This week we have the new iPod Nano and iTunes5 from Apple. What we don't have is an improvement in how the iPod handles podcasts. I have to admit that I don't listen to a lot of music on my iPod but I do listen to a lot of podcasts. Nowhere have I seen anything that gives me hope for an improved user experience when using an iPod for podcasting. So here are the five things I most want my iPod/iTunes combination to do for me:
1. New/Listened to Indicator for iPod - There's no way to tell on screeen on the iPod which podcasts you have listened to and which are new or partially listened to. I want an icon system that will show podcast status. New, time remaining, complete icons right in the list of podcasts. This feature is not relevant for music as it is often listened to repeatedly. This is not true for podcasts.
2. Smart Podcast Playlists - I often listen to a number of short daily podcasts. I would like to assemble a playlist that will play the latest show from each included show feed in update or fixed order. No more fumbling for the controls every 5-10 minutes while exercising or driving.
3. Show Notes Bookmarking - I want the ability to bookmark links in the show notes of podcasts on my iPod while listening. Upon syncing with iTunes I would like these bookmarks synced with my Safari bookmarks in folders by show title and date. The whole point of podcasting is to free the content from the computer through a player device. I want the ability to seamlessly be reminded of links I want to visit when I am next at my computer.
4. Ability to add music tracks to iTunes shopping cart. - When listening to a music podcast I'd like the ability to double click the center iPod button an have the music track added to my shopping cart to review for future purchase. Similarly, I'd like the same functionality for podcasts in response to promotions. This function could also be used for third party advertising or direct sales. (i.e. Amazon links)
5. Ability to delete Podcasts from the iPod - Once listened to I'd like to have the ability to delete podcast episodes directly on the iPod. This would streamline episode management. Using an iPod for podcasts is different than for music. File management needs to be different for music vs. Podcasting.
I had hopped that with a new version of iTunes and a new product cycle we would see at least some podcast oriented features added to the system but we did not. Maybe they will come soon. In any event this is my wishlist.
Apple themselves are benefitting from the explosion of Podcasting. It's time they offer greater support and integration across their products.
Leave a comment with your podcasting feature wish list.