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Podtrapper for BlackBerry Review

CrackBerry Idol - Joseph
By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Jun 2010 04:17 pm EDT
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A Better Way to Get Podcasts – PodTrapper

Think fast. What's a podcast? Wikipedia tells us it's "a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; programme-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed." For most of us, it's a video or an MP3 where our respected hosts ramble on about Important Topics, sometimes for hours on end. It's something to listen to on the way to work, while washing the dishes or killing time between classes. Podcasts are entertainment; bliss for our otherwise unoccupied ears.

But that bliss comes to a screeching halt when you consider just how user-unfriendly it is to get podcasts on to your BlackBerry. Oh sure, you could find your podcasts on the internet, download them to your computer, plug your BlackBerry into the USB port, and then transfer them. You could use a pod catcher like Juice, but you're still stuck transferring the files. Heck, there's even a service that lets you call in and listen to your podcasts over the phone. Or you could simply get PodTrapper and sleep easy, knowing all of your latest ‘casts will be on your BlackBerry when you wake up.

Podtrapper
Pictured: Bliss

Simply speaking, PodTrapper works. It plays all of your podcasts, both video and audio; allowing you to pause, restart, and even bookmark podcasts (and any other audio or video file you might have). It manages your podcast feeds, keeping all of your podcasts organized and up to date. Most importantly, PodTrapper automatically downloads your podcasts when you want, how you want, and where you want.

Installing

PodTrapper is available as a download or a direct OTA install, both available at the CrackBerry store or through VersitileMonkey.com. The desktop download option requires the user to manually add the application via Desktop Manager, and thus could be a bit complicated to the average user. This may be the preferred option for those without WiFi access or with strict data plans as it comes with a Desktop Downloader to automatically transfer podcasts via USB. The OTA option installs in moments and is much simpler than downloading the .zip file, unpacking the files, and installing the .alx/.cod files.

Podtrapper
OTA Installs Quickly

Adding Podcasts

PodTrapper makes adding new RSS podcast feeds simple; this handy program has come a long way since version 1.0 in making that easy. If you know the address of your feed, you can simply enter the URL - for example, http://feeds.feedburner.com/CrackberrycomPodcast. Personally, I email the links to myself and then copy & paste. The Browse/Search feature allows you to subscribe via links in an enormous catalog of podcasts (6,004 available in the TV & Film category alone). Finally, if anonymous stats are enabled (which they are by default), PodTrapper can actually suggest podcasts you'd like based on what you already subscribe to.

Podtrapper
Multiple Options for Adding Podcasts

Settings

You want PodTrapper to run when your device starts? Okay. You want it to download the last four episodes from the CrackBerry feed but only the latest one from all your other feeds? Okay. You want PodTrapper to only download while it's charging AND connected to your WiFi network but NOT if you're listening to a podcast on sleep mode...? Well, you get the idea. PodTrapper gives you complete control over what content is downloaded, how it's downloaded, and where it's stored. Once you've selected all the options you want, it's a set-it-and-forget-it deal. PodTrapper will even apply customizable, standardized settings to each new podcast feed you add. Don't let the sheer number of options overwhelm you; PodTrapper works great right out of the box.

Podtrappper

Support

PodTrapper's support is simply top-notch. VersitileMonkey provides an extensive wiki, covering every option and feature the program has to offer. There's also a forumwhere users can ask questions, get help, report a bug, and even submit feature ideas - #1 in the voting is for fully customizable keyboard shortcuts. Behind it all is a developer committed to providing a quality application. "Marwatk," as he's known on his support forums, is in constant contact with his users. Take a look; I'll wait. You'll see that he responds to any question you might have for him. He's even known to pop up in the CrackBerry user comments.

Room for Improvement

There's not much to improve on here; believe me I've searched. However, I have experienced some playback issues under specific conditions. When using my BT headphones to pause playback, PodTrapper simply mutes the headphones. AVRCP is properly handled in the native BB Media Player, but for some reason is unhandled here. Oddly enough, the mute key on the BB handles pausing just fine. Playback while downloading is still a bit iffy. While I was testing that feature for this article, PodTrapper crashed so hard, I had to do a battery pull. Pretty sure that was caused by low system memory, as I was being particularly brutal to my 8900 at the time. Although there is an automated back up (of sorts) for PodTrapper, restoring those settings is not simple. It would be nice if the backup/restore abilities were easier to use.

Podtrapper
AT&T Please Take Notes

Final Thoughts

PodTrapper is great product; I've known that since I bought it nine months ago. Actually, I've known that since about 4 days into my 30 (yeah, thirty) day trial. There are other pod catching apps out there, but none of them can hold a candle to the experience, features, support, and sheer "yeah, it works" of PodTrapper. At $9.99, it is one of the pricier apps out there, but this is no flashlight or daily horoscope app. It's a fully-functional, fully-featured, versatile piece of programming. And worth every penny.

PodTrapper is available at the ShopCrackBerry store and is supported on all devices.

** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **

50 comments

Kevin Michaluk

Kevin (aka Ryan Seacrest): Wow Joseph. I think it's safe to say you've started Round 1 with the bar raised pretty high here. Let's see what the judging panel has to say.

