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Is Apple trying to kill podcasting? – How iOS6 Ruined my iPod Touch

Posted by Mike Dell at 7:31 AM on September 20, 2012


Yesterday, I hurried home to upgrade my iOS devices to iOS 6, expecting it to go smoothly. I have an iPad (3rd Gen) and a 4th Gen iPod touch. I did the iPad first and was very happy to learn that Siri is now enabled. I spent some time playing with that on the iPad while my iPod updated. I knew I wasn’t going to get full blown Siri on my iPod, but I wasn’t expecting what I did get.

Let me backtrack a bit. I am an avid podcast listener (mostly audio podcasts). I drive a lot. I’ve put 10,000 miles on since June this year for a new business I’m involved with. So I have a lot of windshield time. That time is spent listening to podcasts and audio books. I bought the iPod touch because my old 30gig iPod just wasn’t cutting it anymore with a weak battery and lack of control though my car audio system (which has an iPod dock connection). The new iPod was perfect for my use. I would go though my podcasts that had been downloaded to my Mac and pick out the episodes I wanted to listen to that day and put them in a playlist. Then when I was plugged into the car, I would hit play and they would play, one by one, in the order I wanted them to. When I got out of the car, the playback would stop. When I got back in the car the playback would resume without me having to touch anything.

Much to my surprise, iOS 6 removed podcasts from the music app completely. At first, I didn’t think that would be a problem since they did include the new “podcasts” app. Surely Apple wouldn’t screw up podcasts! Well, they did. The problem with the new podcasts app is there is no way to do playlists. You can set it up to play all the episodes of a particular podcast (In the wrong order I might add) but there is no way to setup a playlist of episodes from different podcast feeds. The new “podcasts” app is NOT a great app. It looks like, to me, that Apple decided to force everyone to use this app instead of how iPods have worked since they added podcast support back in 2005.

Another thing wrong with the Podcasts app, for listeners, is that if the podcast isn’t listed on iTunes, and there are 1000’s of them that are not for one reason or another, you cannot easily find or subscribe to them inside the app. There is a way to do it, but it’s not easy. This is going to make it even harder for people to consume podcasts. This has been a problem from the beginning of podcasting and now, at least in the Apple world, it’s even worse.

In my case, I am trying out Downcast, a podcast downloading and listening app for iPod touch, iPad and iPhone. It still doesn’t have individual episode playlists, but it does allow me to make a playlist of the unplayed episodes of selected podcasts which should be OK. I will be testing this over the next few weeks and I’m sure I will find a way to do it the way I want.

I get the feeling that Apple wants to make it harder to consume free content on their devices in favor of the paid content they have in the itunes store. Shame on you Apple!

18 Comments

  1. From Georg at 8:12 am on September 20, 2012

    Use icatcher, has everything including playlist you will ever need for podcasts.

  2. From Sam at 10:16 am on September 20, 2012

    Does Downcast or icatcher allow podcast playback at 2X?

    I listen to all my podcasts at 2X.

    Please let me know.

  3. From Sam at 10:17 am on September 20, 2012

    I answered my own question… icatcher looks like a good solution.

  4. From Mike Dell - Geek of the North at 10:35 am on September 20, 2012

    Downcast allows 2x and more. So far I’m liking downcast but it still doesn’t do playlists exactly how I would like it.

  5. From Richie at 10:37 am on September 20, 2012

    I download a radio show podcast every evening. How is it possible to download a single podcast? I’m baffled.

  6. From VacaBoca at 12:49 pm on September 20, 2012

    I’m in the exact same boat – drive a lot, listen to a number of different podcasts, and use a playlist to manage the sequence of listening for the day/week so that I can do so without having to touch anything while driving. I’ve been making some progress in “fixing” things by deleting the Podcasts app and working on it further… all is not yet lost, I think. Refer to this thread at Apple:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4310359?start=45&tstart=0

  7. From geeknews at 3:25 pm on September 20, 2012

    While the podcasting app is not yet perfect. I think by apple providing it by default in the new load of iOS 6 is a good thing. We are no longer stuck 5 clicks in on the iTunes app.

    Over time I am sure Apple will improve the app. We have actually seen a uptick in listener numbers due to the new app as more people are exploring.

    The basic challenge though remains to get people to subscribe to the shows via the basic iTunes links as discovery of shows in the app is very limited.

  8. From geeknews at 3:27 pm on September 20, 2012

    Do not forget also, that you can use MyCase at Blubrry.com to create an rss playlist that you control. You create the mycast list and then subscribe to your own custom RSS feed..

  9. From Ian at 8:34 pm on September 20, 2012

    Yet another vote for iCatcher. It’s a fantastic app and it is frequently updated with nice new features.

  10. From Nathan at 6:51 am on September 21, 2012

    I do the same thing as you… create custom playlists of my favorite podcasts… and now I can’t. You have to seriously wonder what Apple thinks it’s accomplishing.

    The FIRST thing I did after upgrading to iOS6 was drag the podcasting app to a folder on the last page of my iPhone which is title “Useless Apps.” I downloaded iCatcher, but it forces me to use my data plan on my iPhone to download apps, which costs me money. (My downloads on my desk computer cost me nothing.) Americans with unlimited data plans may find solutions that the rest of us cannot use. Canada has NO provider with unlimited data.

    Creating a RSS feed is no solution either, for the same reason.

  11. From SWillen at 6:04 pm on September 21, 2012

    Delete the podcast app (which has been terrible from the beginning for those of us who have tons of podcasts). Reboot your iPod Touch and the playlists will be back in Music.

  12. From DZW at 9:28 am on September 23, 2012

    I also was dismayed by this… but there is an amazingly easy fix. Delete the podcast app from your phone. Make sure you close your music app. When you open it back up, all your podcast playlists are restored, and you even get the podcast icon to put back on your app… all the functionality is back. Easy, free, and painless.

  13. From Mike Dell - Geek of the North at 2:53 pm on September 23, 2012

    Thanks! But it’s too late for me. I’m on downcast and it works great.. Glad they “forced” me to switch. :)

  14. From Never fear, iOS6 users, MyCast is here! | Blubrry Blog at 8:22 pm on September 23, 2012

    [...] the podcast functionality. Podcasts have been removed from the iTunes app. Yup. We’ve been hearing from our Blubrry community that they ain’t too thrilled about having their podcast playlists wiped out! But, guess what, [...]

  15. From Eng Hee Yeo at 10:49 pm on September 24, 2012

    This is what worked for me:

    Step 1 – remove Podcast App from my iPhone
    Step 2 – double-click Home button and terminate the Music App
    Step 3 – reboot iPhone

    After the reboot, Music App will show my podcasts in my original playlists, even video podcasts.

  16. From hammerd2 at 5:17 am on October 9, 2012

    my problem with the new Podcast app is that every time my iPhone goes into sleep mode or I haven’t listened to a podcast for a while I press the restart button on my headphones and it defaults to a music track rather than the last thing I was listening to ! Ridiculous.

  17. From hammerd2 at 5:31 am on October 9, 2012

    thanks for the updates people !

  18. From Geek of the North 47 – Podcast Season 3 at 12:07 pm on October 16, 2012

    [...] How IOS6 screwed up (or tried to) my iPod… [...]