This last week I gave up my older HTC 8125 for the Apple iPhone. It’s been an interesting experience so far and I really like how the phone works. I also like the apps – Especially the ones that keep me productive. I am not really a gamer or a fluff app person – I may download and try it, but those apps usually go to the wayside.
Two apps I was excited to try out were Stitcher: a Podcast aggregation site, and Pandora: for online radio stations. I’ve used both before getting the iPhone and couldn’t wait to install and try them.
Of course, I could just use the integrated iTunes program on the phone. It does music and aggregates podcasts. However, I like to try out all the options – make sure I have the easiest and best program.
So let’s take a look at each program and see what advantages there are to it.
If you haven’t tried this site out yet, you should. Stitcher is a Podcast aggregator. You can get many great podcasts, add them to your watch list and be alerted when new episodes are available. You can listen to your shows on your iPhone, Blackberry or on any PC.
In turn, iTunes also has an area to download podcasts. You can search the store and download episodes. However – As Todd noted in his last podcast – While the PC version lets you subscribe to the podcast, the iTunes store only allows you to add episodes. I have yet to find a way to “Subscribe” from the iPhone.
Pandora has just been in the news because of the agreement they have reached for Internet radio. You can join up with a radio station, listen to it and move on. The control of the music is not that great; which was a design of the new agreement. You can skip songs, but only 6 per hour. All this, so you won’t have to pay for any music you want to hear.
Flipping over to iTunes, you can pay .99 cents a song, sync up with one computer to get your playlist of songs and go. You can customize your playlists and listen to new songs. They even give you some free ones.
There are other apps, like Audio books. Audible lets you read books right from your iPhone. iTunes also has an Audiobook option. I have not tested that feature yet, so we will leave it as a footnote.
The biggest advantage iTunes has is that if you have to use another application; like checking your email, whatever you are listening to will continue to play. If you try the same for Pandora or Stitcher, the program will close. Once the application is re-opened, you will be able to continue listening. However- in the case of Pandora – it will not continue where it left off.
iTunes will also do video – TV shows and even Video Podcasts. While there is no Hulu application (yet), you do have the option of YouTube – which also comes with the native OS.
I don’t want to make it sound like you shouldn’t download Pandora or Stitcher. They are great programs in their own right. The applications are free and can be an addition to any iPhone. That is why they are on my iPhone to stay.