podcasts

The highly popular podcast app for Windows Phone, Podcast Lounge has received a substantial update today. If you're not familiar with the name, the app enables users to stream and enjoy a variety of podcasts covering multiple genres.

Originally starting off as a unofficial BBC podcast client, Igneous Software has broadened the appeal of Podcast Lounge by adding in a new catalogue of podcasts, bringing with it international support. Should you be an active user, you’ll love what’s new in version 2.

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Podcast Lounge, the popular Windows Phone app that enables consumers to tune into a number of podcasts, has been bumped to version 1.6, which introduces a number of new features. The app has once again been in beta for some time, but a lot has been improved upon since the previous update. The highlights in 1.6? Windows Phone 8 support, video playback, performance improvements and other alterations to the user experience have been applied.

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Hey everyone! It's time for a mighty Mobile Nations podcast network update, and a peak at some really cool stuff we have planned for 2013! First of all, we have all-new album art for the shows. The original concept was created by superstar designer Marc Edwards of Bjango to be crisp, clean, and modern. It's tough to make a whole catalog of shows consistent yet retain all their individual personalities. With Marc's help, I think we've nailed it. And by popular demand, we've even added a small TV logo to the bottom of all the video podcast album art so you can distinguish them from their audio counterparts at a glance. We absolutely love them, and we hope you do too. (And yes, we'll be making all of them available as HiDPI/Retina wallpaper for your phones and tablets later this week!)

If you haven't recently, please make sure you leave a review and rating for your favorite Mobile Nations shows, where ever and when ever you can. It encourages services (like iTunes) to feature us, that helps us get more great listeners and viewers like you, and we appreciate it a lot!

Now on with the shows!

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Podcatcher Review - Catch your podcasts

Windows Phone has a little problem for those of us outside the USA, it will not allow subscribing and downloading podcasts from the handset. Like any problem it has spawned a solution, when it comes to podcasts ‘many’ solutions. One of the latest to tackle this issue is Podcatcher, it has been on the market for only a short while but since its release it has been the subject of many rapid fire updates.

As of yesterday the app had been bumped to version 2.0 and with it comes a long list of changes and improvements. We thought it was time we took a closer look at this podcasting newcomer to see how it stacks up. Could this be your ultimate podcasting solution? Read on..

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BBC Podcast Lounge, now known as Podcast Lounge, has been updated for Windows Phone. The app, now bumped to version 1.4 is a well rated podcast player that enables users to stream and download shows from a number of sources, including the BBC.

The British corporation has long been shy of Microsoft's mobile platform with lack of iPlayer support, as well as podcast, radio and other media. Consumers have relied on third-party developers to bring support to the platform.

Speaking of which, Windows Phone itself lacks full podcast support for a number of markets, which this app helps address. Igneous has proven their worth by offering such functionality and opening up content for those who have no official means to do so. 

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Updated Podcatcher: Grab those podcasts

This is something that we have been keeping a close eye on for a while. The app, as the name of it suggests is for subscribing and downloading your favourite podcasts. Things have been moving fairly swiftly from this developer and we’re today seeing some important updates to bring it up to version 1.3.

The app itself has a simple but effective UI and allows the ability to search, subscribe and update automatically. The full list of updates and details follow.

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Listening to podcasts on the go is one of my favorite pastimes, a great way to catch up with the latest news or a special interest. For those of us who reside outside of North America, podcast support has been a bit limited to say the least. Unlike our pals in the US, we cannot subscribe to podcasts through the marketplace on either Zune desktop software or directly using the phone. Annoying, but Mango at least introduced a half-workable solution. Unfortunately, after the Tango update it’s no longer possible to use that either.

To subscribe to podcasts prior to Tango, first we needed to set them up in the Zune desktop suite. Once subscribed, simply plugging in the phone and synchronising would pass the podcast to it. Podcasts would the automatically download without further PC interaction. Alas, this is now not the case. What’s going on?

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During last night’s WPUG meet in central London, we got a chance to catch up with Richard from Igneous Software. BBC Podcast lounge is a must-have app for those that want to catch up on all the amazing and free content from Auntie Beeb. Richard was able to give me a quick walkthrough of the latest update that is currently in testing.

The current app is great but with this update, Richard looks to be taking a logical and very welcome next step. From 1.4 onwards users will be able to subscribe to podcasts. Great news, even better is that it offers options to keep up to 3 podcasts of each. That is very similar to the options presented on the Zune desktop client. Whilst the Zune music hub in Windows Phone is great, it’s not possible to subscribe to podcasts or even browse and download manually. The only way to get podcasts on your device through Zune is to first connect to the computer, subscribe to the podcast and then sync with your phone, once that’s done it will grab them. It’s a far from convenient solution, something better needed to be found.

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We've seen some great third party support for podcasts on Windows Phone 7 (see BringCast & Podcasts!), filling in the inablity to download over the air, while you're out and about.

Over at Monsmartphone.net, a reader named pth has submitted some pics of what look to be latent podcast support not yet complete around the Zune player and Marketplace. We asked monsmartphone.net about what exactly was "hacked" around the system to reveal those buttons (download or view) but have no response yet (we're not sure if 'pth' shared the trick). It should be noted that nothing around this feature yet works--so we're not missing anything that can be enabled via a hack.

What it does look like though is that the Zune team as setting up this function in Windows Phone but have yet to complete it. Considering how much is left out in v1 of Windows Phone, this makes sense. But the next question is when will we see this officially?

Update: Gilles responded and notes that the change is in an (unspecified) system file. More info may be coming later.

via: monsmartphone.net; Thanks, Gilles, for the heads up

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One current limitation of Windows Phone 7 is the inability to download and manage podcasts on your device over-the-air. Awhile back we reported on a free app called simply Podcasts! which at least allowed you to stream any podcast, though not save. The app worked very well, but if you didn't want to use your precious 3G data minutes, then you were out of luck.

BringCast ($1.99, trial available) gets around this by finally allowing you to download audio and video podcasts. The selection of 'casts is limited but that's fine as you can request your favorite to be added and more importantly, you can type in the RSS URL or OMPL file to import your selection.

The app worked flawlessly on our end, though sometimes it was a bit stuttery on screen transitions. Still, for a v1.0 app we really have no complaints--the download screen is nice, it integrates with Zune's history and we dig the "what's new" screen. Pretty solid. The trial is fully functional except you get a nag screen on 1st launch and you are limited to any three feeds--but that's more than enough to tell you if it's worth the $1.99. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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