Instacast HD is the shiny new iPad version of the superb podcast client app. It promises more screen, more video, more show notes, better browsing, and iCloud sync.
Here are a few of the headline features for the new HD version:
Easy-to-read Show Notes
Show notes are the heart of the app. Surf links along playing the show and read in-depth information about the things the hosts are talking about. Save articles for reading later using your favorite Read-Later service such as Instapaper or Readability. Show notes also include chapter lists when available and let you jump directly to a certain point in the show. Surf through the show archive by swiping and flicking with your fingers.
Enhanced Video Player
Instacast HD has an enhanced video player, that lets you control the video with minimal interaction. Change the screen brightness in low light situations or stream the video to your Apple TV via AirPlay. Playback controls are positioned in a way that you don’t have to touch the middle area where the video is playing, keeping the important parts of your screen fingerprint-free. Hide the player and continue playing only the audio portion of the video while surfing the show notes or browsing the web.
Instacast automatically downloads the most recent episodes and caches it on the device for later offline consumption. With the integrated Download Manager you can pause downloading, resume later and re-prioritize downloads. If the connection drops, Instacast will resume downloading later as soon as the internet connection is available again.
And some of the app’s main features:
+ Manage podcast subscriptions
+ All Episodes inbox for unseen episodes
+ Filter for starred and downloaded episodes
+ Stream or preload over EDGE, 3G or WiFi and in background
+ Auto-refresh subscriptions
+ Auto-download newest episodes
+ Download waiting list when only on 3G
+ Continuous playback of multiple episodes
+ Play audio podcasts in background
+ Volume/Speed/AirPlay control
+ Support for chapters and chapter links
+ Continue where you left off
+ Support for OPML file format and Dropbox
+ Supports headphone, lock screen and task bar remote controls
+ Integrated web browser to follow show notes
+ Integrated podcast directory with over 30000 podcasts and episode previews
+ Import podcast subscriptions from episodes stored in your Music library
+ Support for sharing links via email and Twitter
+ Support sending show notes and websites to Instapaper, Readability and Read-It-Later
+ Support for pcast:// and itpc:// url scheme
+ Subscribe podcasts using a URL
+ Support for HTTP authentication of premium/payed podcasts
Note: The app requires iOS 5.
I’ve used, and loved, Instacast on the iPhone for a long time, so I was very happy to see Instacast HD hit the App Store earlier today and installed it immediately. On the iPhone, I used the app almost exclusively for audio podcasts. With this new iPad version, I’ve spent all my time so far with video podcasts. The app has AirPlay support, so it’s great to chuck these up onto a big TV screen.
I’ll likely review this app when I’ve spent more time with it – but so far it looks great.
Here’s an App Store link for Instacast HD; it’s priced at $4.99.