Apple Podcasts app cuts out the iTunes middleman

In an effort to generate a new audience for the countless podcasts that live on iTunes today, Apple has decided to launch a new app that gives users instant and seamless access to this content. The Podcasts app pulls it all out of iTunes and gives users direct, seamless access to everything from guys recording weekly diatribes in their basement to the official podcasts from big names like ESPN and CBS.

Although it sometimes gets marred as being outdated, the podcasting medium remains as relevant as ever. Previously, the process of downloading or subscribing to a podcast required users to log into iTunes from a computer and find the show they wanted. This new app works for both the iPhone and iPad to bring that content to the wide world of consumers who own an iDevice but don't really access Apple content from their PC.

In addition, because it's now a standalone app, Apple has decided to throw in a couple nifty features. For example, there's a Sleep Timer function for those who like to drift off to sleep with the soothing sounds of a podcast. Enabling this will automatically stop playback after a set amount of time. Users can also stream episodes online, or download them locally to listen on a plane or the subway. Incidentally, it does also offer iTunes syncing if you do happen to prefer that platform.

[via The Next Web]