iTunes 4.9

Two weeks of nonstop packing, unpacking and general schlepping and today, I crashed. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Only have energy for blogging. 😉

Big thing this week is [iTunes 4.9](http://www.apple.com/itunes) and its support for podcasts.

Folks either love Apple’s implementation, or they hate it. Yes, there’s ABC, ESPN and Disney in there. The selection of indie podcasts is limited, and for some reason some of the links don’t work right at all. But you don’t have to subscribe to only the podcasts that Apple in their music store. Get the RSS URL of a podcast and then it’s simple to add it via Advanced -> Subscribe to Podcast… In the list, it’s the same as if you subscribed from the music store page. [Podcast Alley](http://www.podcastalley.com) is a good directory site. There are many others.

I think iTunes 4.9 is great for a first version. One of my biggest problems with iPodder or iPodderX was what to do with the files after I finished listening to them. iPodder has a “clean up” menu but that still required me to uncheck those files I didn’t want to keep, or to clean them up on a podcast by podcast basis. I don’t want to save anything. Since I have a Shuffle, I don’t want a playlist for every podcast. I like the way Apple has the podcasts in a separate “Podcast” playlist and I have the preference set to only save the latest episode. If I want to listen to a show that I’ve missed, I can download it. I like the blue dot telling me which shows I haven’t listened to yet. It’s simple and easy for something that I need to be simple and easy. Would be even better if I could share subscriptions across networked computers. Some bugs…like you can’t sort by anything other than release date, and even that is only per-blog.

One other criticism: I wish there was an easier way of getting shows to my Shuffle other than drag & drop. The “Autofill” menu doesn’t include the Podcast list. So I plugged in headphones and I listen to podcasts from iTunes rather than the Shuffle. If I want to listen from the shuffle, I copy a podcast or two over.

So for me, and my casual podcast listening, iTunes 4.9 is a 8 out of 10.

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