By Anton D. Nagy | May 25, 2011 7:43 AM
Podcast support in Zune on Windows Phone Mango was rumored since the beginning of May as one of the 500+ features the platform refresh brings to the table. At the moment, the only way to get podcasts on your Windows Phone is to subscribe via your computer’s Zune and the relevant episodes are transferred to your Windows Phone upon sync.
With Mango, Windows Phone users will be able to search for podcasts right on their handset. Finding the one brings you to a screen with information related to the podcast, such as title, image (album art), description, and the list of episodes. Once here you can push the play button to stream the audio, download the episode or subscribe to the podcast. You can select subscription options as well as whether to download via Data Connection or not.
UI-wise, the media playback buttons have been moved from the bottom of the screen to the very top, making the buttons larger. Additionally, the artist art on the background is more faded in order to make the text even more readable. Shuffle and Random icons no longer need you to tap on the album art to display but are always visible to the right of the album art.
One feature many were waiting for was the Smart DJ. It can be accessed by pulling up the menu drawer at the bottom and once activated, it will automatically create a playlist based on your music preferences.
Not many improvements but definitely the right ones both in terms of functionality as well as usability. We can expect more features to be unveiled either by Microsoft or third parties — maybe even control-leaked — since Redmond wants to maintain the momentum for Mango (and there are plenty of features left on that 500 list).