Following this post about how to remove the iOS 6 Podcasts app and use the Music app to listen to podcasts on an iOS device, I have written a more extensive article about podcasts on iOS for Macworld. I look at how the Podcasts app works, if you want to use it, and explain how to remove it, if you don’t like it.
Personally, I’m using the Music app, after trying the Podcasts app for a while (long enough to know what’s wrong with it to be able to write about it). The only thing I miss, however, is the two ways of displaying podcasts: in “grid view” and in a list. Also, in the Podcasts app, you can re-order podcasts, so if your favorite is not the first in alphabetical order, you can put it at the top of the display.
Posted: 10/5/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPad, iPhone, iPod & iTunes Tags: podcasts | No Comments »
If you like to listen to podcasts, but are dismayed at the way they are relegated to their own Podcasts app in iOS 6 (and in iOS 5 as well), you don’t have to use the Podcasts app. What’s changed in iOS 6 is that podcasts no longer show up in the Music app; with iOS 5, they still did, and you had the option of using either app. Now, you no longer have that choice, assuming that you have the Podcasts app on your iOS device.
If you recall, you had to install it on its own; it’s not part of iOS. So if you’d rather continue to listen to podcasts in the Music app, just delete the Podcasts app. When you open the Music app, tap on Other and you’ll see a Podcasts entry. You can access your podcasts from there as you did before.
Posted: 9/21/2012 by kirk | Filed under: iPad, iPhone, iPod & iTunes Tags: iOS, podcasts | 23 Comments »
Apple has released its Podcasts app for iOS. Available from the iTunes Store, this app automatically spots the audio and video podcasts on an iOS device, and lets you play them from there. There is also a Top Stations feature, which groups podcasts that you might want to discover.
I’ve only just started playing with the Podcasts app, and some things aren’t clear. For example, while podcasts display in this app, they are still visible in my Music app. (I don’t have any video podcasts.) Also, the Top Stations feature isn’t displaying artwork, so I don’t have any idea what podcasts are on each “station.”
This app will be most practical, if, as I recently suggested, it syncs podcasts via iCloud, so you can subscribe to podcasts on one device and not need to download them to iTunes and sync them. And if there is this syncing, you’d be able to listen to podcasts on any of your devices.
Here’s the feature list:
- 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
I’ll post more information tomorrow after I’ve explored the app. But if you’re a podcast listener, download it and try it out.
Posted: 6/26/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPod & iTunes Tags: iTunes, podcasts | No Comments »
Reports have pointed out that podcasts are no longer listed in the iTunes app in iOS 6. This is the app that you use to purchase or download content (with the exception of books), and this suggests that Apple will be releasing a separate Podcasts app for iOS 6. This would be similar to what Apple did with iTunes U, releasing a separate app, and what they did with iBooks from the app’s launch. (Though I suspect that the reasons for iBooks’ separateness are either a) books are not sold in all countries, so the app can’t be included in iOS everywhere, and/or b) there may have been antitrust issues in bundling the app rather than having users download it expressly.)
While making a standalone Podcasts app would be great, what would be even better would be to sync podcasts via iTunes Match (or Podcast Match?). If there is a separate app, this would be used for finding podcasts, subscribing to them, downloading them and listening to them, all of which are done using iTunes on the desktop. But why should users have to do this on two devices: a computer and an iOS device? Why can’t these settings by synced to the cloud so users can access the same lists of podcasts easily without having to sync a device with iTunes?
Here’s how it could work. In iTunes on the desktop, you can choose which podcasts you want to subscribe to, and download them to listen to on your Mac or PC. When you open the Podcasts app on your iPhone, you’ll have the same list, with the little cloud icon next to each episode. You can either download the episodes you want to hear, or stream them when you listen to them. As you listen to episodes, they’ll be marked as listened on iTunes, which will update its information from the cloud. And when you listen on iTunes, the same will happen on your iOS device.
You would also be able to delete a podcast on either a computer or device, and have it deleted from all your devices. You could subscribe on your iPhone and find the new podcast in your iTunes library. All of this could be easily done via the cloud; even more easily than with music, since there is no matching involved, but each podcast has a unique name.
This would make one less type of media to sync, and make podcasts not only easier to manage and use, but also more prominent, as they would have their own app.
Naturally, this wouldn’t entail a separate desktop app; there’s no logical reason to remove this functionality from iTunes, in part because iTunes still syncs with non-iOS devices.
With the existence of separate apps on iOS for different types of content already – Music, Videos and iTunes U – splitting out podcasts makes sense. But adding the ability to sync via the cloud would go even further.
Posted: 6/16/2012 by kirk | Filed under: Apple & Mac OS X, iPad, iPhone, iPod & iTunes Tags: iOS, iTunes, podcasts | 2 Comments »