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Apple launches new 'Podcasts' app for iPhone, iPad

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apple on Tuesday launched a new first-party application in the iOS App Store called "Podcasts," devoted to discovering and downloading Internet content.

The free application is now available to download from the App Store. It's an 8.8-megabyte download designed for both iPad and iPhone that requires iOS 5.1 or later.

"Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch," Apple's official description reads. "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."

The full list of features in the new Podcasts application, as highlighted by Apple, are:
  • 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

Podcasts

  • 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

In order to optionally sync episodes of podcasts, users must be running iTunes 10.6.3 or later on their Mac or PC. Apple also noted that streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection.

The launch of the new Podcasts application comes earlier than was rumored, as recent reports indicated that Apple planned to launch a standalone podcast application later this year as part of its iOS 6 operating system update. Previously, users were able to explore and download podcasts through the native iOS iTunes application.
post #2 of 58

The app looks pretty slick, so that's good - but I still think it and the other iTunes functions should remain unified.  Partly because at some point it gets cumbersome ("I'm interested in vegan cooking... I'll look for an app in the AppStore... OK, now I'll open this other app so I can look for a podcast... OK, now I'll open yet another app to look for a cookbook...").  And partly because I don't want a cluttered screen - at a minimum, hopefully they'll let users put all the "iTunes apps" into one folder (hmm, called "iTunes"?) so they're all in one place and readily accessible.

post #3 of 58

Video Podcasts finessed to be Channels for Apple TV

post #4 of 58
Uhg now all my podcasts sound like crap thanks to Apple using this old tape junk! Thanks Apple!
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Uhg now all my podcasts sound like crap thanks to Apple using this old tape junk! Thanks Apple!

Uh, what.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #6 of 58

"Internet content" or "podcasts indexed by apple"

Will this app really discover "Internet content", or will it just find podcasts indexed by Apple?

 

This seems like a response to the many "Download music/content" apps that have been flooding the app store.

 

At the very least, I'd like to be able to add the url of a podcast not indexed by Apple.

 

Also, if it really "Internet content" and not just podcasts, I'd love to drop mp3s in there. But that will never happen.

post #7 of 58

And they didn't try out an Enhanced Podcast (technology Apple created and promoted).  There is no access to chapter markers in a podcast, which is actually a step backwards from Music 5.1.1 where they just broke the chapter titles, but can still see and jump by chapters.

edit -- they do have progress within chapter and a timeline-chapter-delimited overview in the reel-to-reel section of the playback UI, but can not see titles nor effectively jump by chapters (other than blind next/prev chapter buttons or scrubbing).  And there is still no place to conceivably show chapter titles.  Also the fact that it is hidden under the artwork in the reel-to-reel section was very non-discoverable.

 

The other aspect which I will have to play with, is that within music I have a playlist based upon unfinished podcasts (oldest first).  So far I can't see how to replicate that in the Podcasts app.  The goal being to have a queue of all my regular podcasts and have the next one start after the previous one finishes, oldest podcasts playing first.

post #8 of 58

Spiffy

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcReQnhB7fSOU575iRKS7UXuQONaR77xBN9HZTyfqjPMrizHtYTv

post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Uh, what.

Start a podcast playing, and the tap the artwork.  It slides up revealing a reel-to-reel tape UI with some more playback controls such as a "playback speed" knob.

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

 at a minimum, hopefully they'll let users put all the "iTunes apps" into one folder (hmm, called "iTunes"?) so they're all in one place and readily accessible.

 

1. Place a finger on any app icon on your screen and hold it there until the apps start jiggling around. 

 

2. Drag one of the applicable apps on top of another applicable app. 

 

3. Tap the little white on gray X in the white bubble of the newly created folder. 

 

4. Type 'iTunes' in the now empty bubble

 

5. Tap anywhere outside of the gray 'folder' area. 

 

6. Drag the next applicable app into the new 'folder'. Repeat until you have all the apps you like in said folder

 

7. Tap your home button (that's the round button in the black/white area of your iPad or iPhone) to 'exit' edit mode. 

 

Same function that has been there for a while now. Have at it. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #11 of 58

On device podcast subscriptions! Hurray and at long last!

