iTunes does Podcasts
Garth complains that the recently-released iTunes 4.9 is not "quite as friendly a way as I'd have liked to introduce Grandma to the future of radio." Err, huh? Exactly how much easier could it get?
In the brief play that I had, it seems to handle everything really well, including subscribing, downloading, and expiring old shows. I was impressed, and I will have no qualms recommending iTunes 4.9 to my mum (who is a grandma) and who is really interested in getting her daily fix of Radio National when and where she wants it. The interface is really nice, and I'm sure it will be a hit. (It's oh-so-tempting to compare the iTunes UI with other dedicated podcatcher software out there, but no, I shall resist.)
One particularly exciting feature that they've added is the ability to skip to individual segments/chapters within the podcast, known as enhanced podcasts. (Does this mean that gapless playback is also possible now?) Also MP3s are now bookmarkable (ie if you switch to another track and return it will pick up where it left off). It seems that Apple have actually surpassed the current state-of-the-art, and delivered genuinely new and useful features for podcasts. Admittedly they were the only ones who had the ability to implement this feature (as it requires changes to the iPod firmware), but still, mad props to my Apple homies.
I can see myself using iTunes to manage podcasts that are no more than simply an audio file per item. I can also see myself continuing to use NetNewsWire for other feeds, such as those that only publish podcasts occasionally within their regular blog (eg Jon Udell). For those feeds whose audio is simply a link within an item instead of a full RSS enclosure (eg MAKE: blog, but I see they've just released an updated feed) I'll continue to use my import AppleScripts (now updated to work with Safari!).