iTunes 4.9 with podcast support

iTunes podcasting icon

So I downloaded the 21meg iTunes and Quicktime bundle from Apple last night. and honestly I'm not very impressed with the new podcasting support. But then again was ever going to be that impressed?
Generally it works quite well, except you need to actually copy and paste the url into iTunes or register your podcasts in the iTunes music store. With later testing I found you could drag and drop but it will accept any url, which it doesnt seem to check for a RSS feed. The big question for me now is if it will run without crashing every few minutes on my Dual Pentium 3 Xeon setup. Anyhow, ipodlounge has a complete guide to iTunes 4.9 with podcasts which is worth reading for much more information. Enhanced Podcasts sounds quite interesting and I imagined my full house of rss extensions was going to come true. I had imagined Apple have either added a module/namespace to RSS or are using some RSS elements for different purposes but it seems all the enhanced features are all in the aac file not the RSS file. Oh well, but I bet there will be further discussion about this move by Apple elsewhere soon.
So generally iTunes 4.9 does not do away with the need for a decent podcasting client/reciever but it certainly does do away with the older generations of ipodder 1.x.

Update, I was wrong about the RSS extension from Apple. There is one and Edd Dumbill has a great review of all the elements and there usage. He sums it up nicely by saying.

What could have been a useful and reusable addition to the world of RSS is really rendered only fit for the single use of adding content into Apple's own iTunes store. Apple prove they know how to be cool, but they've got no idea about making friends on the web.

From the point of view of XML and the web, iTunes RSS extensions are somewhat disappointing. From a professional point of view, I'd say this looks rather embarrassing: Apple clearly don't have enough people who really understand XML.

I agree its a bit of a shame and honestly in the light of the other (as such) commercial extensions its the worst yet. Theres also further evidance to suggest Apple are a little out of there depth here. Why would you add a bit torrent feed to a client which doesnt support it? What a great way to advertise your product eh? And i'm sorry the unintentional denial of service attacks is unforgiveable if its true and it certainly looks like every podcaster was hit really hard because of iTunes.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.