11 February 2010

Panucci, gPodder and the N800: portable podcasts

So, quite a while ago I asked who the N800 is for. I think we all realise that the Nokia internet tablets were a bit of an experiment for Nokia, and I would even classify the recently released N900 in that category. Nokia have been tweaking the size, the keyboard, the connectivity, but I can honestly say that each of the devices has its own merits and the more recent iterations are not necessarily 'better'.

There are a couple of features of the N800 which, despite it being two generations old, I think still cannot be matched by current devices. The first is its front facing stereo speakers which are not only loud, they are clear and fairly punchy. They remind me of the transistor radio of old. The second is that built-in kick stand so you can prop the tablet up wherever you like. The combination of these two, and WiFi connectivity, means that the N800 is a near perfect portable podcatcher and playback device, not just for audio but video as well.

The podcast client I use is gPodder which has a number of new features since I started using it, the main one being the automatic checking of your podcast lists. It then informs you that a new podcast is available. For audio podcast playback I strongly recommend Panucci which is actually named after the pizza restaurant owner in Furutama. The main advantage of this is that it can bookmark where you stopped a podcast so if you stop listening to it, you can resume where you left off. For video podcast playback I just use mPlayer mainly for the wide codec support. My top tip for this is that the processor in the N800 cannot really handle WVGA podcasts, so you are better off downloading the option for the PSP (400 x 272) which, on the high pixel density screen of the N800 looks great.

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