NewsFire & Podcasting

I’ve got to say, this looks promising, not to mention fantastic.

I love what Dave Watanabe has done with NewsFire and can relate to the way he works. A month or so ago, he mentioned concerns about supporting podcasting in NewsFire on his blog. He didn’t want bloat, didn’t like the metaphor mix and perhaps didn’t see the point when there are plenty of podder clients out there, but he made himself open to feedback. Clearly a creative thought process ensued and the result looks great.

I commented on Dave’s blog about this. My post was so long I felt guilty and that served as the final nail in the coffin for my “reasons not to blog”. The trouble is that support for podcasting and enclosures is still in its infancy in most newsreaders and the dedicated podder clients seem lacking in so many areas. This has created an enormous amount of unnecessary support for Feeder, where I have been dealing with problems people think are to do with their RSS feed when in fact the podder client is to blame. Most Feeder users wanted to use their existing aggregators such as NewsFire, but the support has been lacking.

In essence, all a Mac podcasting client need do is:

  • Subscribe to feed.
  • Check for items with audio enclosures.
  • Download the enclosure files automatically or manually and optionally add them to iTunes.

This probably sounds simpler than it is, but that’s the use case scenario.

Of what I consider to be the “big three”, NetNewsWire 2, which is soon to to go final after a very long public beta, has great podcasting support – and regardless of its beta status is a wonderfully comprehensive app that manages to do everything I can think of. PulpFiction offers a different angle (and one that is very useful for mailing list feeds and the like), supports enclosures but not automatic downloading / iTunes integration. NewsFire is a superb application that shows how less really can be more, it looks as good if not better than any iApp and is so tight and polished in its implementation. I hope the podcasting side works as well as the screenshot suggests.

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