I recently got an iPhone. Cool piece of hardware and a lovely system design. I was hoping that finally I could carry a single device for phone and podcasts, but what a disappointment!
There is a particular podcast that I like. It is about 50 minutes long, and I have a 25 minute commute each direction. The show appears on the web site about 2pm every day. Sometime around 4pm I download the podcast, transfer it to the player. I listen to the first half on the way home, and the second half on the way into work the next. If I happen to be home at 4pm, I use my home computer, and transfer it to the player. If I am traveling on business, I use my laptop, and transfer it to the player.
Can I do this with the iPhone? Noooooooooo. I get this:
You mean I have to delete all the FREE podcasts on my iPhone, so I can put one more FREE podcast on my phone? What a pain! Sometimes I retrieve podcasts at home. If my iPhone is synced from home, then when I am at the office I am stuck — I have to drive home to get the podcast for the drive home. Or, if I sync at the office, how then do I pick them up on the weekend? Never mind picking up a podcast while on a business trip. I could always sync to the laptop, but that is a company issued equipment and I can’t install iTunes on it. This idea that you can sync at only one location is so broken.
So my friends point out: you can download directly to the iPhone! So at 4pm I check the Apple Store and today’s show is not there. It seems to take too long for the Apple Store to find out about the new episode; they only have yesterday’s show.
Research leads to conflicting reports. WinAmp is supposed to transfer to an iPod, but other reports say the iPhone has tighter security that prevents this. I have not tried it yet. There are some sketchy sounding software brands offering solutions. Other places offer solutions if I JailBreak the phone. I thought the iPhone was supposed to make my life easier! I am sure I will eventually find the right software. (suggestions anyone?) All I want to do is listen to a podcast on my drive home.
This feels like a brand new cool car, that you have to hotwire every morning.
I realize that synch-prevention is a feature of iTunes designed by the lawyers. But why prevent synchronization of free content which it knows is free because you downloaded it from the Apple Store — for free? And what about free content from Jamendo?
You can bet I won’t be giving up my MP3 player any time soon. It is just sooooo much more convenient.