My colleague, Wendy Mahan, describes her attempt to use the iPhone to access podcasts via the browser … short story is it works. When I read the title of her post in my Google Reader, I was thinking something to the effect of, “of course the iPhone does podcasts …” But then when I actually clicked over and read her post I was interested to see that she was actually not talking about following th path of download to iTunes and sync to the iPhone over the cable. She was instead talking about going to the Podcasts at Penn State site live via Safari and listening over the air.
I tried it and bounced over to take a peek at ETS Talk and sure enough, the iPhone sees the entry and places a big “Q” (for QuickTime content) on the page with a play button on it. It then rotates the screen as if it wants to play a video and the podcast begins. I didn’t get any album art, but I now have a way to listen to new content directly on the device over the air. I have to test this with a site like IT Conversations. This opens up some new and interesting opportunities — stuff I should have, but didn’t, think of. My only fear is the slow speeds on the EDGE network, but under wifi, you could load up some good stuff in multiple browser windows and play them as you walk across campus, drive in the car, or commute on the train. While traveling, a quick stop at a McDonald’s to leach the free wifi could refill your iPhone for the remainder of a trip. All very cool to me. More testing is needed — I have no idea yet if enhanced podcasts produce a slide show, but I’ll take a peek later today.
Now, if I could only record a podcast live on the iPhone and upload it directly to iTunes U or Podcasts at Penn State we’d be in business. Something for version 2.0?