Windows Phone 8 Podcasting Apps–A Podcast Picker Review

Written by on August 14, 2013 in Blog, Review, Windows Phone 8 with 15 Comments

A Podcast Pick(er)

clip_image002

Intro

I listen to podcasts everyday. So much so, it annoys my family and baffles my friends. But I love them. Being new to Windows Phone 8, I require a solid podcasting application in order to use the platform. iOS has had them for awhile, Android recently caught up, but does Windows Phone 8 have what I need?

My Usage

Over time, my feed tends to grow and shrink depending on the quality of the shows, and the current topics I am enthusiastic about. Currently I subscribe to approximately 30 podcasts, and consume them all on my phone. I listen to my shows on the morning commute (Bluetooth streaming to myFord Touch), in the office through headphones, and around the house via a Bluetooth speaker. I tried multiple podcast applications, and after two weeks of usage, feel that I landed on a winner.

The App

Starting the app up brings you to the Subscribed panel.

clip_image004

It lists the shows in alphabetical order, with a bottom row of buttons. From there, you can add a new feed, manually refresh your list of subscribed episodes, access settings, and find app/developer info. You can add a feed by searching the library of thousands of podcasts, or by manually entering in (or more likely pasting) an RSS link.

clip_image006 clip_image008

I didn’t have to manually enter anything, as all my shows were found in the apps library. Scrolling anywhere in the app works as expected, thanks to the smoothness of the OS. You have the choice to stream episodes immediately, or download episodes for offline playback.

Next up is where I spend most of my time, the Unplayed listing.

clip_image010

Here, in order of download, are your favorite podcasts waiting to be played. No buttons, no options. Just click on the podcast you want to hear. (There is a setting that allows a podcast to immediately play on click, but I like to manually do that.)

clip_image012

The Episode panel displays cover artwork between the show title and episode name. A nice row of buttons allows you to skip to the previous episode or next episode in the list.

clip_image014

Best of all, there are customizable rewind and fast forward buttons. There can be preset to jump by 5, 10 or 30 second increments. Smack in the middle is the Play/Pause button. Swipe left for Show Notes, and the ability to upload to SkyDrive, share an episode link or post a link to Facebook and/or Twitter via the People Hub.

The next panel is simple and is rarely used. It displays actively downloading episodes.

clip_image016

Scroll to one more panel, and find the Playlist. Here you can create your own playlist of just the podcasts you want to hear now. There is only one playlist. An option exists to allow all downloaded podcasts to be automatically added to your playlist. Personally, I keep that option off and don’t use the playlist feature.

clip_image018 clip_image020

The Experience

I have the app set to refresh the feed on launch, and automatically download new episodes whenever I am on WiFi. I let the app delete episodes I manually skip or that get marked as played. (Windows Phone 8 restricts some downloads to both WiFi and power, but I haven’t run into many 100MB+ episodes.) In general, I can listen to podcasts, stream via Bluetooth, and fast-forward over sections of the episodes with ease. Refreshing of my personal feed list is very fast, both over AT&T’s 4G and my home WiFi. Occasionally, it takes an extra beat or two to startup and states it is “Resuming…” but is typically as responsive as any other good Windows Phone 8 app.

Sometimes the application can behave unexpectedly. I have discovered an issue where previously listened to podcasts pop back up in my Unplayed listing. Sometimes I manually remove an episode, and find it appearing once again. The last played position can also be lost, and has been doing so more frequently. I have emailed the developer, and they are looking into the issues I am experiencing.

