Quick Tip: BlackBerry Podcasts vs. the Data Plan

BlackBerry Podcasts application
By Joseph Holder on 20 Apr 2011 04:34 pm EDT
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Like many wireless customers, I live in fear of the day I go over on my data usage. I worry that one day, I'll open my bill and find that watching Sammy the Squirrel 132 times has increased my payment by a decimal place or two. That's never happened, and I doubt it will. But the spectre of that day still looms, so I tend to be pretty stingy with my data usage.

I really like the BlackBerry Podcasts application. Podcasts are (relatively) huge files of 30, 40, even 100 MB. Like any good podcast application, it limits what it downloads over your mobile network, preferring to download only while connecting on Wi-Fi. That's not always enough. Sometimes the CrackBerry Podcast goes up when you're nowhere near Wi-Fi. No Problem, as long as your data plan can handle the large audio and video files.

Just change one setting. On the main BlackBerry Podcasts screen, press the menu key and select options. Under Podcasts and where it says "Download Podcasts using:" change Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Once you've saved changes, you can check on your podcast's status by selecting Podcast Downloads from the menu. When the file is done, you can change the setting back to Wi-Fi; you don't want to kill your data plan.

You can also download individual episodes instead of subscribing to an entire feed. Simply Explore podcasts to find an interesting feed. From the list of episodes, click one to get a brief description. Once you've decided to listen, click download and just that one episode will be downloaded to your BlackBerry.

In closing, be mindful of your data usage, but don't be afraid to use it, either. Manage what and how you download to get the most out of your plan.

Download / more information about BlackBerry Podcasts at BlackBerry App World 

Reader comments

Quick Tip: BlackBerry Podcasts vs. the Data Plan

16 Comments

It's worth noting (for some users) that Blackberry podcasts uses the blackberry.net APN and not your WAP one... So users with limited (or without) WAP bandwidth but unlimited BIS (BES) traffic can download them with no worries...

A friend of mine has unlimited BIS roaming, and he has downloaded over 30MB podcasts while roaming without extra charge. a GREAT feature that I've never seen (for some)

the best podcast besides Crackberry of course, The Joe Rogan Experience is nowhere to be found on this app. What gives?

so i wasnt the only one looking for the joe rogan experience. podtrapper is such a superior app that i will continue using the phone for most podcast.

Would be great to be able to use the Podcast app but unfortunately RIM only make it available to North American users.

Not sure if anyone else knows this but you can also download how many episodes of a podcast you subscribe too it will download, and then keep on your media card. It deletes old ones as it downoads the new ones. You can also find and add podcasts not listed in the app using web adress. So any podcast out there should be available.

The Podcast Options only show that you can save to Media card.

But as was said previously, there is an option:

'When new episodes arrive, keep: All, Last 1 to 10, Unplayed'

Got to say though, the way I ensure that I don't run over Telco MB limit is by copying them (or syncing) them from pc straight to media card and play them through Podcast.

I also delete using that method.

Here's a tip for those frustrated with the podcasts available through the search function in the BB Podcast app: don't search for podcasts through the app! Instead, google "{podcast name} url". Then just copy that link and manually add the feed in BB Podcasts. Almost ALL podcasts, including video podcasts work this way, but none of mine actually show up if I search for them through the app.

I think it's crazy that you have to first download an episode, and then listen to it. That makes for the quintessential anti-blackberry experience on a blackberry. The app alone is a complete backwards idea of what a podcaster should be. where with Stitcher, when it works, is much more closer to an ideal podcasting experience. i'm gonna draw up a comparison here between the two to illustrate my point.

#1. Stitcher lets u stream a podcast of ANY SIZE while you listen. BlackBerry Podcasts does not let u stream anything AND limits the size of a podcast you can download when not on wifi. #retarded. i shouldn't even go on but i must...

#2. Stitcher lets u stream into any bluetooth earpiece be it stereo, mono, or a wire. BP only lets u stream into a wire or a stereo bluetooth. Inconvenient as 90% don't own a 100 dollar earpiece,

#3. Stitcher down samples the podcasts to a much lower quality then the original size to save your data whereas BP does not. Sound quality remains good, listenable.

#4. Stitcher has a massive selection whereas BP has bupkis.

#5. Stitcher on the Torch works great. Although not officially suported, if u download the Storm version, it works 98%

i just can't get over how it won't let you stream...i mean i cant fathom how they came up with that. Why put out a podcaster that cant stream? thats like putting out a phone, that makes calls but doesn't have a screen. it's backwards and like 1997.