266 Apple Gets Podcasts App Right! Well Almost! – Take Your Community On A Cruise – And My Thoughts On The Freemium Model & More!
Summary: It Was No Rumor! Apple Releases Official Podcasts App! In last week's episode, I shared the rumors and speculation that surrounded the idea that Apple might release a standalone Podcasts App for iOS. Earlier this week, Apple actually released such an app. Personally, I'm thinking that they may have rushed it out the door due to the amount of information that had been leaked about it. I think this because the app, while I have plenty of good things to say about it, does seem to be a bit buggy and lacks the typical Apple polish when it comes to user interface. Apple's Description of the app: Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature. Features that Apple lists: Features: - Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app - Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages - Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more. - Browse by audio or video podcasts, or see what's most popular in Top Charts - Tap Subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available - Stream episodes or download to listen while offline - Skip forward and back using simple playback controls - Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed - Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages, and Mail - Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC - Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices Jesse Poteet, a member of the gspn.tv community states that, "I like the episode playback sync.... only thing missing from that is the sync doesn't work on the desktop iTunes... only on mobile devices" With the limited amount of time that I had to play with the application, I have a few slight concerns. Like the iBooks Application, I had to choose to install it and I have the ability to delete it. While the user interface is not nearly as bad as I thought it might be, it does take a bit to get used to. I notice that there is not currently a way to write a review for a podcast from the app. There is no way to add a podcast rss feed that is not listed in iTunes. Currently, there is no way to search for a podcast by Podcast Author, though, for now, you could put your name on the title line of your podcast. Regardless of the slight concerns that I have listed above, I am very excited about a few things when it comes to how Apple Approached their podcasts app. Apple is featuring this in the iTunes Desktop App Store pretty heavily. They are also featuring this app in the App Store for all iOS Devices. After only three days, the Podcasts App is already in the #3 position for Top Downloaded Apps available for free! Engadget reported, in April 2012, that there are 365 Million iOS Devices in play today! That means a lot of EXPOSURE for the Podcasting Platform. More than anything else, I am assuming that subscriptions and downloads via this app will count towards itunes Ranking! I'm moving ALL OF MY SUBSCRIPTIONS to the new Podcasts App so that I can make sure the podcasters that I subscribe to get the full benefit of the rankings that they deserve. Here's the deal, I'm sure there are more great things that could be said about the application. Also, I am certain that there are a host of other flaws and issues that I had not yet come across in the limited time I played with the App before recording this episode. In fact, I found that the app will not continue to play the audio of a video podcast in the background if the application is closed. Yes,