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The tech world is obsessed with mobile apps 6 of the Best Podcast Apps for Android 6 of the Best Podcast Apps for Android While Apple offers their own podcast app for iOS, there’s no official Google application for podcasts on Android. Google Listen, a podcast app once developed by Google Labs, languished without updates for years and has... Read More and web-based software, but the reality is that many people — if not most people! — still use Windows most of the time. If you want to listen to podcasts while at your Windows PC, the best option is still a Windows desktop application that will play them for you. With these programs, you can listen to the MakeUseOf podcast and all your other favorite podcasts 5 Essential Technology Podcasts That Geeks Should Listen To 5 Essential Technology Podcasts That Geeks Should Listen To If you're reading this, I'm betting there's a good chance you quite like computers, the Internet, or technology in general. A few weeks ago, Dave showed you 10 websites that all geeks should bookmark. This... Read More .

As with many things in life, there’s no one best podcast manager for everyone. If you have an iPod you want to sync your podcasts to, you’ll want iTunes. If you don’t have an iPod and don’t like how slow and heavy iTunes is, you’ll want another application instead. We’ve rounded up the best options here so you can find the best podcast manager for you.

iTunes

No round-up of Windows podcast management programs would be complete without the media manager iTunes Get The Most Out Of iTunes 11 With These 10 Tips Get The Most Out Of iTunes 11 With These 10 Tips A few of these tips are work-arounds for features Apple left out in iTunes 11, like iTunes DJ, while others point out a few new handy features you might overlook. iTunes is not a perfect... Read More . It’s the most popular podcast manager for Windows, but that isn’t because iTunes is a well-loved application. No, many people — especially Windows users — believe iTunes is past its prime and has become too bloated and slow. If all you want is an application to download and listen to podcasts, iTunes will definitely be overkill. However, if you want to sync your podcasts with an iPod or already use iTunes, it may be the best option.

To subscribe to a podcast in iTunes, open the Store, select Podcasts, and search for your favorite podcast. Click the Subscribe button on the podcast and you’ll find new podcast episodes on the Podcasts section of your library.

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Miro

Miro is a free and open-source media player that’s built for subscriptions Miro: An All-In-One Application To Manage All Of Your Media [Cross-Platform] Miro: An All-In-One Application To Manage All Of Your Media [Cross-Platform] We have a lot of media that we need to keep track of before we forget that we even have them. We're also on a constant need for new, fresh media. Ideally, it'd be great... Read More . Whatever you want to subscribe to — an audio podcast, video podcast, or even a BitTorrent feed — Miro can do it. Miro is a solid, easy-to-use application, although it’s a bit overkill for simple audio podcasts. If you subscribe to video podcasts, you may like the integrated video features.

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When installing Miro, be sure to uncheck the additional software that it tries to push on you. Miro’s installer seems to have become pushier over time.

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VLC

There’s a good chance you already use VLC to watch videos and maybe even play music. But did you know that VLC has an integrated podcast-subscribing feature, among its other many hidden features 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player That VLC pretty much plays everything that you throw at it is old news. It is also a media genie when it comes to other things apart from playing movies. We looked at some of... Read More ?

To access this feature, open VLC, click the View menu, and select Playlist. Click the Internet dropdown menu, hover over Podcasts, and click the + button. You’ll be able to subscribe to a podcast by copy-pasting its URL into the window. You can now double-click an episode in the right pane to play it.

VLC isn’t the most user-friendly option for listening to podcasts — there’s no integrated search feature and VLC can’t automatically download new episodes so they’re cached offline. VLC just streams the episodes when you start playing them. Still, if you’re looking for something lightweight and don’t mind the limitations, this is a very good option — especially considering you probably already have VLC installed.

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Juice

Juice stands out because it does so little. Unlock all the other options above, Juice doesn’t offer a million different features. It’s a simple, purpose-built option for subscribing to and automatically downloading podcasts. It doesn’t even have an integrated audio player — you’ll have to play your episodes in an external media player, although Juice can launch that player for you.

If you want a simple, lightweight, old-school application for managing your podcasts, give Juice a try.

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Clementine

So far, we’ve covered a mix of heavy media players with podcast features — iTunes and Miro — and feature-light podcast managers — VLC and Juice. Clementine sits at a sweet spot in between, offering a feature-rich media player that somehow feels lightweight Need A Lightweight Music Player Without Sacrificing Features? Clementine! [Cross-Platform] Need A Lightweight Music Player Without Sacrificing Features? Clementine! [Cross-Platform] Sometimes you don’t really know what you want until you’re holding it in your hands. There are not-so-resource-intensive music players out there that are bland and there are monster RAM hogs that provide tons of... Read More instead of bogged down and heavy.

Clementine isn’t designed just for listening to podcasts, it’s a full local media player with a music library and other features. Subscribing to a podcast in Clementine is as simple as clicking the Music menu, selecting Add Podcast, and then entering the podcast’s address or searching for it. The podcast will then appear on the Internet tab, where you can listen to it.

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Which Windows Podcast Manager Is The Best?

Well, that depends on the combination of features you prefer — many people prefer iTunes for its integration with iPods and other Apple devices, while other Windows users would flock to VLC for its minimal, lightweight approach to podcasts. Still other users would choose Clementine, which is lightweight but more full-featured, with integrated search features. People who are particularly into video podcasts might prefer Miro and its interface that seems more designed for videos.

But don’t just let us decide. Do you prefer a different podcast manager program for Windows? Leave a comment and share your favorite program!

Image Credit: William Brawley on Flickr

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