One of the neat things about an operating system is how different parts of the system can come together to make a richer experience by virtue of being on the same platform. In this case, you can use the RSS enclosure functionality in IE7 along with WMP11’s Auto Playlists and device synchronization to subscribe to podcasts, aggregate them into your media library, and sync them to your portable device.
Here’s how you do it:
At this point, you’ve got IE set up to get the feeds automatically. Next you need to get WMP11 to find them and put them in the media library.
We’re almost done. Your feed is now set up to download automatically, and WMP11 has the audio files in the library. The only things left are making a playlist to find them easily and sync them to a portable device.
There are definitely some gotcha’s with this scheme… if the meta-data of any of the files in the feeds you’re isn’t set up correctly (or usefully) you’ll have a tough time setting up your playlists, but for the majority of feeds I’ve tested, it appears to work quite well!