One of our readers, Pei, asked me how he could listen to Podcasts on his BlackBerry. The honest answer is that so far there is no easy way to subscribe to a podcast on your BlackBerry. There are a few solutions that I will detail out below but none of them are seamless and most of them have issues. Hopefully RIM will release a new feature in Roxio to allow for Podcast subscriptions.
The only good procedure I have found so far is using Juice Receiver which is free. The second and third option I detail are fine but they require you to install
devilware iTunes. The only downside with any of these is that Podcasts tend to be long so if you lose your place or want to rewind a few seconds you will be stuck with the pitiful BlackBerry media player which only allows you to move forward and back by a minute or two. This gets really annoying when you just want to rewind a few seconds and have to listen to the whole minute again.
Option 1: The simplest and free (just the way I like it )
Download Juice Receiver free from this link on sourceforge.net. It is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. You then subscribe to some RSS Podcast feeds and it will automatically download them. The best place I go to find Podcast feeds is at http://www.podnova.com/ which has quite an extensive collection. Juice just downloads the MP3 files but you will then need to copy them over to your BlackBerry memory card using Roxio or the Mass Storage Mode.
Option 2: May be a better option for iTunes users and is still free
If you use iTunes you may like this solution better. There is a free application called iTunes Agent that makes iTunes recognize other MP3 players. The whole idea of iTunes agent is that it makes iTunes able to synchronize with other MP3 players. This is a good way to subscribe to podcasts using iTunes and have them automatically sync with your BlackBerry. Personally I cannot test this solution since I hate iTunes but I have recommended it and installed it for a few users. I just hate all the catchy marketing speak that Apple uses such as “Smart Playlists.” What exactly is so smart about a playlist? Mac users are out of luck on this one because it is Windows only. I am surprised that Mac is not suing iTunes Agent for having an “i” in their name.
Option 3: This is just for the iTunes user who does not want to install anything
This solution is the same as the one above it just does not include using iTunes Agent. You can just subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes and then when it is downloaded you right click on the file and select the “show in Windows Explorer” option. You then copy the file over to your Berry and you are done.
Option 4: This option is not recommended at all unless you are a sucker for pain and suffering at the hands of terrible applications.
If you are a glutton for punishment you can try out the one Podcast player available for BlackBerry. It is called AudioBay and comes highly un-recommended. You can see many posts and reviews of just how bad this software is so don’t say I did not warn you. Seriously think twice before even installing it. AudioBay is available here on Handango for $14.95 but I have yet to hear back from anybody if it has given them anything other than constant heartache. You can even read the reviews on Handango about how it does not work. I am only mentioning it because I know other people are going to ask about it. If you really want to see what kind of pain and suffering it causes you can read this thread on BlackBerryForums.
Maybe one day Viigo will offer some sort of Podcast functionality? Once again I find myself dreaming big