Saturday, August 02, 2008

Podcaster: Native Podcast Client for iPhone and iPod Touch

The popular iPhone web app podcaster.fm is about to get a lot better. Tomorrow, I will be submitting the app to the app store. I have been working non stop for the past 2 weeks putting it together and it's about 99% complete. It allows you to listen to audio and video podcasts by streaming just like the web app but it also allows you to download podcasts and listen to them when your offline (iPod Touch) or on edge(Old iPhone).

The interface is broken out in 3 sections.
My Podcasts - Displays all your podcasts. This screen also allows you to refresh your podcast list to see if there are any new items.
Unplayed - Displays unplayed podcasts.
Downloads - This is where you can see all your downloaded items.

Initially all sections have no items. It is up to you to subscribe to podcasts. We have provided several ways to subscribe. The easiest of which is to search our Podcast Directory. You can search by podcast title. If you cant find what you are looking for, you can use 1 of the other 3 methods to subscribe. Import from podcaster.fm account. Import by feed url and import by opml url.

After you have setup your podcast list. You are ready to listen. Simply select the item you want and click play. The podcast starts streaming in the media player. You also have the option to download the podcast. We have put a max limit of 40 MB for this current release but that is temporary and will be lifted in future updates. You can download as many podcasts as will fit on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

I have worked really hard to bring everyone (including myself) a great product. Similar to podcaster.fm, I am sure I will put out a slew of updates over the following weeks and months that will improve usability. Since I cant send this app out to anyone for testing, I want to hear your comments on the video. Thanks and enjoy.


33 comments:

Shaun R said...

Oh. My. God. Am. I. Reading. Right?!?!?!?!?!?!???!?!!

Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy is all I can think of to say!!

And offline play, brilliant!! Always wanted this. I will now no longer use iTunes for my Podcasts, just Podcaster!

That limit of 40MB per podcasr needs to be lifted though, I listen to a 1 hour MP3 cast and it's usually 45-50MB, so that needs to be fixed.

Just a question, will it be a paid or free app? I will gladly pay up to $4.99 USD for it. You could even have a lite edition for free and a full featured one for say $4.99.

Can't wait for Uncle Stevie and his team to approve this app!!

Shaun

Al merica said...

I had to make it 40 MB for now. I will take it off in a few weeks. Just let me get the hang of how users will use the new app. The app will not be free. I think for free, podcaster.fm is a perfect alternative. I have not decided on a final price.

bret said...

why do I have the feeling that Apple wont like the idea of bypassing iTunes? I hope they approve it, I cant wait!

Mike Chambers said...

I had assumed that the terms of service for the iPhone API meant that this app could not be written. If this shows up in the store it will be my reason for buying the iPhone.

I currently use a podcast client for Nokia that sits in the background, I know that the API blocks you from doing this on the device itself, but can you use Apple's background servers to host such a service to allow users to get update messages when podcasts are available?

Great work!

Xadacka said...

Woah dude sweet!

BOL ftw!:P Heard this mentioned in an epsiode:P

Egyptian said...

a great app. i hope it gets approved

Al merica said...

I have not read anything about apple not allowing this type of app into the app store. It does not brake any rules. Can everyone just stop saying it wont get approved. It will. Defiantly.

Anonymous said...

Just heard about this on BOL.

Cant wait to see it in app store. From your video it has all the makings of a killer app to me.

Eshaan said...

heard about it in bol... cant wait for the realease date.

sarahintampa said...

When will it be in the store?

Jonathan said...

Can you que some podcasts for download then close the app and do something else while they download? Like surf safari or listen to ipod music? Looks great.

Al merica said...

There is no way to download in the background. The sdk does not allow this. Maybe in the future

Shawn said...

DUDE!!! U GOT MAD SKILL!!!!
IVE BEEN WAITING THIS APP. I WAS LISTENING TO MOLLY ON BUZZ OUT LOUD WHEN THEY PLUGGED U!!!

GRAD A WORK!!!!

GO TEAM VENTURE!!! (adult swim)

Tom said...

Great work and I am very much looking forward to this as well! Quick question though. One of the things I like about the native podcast support is that it auto mutes when a call comes in and then plays again when I'm done talking. I've noticed other streaming apps like Pandora can't do this. Will podcaster work the way mp3/podcasts do in this regard?

Thanks again for the great app.

Tom

Phil said...

Dude you are my HERO!!

Al merica said...

Dave: For some reason, after a phone call, the app goes to the phone book. I will try to fix this. I also included a button to play in safari. If you do that, then while the podcast is playing, you can use the rest of your phone. WOrks best with long podcasts.

Anonymous said...

It looks perfect. I hope it has an option to automatically download all new episode.

Looking forward to the release in the app store.

--James from Irvine

Tom said...

How long will the approval process take?

Al merica said...

Hopefully it will only take a few days to get into the store. The web app usually made on the website in 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

I'll be impressed if Apple allows this into the App Store. It bypasses the iTunes Podcast directory and has the potential to pull too much data over the 3G/EDGE network for a carrier's taste.

Why do you think Apps bigger than 10MB can only be downloaded over WiFi? It's not a technical reason. I've downloaded a 200MB video podcast on my Nokia over 3G...it's Apple.

Good luck.

Qazwix said...

wow! this is exactly what i was looking for. Now all i need is an iphone ;)

Al merica said...

I really dont see what problem Apple would have with this program. First of all, they cant deny a program just because they also have podcastsd. Secondly, podcasts are free so why would they care, they approved my web app. Pandora radio allos users to listen to music and bypasses the iTunes store, they still allowed it. Finally, it does not matter that it downloads a lot. Again, Pandora Radio and AOL radio both stream like crazy and they got in.

Anonymous said...

@almerica: I'm not saying they won't. I'm just saying I'll be surprised if they do. Apple can't control anything on the web. I can setup a website that lets you download 1GB of files and apple doesn't have any control over that.

When it comes to local apps they obviously have the control and excercise it often. If they didn't care about bandwidth concerns they wouldn't have pulled the NetShare app.

Your app has the potential to have people pull massive amounts of data...each BOL episode is like 25MB. Video podcasts are usually in the 200-300mb range. WiFi is no issue but imagine how fast people will eat up gigabytes of data.

Are there any other apps (not web) in the store that have the potential to pull this much data? If so, then no worries.

Anonymous said...

netshare was pulled because it was tethering a computer. There are lots of radio apps that steam and I'm sure they use a lot of data but they are in the app store.

Peter321 said...

Why can't I see the video?

This sounds AWESOME

Shane said...

This is great. Ive been searching daily to see if it made it into the App Store. Have you decided on the price? Please dont make it to expensive as you know someone will clone it and make it cheaper. Also you will sell more if its like $0.99-$1.99 than you would if it was more. From what ive seen and heard.

Mike Chambers said...

Any update? Cheers

Tom said...

I've been checking daily as well!

Mike Chambers said...

Any news? Please!? :)

Mike Chambers said...

I guess Apple blocked it. Too bad :(

Al merica said...

I'll post a full update later but at the current time, the app is still in review. It has not been approved or blocked. It's just in limbo.

Dick Wall said...

Perhaps it would be possible to limit downloading podcasts to only happen when on wifi, if that is the blocking issue with Apple. It would be great to be able to download it over any kind of network connection, but if it has to be limited to wifi to be approved, that would definitely be preferable to not being available at all. Very best of luck.

Mike Chambers said...

I thought that would get a response! ;)

Well that is good news, my iPhone and me are standing by.