 

I put a request in for this way back last year when iOS 5 came out as "pc free" really didn't work for me with podcasts when going to check for new episodes was such a laborious manual task...

post #12 of 58

I've often wondered why podcasts don't automatically update on your iPhone/iPad without syncing with iTunes. I usually remember to sync just as I am heading out of the door... then it's backing up, preparing to sync, copying purchased items zzzz... updating genius lists, and then finally it syncs one podcast!

 

So, if this app does that a little better, count me as a happy camper.

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply
post #13 of 58

I'll play with it, but so far I'm finding one big disadvantage... blind use.

I pretty much listen to just podcasts in my car and HAVE to have eyes-free use.

In this app, I'm seeing a bit too much of clever artwork resulting in deep drilling.

And the #1 ding is that the jump forwards/backwards buttons are tiny.... very bad.

I've been using Pocket Casts by shiftyjelly and their jump 'buttons' are the entire left/right of the 'now playing' screen.

They're also very quick to alert me to new episodes...

So far, I'll be sticking with Pocket Casts, but will play with the Apple offering.

It is very beautiful, but safety first.
 

post #14 of 58

The sleep timer is a nice touch.

post #15 of 58

that's been a feature within Clock/Timer for years.

post #16 of 58
Hmm. 'casts I have subscribed in iTunes already, aren't subscribed in the new app. Will have a play, perhaps this is an opportunity to remove them from my iTunes and sub in the app instead.
post #17 of 58

So, am I supposed to keep syncing Podcasts via iTunes or disable that altogether and rely solely on the app? Because if I stop syncing via iTunes, it won't sync back listening positions or played/unplayed status. I hate when these things become ambiguous and you don't really know what's syncing and what's not. It's a (very) welcome app, but if there's a Podcasts app now, it doesn't make any sense to keep podcasts in the Music app as well which are completely out of sync. Argh...

post #18 of 58
For these kind of problems I recommend... getting some real problems. Then, your podcasts not syncing their last played positions, won't seem so bad.
post #19 of 58
In iOS6, if you open the Music app after installing the Podcasts app, the podcasts button in Music app is removed with a message popup saying "Podcasts have moved - Podcasts are now in the podcasts app"
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post

In iOS6, if you open the Music app after installing the Podcasts app, the podcasts button in Music app is removed with a message popup saying "Podcasts have moved - Podcasts are now in the podcasts app"

 

Okay, that makes perfect sense. The same happened when they introduced the Videos app. So why won't this one do the same right now?

 

UPDATE: Well, I actually know the answer... the Videos app was introduced with an iOS update, therefore the Music app was updated as well.

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

On device podcast subscriptions! Hurray and at long last!

 

Agreed, I've been waiting for this for a long time. Glad Apple released this now rather than waiting for iOS6!

post #22 of 58

If this *pushes* episodes out without the app running, that is HUGE, and opening a door for pushing rich content (other than 'print' issues in Newsstand). It's not quite clear what they mean by "automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available." Do they mean 1. Automatically downloads when you open the app (like regular podcast or subscription apps, Instapaper, etc.) or 2. Automatically downloads like Newsstand, which downloads in the background via push.

 

Can anyone confirm this yet? This could be opening the door for more background activity, pushing new TV episodes, videos, maps for offline use, etc.

post #23 of 58

Yeah, subscriptions is definitely the thing, BUT... again, they're not in sync with iTunes! So you're managing two sets of subscriptions, if you want to keep iTunes as a repository for your Podcasts (which I suppose everybody wants to). *sigh*

post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple on Tuesday launched a new first-party application in the iOS App Store called "Podcasts," devoted to discovering and downloading Internet content. ...

 

I don't see what the cheers are about.  This almost seems like an afterthought of an app to me.  They didn't do anything interesting, or new with it, they didn't add anything significant or clear up any of the discovery problems.  

