If you are a podcast listener like me, you have probably accustomed yourself to connecting your iPod to your computer everyday to get your new podcast episodes. This is a big hassle, but in the age of the iPod, this made a lot of sense. You sync your podcasts, just like you would sync your music collection, because the only way to get your media onto the iPod was through the USB cable. Apple also did a great job of integrating the podcast experience into iTunes and the iPod, their podcast listening experience was second to none.
Enter the iPhone. And later the iPod Touch as well as other smartphones which came into the market to compete with the iPhone. These new devices are internet enabled, and so they possessed the power to download the new podcast episodes by themselves, and thus the daily chore of syncing podcasts can be eliminated. With the RSS Player app you can catch new podcast episodes for your favorite podcasts directly on the device - no need to connect to a computer or go through iTunes at all. On the Android platform, there is Listen and a handful of other apps which do the same thing, and so G1, Droid, and other Android phone users can enjoy this convenience as well. But my guess is that most people are still syncing podcasts. Why is that? You ask.
Apple rejected what came to be the RSS Player app at first. They saw it as stepping on their own turf. Not long after that, they allowed users to download specific podcast episodes directly from their device, but still no automatic updates. Why they didn't add that feature is very puzzling to me. To me, Apple is still hanging on their dock-n-USB paradigm, which - in my opinion - will go out of fashion very soon. Case and point: the iPad. Why would the iPad need a dock connector? It's freakin' ridiculous. You may say: they want you to use iTunes. To that I say: you can use iTunes on the iPad. You may say: it needs to sync with the music collection. Then I say: you should be able to sync over wi-fi! I also predict - and I am not the only one by far - that on-demand music streaming is going to obviate the need for the syncing of even your music collection in probably 2-3 years. Who knows, Apple might even be the one pioneering that movement, given that they've bought Lala.
And so, to smartphone or iPod Touch users who are still syncing podcasts, I'd say this:
Stop pushing the button.