The PhoneBoy Blog


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Fresh Content on Planes

One thing that strikes me about travelling on airplanes is that the content they offer via the audio or video system is “stale.” In fact, I saw the same content on my flight from Seattle to San Francisco that I saw from San Francisco to Baltimore except they showed a movie too.

The one notable exception that I am aware of is that JetBlue has DirecTV on-board. Unfortunately, JetBlue doesn’t fly any of the routes I normally fly.

This evening while I was in Chicago waiting for my flight, I downloaded ABC World News on iTunes. It took me a few minutes to do it over WiFi. I also download today’s Rocketboom. I could have downloaded more if I had more time and I didn’t already have a boatload of content stored on my Mac.

It suddenly occured to me that it would be trivial for an airline to do the same thing. Instead of using a tape, bring the content in on a flash drive. Stick it in the player. Or beam it to the plane with WiFi, WiMax, or some other technology. You could do the same thing with the audio channels, except with podcasts. Imagine hearing today’s KenRadio or the latest episode of This Week In Tech on the plane, provided by the airline. Or Science Friday. Or any number of other shows.

I can think of a number of reasons why the airlines might not want to do this. It will be more work for them. It will mean upgrading the video systems in the planes. But it will certainly be a way for the airlines to differentiate themselves.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a good idea?


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.