Podcast Download Problems

Perhaps I’m just not suited to syncing. Ever since Apple introduced the Podcast app last year I’ve been experiencing podcast download problems on my iPhone 4.

Examples of Podcast Download Problems include include:

  • Recent podcast episodes not appearing in the iTunes store
  • Podcast ‘Playback failed’ messages
  • Podcast cannot be downloaded at this time messages
  • Various sync issues possibly due to incompatible settings between the various devices I own — but that’s just a guess.

Whatever is going on, it appears to affect my iPhone more than my laptop. For example, one podcast that I subscribe to released a new episode this week. The episode duly appeared on my iPhone but wouldn’t play or download. It wasn’t listed with the other podcast episodes in the iTunes store so I couldn’t stream it either. When I connected my laptop, the episode downloaded automatically to my iTunes library and plays perfectly but I can’t see it in the iTunes store from my laptop either.

I tried Google for solutions and came across a few suggestions including changing Podcast settings on the iPhone and turning the iPhone on and off but nothing seems to make a difference.

So, today, I decided the time has come to part company with the Podcast app and find an alternative which, based on what I’ve read so far, will probably be Downcast or Instacast.

Watch this space for updates.

Update: It’s been some time since I initially posted about my podcast download problems. I switched to using the Downcast App and now mostly use it instead of the Podcasts App on my iPhone. Interestingly, the Downcast App also seems to work better with my iPhone docking station.

Troubleshooting Gmail Password and Username Problems

Is your iPad  or iPhone telling you that your Gmail password is incorrect?  If you have a new device that is not accepting your Gmail login credentials or if you have had to delete a Gmail account on your device and  need to add it again from the Settings > Mail option this may occasionally result in a pop up that says the username or password is incorrect. The error could arise if you previously used an Authorised Access key on your Gmail account.

This solution fixed a Gmail Password problem on my iPhone

  • log in to your Gmail from your desktop or laptop and click on your photo/avatar on the top right of your screen
  • Select ‘Account’
  • On the next screen, choose ‘Security’ from the menu on the left
  • Scroll down to 2-Step Verification and if the Status is ‘On’ then choose ‘Manage your application specific passwords’
  • Generate a new application specific password and use this password to log in to Gmail on your iPhone or iPad
  • Once you have done this, your ordinary Gmail password should work correctly the next time you need to log in again on the device

Hopefully this will do the trick. Good luck!

Amazon Kindle 3G Wifi Battery Life

While there are plenty of reports of readers getting up to a month of battery life out of the Amazon Kindle 3G, my experience is that the usage is about a week – less if you are reading a lot.

I have the Wifi/3G 6 inch EInk display model. I use it for about an hour a day. I leave it turned on with the 3G also on. This is a deliberate choice because I mostly use the Kindle to read newspapers.

The great advantage is that Whispernet sends the papers to the Kindle every morning so that they are already there when I board the train for my one-hour commute to the office. This is important because the 3G signal disappears for the first 20 minutes of the journey so if you forget to turn on and download the papers before the train leaves the station, you might just have to do without them for half the journey.

Typically, I estimate that I use the Amazon Kindle for about 5 or 6 hours of reading during the week. I charge it by connecting it to a laptop on Sundays so that it is fully loaded for the week ahead. It takes a couple of hours to fully charge using the USB lead. On a couple of occasions when If I forget to charge it on Sunday, it was dead on Monday morning so – regardless of whether it is in my bag untouched for the week – or used every day for reading – the battery only seems to last the week. That is something to keep in mind if you are a heavier reader than I am. I regret not purchasing a power charger because it would give me more options on topping up the battery during the week. If you’re purchasing one and they still have the offer on packaging in a charger, it would be worth getting one.

3G Amazon Kindle

Opting for the 3G version of the Amazon Kindle has proved to be a good choice.

For months, each time I read a review of a new book, I would check it out in the Amazon store to see there was a Kindle edition and, if so, at what price. Surprisingly, many titles are not available and those that are can sometimes be more expensive than you would expect. Yet, the more opportunities I had to handle other people’s Kindles, the more tempted I was to get one. In the end, I decided to go for it, opting for the 3G version so that I could purchase books while on holiday.

I really didn’t expect to use the 3G very much but it turns out that I am using it every day because instead of books I find myself reading newspapers. The download takes just a couple of seconds and with the content stored on the Kindle there are no irritating delays when you flip from one story to the next. The reading experience beats online reading every time – particularly on a patchy 3G signal.

I’m genuinely surprised that I’ve started to pay several monthly subscriptions. I wonder if I’m typical? If the answer’s yes, maybe this is a digital pay model for publishers that’s really going to work.