iTunes and Reducing the "Waste of Bandwidth"

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If you're an active listener to Podcasts, like the LeanBlog Podcast, you might likely use Apple iTunes software.

If you're like me, you might subscribe to more podcasts than you actually have time to listen to (although I hope you keep listening to mine, when I am able to put them out).

There is a neat feature in iTunes that prevents the “waste of overproduction,” if you will, in the Lean vernacular. Overproduction is the waste of building more than your customer needs (as evidenced by automakers having to slash inventory levels after building products that people don't want). Here are some earlier posts on “overproduction.”

iTunes senses that you haven't listened to certain podcasts and quits downloading new episodes. This saves their server bandwidth, and costs, I suppose. If you have a podcast with an exclamation point icon, if you click on it you get the pop up window that's pictured here. You can say, “yes, please start downloading these again” to overrule the bandwidth saving feature.

Seems to illustrate that Lean concept quite nicely — prevent overproduction, but give your customer control to get what they need.

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