Cybertainment: Apple's Podcasts app bashed for glitches

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Apple's recently launched Podcasts app is designed to streamline the process of subscribing to or listening to podcasts. It's a stand-alone app that enables users to bypass going through the iTunes Store. Podcasts can be directly downloaded to mobile iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone.

But its buggy-ness has spawned thousands of comments on iTunes, and most people aren't happy with it.

Complaints include problems syncing across devices, crashes, slowness and problems with the user interface and search function.

There were more than 4,700 comments, and most gave the app only one out of five stars.

Recommendation: Wait for a future improved version of Podcasts, or stick with easy-to-use alternatives such as Downcast or Flapcast.

Facebook has millions and millions of friends, but they're not close friends. Customer satisfaction with the social networking site is down, according to an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business report released last week.

Facebook scored 61 out of 100 points in the social media category, down from 66 in 2011.

Its rival Google+ made its first appearance in the ACSI rankings with a score of 78, tying with Wikipedia for first place. The rest of the list: YouTube (73), Pinterest (69), a category including all other social media sites (64), Twitter (64) and LinkedIn (63), with Facebook in last place (61).

The ASCI report attributes the results to several factors -- Facebook's constant format changes, confusion over its Timeline feature, advertising overload and privacy issues. Google+ earned points for its lack of traditional advertising and its mobile version.

The annual ASCI index measures customer satisfaction with a range of e-businesses, including social media, and is supported in part by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based ForeSee, a company that specializes in customer experience analytics.

Before the Internet, people used to look to their mailboxes for the occasional piece of interesting mail. These days, said mailboxes are filled with bills, credit card offers and circulars, and cool stuff seldom shows up there.

That's why Postcard Poets came into being. This subscription service delivers original poetry on postcards to subscribers twice a month.

Postcard Poets is the brainchild of Sana Rao and Nikki Sylianteng, two graduate students at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

They opted for snail mail over email because "Real mail is devoid of all the noise of email. We want to deliver serendipitous poetry to you with the romance of real mail and no disturbance from the Internet."

Postcard Poets features work by both established and new poets. People interested in submitting poetry can contact them at

Subscriptions are $5 a month, and $8 a month to mail internationally and can be canceled any time.

tvradio - cybertainment

Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865.


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