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Wednesday June 29, 2005 1:47 am

The Verdict Is In On iTunes 4.9

Posted by Sparky Categories: Podcasts, Software

iTunes 4.9 Gear Live downloaded Apples updated new version of iTunes with its much lauded support for podcasts and is impressed (to a point) so far. The install went smoothly (as most installs and upgrades do on OSX) and in minutes I was up and running with iTunes 4.9. Immediately upon opening the updated application of course we went to check out the preferences panel for the configuration options of the new podcast features. The preferences panel lets a user select how often to check for new podcasts, and how long to keep each episode for.

Once the configuration options had been explored I of course had to click on the shiny purple podcast icon and explore their interface. It’s very similar to the iTunes music store (and in fact probably hosted on the same back end servers). There is an interface to select from the iTunes podcast directory and browse by category to select the podcasts you want to subscribe to. Once a podcast has been subscribed to it will automatically download the audio files as the become available and synchronize them with an iPod if you have one.

Now as slick as all that is there is one significant flaw with the new podcast support of iTunes: It’s locked down and only certain server types are supported. The Gear Live podcast is not supported by the iTunes servers, nor are several other podcasts that we have in the past subscribed to. Now hopefully an update will be available soon to change this, but shame on Apple for releasing such an obviously well thought out feature without opening it up to the developer community they have fought so hard to court in the past few years. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon and Gear Live can go back to being fully supportive of iTunes as a media platform.

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