Podcaster iPhone App Reborn As RSS Player, But Still Handicapped By Apple

Jan 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcast Distribution, Podcasting, Podcasting Software

Earlier in the year, we reported on Apple’s banning of the Podcaster iPhone app from the App Store.

At the time, Apple explained its decision like this:

Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.

We called this a bad decision on Apple’s part, because it “sends the signal that people shouldn’t develop podcast-related applications for the iPhone.”

Now a stripped-down version of Podcaster, RSS Player (App Store link), has been approved and is available in the App Store. It’s basically Podcaster, without a built-in podcast directory.

Here’s the description:

Specifically designed to play audio files attached to rss feeds.

Start by entering an rss feed url or opml url into the import screen, then the program crawls the feed and displays the items it finds in an easy to read table. If the program finds an audio file attached to the feed, it will automatically download the most current one. This makes it easy for iPod Touch owners to listen when they are offline.

This is a really great app with high standard. We will keep improving it and adding features in future releases. If you purchase this app, we are sure you will love it.

While we’re glad to see Apple loosening up its restrictions on iPhone apps, RSS Player is still significantly handicapped by Apple’s application rules:

  • Podcasts are downloaded into a “sandboxed environment”, so they can’t be used with other applications.
  • RSS Player has to be open to listen to downloads, so you can’t listen to podcasts and use your phone for other purposes.
  • RSS Player has no discover tools, so you have to write down feed URLs, open RSS Player and then type in the URLs.

What do you think of RSS Player? Is it a big deal, because Apple’s opening up to other podcast clients, or is it dead on arrival because of the limitations that Apple places on third party apps?

Tags: , , , , ,

No Responses to “Podcaster iPhone App Reborn As RSS Player, But Still Handicapped By Apple”

  1. breakall says:

    I like the fact that I can point it to an OPML file (like the one I just exported from iTunes) and my entire podcast list is there!

  2. Victor says:

    I have been using this app the last couple of days. It does not work if you don’t have an Internet connection. Yes, I downloaded the file and playing from my downloaded list. I noticed this because when ok got on the subway my player working and indicated I was offline.

    I thought if the file is downloaded I could play it anywhere.

  3. Karin Hoegh says:

    I recognize that this is a improvement, that Apple loosens up, but really It is not really a podcatcher like iTunes is – you don´t get the files downloaded, it is rather streaming, so you can call it a player – RSS Player – makes more sense.

    Well they day we all have iPhones, and we all have broadband anywhere at any time this will probably be the way to reach audio and video files.

  4. Almerica says:

    RssPlayer does download files and it plays them offline. The first version in the app store had a bug that prevented the podcast from playing but in versin 1.1, this is fixed. You can listen offline now.

  5. Dave says:

    I purchased this last night. The whole purpose was to get an automatic download feed to my iPhone so that I don’t have to sync it or do it manually via the iTunes store app. It looks like you still have to initiate the download though. Am I wrong, or does this have some functionality that I am not aware of?

  6. Mike says:

    The new version did NOT fix the offline listening problem with RSSPlayer. I have an iphone 3gs and cannot listen unless online.
    In my book this makes the prog useless. It’s like watching a program on Tivo, only you have to wait till the program is normally on.

    Why is the default not to ALWAYS download the podcast so you can play it offline?

  7. Kevin Gamin says:

    I strongly suggest you all check out the new version (currently 2.1.1). It is a much more stable version and does download podcast episodes to play offline. I’ve used it all day without issue.

    Here’s my review of version 2 of RSS Player – http://gaminnet.info/?p=299

Leave a Reply