Tuesday, February 9, 2016

App of the Week: Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts
Publisher: Shifty Jelly
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Price: $3.99


Podcasts...they're great.  Ranging from the stereotypical morning shock jock format to a worldwide phenomena like Serial, there's something for everyone.  However, if you listen to a wide range of podcasts from multiple different networks or independents, it can be tricky finding an app to collect and play them all.  Enter Pocket Casts.

Up until recently, I had been using another podcast app on my Windows Phone.  However, when I installed the developer preview of Windows 10, it went a little haywire.  Around that time, I also purchased an Android tablet and said app was not available on that platform.  However, every other app under the sun was.

In checking the reviews, Pocket Casts is one of the best podcast apps available.  There is a price to pay for such quality, but $3.99 is easy enough to justify for something that is used for several hours a day on a daily basis.

Aside from being able to find each show quickly and subscribe to it, the greatest feature is syncing.  Despite living in a highly mobile world, not many apps have this feature.  With an app like Pocket Casts, I wouldn't have considered buying it unless syncing was available.  After creating an account, you are able to sync your subscriptions and shows across your devices or the website.  This is an absolute must if you have multiple devices like a phone and tablet or simply want to listen on your computer.  However, if you want to listen on your computer, you will need to pay an additional $9.  The publisher, Shifty Jelly, does offer a 14 day trial, but I recommend investing in it as it's only a one-time fee.  Plus, it's a lot easier than maintaining a folder of bookmarks for all of your shows.

Beyond all of that, you can customize your subscription settings for each show.  For instance, I listen to a daily podcast in addition to many weekly ones.  I opt to only keep the latest episode of each weekly show, but keep the last three of the daily show.  You can subscribe to and download both audio and video podcasts.  If you're not sure what to listen to next, Pocket Casts will even give you suggestions.  Otherwise, you can search top shows, what's trending, networks, or categories.

When it comes to data, you can choose how the app syncs.  This means that you can have it only download new shows when you're on WiFi or you can have it use your data connection, if available.

Since downloading Pocket Casts, there hasn't been a day I haven't used it.  I primarily run it on my tablet, and play shows while driving for work, at home, or even on the job itself.  If you've been looking for a dedicated app to manage and play all of your podcasts, look no further than Pocket Casts.
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