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salopspring

Podcast apps

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salopspring    15

Hi there

 

On a recent episode, Adam mentioned a couple of iTunes alternatives for Podcast downloading/listening/managing with iOS etc.

I don't see them specifically linked to in the shownotes - anyone got a better memory than me and/or have some suggestions?

All the best

 

Andrew

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Apple Geek    15

My personal suggestion is Downcast - universal app, iCloud syncing, nice skip forward/backward features, a lot of playback speeds to choose from, useful gestures, etc. I started using it maybe a year ago and haven't subscribed to any podcasts in iTunes yet.

The other app often mentioned is Instacast (iPhone, iPad). I can't tell you much about it since I've never used it but I've also heard good things about it. I do know this though - it's not a universal app, and there's an additional in-app purchase (after the initial purchase) for extra/complete functionality (though I don't know the specifics on those features).

 

I can't recommend Downcast enough. I know many people love Instacast to death - I just don't know much about it. I'd say get Downcast, but if you're waiting for a few more votes and suggestions, count my vote for Downcast.

 

Let me know if I can answer any specific feature questions about Downcast!

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Huskermn    33

I think he mentioned Stitcher. I have been using it since for non-regular downloads.

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johnfoster    48

why don't you guys "not guess" and listen to the podcast again but this time take notes. after that do two things: post the link the comments section for the podcast in question. and then post your findings here. it's not like podcasts are radio where it goes away the second it's played lost to time and nobody listening. the show in question is still on your iThing, your Mac or Windows iTunes and the right here.

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Apple Geek    15

I thought about adding a comment like that but then I thought 'Hey, he asked for some of our suggestions so why don't I offer some advice and tell him what my favourite podcast manager app on the iPhone is? Maybe that will spark some discussion and he will get some good suggestions from the greater MacCast community!'

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salopspring    15

@Apple Geek - That was the one! I downloaded straight away and I've had about 12 hours with Downcast now and I'm really impressed. It's doing everything for me that iTunes didn't

 

@Huskermn - I like Stitcher but it doesn't work for me as podcast management tool, as you say though perfect for non-regular downloads - but now I've found Downcast I might be losing Stitcher as Downcast provides the same functionality plus more.

 

@johnfoster - sorry to have upset your sensibilities. In my view such a question is perfectly valid for the MacCast forum and I did ask for recommendations on the Apps Adam mentioned OR others.

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salopspring    15

I've had a few more days with Downcast now. I really like it even more beyond my first impressions.

 

+ a PC-free podcast downloading/managing experience

+ ability to start listening whilst downloading (especially useful when relying on cellular data whilst on the move)

+ easy to search for and subscribe to podcasts

+ iCloud sync to keep iPhone and iPad in sync

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Apple Geek    15

Another thing to add about Downcast is it's really easy to subscribe to password-protected feeds. When I used to subscribe to the MacCast Members show I remember it was very easy to set that feed up within the app. Instacast may do that too, but it's another great feature of Downcast.

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kimgh    22

The new Apple Podcast App seems lacking to me, and so, apparently, does Instacast, which I've had on my phone. Here is what I want to be able to do (used to be dead easy on iTunes, now takes some fiddling, but still possible, but soon to go away entirely):

 

1. The main thing: I'd like to be able to build a playlist of podcasts to listen to (say for a commute) and put them in a selected order. Have them play in that order without user intervention.

2. I'd like to be able to discard unlistened to podcasts easily (my Instacast lists 750+ podcasts that I will never want to go back to... I don't want to delete these by hand one at a time!)

 

As far as I can tell, both the Apple one and InstaCast make you listen to all episodes of one podcast in reverse order, or else require user intervention to move to another podcast/episode. This is a no-no while driving!

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but I would have thought this was required functionality for a pod catcher! If it's there and I just haven't found it please let me know. Or else let me know whether any of the ones mentioned here allow this.

 

thanks,

 

Kim

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kimgh    22

Hmmm, on further investigation, it appears that InstaCast Pro does exactly what I want. A bargain at $0.99!

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I only listen to podcasts on my iPhone 3GS as the speaker on there - and the earphones that came with it - don't do justice to the type of music I like. (Besides, I prefer to listen to music at home where I've got decent speakers.) So, as much as I was happy with the inappropriately-named "Music" app on there I considered the two mentioned in the fabled show (see later) but actually never got around to trying either. I did, however, try Apple's new "Podcasts" app this week - only to find it a disaster area with it hanging and crashing - and so I quickly gave up on it. I'll see if I can persuade my wife to install it on hers - perhaps also her iPad - to try in case it's a device or even a library issue. In the meantime - and I've a whole week before she's back - I may try one or both suggestions.

