Thanks to BlogCritics, I found out about a new podcatching product called PodSpider. The purpose is to offer yet another option for downloading and listening to podcasts.
Podspider lets you quickly and easily use your home DSL connection to compile all of the podcasts you want to hear while you’re out and about. Back up and replay important passages-you’ll never miss an important detail again.
But do we really need another podcatcher?
PodSpider does one thing that iPodder doesn’t do: it will play your podcasts without opening another program. iPodder doesn’t have a player built in — you have to let it synch to either iTunes or Media Player. Obviously, iTunes plays podcasts in iTunes. PodSpider has a built-in player. It’s not feature-rich, but it plays podcasts, which is the point.
PodSpider also has a built-in directory that updates from the Web. You can submit your podcast for listing in the directory. iPodder does something similar, as does iTunes. PodSpider claims over 13,000 podcasts in its directory. I don’t know if that’s true — I didn’t count. I know that several of the podcasts I listen to weren’t in the directory, and I was surprised at some that were listed. You can add feeds to PodSpider, just like iPodder and iTunes. I wish that I could sort each podcast by date and actually have it stay that way — you have to redo the sort every time that you look at a podcast.
Bottom line — PodSpider is another entry into the increasingly crowded podcatcher market. For now, it’s free, but there are plans to charge later on — possibly as much as $24.69, if the graphic on the home page can be believed. If you’re willing to actually pay for a podcatcher, iPodderX is a much better bargain at $12.47 (if you get in on the Windows XP beta test — $24.95 is the regular price for the Mac version, so I assume that’s what it will be for Windows as well). And iPodderX lets you read regular RSS feeds as well as audio and video feeds.
I may keep PodSpider, but I don’t see it replacing iTunes as my primary podcatching software. If you’re using iPodder, you might want to jump on this free trial. But I don’t see this drawing people from iTunes or iPodderX any time soon.