As Zune details became available some folks understandably complained about the lack of podcasting support, but there’s an important distinction here that people new to podcasting might overlook. While the Zune software currently doesn’t allow you to subscribe and download to podcasts natively the way iTunes does, the Zune hardware most certainly does support audio and video podcasts. A Zune software upgrade could add this functionality and I’d expect we’ll see that over time; Microsoft can only hide from RSS for so long: case in point being the integrated RSS reading within IE 7 and Outlook 2007.
I made a snap decision today and have a Zune in hand. In fact, right after I wrote my post about the Xbox Live Video service and the future possibility of watching those videos on a Zune, I called my better-looking better-half who was out shopping and had her pick up a Zune for me. I’ve already got podcasts on the Zune and it was a simple matter to be honest.
Any good podcatcher application (I used Doppler in this example) will allow you to specify where to save the RSS enclosures it downloads, so I simply created a "My Podcasts" folder under My Documents and configured the Zune software to monitor that folder. Just like Windows Media Player, you can tell the Zune software to watch as many (or as few) folders as you like for content.
That’s it….no rocket science here and now my podcasts are automatically synched over to the Zune hardware. This will work with videos as well, provided your podcatching software supports video file downloads. Bear in mind that some video podcasts are only available in a Quicktime format, but I suspect I’ll have a workaround for that before long and I will post if that’s the case. My previous viewing of "the show with zefrank" in Windows Media Center via TVTonic has my thinking about this particular issue. So…..anyone in the Philadelphia area want to share some music over WiFi? Now I know how the person with the first fax machine must have felt….