By VAUHINI VARA THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
Now available for download through iTunes: raunchy sex banter, erotic storytelling sessions and reviews of pornographic Web sites.
Last month, Apple Computer Inc.'s online music store launched a directory of podcasts -- audio shows that can be downloaded free from the Internet and usually feature amateurs discussing mainstream topics like cars, sports and independent music. At the same time, it also opened its doors to a racier genre of audio files that some are calling "porncasts."
With names like "Fetish Flame" and "Open Source Sex," the adult podcasts are often created by self-proclaimed sex experts who have cheap recording software, a bit of free time and little or nothing in the way of professional radio experience. Many of the rambling audio shows focus on the creators' sex lives, often punctuated with stutters, long pauses and the occasional, "Um, so, what should we talk about next?"
As podcasting reaches a more mainstream audience, the more risque audio shows -- and Apple's role in distributing them -- could come under greater scrutiny. Apple declined to say whether any of its users have complained about the adult podcasts, which can be downloaded by anyone regardless of age. The company said it could potentially pull programs that it deems too explicit, but declined to say whether it has done so yet.