CrackBerry Idol Judges

Dieter: Love the video! Hilarious start but you really hit the main features really well, it's easy to follow and just the right length. On the review side, glad to see you try to provide some information about podcasts at the beginning, but yo dog, citing Wikipedia in your first paragraph is so 2004. Tighten that up and talk a bit more about actually using the app to listen to podcasts and you'd have a real winner here. Lot of potential, I definitely hope you make the next round.(and yes, I think I'll be putting 'yo dog' in every post. *sighs*)

Georgia: Nice work there Joseph. The creativity you've shown in both your audition video and now your app review video are first rate. I can't help but wonder if you will be able to keep these ideas flowing non-stop. I sure hope so. The review itself was well written and broken down logically. You definitely seem cracky enough to be a regular here, so hopefully you can show us some more brilliance in your next round if you make it through. One thing I wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more on is the alternatives available to Podtrapper. Are there any? Are they better or worse?

Craig: Great video! Loved the beginning. He sounds like he is a VO artist. Great review. Covered the important points, showed the app. The blog post is well written, and again covers the things I am interested in. I hope we see Joseph in the next round.

shankeith

Lol @ "yo dawg"

Good review btw Joseph

Adam Zeis

I love your video style ... it's awesome.

gavreh

Podtrapper is an amazing application - one of the few I use constantly and have happily paid for.

DJ Reyes

Great review Joseph. Getting nervous now. This competition is really heating up. It's exciting. I must say that video was awesome.

Best of luck.

that_maynard

It will be interesting to see how everyone else does, that was pretty good.

that_maynard

It will be interesting to see how everyone else does, that was pretty good.

copster30

One of the best feature of Podtrapper is that it will never ever lose your playing position. This happens way to frequently on other music apps and is a nightmare if you're listening to anything over 1 hour.

collin16

Nice review. For those of you not willing to pay for the full app you can download the limited Crackberry version! Its free and great

appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/6589

ldcmobile

Really well put together

R1cE

good review. I wasnt a fan of the intro to be honest. Found it too cliche and reminds me of the humor found on Disney Channel. Some people like it, some don't so keep that in mind.

sweetlittlehugs

I disagree about there being no room for improvement. The playlists are clunky to use, as there is no other way to advance to the next podcast without picking up my phone I find myself only choosing long podcasts.

3Dee

A nice app to choose to review and you rep'd it pretty well. Read a bit like a college essage for my liking though (we all know what podcasts are and agree with Dieter - don't quote wikipedia). Pretty good though.

bluegreen1965

Joseph has a terrific presence on, and behind, the camera. He's my fave!

bgriff25

I thouhgt Joseph did a great job. He's got my vote.

Zanshin-

Hey Joseph! Zander here, just wanted to show some support and say awesome job on your app review. Very through and well thought out!

pkcable

Nice review Joseph! I agree podtrapper is a great app. :)

mahen915

That was a great review. By any chance, does anyone what theme that is that's displayed in the screenshots? I want it :)

Joseph Holder

It's the Berry Holiday (http://crackberry.com/free-cb2-blackberry-theme) theme, CrackBerry style. The wallpaper is CrackBerry infused, too (http://crackberry.com/wallpaper-colors-patterns-mod-abstract) I love this free theme!

droidnewbie2011

In the beginning of the video, it was kind of like a cheezy informercial.....I chuckled a bit...... I like to say that the review both from the video and review blog was short and to the point, one thing that was missing and the cool thing about Podtrapper is that when you are listening to a podcast and you get an incoming call or text message, podtrapper pauses and when you finish the call or ending the text message, the podcast resumes.

I have this app and it's one of the most used app I go to evevery day.

Sashko

I must say, you are most definitely a worthy opponent in this contest, and I tip my hat to you :-) Hope to meet you in the next round.

Alex

trjnberry

Good review of a great app. As I recently indicated in a forum conversation, if you are not into podcasts, you will be with an app like Podtrapper. I would have liked to have seen the video review be more of a review of the app and less of a commercial. As a daily CB blog reader, I don't feel that you need to sell me on the app. I think you need to let the reader draw their own conclusion based on your objective review of the product. Podtrapper is a comprehensive app. I think if you do video reviews, you don't want to skip over menus. Spend less time on the commerical and fit those menus in.

As a Podtrapper user, I can say that you can use Itunes to shop for your podcasts, then get a name of a podcast you want, and then you can use the Podtrapper search menu by that podcast name and generally it comes up. Of course, like your review indicated, you can also just note the feed URL and enter it manually in the Podtrapper menu. A fellow podtrapper user from the forums said he could read audio books via podtrapper; would've been nice if your review could have touched upon how to do that.

I am a CB user at large. No affiliation with any CB Idol contestant. I am looking forward to providing objective feedback where I can. I wish you best of luck in your CB Idol journey.

CrackCurve56

I have one thing to say to Joseph, and this is constructive criticism. The one thing is: YAWN.

TheElderBerry

How many of these do you expect people to sit through? I don't know guys, this is kind of weak.

Joseph Holder

Great comments from everybody. I'd like to respond to some of them, and rather than clicking that reply link a whole lot of times, I'll respond to them here.

