Goodbye iPodder, Hello iTunes!

This is big news.

iTunes 4.9 is available and it supports podcasting.

I’ve moved all of my podcast feeds from iPodder into iTunes and the files are being downloaded as I write this.

I am removing iPodder from my system and now podcasting has become one step easier.

But this is a really important step, because everyone who has an iPod has iTunes.  That’s more than 6 million people.  All of them will have a podcasting client once they upgrade to 4.9.  That won’t happen overnight, but this is a big positive development for podcasting.

Here are a few other interesting things about podcasting in iTunes:

  • You can publish your podcasts to the Apple Music Store in iTunes.  They will review it and if it passes their smell test you get distribution in iTunes.  I did that for Positively 10th Street already and hopefully we’ll get a few more listeners via Apple.
  • iTunes automatically downloads the most recent podcast and you get the option to "Get" any of the old ones.  Very nice.
  • You can subscribe to RSS feeds of video content (videocasts?) and iTunes will apparently play the video in full screen mode.  So iTunes can also be a videocast client.  I couldn’t make this work but I have heard that others have.  I’ve added a del.icio.us tag called fred’svideocast if you want to tag some videos for me.  I put the Tom Cruise kills Oprah video in it to start it off.
  • When you synch an iPod with iTunes, the podcasts all show up on the iPod as a single playlist called Podcasts.  That’s not good.  I liked the iPodder approach better where each podcast showed up as a separate playlist.  I need to figure out how to fix that.  If you listen to a lot of podcasts, that is not going to work very well.

I am really excited by this development.  It should make podcasting easier for everyone.  Just yesterday I sent four CDs of Jason Chervokas’ Down In The Flood shows to a friend of mine.  Had I known that iTunes would support podcasting this week, I might not have done that.  I might have just sent him the URL and told him to download them in iTunes.