I have been listening to a few different podcasts for awhile now, but the overall workflow of getting them onto my iPod has always been annoying. First of all, there was lots of software to automatically download podcasts, but none of them seemed to have the ability to get the file onto my iPod (and remove it once it’s been listened to). Some of them could add the tracks to my iTunes library, but since I have too much music to make much out of the “Library Syncing” in iTunes, this didn’t really accomplish much for me. Enter iTunes 4.9, which makes the whole process much more bearable. First of all, it provides a whole new top-level category in iTunes which makes it very easy to find my podcasts. Second, and most importantly, it can sync podcasts to my iPod seperately from everything else, so all I have to do is connect my iPod to my computer and everything else is taken care of for me.
There are a few annoyances, though. First of all, I have set iTunes to delete podcasts I’ve listened to off the iPod. Unfortunately, their interpretation of “listened to” really equates to “began listening to”, and if you play the first second of a file, it marks it as played and deletes it the next time you sync. Also, my iPod has been locking up lately, as it did before, requiring a hard reset (which loses my current position in what I was listening to in the process). Those issues aside, this had made the whole podcasting experience for me far more bearable.
And just in case you are interested in what podcasts I’m listening to: