I like my podcast clients to be relatively lean but still have enough features to simplify the process of keeping up with my feeds.
I use the scheduling feature of Doppler to seek out new content from each of my feeds once a day at about ten to seven in the morning. It downloads them into iTunes for me and I usually attach my iPod to the computer to synch up just before I leave in the morning. (I allow the iPod to recharge in my exercise room where I can listen to it if I wish while working out).
- Just need to type in the URL for my podcast and Doppler gets the rest of the info for me
- Ability to preview the podcast before I commit to downloading the whole thing on my iPod
- Ability to retrieve only a single feed if I want
- Intelligently designed "Catch Up" ability that allows me to set up new feeds without needing to download every podcast that has been posted to the current feed
- Intelligently designed "History" that allows me to quickly see what has been downloaded and, if I want, I can blow away history entries to have them download again. Again very useful for picking and choosing podcasts in a newly set up feed.
- When I delete a feed, it also offers to clean up all the associated files from that feed to.
- I like the fact that when I sort a column it stays sorted. I sort by "Last Updated" so I can always see which feeds were most recently downloaded.
- The Bittorrent implementation is a bit of a nuisance. I realize it was set up that way so that I could plug in any bittorrent client I want, but for some reason I just can’t seem to configure bittorrent to work well on my machine. Probably a combination of blocked ports and the dreaded MPAA and RIAA closing down all the bittorrent resources in sight that is complicating this for me…
I recognize that there are scores of client features that I haven’t mentioned, but frankly I just don’t use or need them.
The podcast client is free, the podcasts are free, much of the content is kind of amateurish, but there is a lot of really good stuff out there too.
I’ll be posting separate entries for my favorite podcasts over the next couple of days.