I’m not sure what prompted me to get up early this morning, but I did. I followed my usual Tuesday morning ritual - startup iTunes and download the weekly free songs. Only today, I was greeted by an ad embedded in the iTunes music store bragging, “Podcasts are here!”
I’ve written about my love of Podcasts before, but up until today I had been (unhappily) using iPodder. iPodder is always fussy about its connection to iTunes…sometimes songs wouldn’t get imported properly, and they almost never got labeled properly as a “Podcast” for integration into my assortment of Smart Playlists. Just as these things were getting on my nerves Jobs announced the integration of podcast support in iTunes 4.9…I had been eagerly awaiting the upgrade ever since.
Apple sure didn’t disappoint…while things are still a bit rough here and there, and the lack of “enhanced Podcast support” on my 3G iPod is somewhat disappointing, I think Apple has scored another win. Within minutes, I had moved over all my subscriptions into the iTunes interface, synced up the iPod and I was ready to go. All of the podcasts are organized efficiently in a separate view with collapsible headings and a slightly different UI. The modified UI allows you to download manually anything you might have skipped over or otherwise excluded in the Podcast preferences section. The only thing I’m missing is per-feed aging and syncing preferences…but overall, this is a limitation I can live with considering how clean the rest of it is.