Apps iLike

DowncastNot too long ago I was complaining about the problems I have been experiencing with Apple’s Podcasts app. Well, this week I took the plunge and deleted the app from my iPhone 4 replacing it with Downcast — a paid app that lets you search for, stream and download audio and video podcasts. So far all of my favourite subscriptions and streaming without problems and I’m finding it easier to navigate than Apple’s podcasts app. I particularly like that it shows both the size of the file you’re downloading and the available space left on the iPhone. For details see www.downcastapp.com

Viddy

In the process of doing my podcasts research, I came across a couple of other apps that I’ve also been having some fun with. Viddy by Viddy.Inc is a neat app that lets you edit video on your iPhone. I like its simple slider feature that allows you cut a video clip from a minute or two to just a few seconds making for faster uploads when you’re on the move. Viddy is easy to use and has social share features.

tuneinTunein Radio from Tunein will let you listen to live local and global radio on your iPhone. It streams the shows and I just use it on wifi because 3G in this part of the world is too patchy to rely on. If you’re a radio fan, this is an app well worth checking out before you invest in an Internet radio!

FlipboardIf reading rather than listening is your thing, Flipboard from flipboard.com is a neat app that collates content from selected feed sources such as RSS, facebook, Twitter and blogs and presents the content with selected images through an easy to browse, user-friendly interface that also allows you to select stories from these various sources and compile them into a personalised magazine which you can then browse and share. This is a very interesting digital publishing model that could have signficant implications for publishers.

RTRIrish Real Time Rail by Stuart Woolley is a very good app for Irish commuters. Enter the train station name and it will show you what trains are due. It tends to be a minute or two ahead of the overhead display on the platform but that can be a good thing.

CarnivoresCarnivores: Dinosaur Hunter by Tatem Games. Apparently there are millions of people playing this game so you probably already know more about it than I do!

 

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.