Anyone who owns an iPhone or iPod Touch will undoubtedly know the 2.2 OS update finally got released a few days ago. There has been much speculation about it, especially about the feature which would allow users to download new episodes of their favourite podcasts directly onto their device through Wifi or 3G. In the past, one had to download the podcast on to the computer through iTunes and only after which sync them to the device. It sounds a lot more troublesome as compared to this new feature, but in reality, I’m thinking that I’ll stick with downloading my podcasts through iTunes for now.
My main gripe with it? For some reason the Wifi music store won’t let me open it at all because it realises that I don’t live in the US (which is true) which is a real pain. Why? Not that I want to purchase music through my iPod, but rather, I can’t even access the Podcasts section of the program most of the time. Sometimes for some reason I can magically enter that category, but if I even try to search for any podcast, the program immediately kicks me back to the home screen stating that I don’t live in the US, thinking that I was trying to search for music.
For heaven’s sake what’s the problem with me opening the Music Store app anyway, I can do so in iTunes on my computer and even listen to those 30 second song previews, so why not let me do it on my iPod/iPhone as well? It’s not like I’d be breaking the law or anything by doing so. I would have expected Apple to at least have allowed non-US citizens to easily access the Podcast section, as there are many of us who don’t really care for the Music Store anyway, but would really like to download our podcasts directly on to our device rather than having to sync them with iTunes.
I managed to download a grand total of one podcast episode before I got so frustrated with the system that I just decided to give up on it.
There is an alternative out there though: Podcaster. It’s a third party app that got rejected by Apple awhile ago before 2.2 was released because it supposedly “duplicated a current feature of the iPhone”. I’ve only played around with it for awhile thus far, but it seems like a better version of the system Apple has introduced, though the search function is obviously bugged because I can’t find many popular podcasts. Still, there’s one pretty useful feature: the ability to stream podcasts. Regardless if they’re audio or video podcasts, podcaster gives you the option to stream them to your device instead of having to download the entire podcast. This is really convenient, especially when you’re surfing around for new podcasts and only want to see what the podcast is like. The only setback for most users: Podcaster can only be installed on a jailbroken iPhone/iPod Touch.
All in all though, I’ll ditch the idea of downloading podcasts directly to my iPod Touch for now and stick with iTunes. However, for others who rely heavliy on podcasts and aren’t US citizens, you might be a little let down by this new feature in the iPhone’s latest OS.Read More