iTunes 4.9 with Podcasting, First Impressions

The new iTunes 4.9 supporting podcasts is out today, it will do wonders for increasing the visibility of the most popular podcasts and radio station-produced podcasts. This is definitely the easiest way to subscribe to a podcast, whether browsing or manually. Until iTMS URL linking is functional, it’s a two step process to subscribe to a podcast. Still the easiest and simplest process.

Update: Podcaters, swap out the ‘http’ with ‘pcast’ in your feed URL and you’ve got iTunes 1-click subscription. Special thanks to Jason Ruby at the Delta Park Project for doing the legwork on this.

As expected, browsing the iTunes podcast directory is similar to browsing the iTunes audio book directory – after selecting a genre, the best way to navigate is using the ‘search’. This is works great for known things (my iTunes Library) – it’s far less useful for unknown things (all the podcasts in the world).

I’m migrating my audio-only podcasts to iTunes, the podcasts + weblog I enjoy are remaining in NetNewsWire. Here’s what I’ve seen thus far; The Gillmor Gang is available, but not the Gillmor Daily. This Week in Tech is available, though iTunes doesn’t know what to do with the torrent file. The First Crack podcast is in, though not the latest show (it shows up after subscribing) and the artwork is missing. Finally, unlike all the ipodders to date, iTunes doesn’t offer a way to export your podcast subscriptions in a way you can share them.