Yesterday at the WWDC, Steve Jobs showed a demo of iTunes 4.9, the version to include built-in Podcasting. The feature list may not be long, but they do include the chrome shine of everything Apple in it!
First, you’ll be able to find thousands of Podcasts right from the iTunes Store when 4.9 is released within the next month or so. From their, like all iTunes selections, you’ll be able to sample each show as your browse their diverse selection of shows including iTunes Music Store’s own New Releases. If you like what you hear, simply click the “Subscribe” button and in it drops into the new Podcast section on the left pane of your iTunes application where all your playlists and iPod shows up. Clicking on the Podcast playlist will bring up your subscribed Podcast’s, past and present. It will automatically download upcoming releases as well as give you the option to download previous missed selections.
Second, like the songs in your library, Podcasts will also display cover art. Adam Curry’s mug will be presented before your eyes when listening to Source Code from iTunes or even your iPod photo. Further utilizing the Apple shine, you’ll be greeted with cover art changes as you make travel through your Podcast. That is, if the author desires to show different art at different points in the show, it will change in your cover art viewer. Let’s say you download a Podcast highlighting the latest hardware from CeBIT and with each new product spoken of, the cover art changes in the iTunes box displaying the new hardware being mentioned. Sweet, huh? But wait, it goes even further, the Podcast’s will contain chapters and you can skip directly to them within iTunes via a drop-down menu that will even display the cover art in thumbnail form!
Yes, just watching Steve Jobs show off iTunes 4.9 to the 3,800 developers in San Francisco was enough to make me want it NOW! I think that was the whole point of the demo and it will surely send Apple’s web servers into a dizzy when iTunes 4.9 does release.