So, after a long hiatus, I'm back!! I've been away for wayyyy too long, but after the announcement last week I have had a lot of emails come my way and one that was quite popular is frustrations over the BlackBerry Podcast app.
One reader writes:
I know this may be a question for the forums, and I apologize for the length of this email but I feel like I need a place to vent while finding help in the process so please hear me out. My BlackBerry Podcast app has been used daily and worked flawlessly up until about 2 weeks ago. Now every download fails. EVERY DOWNLOAD FAILS! FRUSTRATING! In trying to find support, I sent an email to the address listed in app world which has done nothing, I've searched every forum I could find which seems to lead only to dead ends and empty threads, and I've tried using Twitter and talking to BlackBerryHelp, which only asked what my error message was and then the help went cold. The only method I have not used yet is the support phone number from RIM because I don't want to be charged a $50 incident fee. It got me thinking: why is it so difficult to get a hold of RIM for support for their own apps? Is there a method out there that I'm not aware of for support for programs created by RIM itself that won't require me to give a credit card number up front? Third party developers have been fantastic at help when I have questions or problems but it's near impossible to get a tenth of the help for a smartphone issue that is RIM specific and not carrier related. It's a shame, because when I had an issue with my PlayBook support couldn't have been better.
Thanks for the help and for letting me vent, hopefully this leads to some help for anyone in a similar situation.
While another reader said:
Why does my Blackberry podcast app stop working for about a week, then start back up, then go down again?..... Sometimes it all the podcasts I subscribe to and sometimes it is just a few..... Please any tips to help me fix this
Dear John and Anonymous,
I use the BlackBerry Podcast app and while I haven't encountered any problems, yet, it seems that a lot of people have been having problems, the main one being that subscriptions have stopped downloading. After doing a little digging, it is apparent that RIM seems to act as an intermediary between the app and the RSS feeds of the podcasts. This complicates matters somewhat and hence the reason there may be delays in new episodes being available or not downloading at all. On top of that while it comes preinstalled on BlackBerry OS 6 and 7, it is only supported in the US and Canada, so outside of those countries if anything goes wrong there is not a lot that can be done.
A work around that seems to work for some people is to manually enter the RSS feed URL when adding podcast subscriptions instead of using the search facility within the app. However, this does not work for everybody and until the app is available in your country, official support is not there.
I can offer an alternative but at a cost. Podtrapper, from Versatile Monkey is a podcast app that a lot of users have sworn by, including myself (before the BlackBerry Podcast came along), it did the job well and i never encountered a problem with it. Podtrapper, however, does cost $9.99 but it does come with a 30-day free trial, it is worth giving it a go for the 30-days if you really want to be able to get your podcasts on your BlackBerry.
More information / Download Podtrapper via App World
See you next week!