There are thousands of podcasts available on the Internet, devoted to all sorts of different topics, and aimed at different audiences. There are music podcasts which highlight individual musicians or music styles, sports podcasts, radio podcasts, humor podcasts… think of a topic and you’ll likely find a podcast that covers it. Many podcasts can be downloaded right from the Internet, and for Mac and Windows users, iTunes offers an easy way to subscribe to a podcast. What is subscribing in this situation? Basically, you tell iTunes you’re interested in a particular podcast, and whenever that podcast is updated, iTunes downloads it for you.
Of course, Linux users such as myself don’t have iTunes, and while other programs like Banshee or Rhythmbox can manage podcasts, sometimes a program that only does one thing (and hopefully does it well), is all that’s needed. This is where KBashPod comes in. KBashPod is a simple program that only does a couple things: it downloads podcasts and synchronizes your desktop and mobile podcast directories, so you always have the newest podcasts available on your computer and your mobile device.
KBashPod is pretty simple to work with, even though its interface is a little spartan. You enter in the URL of the podcast you want to subscribe to, provide a name and category if you want. Do this for all the podcasts that interest you. When you’re done, just tell KBashPod what directories you want to use for your local and mobile podcast collections. You also have the option to have KBashPod delete old podcasts after a certain amount of time has passed. There are also settings for how many simultaneous downloads KBashPod will attempt, as well as how much hard drive space is required. If less than this is available, KBashPod won’t attempt a new download.
Once you have KBashPod configured to your liking, click the Start Sync button at the bottom of the window. KBashPod will look for any new episodes of your subscribed podcasts, and attempt to download them. If you’ve waited a while between uses, there may be old podcasts available, and if they meet the criteria you set in the preferences, KBashPod will get rid of them for you. New podcasts will be placed in your desktop folder and – if plugged in – your mobile directory as well.
As I alluded to earlier, KBashPod is pretty basic. It doesn’t deal with cover art for your podcasts. It doesn’t allow you to rate podcasts or artists or individual episodes. You can’t use KBashPod to keep track of your progress in viewing or listening a podcast, so if you don’t finish an episode on your mobile player, your desktop player won’t “know” where you left off. It is simply a utility designed to help you always have the latest episodes. It’s simple in that way, but beautifully so. There’s not a lot of extra “stuff” to get in the way of downloading podcasts. KBashPod keeps things simple and straight forward. And I like that. It’s not going to be a program that suits everyone’s needs perfectly, but for those who just want to get new podcasts synchronized as quickly as possible, it’s a nice choice.