Programming + Design

Podcasting done right! (Hint: It doesn't involve Apple) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brett Brewer   
Thursday, 07 February 2008

I've been a somewhat sporadic user of podcasts over the past couple of years. I really like the concept, but until recently the best solutions I have found were really geared more toward desktop use, such as the popular open-source podcast reciever called Juice . Of course, I prefer to listen to my podcasts on a portable mp3 player, and sadly, there is not a single piece of standard software for any of the major players that does a good job with managing podcasts for a portable device. The Zune software is minimalist and lame. Don't even get me started about iTunes either. iTunes is a menace that is guaranteed to make your PC run slower than...well...slower that if it didn't have iTunes. Perhaps it doesn't totally suck on the MacOS, but on Windows it's the first piece of software I uninstall any time I see it polluting the hard drive of anyone who doesn't specifically need it for their iPod to function properly (yet another reason NOT to buy an iPod).

Anyway, my main gripe with most of the standard MP3 player software out there is that if you want to sync your podcasts while you are away from your primary PC, you are generally S.O.L. unless you waste a bunch of time configuring multiple computers with your podcast settings. Recently though, I heard a commercial at the end of the Slashdot Review podcast for a piece of software from called "MyPodder ". I am happy to say that this software, combined with Podcastready's online podcast aggregation service is the solution I've been waiting for. Instead of installing the software on your PC, you install it on the portable device. You can then plug the device into any computer with a USB port and an internet connection and sync your podcasts directly to your portable device via your free account a I was already using to aggregate my feeds, so I was able to simply point at my OPML URL from and it picked up all my feeds. Now when I want to sync my portable device with my podcasts, I just plug it into whatever PC I happen to be near and the files are synced. The real upshot of this is that it makes those formerly useless little 512MB MP3 players into something truly functional again. Let's face it, 512MB is waaaaaaay too small for most people to use for their music, but as a dedicated podcast device, 512MB is really plenty of room unless you plan on archiving your podcasts on your portable device which would be sort of silly.

ANYWAY, I now have a use for my puny, but highly portable 512MB Sansa m230. I got it as a gift this Festivus and I didn't think I would really have a use for it since it's too small to hold much music, but as a podcast player it works great.  It has just enough room to hold the podcast software and the latest episode of all my favorite podcasts and it has a looooong battery life. So check out MyPodder if you are looking for a way to sync your podcasts directly to your mp3 player and cut out the middleware!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 February 2008 )
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