Best podcast app?

MacBH928

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Original poster
May 17, 2008
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I am new to this podcast thing, I used the Apple one but its a little bit clunky. What is the best podcast app out there? I don't mind paying 1 time fee/purchase for a good one.

Also, where are they storing all these podcasts? Is there like a single service like YouTube for videos? or each uploads to his own website?
 

pacorob

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Apr 8, 2010
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Some good options out there with really nice advanced (filter) features:
- Pocket Casts - 3,99 dollar (once) - with CarPlay, AirPlay, Chromecast and Sonos support
- iCatcher! Podcast Player - 2.99 dollar (once) - with AirPlay support
- Downcast - 2.99 dollar (once) - with CarPlay support, Google Cast ready
- Castro - free, but with in-app (optional Plus: paid subscription available for $18.99/year) - with CarPlay and Apple Watch support

I've tried them all and currently using iCatcher for quite a while but as far as support goes I want to switch to Pocket Casts again but since all my downloaded podcasts are in iCatcher I kept using that. In the past I used Downcast for quite a while as well.
 
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MacBH928

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Original poster
May 17, 2008
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Some good options out there with really nice advanced (filter) features:
- Pocket Casts - 3,99 dollar (once) - with CarPlay, AirPlay, Chromecast and Sonos support
- iCatcher! Podcast Player - 2.99 dollar (once) - with AirPlay support
- Downcast - 2.99 dollar (once) - with CarPlay support, Google Cast ready
- Castro - free, but with in-app (optional Plus: paid subscription available for $18.99/year) - with CarPlay and Apple Watch support

I've tried them all and currently using iCatcher for quite a while but as far as support goes I want to switch to Pocket Casts again but since all my downloaded podcasts are in iCatcher I kept using that. In the past I used Downcast for quite a while as well.
I am looking for something that is easy to navigate, search, browse..etc .
Its hard to browse all episodes and filter the ones you want. Not willing to pay anything subscription, but one time fees are ok, I just wish there was a way to test drive the app first. Will continue to research.

There are services out there specifically for hosting podcasts, but yeah, some people are doing it themselves.
This means that from one app to the other you might lose or gain some podcasts that they are not listed.
 

pacorob

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Apr 8, 2010
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I am looking for something that is easy to navigate, search, browse..etc .
Its hard to browse all episodes and filter the ones you want. Not willing to pay anything subscription, but one time fees are ok, I just wish there was a way to test drive the app first. Will continue to research.
As said I love the apps iCatcher and Downcast which have good ways to filter and so does Pocket Casts. If I would be new I would also go with Pocket Casts app since it has a lot of support as earlier mentioned for e.g. Chromecast, car Play and such, has a nice UI, has a good database (categories) and great filter features, is often updated and it is only 3.99 dollar once.

Besides that the small price 2.99 / 3.99 dollar once was for me an easy step to buy all the above and try them out.
The App Store description and screenshots gives a good idea of the features and how the UI looks besides that you can always find a (video) review somewhere (e.g. YouTube) if you don't want to buy before you try.

I also thought it was crucial that a podcast app have an automatic option to (optional):
- remove podcast episodes you have listened to
- manually or automatically download new episodes (in the background)
- playlists e.g. based on offline only

This means that from one app to the other you might lose or gain some podcasts that they are not listed.
Besides podcast databases and categories you can search most podcasts within the earlier mentioned podcast apps. In case you can't find it you can also add an URL/rss podcast feed manually in all podcasts apps I know by just visiting the website of the podcast and look for the podcast feed and copy it.
 

Jessica Lares

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Oct 31, 2009
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I can't find a page that says what Downcast is using, but the others mentioned are using Apple's directory. If you stay away from the apps that are doing more than just being a podcast player and/or promote their own stuff (Stitcher, TuneIn, etc), you should be ok.

Main issue with the hosting is server issues where feeds go down or episodes don't download. But it's not like people haven't been doing this for 10+ years already and haven't learnt a great deal. If you really care about your content doing well, you're putting the effort to make sure things are working okay on your end.
 

ksmith80209

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Aug 15, 2007
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Wow — I can't believe no one has mentioned Overcast. I've used most of the apps mentioned here and in my opinion, Overcast is by far the best. Perfect? No. But the combination of smart speed, voice boost, and reliability is really tough to beat.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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Wow — I can't believe no one has mentioned Overcast. I've used most of the apps mentioned here and in my opinion, Overcast is by far the best. Perfect? No. But the combination of smart speed, voice boost, and reliability is really tough to beat.
I'm guessing the $9.99 a year subscription cost might be off-putting for some users.
 

MacBH928

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I did some searching around and found an app that looks and works decent called Castbox, going to try Overcast too.

