If you love your podcasts and love your smartphone, you may have noticed that this should be a perfect meeting of technology and that there’s just not a lot of great applications out there that can do the trick. Well, there wasn’t. Not until recently, anyway.
Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly has now jumped on to the scene with an incredibly feature-filled application. Obviously, the creators of this app have spent long hours thinking about exactly what is required of a podcast application in order to make it perfect. Then they went out and built this brilliant app that pretty much hits the nail on the head.
Getting Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is a paid app for Android and iPhone, but we’ll walk through the Android version today. It costs just a few Aussie dollars (Android version is currently priced at AU$2.70 – about US$2.90 or €2) and believe me, this app is worth every cent. If you want to try it, the Android app store will refund the full amount if you return it within 15 minutes.
Using Pocket Casts
It’s really easy to jump straight in and find some podcasts to listen to. Click on the search icon and you’ll be presented with a search bar and a number of other great ways to browse the best podcasts: by popular podcasts, podcast directories, category or importing podcasts from a URL or OPML file.
The popular podcasts can be generated according to global settings or limited to a specific country.
Everyday use is really straightforward, especially with Pocket Casts’ great introduction screen to get you started.
Awesome Features of Pocket Casts
One of the best things Pocket Casts does is to monitor your subscriptions via their servers. This means they constantly check to see if your podcasts have new episodes, so that your phone doesn’t have to. In other words, when you press “refresh” you get an instant update of all your podcasts instead of waiting around for each one to check individually.
When you manually download your podcasts they will come without restriction, regardless of whether you’re using Wi-Fi or 3G internet. In your automatic settings you can tell Pocket Casts to only download new episodes when you’re using Wi-Fi if you like. Downloads also run in the background so that they don’t get in your way.
You can choose to get status bar or vibrate notifications for new episodes so that you never get left behind. Users choose where to store the podcasts and can delete played episodes or all episodes whenever they need to free up space. There’s also a quick skip feature so you can jump 30 seconds ahead, 10 seconds back or skip to the next episode.
Users can set up podcast playlists, which is pretty handy when you’re about to go for a drive. You can even tell Pocket Casts to send the signal via Airplay so that your speakers can do the work.
Pocket Casts switches seamlessly between video podcasts and audio podcasts, so you don’t have to do anything manually. Just listen – or watch.
Gripes & Ideas
My main complaints with the Pocket Casts app is in regards to space saving. I’d like to be able to tell it how much of my SD card it’s allowed to use for downloads, tell it to automatically delete podcasts I’d seen or heard a day or so after I’d viewed it (not straight away, just in case), and I’d definitely like them to make this app App2SD. At 3MB on my phone it’s just too big!
One other feature I’d like to see added would be the ability to scrobble to Last.fm.
Other Podcasting Stuff
Since you’re obviously a fan of podcasts, you might like to read these articles on finding podcasts you might like and creating your own podcast with your smartphone:
- 5 Podcast Directories You Can Visit To Subscribe & Download Free Podcasts
- How To Make Podcast On The Go With Your Mobile Phone
- Easily Become A Podcaster With Your Phone Using Cinch
- The 7 Best Book Review Podcasts & Shows To Discover New Books
Give it a go and let us know what you think of Pocket Casts in the comments!