iTunes - Podcast Subscriptions

A few thoughts about the new subscription functionality in iTunes

As a contributor on a (small) piece of jPodder, I am pretty familiar with the "podcatcher" category/vertical and the surrounding UI/subcription management issues. I think Apple has done a great first pass with their UI. I'm not sure how they derived their top-level directory categories (different than, but useful nonetheless.

Here's a screen shot of Adam Curry's Daily Source Code podcast:

A few things of note:

1. Apple has given the DSC link some primary real estate. Not sure if Adam is renaming it to "Podfinder"?

2. Subscription is easy - a simple click and nothing more. Hopefully the PSWG spec can do the same outside of iTunes.

3. The running time is "Unavailable". Adam populates his feed with the enclosure attributes like so: <enclosure url="" length="15893494" type="audio/mpeg"/> However, the enclosure spec does not include a run time, only file size.

4. Release date is not shown

5. The price is "Free" - looks like moving to a micro-payment model won't be very hard. It could even turn into the old Netscape model where you could download the browser for free or purchase it from a retailer. It was amazing how many people chose to purchase rather than download. This could turn out to be the same as iTunes becomes a user's central app for subscriptions/downloads.

Numbers 3 and 4 above are due to the fact that Adam's feed does not support the iTunes namespace yet. That seems like something Apple would have pushed for the launch.