Closing

If you enjoy listening to podcasts, care about the experience, and want to easily take your collection with you… check out Podcast Picker. It could use some additional features, and the developers could squash a bug here and there, but it is the best app I have found for consuming podcasts on my (current) favorite mobile platform. Give the app a Try, and if it works for you, please support the developer and give it a Buy! [$1.99]

clip_image022

 

App: Podcast Picker

Version: 3.2.6

Author: Volker Voecking Software Engineering

Link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcast-picker/79b72069-b656-47d2-bab1-fa2d4061825e?signin=true

Website:

Test Platform: Nokia Lumia 925

 

 

Quick Comparisons

BringCast [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/bringcast/e5abef38-d413-e011-9264-00237de2db9e?signin=true] has a unique interface. Buttons are all over the place in this app. I do not like this approach, and the way episodes are presented in general is lacking. Over half of my imported subscriptions (via OPML) were added with broken feeds. I also can’t find them in the app’s built in database. That is deal breaker for me, but BringCast is not the only app to fail in this regard. However, it is the only app I know of that successfully imports feeds from OPML but refuses to sync with them. [$2.99]

clip_image024 clip_image026 clip_image028

iPodcast [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/i-podcast/c0e9110d-5d75-4970-9937-1854393b3f0e] does not offer the importing of OPML files, so everything has to be manually added. Not a terrible fault, as others (including my top pick) are manual as well. However, not all of my shows can be found. I don’t love the interface, and find it too simple and a bit unintuitive at the same time. Settings are all on one page, and for the most part make sense. Users with multiple Windows Phone 8 devices will appreciate the playlist, metadata and played position syncing. [Free]

clip_image030 clip_image032 clip_image034

Pod.ding [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/pod-ding/1bd6fb14-8380-47e4-950a-6fdd97323398] was one of my first podcasting apps on the platform. The one “bug” I found, that the developer informed me is inherent to Windows Phone 8, meant that the playback of podcasts would resume automatically if a Bluetooth source was disconnected. I would be listening to an episode on my commute, get out of my car, and notice audio playback was still in progress. OS based issue or not, many of the other podcast clients tested did not have this issue. The interface tries to do too much, and the settings pages are a nightmare with some items not displaying correctly. This app did find all my shows when I manually searched for them. No OPML import option is present though. [$1.49]

clip_image036 clip_image038 clip_image040

Podcast Lounge [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcast-lounge/83bc0329-8e02-410e-b6d2-da3c0c1d971d] states they fixed the Bluetooth audio bug thanks to “BlueSmart” and it appears to be true. However, other apps not touting the feature also work fine. I don’t love the interface, and there is a disconnect between show listings. I am not sure why, but imported OPML feeds go into a Favorites list, with My Library remaining empty outside of manually added feeds. I don’t appreciate how unplayed episodes have to be dug up. The settings are hidden on multiple pages as well, with lots of empty space. [$1.99]

clip_image042 clip_image044clip_image046

Podcatcher [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcatcher/5d5cebe9-420a-4566-a468-04c94aa34d93] is the final app in my roundup. It has a dead simple interface. Only OPML export is support, and I am not sure why they couldn’t add import as well. The app just works, but it did not find all my shows. With those that it did find, it did not always display cover artwork properly. This could work for some, thanks to the simplicity, so the app is perfect for the novice user. [$0.99]

clip_image048 clip_image050 clip_image052

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: .

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on YouTube

15 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. gregory グレゴリー テールメイト | November 19, 2014
  2. Gucci(グッチ) | November 20, 2014
  3. Columbia(コロンビア) | November 22, 2014
  4. casio baby g | November 22, 2014
  5. 非常にhermes エルメス 財布ス | November 22, 2014
  6. メンズ ファッション ポーチ | November 22, 2014
  7. メンズ ファッション sd club | November 23, 2014
  8. 雑誌でメンズ ファッション 無地 | November 23, 2014
  9. カー用品 コーナーポール | November 23, 2014
  10. Recommended Web site | November 23, 2014
  11. birkenstock ビルケンシュトック papillio パピリオ | November 23, 2014
  12. porter ポーター パスケース | November 24, 2014
  1. Iqbal jenny says:

    I want to set Windows on my working PC but I don't know much about this new operating system. Please serve me some information which will help me to get better service from this new operating system. Thanks!

  2. Shego says:

    I want to set Windows on my working PC but I don't know much about this new operating system. Please serve me some information which will help me to get better service from this new operating system. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Top