it is, I don’t blame them for wanting to get paid. I’m actually helping them promote their podcasts to non-iTunes users. Their podcasts mention the paper a lot — “for more info on … read … column in New York Times.” The more people listen to the podcasts, the more people read their paper or visit their website, the better off NYT is. I think New York Times does a good job. I’d like to see them stay in business.

  9. thegreedy says

    Heeeey dude

    Before I used to download podcast from NYTIMES.COM
    but for my surprise, I MUST HAVE THE F*** ITUNES SOFTWARE to download the podcast 🙁

    Not everyone has Itunes and the named software is very heavy for normal computers with low capacity
    so I give +10 😀

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