If there is an area of paucity in the Windows Store, which is available for the first time in Windows 8, it is in the podcast category.
A search of the US version of the Windows Store for the term podcast brings up 20 results and the term podcasts only brings up 17.
Of those search results only three of the resulting apps are for subscribing and listening to podcasts.
When Windows 8 was released for General Availability a post on the Building Windows 8 blog highlighted all of the built in apps that were available in Windows 8 from day 1 of its release.
One area that was missing from the Xbox Music app was support for podcasts. The previous Windows based software for Microsoft’s music service, Zune, had a rich podcast listing area and interface. If you go take a look at that post on the Building Windows 8 blog you will see that it has 554 comments on it and the majority of them are requests for podcast support in the new Xbox Music Service.
Around the time that post was written there was a comment posted by someone on the team recommending the SlapDash Podcast App in Windows Store however, that entry is no longer available on the post.
Speaking of SlapDash Podcasts it is one of only two podcasting apps currently available in the Windows Store on Windows 8. There are three if you count both the free and paid version of the SlapDash Podcasts App.
Here are the apps available as of today to support listening to podcasts on Windows 8:
- SlapDash Podcasts (http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/0c62e66a-f2e4-4403-af88-3430a821741e)
- Free and has 72 ratings for an average of 3.75 stars
- SlapDash Podcasts Pro (http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/be135557-c3c2-454f-b885-c614e3bc041d)
- Costs $1.99 and has 14 ratings for an average of 3.25 stars
- PushPod (http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/570c63f5-4212-4433-8153-d9a49cca99ec)
- Costs $1.99 and has 26 ratings for an average of 3.8 stars
I hope that podcast support will be built straight into Xbox Music and take advantage of the cloud synching capabilities of the app to make your subscriptions available on all of your screens. It would also be terrific to see the service become a resource for listing and finding podcasts from all areas like it was in the Zune Marketplace.
As a podcaster myself I like the idea of my craft being accessible to as many folks as possible through as many avenues as possible. To lose the Zune marketplace and direct built in support for podcasts in the future of Windows is a disappointment.
What do you think?