In addition to a new iPod update, Apple also released an updated version of iTunes (4.9). The main feature that this version adds is built-in support for podcasts. This is awesome! Podcasts can be selected and subscribed to using the Music Store interface (don’t worry, they’re all free). Once subscribed, podcasts can be configured to automatically be synchronized with the iPod. When a new edition of a podcast comes out, iTunes automatically downloads it and syncs it to the iPod the next time it is connected. There’s a huge amount of podcasts to choose from, ranging from music to news, audio blogs, comedy, audio books, and more.

I only checked out a few podcasts so far (listened to some this morning), and it’s pretty cool stuff. If a podcast consists of multiple sections, the iPod can jump from section to section. Even better, my iPod photo will display a unique picture for each section of the podcast (again, of course only if the podcast is setup accordingly).

My only regret is that I waited until podcasting became truly mainstream to play with this technology.