Monday, 27 July 2015

Windows Phone Podcast apps

It seems such a simple thing to want:

  1. A podcast app
  2. One that doesn’t crash (too much)
  3. Can list and play episodes in most recent order
  4. Can download in the background

You’d think?

Way back in the day, Windows Phone 7 to be specific, podcasts were supported natively in the operating system. Except if you didn’t live in the USA. For some never explained reason, they never enabled this feature for non-US phones. Bizarre.

If I recall correctly, the original Windows Phone 8 was no different, but then eventually Microsoft released the Podcast feature as a separate app – “podcasts”.

wp_ss_20150725_0001

It is a very basic app. Unfortunately I think that some of the developers of alternate podcast apps seemed to have given up when the official app came out – even if their own efforts had more features.

Carboncast

Carboncast app screenshotwp_ss_20150725_0007

One of the first apps I tried on WP8 was Carboncast. The layout and design still impress me, but sadly it proved quite unreliable (and no background downloads). Unfortunately the developer apparently lost interest too – the last update was December 2013.

Podcaster

This was my next app of choice for a fair while. It aims to be more like the original built in app (as it was released before that app was made available to the rest of the world).

Podcaster app screenshotwp_ss_20150725_0005

Background downloading was added in later versions, though I had occasional trouble with corrupted downloads.

Podcast+ Pro

Podcast+ Pro app screenshot

I then moved to this app – Podcast+ Pro. Pretty good, but no background downloading.

Podcast Lounge

Podcast Lounge app screenshotwp_ss_20150725_0010

I came across this one earlier this year (I think someone recommended it on Twitter) and had been using it until recently. It is quite good, but alas it didn’t do background downloads. A recent release supposedly added this feature, but the implementation appears to be buggy as it never worked for me.

A few issues also with strange ordering of episodes and frustration with episodes previously ‘marked as played’ reappearing as unplayed. Feedback emails were sent, but no responses.

Castcenter

Castcenter app screenshotwp_ss_20150725_0008

And so, another search of the store to see if there was anything else worth trying and I came across “Castcenter”. A free app, but you need to pay (in-app purchase) to unlock managing more than three podcasts. You can create custom playlists, and it does background downloads.

So far so good.

If you’re into podcasts and have a Windows Phone, let me know what app are you using?

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