Dieter: I was going to use the standard "Webster's Dictionary Defines..." bit, but I thought that was too 1980's. Ah, well.

Georgia: I had some links in there for some other podcatching apps, but I think they got lost along the way.

Craig: I'm not a voice over artist, but I'd *love* to be one. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* to any Charlotte-area producers out there.

3Dee: Ever try explaining podcasts to your mom? I wanted to make sure I was on a firm ground with my readers.

Zander & Sashko: Class, pure class :) EDIT (oops): And shankeith, too

BBNewbie2010: I was trying to keep the video and blog to a certain length. I'd need to write a novel to list all the cool things PodTrapper does!

trjnberry: Excellent constructive criticism. It's my first time making a review video, so your advice is certainly appreciated. I really do love PodTrapper and was very pleased when I got the go-ahead to do a review on it.

CrackCurve56: You left of the bit where you tell me why you found the article to be "YAWN?" I always find that my work only improves with the feedback of others. Please share.

To everybody else, thank you for your comments. I, like most of you, can't wait to see what else CrackBerry Idol has in store for us. Good luck, fellow idol-ers!

Dave Peckens

This is a pretty good review, except that your video and voice overs made it all seem too much like a personal "vote for me" infomercial. I guess that's to be expected, maybe.

I, too, use Podtrapper pretty much daily and love the app. You're correct in that it takes the headaches out of downloading and not losing place in a recording. I even listen to audio books (broken down by chapter) through this app.

Again, great start!

compinche

Loved the video and want to wish you luck in the crackberry-idol! Wish I could give you more than two thumbs up, but only have two hands! Great job! You got my vote!

shacknews

THIS IS FOR THE NEXT CONTESTANTS:

Do a good job or you GTFO now.

grayzweb

Great work! Really loved the video!

Cap_172R

Great video.. nice style!! other contestants will have to step it up! good job!

dterio

i love the intro!! Great job!!

shv580

Great Job Joseph! Nice video intro too! Lol...
By the way: Nice theme you got there, what is it called?

RevyRah

You hit a bases clearing triple, in my opinion. The homer will come, I'm sure.

The video presence was great, and the writing was only a hair behind the aforementioned. The only critique one can really have is to check for typos three times before submitting for publishing. Otherwise you'll hear the constant harassment that Bla1ze does for errors. No matter how good the overall presentation.

You really did a great job and I highly doubt you'll have much trouble progressing through the next rounds. You're very eloquent, informed, and your experience in this type of field, as well as the knowledge of the blackberry stands out. You've got an early lead Joseph. Keep this up and you won't have to look back.

Pilot Prop

i knew from the audition vid that Joseph would do great and he has proven me right...nice vid, great speaking voice, really good review....thumbs up

Xopher

The video was good (a little dark at the beginning - either need better lighting when not showing the BB screen, or shoot with a background instead of into a darkened space behind you).

The article was very good, and informative. There were highlights in the article that showed more features than I have seen in other PodTrapper reviews, so that was really good.

AgentScribe

You did a great job Joseph. Much more professional than the resident bloggers here and I don't mean that to slam them but just to complement your abilities in this realm. I agree with Georgia and hope this is something you can keep up.

Terrigno

This guys got good humor. I like to see that in people. Its always good to watch a review with a little humor in it. Way to go.

hingham55

Podtrapper works so well and I enjoy it more than any other BB application. Buy this five star application today and you will enjoy thousands of hours of entertainment.

SandyT37137

This is one product I happily paid for. I use it daily. I have not however ever used it for a podcast. I stumbled onto this product as a way to listen to audio books that I download free from the public library. What sold me was the ability to use my cheap (non-stereo) bluetooth with this product. I can actually listen to any MP3 file thru my bluetooth.

I would like to see the upgrade suggested by someone else above that would allow the player to immediately start the next file in line once the current file was complete.

And one last thought as I head to the pool, bluetooth in my ear and my phone on safe dry land: can anyone suggest how to go about finding podcast that 50 year old mothers would enjoy.

JRF_1986

I think you did a great job! The intro was ok, I guess I've seen too many infomercials like that. But still, kept my attention! Good job and hope to see you in the next round!

Spiral_ouT

Awesome review man. You kept me interested and listening about a product I have no interest in. Hope to see YOU in round 2 of CB idol.

bluegreen1965

Wow, I can't say it enough...Joseph rocks!!

dac035

Good review. The video was creative and the article is well written.

LOZ Girl

during infomercials...there usually pretty cheesy. I had higher hopes from you. I enjoy your voice and would have rather had just your hands showing how the app worked with your voice rather then the cheesy intro. I know all of you are trying to be creative but this was a bit over the top and came off more cheesy then professional. Do any of us really want to see this kind of thing on CB or would we rather just get the facts (with a joke or two here and there)and go about our day?

marwatk

I'm a little late to the comment party, but I just wanted to say how awesome this was! Good luck Joseph!

-Marcus
Versatile Monkey

parrot738

Great job! I thought you were already on the Crackberry staff!. I love my PodTrapper app. I think it runs podcasts better than my iPod.