Last week while I was browsing around iTunes Music Store, looking for new podcast to subscribe to, I decided to see how many new BBC podcasts had been added to iTunes since I last looked. So I typed in "BBC" in the search box and the list was pretty long. As I read down the list, I spotted the Newsnight video podcast. It is a short excerpt of the week's footage so it is a nice way to get the best digest of the program.
I didn't manage to watch the three episodes until late last night and a couple of minutes into the first one, I wondered what file format BBC is encoding the podcast. A quick check in iTunes showed that it is just plain mp4 video, and I then wondered further whether my Nokia E61 will play it.
So I dug out the USB data cable and connected the phone up. The memory card showed up as a disk on my Mac desktop and I just dragged the file into the disk. A few minutes later I had it on my phone and RealPlayer was playing the podcast in its fullscreen glory! The video quality is pretty good. I didn't notice any dropped frames and the sound from the speaker is adequate for a talking head program. Battery life, of course, suffers when you play video on the phone but that is to be expected.
Anyway, after that it was just a matter of entering the long URL for the podcast into the Nokia Podcasting app on the phone. Soon it was download the latest episode onto the phone via the Wi-Fi connection. This is especially cool for me because I can't play video on my 4G iPod (obviously) and I am waiting for the next generation before upgrading. Being able to play video on my phone means I have less of an excuse to buy the 6G iPod when it comes out.
So now I have even more content to keep me occupied as when I am stuck in a subway train. One thing still annoys me though. Why can't all audio and video podcasts on iTunes uses non-DRM, non-proprietary format like BBC. How about that Apple? Can I have iTunes New Music Tuesday in regular mp4 audio format, may be as an alternative to the special one you've been using? I don't care for the album arts and chapters, I just want to listen to the podcast on my phone!
Thanks to iTunes New Music Tuesday podcast (Yes eiron, I am still listening to the woman from Midwest), I found out that Evanescence's new album is now available on iTunes Music Store as a pre-order! I've already added it to my cart and downloaded the bonus track "Call Me When You're Sober". I've only listened to it once thus far but it sounds pretty good. Classic Evanescence music. Can't wait till October 3rd!
One of the great thing about my new E61 is that the built-in music player supports AAC files. So I can play all of my tracks encoded in iTunes. But the one thing the music player can’t do is to read the tags information in the m4a files. It only reads ID3 tags. After some googling, I’ve found this Windows app called mp3tags that copies the tags info in the m4a files into the ID3 tag fields, thus allowing the music player to read and displays them on the screen. But I can’t find any equivalent on the Mac. That sucks! May be it is time for me to dive into XCode and write a tag converter myself!