The interface is slick and nice. Well thought out colors and buttons. The idea is that Podcast feeds are Channels and you Subscribe to them. Not linked in to iPodder.org but rather Odeo's own directory. This is growing because if you don't find the show you are looking for, just add it's feed. If you add a feed it already has it tells you.
I must say here at the start that tech support got right back to me on a couple emails I has sent them.
There is a syncr software that you download and install on your PC or Mac. I gave it a quick try and I can tell you:
The syncer synchs the files to an Odeo directory under My Documents.
- this isn't documented as far as I saw. I had to go hunting on my hard drive
- not configurable
- must install to C: (or, I suppose, where ever you have Windows installed)
- all of which is crap. Software shouldn't make choices for me.
Most glaring omission: NO OPML import/export feature. This is huge if you already use a podcatcher. Resubscribing when you change tools is a pain and this is a must have. Tech support told me they'll add it to the list of things to add. Were it me I wouldn't have even opened the door to the beta if this wasn't in there.
UDATE 6/28/05 9:30PM PDT: As was mentioned in the comments, there is OPML support for exporting that I somehow overlooked. My real concern is the import.
Searching is crap. I guess it's good if you want to stumble upon new shows but otherwise no good for me. Example: I want to add the Daily Source Code to my sync list. Only way is to do a search first. Thing is, you search for Daily Source Code or Curry or some combination and you get back lists of shows and other things not necessarily the _channel_ (as Odeo calls them) for the show. Then you click one of the show links and in there you see the link you need to subscribe. Upshot: let me search through _channels_ not list of shows. Or better, give me the choice!
Then there is subscribing. When you click subscribe it queues up some random show from the past, not the latest show. I told them about this and I think they my be on it. They responded perplexed to my email. This 'feature' happens every time to me so I can't believe they can't replicate it.
Yeah, it's beta. Great. But some basics need to be fixed.
Of note is the fact that they'll let you down load the source for the syncher so you can modify it if you are so inclined. That's pretty cool. It's based on iPodder.
Also, once you do get you list of Subscriptions, they show you an RSS feed of them. So you can take that feed and put it some where (bloglines, some other podcatching sofware, some other aggregater) and download your shows as they get published that way. Interesting idea.
There is a creation side but that was closed off. No idea whether they are going to host content or what.