I admit it. I listen to podcasts and I do not use iTunes. I cannot comment on the experience that you can have with iTunes, quite simply I do not need to add it to my standard installs for its capability as a player, a music collection manager, a podcast manager or a device sync manager. I make use of Windows Media Player for much of this, and download using Juice. This works really well for the majority of podcasts, as I have an auto playlist setup for the sync of my Windows Mobile phone that syncs anything with a genre of Podcast and I use Juice to manage removal of older podcasts.
I understand that each Podcast I download may have different genres setup in their tags such as Comedy, Tech or even Speech. I modify accordingly and that is not really a problem, although I would love if I had a local tool that more quickly changes the Genre to Podcast.
This is not my pet peeve. My pet peeve are the Podcast producers who do not set any of the meta data on the MP3s that comprise their Podcast output. I guess these guys are relying on functions with iTunes to set this correctly, but frankly not everyone uses it and come on guys, set the metadata correctly. Set the Album, set the Title, set the Genre, and come on, even set the Track to your Episode numbers – it means that it comes out better looking in the player, particularly for me on my Windows Mobile phone, and that will certainly be the same for many MP3 players.
Now the guys who are doing this (actually not doing it if you get my drift) are not the small fry – these guys are the big ones, and some of them are supposed to make money by advising or support technically the podcast and vodcast market. Who are they? Well the ones that get on my back are as follows.
Those who set no metadata:
PC Pro – the UK computer magazine which has a reasonably long standing podcast.
Those who have had issues in the past and who have now improved:
CNET – Substantially improved
Slashdot Review – Now very consistent and complete.
and the absolutely star in all this? The TWiT network of podcasts by Leo Laporte and his gang of stars. They have consistently set the metadata on their podcasts ever since I can remember. So come on the rest of you guys, get with it.