 

As for the advice that the relevant show should be listened to, well, the MacCast web site is (as I've previously commented) lacking in that a search doesn't include the "shownotes" {sic} and so the term "Podcast app" won't find the relevant one even if that's in there. I tried the Audio Search feature using the same term and it found a show but drew a blank in the shownotes - the term "InstaCast" finding nothing - though "Downcast" found a load of shows. (My guess is that it's the adjective describing MobileMe users who can't or, like me, won't upgrade to Lion and are gutted that as Snow Leopard buyers we're being treated worse than users of the older Windows Vista system.) Searching the metadata in the iTunes library - the "Search Podcasts" field in iTunes maybe being an option - though I can't test that right now as my library is elsewhere. So, if someone could point me at the show I'd (also) be grateful.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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When iOS 6 was installed the Podcasts app was too and my podcasts were move to that from the Music app. I managed to get back to where I was by deleting the Podcasts app and, I think, re-syncing to my iTunes library - something covered in Show 412 - I doing so before that via trial and error. I reverted the Podcasts app is still awful - sluggishness being the main problem though I also hate the design. (Not finding a list of chapters for the MacCast was a real bind too - something I may not have tried hard enough to do - they thankfully being available again in the updated Music app after a long absence.) I wonder if any other 3GS users have struggled as I have.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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Ceoltoir    16

What drives me nuts about the Podcast app is that even after listening to every episode of every show and marking them played badges show up the next day that say i have 213 episodes to listen to because it grabs the data going back six months.

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I'm happily no longer grappling with my 3GS as I swapped it with my wife for her second generation iPod touch. (She needed it more than me and I'm using one of my two old 2G devices - both Siemens A50 models - one being my personal one and the other my business one from days gone by.) Mind you being stuck on iOS 4.2.1 has its downside with many apps not working on it.. Indeed was lucky too in that in an iTunes archive I had a copy of several apps which have been upgraded since and which won't run - the Skype app being one - that being really handy. (Short of jail-breakiing it I'd have been stuffed.) Not that it's great with it not running in the background - it signing one back in each time when launched - I guess that being something 4.2.1 didn't support. So, there's life in the old dogs yet and the Music app in my "new" device is fine. Slightly off-topic but there we are.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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boho2112    0

Apple is really starting to screw up things it doesn't care about and the disdain for podcasting is now showing through! And this pisses me off to no end! I'm sick of managing unread and read episodes on my mac and or on my IOS devices.

 

I tried Juice and it won't even load in Mavericks. Downcast costs even to try it and it doesn't look like it supports downloaded episodes? I would just like to manage my podcasts from my Mac and then decide if I want my iPhone to sync those issues.

 

Anyone else have a suggestion?

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The app is supposed to be better following the recent update (2.0.1) out late last month - though the reviews on iTunes give it a panning. Still, they're never spot on and it would be interesting to know whether others (here) find it has improved enough. (Adam was, like many I guess, chuffed at the fix to chapters.) I'm back on a 3GS - my iPod touch having suffered a washing machine disaster and my wife now having a 4S - but I'm sticking with the Music app to manage my podcasts unless I hear it's really worth trying again.

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MacCast    80

If it helps the conversation at all, I am finding myself still jumping between Apple's Podcast app and Downcast with still a big bias toward Downcast. I've also tried Instacast and PocketCasts, but Downcast does what I need and it just works. About my only complaint with Downcast is when I pull to refresh when I'm on a mobile connection it seems to require me to also click the "Enable Download Queue" option. Not only that, but after you enable it it has another confirm dialog and you have to click the "Enable Download Queue" button again. Not great when you're driving. It's probably a user setting I'm missing, so i just need to go find it.

 

We're also still waiting on Marco Armant's Overcast, but I'm losing faith it will ever see the light of day.

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Ceoltoir    16

I use Downcast and love it. Recently I bought the desktop version, and have completely stopped using iTunes for podcasts entirely.

 

Adam, there is a setting to allow automatic downloads under "Automatic Downloading". Your three options will be "Always", "Never", and "WIFI Only".

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