Instacast

Will sent me a link to a post by Shawn Blanc about a new iPhone podcast app. Will and I both love podcasts and being co-hosts ofthe CastRoller Podcast we often send news back and forth and I always love to try new apps. I currently use Podcaster, have for a long time, but it has it’s issues. It’s the best solution for me and I think I’ve tried them all. I still like it but I’m open to change. So…

My first impressions are the overall UI is great, it’s very simple and clean. They use my much loved pull to refresh. I’m not a huge fan of the audio player but it’s something I can get used to. It is awesome that it remember how far you’ve listened in both audio AND video episodes. I would like them to put the skip forward and back (30 sec) buttons in there and you can play at 1/2 and 2 X speed but the option is buried in the settings. I’d like it in the player as I don’t like to listen to everything at 2X. by double tapping the album art in the player.

Gestures in the episode list are slick, Podcaster has them but you have to swipe then tap a button of your action which is backwards to the way everyone else is doing the swipe nav. Currently swipe left is Mark Unplayed, swipe right is Mark Played. I think it should be swipe Left Marks opposite Played/Unplayed, swipe right is Download/Delete.

That isn’t a big issue, they tackled the download issue by allowing you to check multiple episodes to download, very nice. What is an issue is I can’t reorder episodes. I like to manage the order things are played. I can keep the daily stuff at the top and weekly stuff for when I’m up on the daily shows. Not having it means I have to jump back in the app to play the next episode I want to hear. It’s a fairly annoying thing.

A cool spin is you can pull into the app the podcasts that you subscribe to in iTunes. If there is an episode on your device from a podcast in iTunes it’ll see that and allow you to import that show. I don’t use that but it’s a nice option to have for those that do.

They also just added OPML import, I couldn’t get it to work off the bat until I came up with a clever plan. They don’t have documentation on how to use it yet but, import is all done through dropbox. Put an opml file in dropbox it’ll grab it, so it seams. I tried that, didn’t work. Not because it won’t work, they’re just not telling you how.

So, how? Well you need to name the file Subscriptions.opml and it have to be in a folder at the root of your dropbox called Instacast. How did I find it out? I subscribed to a few podcast from the app and did the export to dropbox. Makes sense when you know how but you’d never guess that.

Now I can really get into this. I want to like it but well see!