August 30, 2005

PodSpider Review

Thanks to BlogCritics, I found out about a new podcatching product called PodSpider. The purpose is to offer yet another option for downloading and listening to podcasts.

Podspider lets you quickly and easily use your home DSL connection to compile all of the podcasts you want to hear while you're out and about. Back up and replay important passages-you'll never miss an important detail again.
But do we really need another podcatcher?

PodSpider does one thing that iPodder doesn't do: it will play your podcasts without opening another program. iPodder doesn't have a player built in -- you have to let it synch to either iTunes or Media Player. Obviously, iTunes plays podcasts in iTunes. PodSpider has a built-in player. It's not feature-rich, but it plays podcasts, which is the point.

PodSpider also has a built-in directory that updates from the Web. You can submit your podcast for listing in the directory. iPodder does something similar, as does iTunes. PodSpider claims over 13,000 podcasts in its directory. I don't know if that's true -- I didn't count. I know that several of the podcasts I listen to weren't in the directory, and I was surprised at some that were listed. You can add feeds to PodSpider, just like iPodder and iTunes. I wish that I could sort each podcast by date and actually have it stay that way -- you have to redo the sort every time that you look at a podcast.

Bottom line -- PodSpider is another entry into the increasingly crowded podcatcher market. For now, it's free, but there are plans to charge later on -- possibly as much as $24.69, if the graphic on the home page can be believed. If you're willing to actually pay for a podcatcher, iPodderX is a much better bargain at $12.47 (if you get in on the Windows XP beta test -- $24.95 is the regular price for the Mac version, so I assume that's what it will be for Windows as well). And iPodderX lets you read regular RSS feeds as well as audio and video feeds.

I may keep PodSpider, but I don't see it replacing iTunes as my primary podcatching software. If you're using iPodder, you might want to jump on this free trial. But I don't see this drawing people from iTunes or iPodderX any time soon.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:24 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Really I don't see why iTunes and iPodderx are considered to be the best, just because they can be seen everywhere on the internet? Don't think so. An almost every web-page that has something to do with podcasts or podcasting you can see the iTunes logo, and you can hardly find an add about the competition. Why aren't this sites publishing other software aswell, under the recommended podcatchers link? In my honest opinion, Podspider is a very useful tool, and I find way better then iTunes. Let me point out some aspects: - big podcast database with over 23.000 podcasts, that is updated periodically with new podcasts - built-in player to listen your podcasts - very user-friendly interface - synchronization with any mobile mp3 device, except iPod - proxy support - different languages These are just the main specifications, besides the usual podcasting abilities. Maybe iTunes or iPodder have a few features more then Podspider, but that doesn't make them the winners of this competition. It's just a marketing case after all, that smaller software producers can not match. I have always supported smaller firms to deliver high quality software. And Podspider is such a case. So, Podspider stays for me the leader of the pack for the moment.

Posted by: Sunshine at October 05, 2005 04:41 AM (5OtsN)

2 Well, the benefit to iPodder is that it is free. PodSpideris while in beta, but it won't always be. iTunes is popular because everyone has iTunes. 39% of the people who subscribe to my podcast do it through iTunes, another 16% through iPodder. That's why people have the iTunes and iPodder buttons. One-click subscriptions through iTunes make it easy for people to subscribe -- they don't have to copy your feed URL and paste it into their podcatcher. Both my podcasts are listed on PodSpider, as well as iTunes and every other directory I can find. When PodSpider releases a graphic that allows one-click subscriptions, that will go on my page as well. I have always been in favor of small companies producing quality software. I just don't see that PodSpider brings a whole lot to the table -- especially if they plan on charging for it after the beta is over.

Posted by: Warren at October 05, 2005 10:36 AM (DPRNU)

3 All that said -- I DO like the fact that you can synch with non-Apple MP3 players. The database is bigger, too -- but I wonder how much of an advantage that is. Even with iTunes, I get my feeds from the shows' websites, not out of a directory.

Posted by: Warren at October 05, 2005 10:38 AM (DPRNU)

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