Nokia N81 8GB: Podcasts
Disclaimer: Yes, I work there, but they don’t pay me to write about phones. I do it because I like to, and these are my opinions, not theirs. Got it?
There are two ways to get podcasts to the device: either through the various sideload methods or via the Nokia Podcasting application, which is built into the device. Provided the media is tagged as a Podcast in the ID3 tags, the Nokia N81 8GB groups the file as a podcast.
The main benefit this classification has, aside from making it easier to sort your music from your podcasts, is that the Stop button on the music player acts a little differently with a podcast. When you push play again with a podcast, the device will resume the podcast right where it was stopped. I wish it did that with music as well, but I’ll take it for podcasts!
The integration with the Nokia Podcasting application, however, leaves a lot to be desired. If you want to download podcasts direct from the device, you have to go into the Music Player, then into Podcasts, then from the Podcast menu, you can hit the Select button to bring up the Go to Nokia Podcasting menu option. It’s not even an application listed in any of the regular S60 application listings.
Once you’re there, the application looks familiar to anyone who has ever used Nokia Podcasting before. You can use the search tools to find your favorite podcasts, browse the directories, or type in the RSS feed URL for your favorite podcast and have it added. You can set the application to auto-download your favorite podcasts also.
But here’s a kind of obvious point of integration that they missed. If I delete a podcast from within the Podcast menu outside of the Nokia Podcasting application, it’s not reflected as deleted inside the Nokia Podcasting application. I don’t believe the reverse is true, either.
Of course, there shouldn’t be a Nokia Podcasting application anymore, it should just be part of the media player. It would not be difficult to integrate those functions right into the media player. Maybe that is what’s happening, but because I don’t work for that part of the company, I don’t know.
Despite the areas for improvement, this is hands-down my favorite mobile device for podcasts now.
Edit: Looks like most of the above is also true for the N95-1′s recent firmware update (20.0.015). Decisions, decisions…