The TWiT.tv Story
It all started in 1998 with a small cable network called ZDTV, a channel dedicated to covering computers, the Internet, and personal technology. Many of the people behind this site worked on that network as hosts, reporters, or producers.
In 2004, ZDTV, then called TechTV, was sold and dismantled. Former TechTV hosts, Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, and John C. Dvorak, and producers Robert Heron, David Prager, and Roger Chang went on to other jobs, but we stayed in touch, with each other, and with fans of the late TechTV. Those fans told us again and again how important TechTV had been in their lives, and how much they missed the channel. We missed working with each other, too.
On a rainy evening in January, 2005 a few of of us got together for dinner after spending the day covering Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Leo, who was working as a radio host, happened to have a microphone and recorder. He turned it on and recorded 20 minutes of idle chatter about the Expo and the tech world in general. He posted that recording on his web site. Within a few days tens of thousands of people had downloaded the recording. TechTV fans began clamoring for more. A few months later, TWiT was born.
We originally called the show "The Revenge of The Screen Savers" because "The Screen Savers" was the name of the defunct TV show many of us had worked on, but the cable channel that had bought TechTV complained, so we changed the name to this WEEK in TECH, or TWiT, for short. TWiT was pretty much true to that original recording: a few of us gathered together in person or via Skype to shoot the breeze about the week's tech news.
Leo whipped up this web site and began producing the show weekly. It very quickly became the most popular netcast on the Internet (more about netcasting/podcasting below). Generous fans provided enough money to pay for the equipment and web hosting and the site and the show began to grow.
With the success of TWiT, Leo became emboldened to produce other shows, each of them designed to recreate an aspect of the original TechTV. Since audio production was cheap and easy he stuck with audio, although since then we've also started producing video versions of the show. Eventually he brought in other friends from the TechTV days, and a little netcast network was born. This site is the home of that network.
You'll find over 15 different shows here, all covering some aspect of technology. Leo hosts and produces most of the shows, but as the network expands new hosts and participants are added all the time. You can learn more about a show by clicking its name on the left side of this page. You can listen to any show by pressing play on the player built into each show's page. If you like a show you can subscribe to it using iTunes or other netcast/podcast programs.
All our shows are free. TWiT.tv is supported by advertising and listener donations. A small $2/month recurring donation through Paypal keeps us afloat and shows your support for what we're trying to do. We're limiting the advertising to no more than once per half hour, and sticking with companies we know and use ourselves.
As TWiT grows we've expanded our facilities and added new shows and hosts and staff to edit and produce shows and run the office. In time we hope to make TWiT a CNN for geeks, with 24-hour live streaming video and downloadable audio and video so you can watch and listen where and when it's convenient for you. Our live stream, TWiT Live, lets you watch streaming video of the shows being produced along with other incidental coverage of tech issues, breaking news, and Leo's personal life. You can watch live every day of the week (and re-runs when we're not live) at live.twit.tv.
Thanks for visiting TWiT.tv. We hope you enjoy the shows, and if you do, you'll share them with others. TechTV is gone, but its spirit lives on at TWiT.tv.
What Is A Netcast?
Netcasting (also known as "podcasting") is a great way of distributing audio and video programming automatically. When a site (like this) offers a netcast feed you can subscribe to the feed using netcasting software and any new items will be automatically downloaded to your computer. If you have a portable audio player, the files can also be copied to the player.
However, and this is a common area of confusion, no iPod or other MP3 player is required (that's one of the reasons we prefer the term "netcast" to "podcast"). You can listen to the audio and watch the video on your computer just as you would any digital media. In fact, with our feeds you don't even need special software. Just click the feed link and download the show you want directly, or use the player built into every page.
If you decide you want to listen to a show every time it comes out, you might consider using a netcasting or podcasting client. Think of it as Tivo for Internet audio and video. You subscribe to content you want by visiting the web site and getting the netcast URL. Your netcast software automatically downloads any new shows and copies them to your MP3 player. There's always something new and interesting to listen to and you never have to check the web to see when a new show is available.
By far the easiest way to subscribe to netcasts is to install the free iTunes program for Windows or Macintosh. Once you've installed iTunes you can visit the TWiT page at the iTunes Music Store for links to all our shows. (Don't worry, even though they're in the iTunes Store, our netcasts are free!)
Visit Wikipedia for more information about netcasting/podcasting.