iTunes Podcasting Wishlist

15 Comments

iTunes 4.9 has changed my life. (Okay, not my ENTIRE life, but a large part of it). I’m totally digging these podcast things, and iTunes makes it easy and simple to download new episodes and sync them with my iPod. However, there are a few issues that constantly bug me:
– There is no way to easily go to a podcast’s home page, or to its page in the iTMS.
– Descriptions of episodes and podcasts in general are hard to read, and often cut off.
– When browsing the music store, unless one is looking through featured shows, there is no way to get more information about a podcast other that either googling the name, or choosing to listen to an episode.
– There is no easy way to view show-notes.
Am I the only one with these gripes? These are things that don’t seem like they would be too hard to implement. Hopefully Apple will address at least some of these issues in their next major iTunes release, iTunes 5.0

15 Comments

D Cootey

It’s been over half a year since this article was posted. Let’s see how Apple’s done:

– There is no way to easily go to a podcast’s home page, or to its page in the iTMS.

With the current version of iTunes (6.0.2) clicking on the arrow next to the podcast’s name brings up the iTMS page for that podcast or it’s home page on the web if it was not added through iTMS. Since I’ve changed the default behavior for those arrows, I need to “option” click.

– Descriptions of episodes and podcasts in general are hard to read, and often cut off.

Clicking on the “i” next to the description brings up a popup window that displays the full description. So far, an improvement, but HTML specific elements are not translated properly so the description can be a bit of a mess sometimes.

– When browsing the music store, unless one is looking through featured shows, there is no way to get more information about a podcast other that either googling the name, or choosing to listen to an episode.

Clicking on the arrow next to the podcast’s name brings up the iTMS page for that podcast with episodes and description. Good improvement.

– There is no easy way to view show-notes.

Not sure how this differs from the second point. Show notes can be found in the same location as description.

So far, all improvements. However, I’d love to see HTML support within the description popups. I wish that subscribing to a podcast didn’t autoload my podcast subscription playlist forcing me to relog back into the iTMS if I wasn’t finished browsing. I really hate how they removed the star ratings from podcasts in the latest iPod update. I used that feature all the time. I’d love to be able to somehow click on a URL link while listening to a podcast that would autoload that link later when I synced… That would be easier to implement using iTunes and applescript than making a web browsing, WiFi shootin’ iPod. ;)

Paul Story

Apple is hyper sensitive (understandably IMHO) about music casts. You say that half the stuff you play can’t be found on iTunes. That seems to imply that the other half can be. Do you have all the proper permissions? Even if you have, the iTunes team will take a while to check your cast out. It’s not true that they only have talk radio-type stuff. The Tartanpodcast and Coverville are two examples of many music shows I can think of.
If they listened to one of your shows and heard even one mainstream number, they’ll just leave it off.

You’re absolutely right about podcasting being an important medium for exposing the public to new bands. Good luck to you. (If you do have illegal stuff on there as far as Apple calls it, why not reedit and compile your backshows to another cast?).

Ricky

I have my own podcast and you have to manually subscribe because I believe from what I understand that podcasting on iTunes is limited to talk shows about things. Unfortunately music shows like mine which feature underground electronic music have to be left to un-listed podcasting because of the issues with licenses on the music store. Half the stuff I play you cant find on iTunes (hence the reason why I feel its so important to PUT the show on iTunes to give the acts more exposure to a mainstream audience).

http://www.djgalbis.com/subdrive

The podcast is part of the archived shows from a college internet radio station, WPIR Pratt Radio (www.prattradio.com).

Hi Guys

Your comment caught my eye Karen (I’m the author of Tom Corven). I hope the work-around wasn’t too much of a pain.

All the comments here are really interesting. The more we talk, the better all this will get.

The biggest problem just lies in the blistering speed with which podcasting (and Apple’s interest in it) has caught fire. Be patient but keep voicing your concerns.

The sluggishness Jason talks of often comes soon after a caster makes a new show and posts it. Since many iTunes’ users (and those using other podcatchers) set their preferences to automatically check for new files, there are hundreds (or in some cases thousands) of requests for the cast within a very short time. This places a sudden and high demand on the show’s servers.
Of course if you do have the software set to automatic, it’ll just try again later and you shouldn’t be inconvenienced too much.

Hope you all keep enjoying the shows and spread the joy.

Paul

Karen

I would like the option on an indivdual subscription basis to delete or not after listening too.
I did find a workaround for continous play on shortchapter audiobooks (ie Tom Corven). Add them to a playlist, (set tracks if need be). Leave shuffle on Albums so switching twix music and podcasts are less painful.

Simon Roe

I don’t like the fact that you can’t share podcasts over bonjour! I would like to be able to download a podcast and play it from any computer on my network, rather than have to download it on every computer I want it on.

Jason Terhorst

The sluggishness, I don’t know much about, but I know that there is an option in the preferences to have iTunes delete the old, listened-to programs from your HD and ‘Pod. Go to Preferences, then “Podcasts”, then choose the “Keep” dropdown, and choose “All unplayed episodes”. Very cool, huh? It gets rid of the old ones after it’s sure that you’re done with them.

camson

I agree with all the previous posters, there are definitely good points in there.

The point I would add to this list, is what is with the sluggish performance when it’s updating the podcasts??

Hasan Diwan

There are a few things I don’t like about the Podcasting interface in iTunes:
1. Old MP3s are not deleted once synchronised or listened to.
2. One can’t drag a podcasting URL onto it and have iTunes do the right thing.

Mark Wubben

It’s nice how it stops downloading podcasts when you happen to delete the ones you’ve listend to on your iPod before you sync it…

Okay, not so nice. Now I have to pay attention to see if it’s updating or not :)

Dan

Leo rocks. Guess he hasn’t had a chance to do that on the “This week in tech” podcast yet”

Also, PXLated, good info!

Jason Terhorst

On the podcasts that I listen to (the ones from Leo Laporte), clicking the arrow circle to the right of the podcast name takes me to his site, and clicking the little “i” circle button shows me the shownotes. But this may depend on the author of the podcast. (Leo works hard to make sure his stuff works on iTunes)

PXLated

It’s a 1.0 feature, give it time :-)
From what I’ve read, a lot of your points have more to do with how the podCasters themselves syndicate their feeds. iTunes offers more RSS tags than standard feeds but most podCasters haven’t started using them yet
(chapter/artwork notes, etc)

Matt

I totally feel you on about 80% of those points. I’m sure they are getting feedback and will make changes :)

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