I am a big consumer of podcasts I listen to them mostly on my iPhone , however I am not a big fan of the way iTunes handles podcasts. First it is slow to update, many times a Web site has a podcast available but it will not show in iTunes till the next day or even later. Syncing takes forever and since I am usually running out the door it’s not a very good option. I usually end up sitting in my car outside my place downloading one on the iPhone, if I forget I am pretty much out of luck because you can’t download a podcast over 10 MB over 3G. So I have been looking for an alternative for awhile. I think I found it, Pocket Cast. Pocket Cast is a product of Shiftyjelly. I first heard about Pocket Cast while listening to the interview of one of the developers Russell Ivanovic on the 200th episode of the GSPN’s Podcast Answer Man. By the time they got to the middle of the interview I was trying to find the application in the iTunes App store.
When you first open the application up it will ask you if you want to import any podcast, I clicked yes and in a very short time all the podcast I had appeared on the screen in front of me. The icon’s of the podcasts appear in a grid, you can make the icons either large or small. You have the choice of three colors for the background, red, blue or orange. There is a menu icon for any podcast notes. The number of un-played episodes of a podcast appear in the upper right hand corner of the podcast. All un-played podcast appear in the bottom dock. If you click on an individual podcast you have the choice of either downloading it or streaming it over Wifi or 3G. Unlike Itunes you can download any podcast no matter the size even over 3G. If you want to get a new podcast you can search by name, within popular podcasts or add by url. Once you choose your new podcast it will download the latest 2 episodes. Finish playing a podcast, hit the edit button and then delete.
ShiftyJelly keeps track on their servers of when a new episode is available. When a new episode is available it will download automatically. They appear much quicker then in Itunes. Episodes download in the background. so you can continue to read your email or play a game while they download. When you are playing a podcast if you click on the icon you can go forward 30 seconds or back 10 seconds. You can use the application with Airplay. The one problem I did run into was when I tried to add a premium podcast that required a user name and password it didn’t download. Other then that problem I really like the application and I am no longer subscribing through Itunes to get my podcast.