Best podcast app?

#1

After a few years it has finally occurred to me that the native podcasting abilities of the iOS is absolute, complete shit. They may have popularized the whole “podcast” thing so it can’t be the worst but it is pretty fucking bad.
Anyways I want a new podcast app. The problem is that all of the best ones all seem to be pretty good and they’re all the same price. They’re not that expensive so I suppose I could buy four for $2 each and try them all out but I really don’t want to if I don’t have to. This is what I’ve found so far:

Downcast
Instacast
Podcaster 3
iCatcher

I don’t have that many demands as I’m not that hard core of a podcast listener. I noticed that one of the apps (I forgot which one) has automatic title shortening which is nice. That’s one of the things that I thought was fucked about iOS’s podcasts is that when you have a series with long titles in which the beginning of the title is always the same you never know which goddamn podcast you’re listening to because you can’t see the end of the title!

I’d also appreciate auto-downloading of podcasts that I like. I’d want it to be totally automatic-so that it runs in the background and downloads podcasts while I’m doing other shit. If I leave the house and find that there are no podcasts downloaded because I didn’t actually switch to the program first then that makes it pretty pointless. Also I would appreciate a setting so that it only downloads podcasts if wifi is available.

That’s about it I guess. Of course I would like to have the same selection as the iTunes service-that’s about the only good thing about iTunes.

Please recommend me your favorite. I’m sure these apps have a lot of other cool functions which I haven’t even thought of as like I said I’m not too hardcore of a listener.

#2

I use Pocket Cast on Android. It is awesome. I’ve used several different ones before finding this.

It allows auto downloading and a bunch of other features. Not sure if it is on iOS, but it has changed my podcast life. I’ve paid for it twice for 2 different phones and haven’t regretted.

#3

Yes I also considered that one. I see that they have “background downloading” and “push notifications”. But can you set it to automatically download new podcasts?

#4

Pocket Casts is the app that finally broke the umbilical between my phone and my PC. Great app. I don’t think it’ll download new podcasts if you don’t launch the app though. At best it’ll push you a notification when a new episode is available.

#5

I suggest Downcast. $2, it’s universal and it does everything you could want perfectly. Pocketcasts is good if you’re an Android person and can’t get better, but you’re on iOS and can.

#6

Nah, BeyondPod or Doggcatcher are better on Android. They just cost $7 instead of $2.

#7

I asked this a while ago and opinion seemed split between Instacast and Downcast.

That said, I’m too lazy to migrate so I’m still using Podcaster despite the fact that it’s an absolute piece of shit. Honestly, go with anything over Podcaster. It’s crashy garbage fueled by a passel of dumbshit design decisions. I think my favorite would be that when a podcast is over it automatically plays the next one. Except it moves down the list, not up the list. Which is to say that if you are playing from the playlist made by a specific podcast it tries to play the next oldest podcast, not the next newest. As someone who listens to podcasts and then deletes them, that means it’s trying to play a podcast I’ve already heard and it’s streaming it, using my finite bandwidth to do so.

Though that could be forgiven if it wasn’t for its tendency to just randomly crash. Listening to a podcast? Sometimes it’ll just crash. Grab your iPhone, plug in your earphones and double-tap the home button to get iPod controls from the lock screen. It’ll pop up with your podcast title and then when you tap play the title of your podcast will disappear and instead it’ll play whatever you last played using the music app.

God, I hate it. I need to one day work up the whatever to just delete it and reDL everything in Downcast or Instacast. Hopefully they’re better.

#8

Export the opml file from Podcaster, put it in Dropbox, and import it into Instacast. I have no idea what opml is but the process takes about two minutes and is very easy.

#9

I’m not a heavy podcast listener either but Instacast has always seemed to do the job I ask of it without any trouble.

#10

I’m looking for a podcast app for my android phone.

Why do you say BeyondPod and Doggcatcher are better?

Thanks.

#11

After having un-listened podcats take over huge chunks of my iPhone’s memory, I went to Stitcher and never looked back. It’s streaming only, so it may not be to everyone’s tastes/data plan, but I like having a fresh list of favorites always available with no syncing, file management, or deleting from the phone or hard drive. If I never listen to a particular podcast, it never gets on my hardware.

#12

The streaming is what I also love about Downcast. You can do both.

#13

I switched to Pocket Cast from Doggcatcher and never looked back. Despite the consistent iteration and active development, Doggcatcher always had odd quirks that made using it a PITA. The interface is also much nicer on Pocket Cast. Better than Downcast as well, IMHO.

#14

Downcast, mostly because of the gestures, which I don’t believe Instacast has. Great for listening to podcasts in the car.

#15

I’ve moved from Pocket Casts to Beyondpod. For me the primary reason is SmartPlay, which means that listening to podcasts is simply a single button press. All episodes are automatically downloaded overnight, and SmartPlay organises them into a coherent list.

Beyondpod is also the only one of the three with a free trial, so give it a go.

#16

I bought Doggcatcher based on the overall reviews and some recommendations here, but I’m having a weird problem with it.

Podcasts I play through it have an intermittent clicking / popping sound in the left ear while it’s playing. It’s not very loud, but it’s pretty annoying. I’m pretty sure it only happens in Doggcatcher (doesn’t happen with music, but I still need to try a couple different configurations of downloading podcasts directly, etc). Anybody else ever experience anything like this?

#17

Can’t help ya, but this reminded me I wanted to update here.

Tried Instacast - horrible. Kept saying it downloaded a podcast and didn’t. Blew out the index on some podcasts where it said had 5,000 new casts. Hard to delete podcasts, etc, etc. Crap.

Moved to downcast months ago. Works like a charm and no issues.

#18

I’ve used iCatcher for the last few months, and it’s absolutely perfect for me. Here’s a list of features it provides I regularly use, that I’m not sure if any other app does everything of:

  1. Prioritize my podcasts so that new episodes automatically show up in the exact order I want to listen to them in

  2. Allow 1.5x and 2x playback for not just audio podcasts, but video podcasts too

  3. Allow video podcasts to natively continue playing audio in the background when I leave the app or lock the device, without any weird hacks to get that to work

  4. Customize every single podcast to a ridiculous degree, down to the number of episodes I want to keep, whether to automatically download new episodes or not

  5. Easily mark all episodes in a podcast as listened to, and enable the app to show all podcast info even for episodes I don’t currently have downloaded onto the device

  6. Customize what every button does - down to choosing whether the forward/backward arrows skip forward/back 15 seconds, or 30 seconds, or some other value

  7. Not just check for and notify me in the background about new episodes, but actually download new episodes in the background too without the app running

  8. Use handy flick gestures to quickly do many different actions

  9. Sleep timer

#19

I switched from Instacast to Downcast as well. Much happier. The final straw, never mind the constant crashing, was when Instacast wanted an IAP for some stupid features that should have been free.

#20

they actually removed and and made you re-pay for those features.