Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

I'll name that Zune in one // A new podcast client and device from Microsoft

Published by Mr. C

Earlier this week a brand new podcast client arrived on the scene. Created by Microsoft in response to Apple's iTunes software, the Zune Marketplace means that owners of Zune devices now have an easy way to manage their favourite podcasts.

By all accounts this latest generation of software is a major step forward from the aborted first release. This time around users not only get a podcast solution, but the devices now support m4a and m4v file formats (essentially the two formats we use at Sidepodcast).

Sidepodcast listed in the Zune Marketplace

The first thing to note is that just like the original device, the Zune is limited to retail outlets within North America. I've no idea if there's a plan to expand the sales reach any time soon, so for the moment we are zune-less. Luckily there's no such restrictions on the software, so it was duly downloaded.

According to Microsoft, the initial directory listing would contain just 1,000 podcasts. So I was initially surprised to find both our audio and video shows listed. F1 Minute was missing, but looking at the details it would appear that the list was created some time before the show existed. All is not lost though, it's easy to add missing podcasts, which we did.

The next thing we tried to do was subscribe to something from the directory, and this is where the system fell to pieces. For reasons unspecified, users must have a Zune account to subscribe to anything in the directory and nobody outside of the United States is eligible for one. Which leaves us a bit stuck.

Presumably the theory behind this is, users would have no use for the software without the device, but as a stand alone client it seems like a pretty decent piece of software. Shame.

Sidepodcast on Zune

However, not to be beaten, it is still possible to add your own feeds manually. A simple process but one that is ultimately an unnecessary distraction.

All said, if you live within the US, and fancy an alternate podcasting eco-system, this one's worth checking out.