This week McKinsey presented a study (China’s looming talent shortage) that concludes that the quality of China’s university graduates is not good enough to move from manufacturing into services. I do agree with them on this, and I think it mainly has to do with the education system focusing too much on memorizing instead of thinking about a subject. But that is not the main reason for this post. What I noticed on the article’s main page, is that the article can also be downloaded as a zip-file and then be converted to an mp3. A very interesting move. What will this hold for the future? Will all articles become available as audio-files so you can listen to them on your mp3-phone or iPod?
I do not understand why they decided to make a 12 MB zip file instead of going for an mp3-file directly. For spoken text you don’t need high-quality audio and mp3’s can be smaller than the 12 MB file they now have (the length is only 17 minutes). If they would go for the mp3 format directly they should take it one step further and also put an RSS feed on their site, so people can subscribe to audio files – and then it is suddenly called podcasting. But that seems too big a step too far for McKinsey at this point. A quick check of their site revealed that it does not even have one RSS feed on it. You can subscribe to news alerts by email… That is so old-fashioned. Anyway, at least they are going in the right direction by putting an audio file online. But still lots of room for improvement!