iPhone: Beat 10MB 3G download limit

Want to break the 10MB limit for downloading podcasts over 3G on the iPhone? It's easy, and I'm going to tell you how to do it.

Want to break the 10MB limit for downloading podcasts over 3G on the iPhone? It's easy, and I'm going to tell you how to do it.

The iPhone's recent 2.2 firmware enabled over-the-air downloading of podcasts, either by using 3G or Wi-Fi. The only problem is that if you use 3G, you're limited to shows 10MB in size, or less -- and most are often considerably more.

There is, however, a workaround. At least, there sort of is. Safari is a fairly full-featured Web browser, and can play MP3 files natively. And as it allows you to play files before they've finished downloading, it makes it quick and simple to use it as an on-the-fly podcast downloader.

Simply head over the website of the podcast you wish to download, hit the download or play link that points to an MP3 or AAC file, and Safari will play it within seconds. The best part is that you could listen to a 10MB, 30MB, even 50MB podcast over 3G without any extra costs (at least on a UK 3G iPhone using O2).

Now, sure, this doesn't allow your native podcast app to update podcasts, pause downloads, or sync back to your Mac or PC when docked. But it is a useful and simple way to listen to any podcast without having to download them on your computer first.

I just listened to our latest CNET UK podcast -- a 48MB 128Kbps MP3. It started playing within about five seconds over 3G, and continued to download and play progressively as I boarded my train, travelled on the train, and made my way to my destination -- no drops, no pauses, no problem.

If you missed our coverage of this new firmware, the features it introduces and how you can get it, check out my post on Crave, here .

 

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