Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apple's Podcasts App Takes Podcasts from the Music App into its Own App

Apple released its new Podcasts app, and so far the reviews are quite positive. It allows you to find, subscribe to, and play podcasts with one app. This is a much better option, in my mind, than using the Podcasts feature of the built-in Music app.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App
The app lets you access the Podcasts catalog in iTunes, using the same interface as iTunes so that you can view New & Noteworthy, the Podcast Starter Pack, Staff Favorites, and the Top Charts. The app switches between the Catalog view and Library view in just the same way as Apple's iBooks app.

The most innovative new feature may be Top Stations, which highlights podcast series in a range of categories, from Arts and Comedy to Music and Technology. The way you scroll through the categories and subcategories in Top Stations is fresh and attractive. A toggle lets you browse either audio or video podcasts. I like this app a lot. You can stream episodes, or down?oad the podcasts so they can be listened to offline.

While listening to a podcast, the screen simulates an old cassette player. There is a listening speed control knob that lets you slow down or speed up the speech of the podcast to your liking. A sleep timer lets you stop playing a podcast after a specified time if you're listening in bed.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App
If you're new to podcasts, and are not sure which podcast stations to listen to; I suggest using the search field to search for certain keyword like parenting, iPad or fantasy football (whatever your interest include) to get a list of podcasts.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App
Want to share podcasts with others, the arrow icon allows you to share via email, twitter and messaging.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App
The new Podcasts app from Apple is a step in the right direction to bring podcasting to the masses. Us techie know all about podcasting and now the rest can too. This is a great tool, especially if you need to download podcasts for offline listening. I prefer streaming podcasts instead of downloading them. I have Sprint as my cellular provider and have their unlimited Internet deal, so I don't have to worry about incurring additional charges when streaming content.

I use the free Stitcher Radio app to stream them to my iPhone and iPad. While the Apple Podcasts app bring some of the same features Stitcher Radio offers and even adds downloading, it is missing some things that I enjoy from Stitcher.

Stitcher allows me subscribe to my podcasts and add them to my favorites. The favorite podcasts are then stitched together to create a personalized radio station for me. When one podcast in my list ends, the next in line immediately plays. Stitcher also provides live streaming of radio stations and even paid premium content.

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