Another huge win for Apple in my opinion, as their updates to iTunes and the iPod software have honestly increased the quality of my life.
MP3s downloaded through iTunes (version 4.9 with Podcasting support) are loaded into a new “Podcasts” folder, and if you download and install the latest iPod 6/26/2005 Updater software, those MP3s are BOOKMARKABLE, just like any AAC/MB4 file. That’s significant, because scrolling from the beginning of a podcast every time to go back to where you left off the previous session is not pleasant. It also means that podcast producers like DNR and ITConversations can consider eliminating the creation of AAC/MB4 files. I know ITConversations already has done just that.
Another aspect of the iTunes Podcast support I am really starting to get into is having direct downloads of my subscribed podcasts to my iPod. Before I would subscribe to the individual podcast feeds in Newsgator, save the attachments to designated folders on my hard drive, drag and drop them to iTunes. Then to remove podcasts from my iPod I had listened to I would delete them from my hard drive, causing them to show up in iTunes with a “missing file” icon, the only way to distinguish them and root them out. But now I don’t have to do ANY of that, since I’m subscribed to the shows directly in iTunes.
So with the iTunes in conjunction with the iPod firmware updates, my life is easier and more productive.