I recently guested on the Technical Difficulties podcast where we talked about important things, like iBooks Author and Star Wars. If you haven't yet, you should really check out the show notes. Outstanding.
This week I showed up in not one, but two podcasts:
We often collect topics that aren't worth getting their own show but at the same time bigger than a few minutes of feedback. We did this in episode 168 with a variety of topics including iPad styli, cable cutting, offsite backup, and home sound systems. I also spent ten minutes explaining how I brew tea. Katie's disdain for this topic was both palpable and delightful all at once.
Dave Stachowiak was kind enough to let me guest on his show where I talked about email and productivity in general. It was a lot of fun and Dave produces a great show.
There are two podcatchers which seem to command a lot of loyalty, Instacast and Downcast. I started out with Instacast and then migrated to Downcast about a year ago. A few months ago, Instacast released a Mac client that brought me back into the fold. I decided to wait awhile before writing about it to first make sure that the switch would stick. It did.
The Instacast user interface has improved since the last time I used it. A lot. The interface on both the Mac and iOS clients gives you a list of podcasts you’ve subscribed to and episodes available for download. The settings let you determine exactly what to do with each podcast you subscribe to. Some may only download the latest episode and others may download all unplayed podcasts. It’s up to you. (You can even download episodes over a cell network, which is really handy about 10 minutes before boarding a plane.)
In addition to the standard view, you can also create lists and smart lists. I use several smart lists including Partially Played (to help me finish shows I paused) and Most Recent.
The big reason for my switch was the release of the Mac app and the ability sync podcasts. I spend a lot of time behind a Mac. The Mac, iPad, and iPhone sync flawlessly. I can now listen to a show while at my Mac and pick up later in my car from my iPhone exactly where I left off on my Mac. Instacast doesn’t just sync listening position. If you delete an episode entirely, that also syncs between the devices. I like to clear out my feeds as much as possible and I particularly appreciate this feature.
With the switch back to Instacast, I didn’t find many WTF moments. Every thing works as I’d expect it to and I’m happy with the switch. There are rumblings that Downcast will get it’s own Mac app and I’ll probably be checking it out. Honestly though, I have all the features I need from a podcatcher and I don’t see a big reason for moving again.
Yesterday I was a guest on the Maccast and had the pleasure of talking with Adam Christianson and Ken Ray about several Apple-related topics including memory upgrades, the future of television, and the deification of Steve Jobs. It was a lot of fun and you can download it now.
I recently sat down (virtually) with Mike Vardy and Mike Schechter to talk about nerdy things on the Mikes on Mics show. We talked about self-publishing and saying "no". I really like those guys and the show was a lot of fun.