The best application I’ve found so far for downloading podcasts to a Pocket PC is FeederReader.
It is still in development, and is therefore a bit rough around the edges, but the developer is actively improving it, and I’m sure it will be much more polished soon.
And even now I found it to be quite functional, quickly performing the task of downloading the podcasts I wanted.
Its primary function is to display the news in RSS feeds, but podcasts are distributed by being attached to these feeds, so this really isn’t surprising. Besides, as a bonus, you can use this one application for two tasks.
FeederReader can be set to automatically download the podcasts you’ve subscribed to, and can save files directly to an SD card.
You could store them in RAM, but I highly recommend that instead you use an SD card, and I’d suggest a pretty big one. The podcasts I subscribe to are all 5 MB at a bare minimum and many are often over 10 MB. These can fill up your RAM very quickly.
When you first launch this application, obviously you’ll need to subscribe to the podcasts you want. You do this by going to the web site that’s hosting the podcast, find the address that the site will give you, and manually putting it into FeederReader.
For example, if you go to the web site for the BBC Radio program In Our Time, you’ll see a note that says, to “subscribe to the series with our podcast – copy the address in the field below to your podcast software,” followed by the address you need.
One thing you need to know about using FeederReader to download podcasts is that, by default, it isn’t set to download enclosures. If you want to do this automatically, you have to turn this feature on yourself, and the instructions the site gives you to do this are currently out of date.
You need to go to Tools > Options… > Item > Update then put a checkmark next to “DL Enclosures.” Close that window, then press the “Save” button at the bottom.
Like I said, this application needs a bit of polish, but it works fine.
Another option is to manually tell FeederReader to download each podcast, but — long term — that’s the more inconvenient way to do it.
You can use either a wireless connection to update your subscriptions or the Internet connection you have while ActiveSyncing.
Once FeederReader has downloaded a podcast, either automatically or manually, a quick tap on the screen causes Windows Media Player to open it and start playing.
One of the nice parts about this application is that it’s shareware. It costs nothing to try it out, and the developer is only asking $9 if you decide you like it.
You can download FeederReader from its web site.