One thing I still miss is search for a specific episode within a podcast show.
 

chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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I too have been a long time user of Overcast. I paid once a long time ago before it went to the 9.99 subscription. My only complaint is that for instance if I have episodes 1, 2, and 3 of a given podcast (assuming 3 is the newest), If I start playing episode 1, Overcast will play episode 3 next. It seems like I'm missing a setting to change that but I can't find it anywhere, aside from putting the podcast episodes into a playlist.
 

pacorob

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Apr 8, 2010
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Wow — I can't believe no one has mentioned Overcast. I've used most of the apps mentioned here and in my opinion, Overcast is by far the best. Perfect? No. But the combination of smart speed, voice boost, and reliability is really tough to beat.
I didn't like it at the time since an easy way to see a downloaded playlist and advanced features to filter and auto delete podcasts you listened to weren't there or difficult to find. Therefore I went with other alternatives and sticked with those apps (e.g. Downcast, iCatcher and Pocket Casts) that had a pay once option of just a couple of dollars and then didn't show any ads and have full features.

I did some searching around and found an app that looks and works decent called Castbox, going to try Overcast too.

One thing I still miss is search for a specific episode within a podcast show.
I'm not familiar with Castbox but the reviews seem good. Does the free version have ads I suppose or limited in features? I see a subscription option for Pro version.

If you refer to search of e.g. terms in the podcasts episodes notes (and titles) then I can say that again Downcast, iCatcher and Pocket Casts all offer that. If you truely want to search in the audio which hasn't been mentioned within the podcast episode shownotes then no this is not yet available in any app I think.
 

ksmith80209

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Aug 15, 2007
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I too have been a long time user of Overcast. I paid once a long time ago before it went to the 9.99 subscription. My only complaint is that for instance if I have episodes 1, 2, and 3 of a given podcast (assuming 3 is the newest), If I start playing episode 1, Overcast will play episode 3 next. It seems like I'm missing a setting to change that but I can't find it anywhere, aside from putting the podcast episodes into a playlist.
Within an Overcast playlist, you can select "Edit" then "Edit Playlist" and choose to sort either "Oldest to Newest" or the reverse. Hope that helps.
 

bigjnyc

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Apr 10, 2008
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I have been using Overcast for a long time and absolutely love it. It does everything I need and does it well.... It looks great and is very intuitive... Has all the little features I love like dark mode, 3x playback, voice boost, the ability to automatically subscribe and download new episodes or manually download the ones I want, etc.... The only features added for the 9.99 subscription is the removal of banner ads, choice of icon, and you can upload your own files.... I barely notice the ads since they are not intrusive at all..... I think I donated to the developer a while back, before it went to subscription because I was really happy with the app but other than that I have been using it free.

*edit* Oh and it also has an apple watch app where it automatically transfers new podcasts to your watch, so when I go on my runs I don't need to take my phone with me I can just take my watch and listen to podcasts directly.
 
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chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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Within an Overcast playlist, you can select "Edit" then "Edit Playlist" and choose to sort either "Oldest to Newest" or the reverse. Hope that helps.
Thanks, I don't normally use playlists, which is why this behavior is annoying. I typically just play from within a given podcast.
 

nburwell

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May 6, 2008
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I have used Apple Podcasts, Castro, Overcast, Downcast and Pocket Casts. Pocket Casts is my favorite that I still use today. Plus, I only had to pay once for the app rather than Castro and Overcast.
 
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petvas

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Jul 20, 2006
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I absolutely prefer Overcast. I love its interface and the only drawback for me is that it doesn't playback video. Apart from that no complains.
 

Fabmac

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Apr 5, 2017
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Since there is now a podcast app also for Apple Watch I don’t see the deal to use a 3rd party app ...
 

petvas

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Jul 20, 2006
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Since there is now a podcast app also for Apple Watch I don’t see the deal to use a 3rd party app ...
I would tend to agree but the Apple Podcasts app has an awful, unintuitive UI and that hold me back from using it. Maybe in the future when macOS Catalina comes out.
 

pacorob

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Apr 8, 2010
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I would tend to agree but the Apple Podcasts app has an awful, unintuitive UI and that hold me back from using it. Maybe in the future when macOS Catalina comes out.
Not only that. It also lacks crucial features such as:
- automatically delete a podcast episode from you playlist when you listened to it
- the sorting/filter options are so extremely limited
 
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bigjnyc

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Apr 10, 2008
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Not only that. It also lacks crucial features such as:
- automatically delete a podcast episode from you playlist when you listened to out
- the sorting/filter options are so extremely limited
Yeah i couldn't deal with some of the basic limitations of the Apple podcast app, it was maddening.