For years I’ve hated the chore of synchronising my iPhone every night just before bed. How else could I be sure to listen to the evening’s edition of The Archers¹? Using iTunes to download and manage podcasts has always seemed a waste of time to me. I’m now sure of it after two weeks of using Instacast.
This iPhone app from Vemedio (£1.19) is an elegant way of subscribing to and managing your podcasts and videocasts. Instacast keeps track of all episodes of subscribed casts and you can choose to stream them or preload them over 3G or WiFi as a background operation. There’s even an integrated web browser to enable you to follow show notes.
Since I moved to Instacast I’ve felt much more in control of my podcast subscriptions and I enjoy the way I can search and play, as well as subscribe to new episodes, without the need to go back to iTunes. And since I’m now a Spotify person I have even less reason to visit iTunes.
Let’s face it, the iPhone/iPad umbilical cord to iTunes is a bit of a relic from the past. What we need is seamless syncing via the Cloud. Apple already syncs basic PIM data between Macs and iOS devices via MobileMe and it’s only a small step now to full iOS freedom. Let’s hope it comes with the iPhone 5 and the next version of the OS.
¹ If you are British you know about The Archers, a venerated national monument. But since most of my readers are outside the UK, this 15-minute daily radio soap from the BBC has just celebrated its 50th birthday. “An everyday story of countryfolk,” it’s about an ungeeklike as you could get. It sends me to sleep without fail.