Third-party apps ditched in iTunes search for 'podcasts'

When iTunes users on the desktop search for podcasts, they'll find that only Apple's app comes up.

Where are all of the podcast apps?
Where are all of the podcast apps? Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Hey, Apple, where did all of the podcast apps go?

Two iOS developers yesterday took to Twitter to report that Apple's iTunes is failing to display third-party iOS apps when users search for "podcasts." Apple's own Podcasts app, however, is being displayed in the results.

In a note to Instapaper creator Marco Arment, iOS developer Shahruz Shaukat noted that "iTunes only shows the Apple's Podcasts app when you search for Podcasts." In response, Arment said he too was only able to access Apple's app upon searching for "podcast" and "podcasts."

In its search, CNET found the same result. Upon searching for "podcasts" in the desktop iTunes program, Apple's Podcasts was the only program to pop up. Other Twitter users have said that the same happens in the U.K. iTunes store.

It's rather odd that Apple would seemingly remove results that would send iPhone or iPad users to its own app without at least displaying other programs that can also play podcasts. At first, I thought it might be simply because Apple's app name directly matched the query, but several programs in the App Store use the "podcast" term in some way in their names.

Apple launched its standalone app for podcasts back in June. The program allows users to both listen and subscribe to audio and video podcasts. The program is one of many apps available to iOS users that provide the same functionality.

Debate rages over whether Apple's Podcasts app is really even the best for its functionality. In a posting on the topic back in June, CNET writer Rick Broida offered up three apps that might do a better job handling user podcasts: Downcast, Instacast, and Stitcher Radio.

Apple's omission of third-party apps appears to be contained only to the iTunes desktop app. In its search on the iPhone and iPad, CNET was able to view -- and download -- other podcast applications.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the omission. We will update this story when we have more information.

 

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