 

This is like the app that they gave to the new guy to work on because it's such a dull task he couldn't possibly screw it up.  

 

Most importantly, "podcasts" are still a complete mix of audio-only, audio-video, and audio-video-photos with no way to separate them out.  Also, podcast quality varies wildly with no indications as to quality when choosing them.  It's literally just a big list of podcasts of almost any type, separated by some loose categories.  As always, if you want to watch a good quality video podcast, you could literally be searching for hours before you find one. 

 

This app is nothing to cheer about at all.  It lives in a world somewhere between "dull as dishwater" and "same old shite."

post #25 of 58
nt
Edited by Stu - 6/26/12 at 2:20pm
post #26 of 58

I'm definitely sticking with the Music app + iTunes syncing option for the time being. The app's interesting but the Mac has to be part of the equation as well. I'll wait till they get it all in sync.

post #27 of 58

does this actually do *paid* subscriptions?  Right now you have to do paid for subscriptions that need a user name and password in iTunes on a Mac or Windows machine, and then sync it to your iOS device because the iOS device has no way to get it.  If this lets you get podcasts that need a log in, that would be fantastic.

post #28 of 58

Are there any options for 1/2, 1, 1.5x, 2x speed for voice? 2x is my normal option for tech podcasts. What I like to get just information. I could cut time for some long ones like 2hrs to 1hrs, and I could listen more during my day.

post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

For these kind of problems I recommend... getting some real problems. Then, your podcasts not syncing their last played positions, won't seem so bad.

No! we don't want real problems! we want to pick nits!! the first version of any new app has to be perfect! because Apple never adds any improvements later. or if it does, i can't wait. either instant gratification or Fail!

post #30 of 58
there's a 2x and 0.5x, but no 1.5x - which I would really like to see as an option. 2x is too fast.
post #31 of 58
Ugh....someone at Apple needs to put a stop to these skeumorphic UI designs. Not everything needs to look like a physical thing in order for people to figure out how to use it, or for it to look good. Apple figured out less is more with their hardware. Why can't they do the same on the software side?!?
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post

There's a "Unplayed Episodes" playlist, but it seems to show most recent first, which is an odd sorting decision for podcasts. Can't find a way in the app (and no settings entry for podcast) to change any options

I did notice the "Unplayed Episodes" section (had to switch to list view, there is no equivalent on the "tile" view).  And this may be an upgrade or first-launch style issue, but the "Unplayed" section only showed items which I had not yet started, more like the "new" categorization in iTunes rather than the "unplayed" status.  I'll have to experiment more with this and the rest of the app more.

post #33 of 58
Age you able to import your own podcast feeds or is it only what's in the iTunes store?

Not sure why someone would chose this over Downcaster or other good podcast apps other than its free.
post #34 of 58
nt
Edited by Stu - 6/26/12 at 2:20pm
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

No! we don't want real problems! we want to pick nits!! the first version of any new app has to be perfect! because Apple never adds any improvements later. or if it does, i can't wait. either instant gratification or Fail!

 

This is not nitpicking. If there's an ecosystem, the status of things should be coherent within it. That's a basic assumption. If it's not ready, don't release it yet. What's the point?!

post #36 of 58
Excellent app. Keeps all your podcasts and podcast subscriptions together on your device. Easy to browse for and subscribe to additional podcasts too. Bonus is that it looks great on both the iPhone and iPad.
post #37 of 58

Possibly mainly beneficial for my iPad, the handling of podcasts on that hasn't been satisfactory compared to the iPhone.

post #38 of 58

I too noticed that enhanced podcast have been left out in the cold with chapters & album art missing.  Hopefully they'll update this missing feature quick.

post #39 of 58

Really?  People still use podcasts?

post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DyingSun View Post

 

This is not nitpicking. If there's an ecosystem, the status of things should be coherent within it. That's a basic assumption. If it's not ready, don't release it yet. What's the point?!

the point is, it is quite good as it is, V.1, and no doubt Apple will improve on it later. it is "ready," even if some people aren't.

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