The much-heralded new version of iTunes (4.9) was released today which includes support for podcasts. Just grabbed a few moments to put it through its paces. It has a good directory of podcasts, though many of the most popular are traditional radio stations. I did find For Immediate Release – The Hobson & Holtz Report which can be found under audio blogs, but perhaps will migrate to Business / Marketing in due course (not sure who handles the categorization). You can subscribe easily, and the settings handle some nice features about storing all episodes, the latest few or one, or just unheard editions. You can also control which get transferred to your iPod, which makes it more practical for those of us who had trouble wrestling with other software like iPodderX.
I have to admit, I’m still not wild about podcasting. I don’t have a lifestyle which allows time to listen to hour-long editions of varied information in a quiet environment (like a car, train or plane) without interruption or pressing priorities. I tend to look down the notes and skip to relevant sections (which Neville makes supremely easy – thanks Neville). iTunes 4.9 has a bookmark facility which if adopted will help folks like me cut to their preferred section.
Will iTunes 4.9 drive the take-up of podcasting? Probably. Is everyone in favor? Not quite. But hey, it’s a good place to start.