An iPodderX user and a podcast fan gives his impressions of the new iTunes

Overall, it is decent. If iPodderX hadn’t been getting increasingly yicky as it adds unnecessary features and interface I probably wouldn’t switch, but the new iTunes does a decent job at handling podcasts without too much fuss. The new podcast directory in the iTunes music store is pretty decent (although it lists some invalid or old podcast feeds) and it looks like Apple has even convinced some new people to make some podcasts (I don’t remember there being a Nightline podcast before).

Subscribing is pretty simple for a single podcasts, but subscribing to multiple podcasts is a pain. The UI switches you to your new podcast tab and then you have to go back to subscribe to another podcast. Also, it is kinda crummy that iTunes can’t import OPML files which meant I had to re-subscribe to each podcast. I like that through the advanced tab I can add a feed that doesn’t appear in the directory (excellent for the personalized feeds from ITConversations and Audible.com).

At first I was annoyed that podcasts appear in a separate area from the rest of the library and that they couldn’t be rated or anything. Then I found that I could drag an episode of a podcast into my library and then it would appear there and I could treat it like the MP3 it is. Nice.

If you’ve got iTunes, this is worth upgrading for. I can’t compare it to other podcasting aggregators (iPodder lemon never worked for me), but as it is and for free, you don’t really need another if you have iTunes4.9)

I forgot one very important thing:
The update settings are kind of weird, you can update on the hour, by day, by week or manually. If you update daily, it is set to update at 5pm and there is no way to change it. This could be really bad because everyone with iTunes will all try and grab their podcasts at the same time. Most aggregators will do stuff to avoid this, apple should fix this ASAP.

By kevin

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