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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.

itunes-podcasts

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.

miro-podcasts

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.

vlc-subscribe-to-podcast

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.

juice-podcast-receiver

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.

clementine-podcasts

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

  1. Sergio
    November 11, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I'm VERY happy with VLC but in case you want some options, just check Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_podcatchers

  2. mohammed ali
    February 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hi

    I am using VLC

  3. GipsyJumper
    March 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    for russian podcasts i use podfm player
    http://podfm.ru/blog/1825/

  4. Anonymous
    March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Media Monkey is fantastic! Downloads subscriptions and syncs with your device. Can set options to only keep x number of podcasts both at the download and sync stages.

  5. Dan
    March 12, 2014 at 2:08 am

    my Itunes constantly keeps freezing and locking up anytime I use any kind of podcast, definitely don't recommend it, came here looking for something better.

  6. Emerson
    February 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I'm using Uhura(http://uhura.herokuapp.com/) because works online, I can listen my podcast everywhere

  7. Pakapala
    January 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    MediaMonkey to me seems to be the best option for now.

  8. David Steadson
    December 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    retechie,
    gPodder only supports authenticated feeds. It does not support actual authenticated podcasts (ie the audio files are secured, not just the xml)

  9. JaKoe
    November 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I agree there is no good software for podcasts. I don't want it to add music from my pc. I just want audio, video, and search for podcasts. Itunes just gets worse and worse, but has the best list layout and search, plus I want to see the description of each podcast episode. I am going back to an old version of iTunes because none of these are very good.

  10. David Steadson
    November 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    The comments above about their being no decent podcast manager are correct. I need to subscribe to several authenticated podcasts and simply can't get a solution.

    Of those suggested above,

    Juice - claims to support authenticated podcasts, but doesn't work
    Miro - doesn't support authenticated podcasts
    iTunes - can only support one authenticated podcast per podcast server
    gPodder - doesn't support authenticated podcasts
    hermespod - doesn't support authenticated podcasts
    Clementine - doesn't support authenticated podcasts
    VLAN - doesn't support authenticated podcasts

    Right now my only option appears to be running multiple copies of iTunes in multiple virtual or physical machines! :(

    • rtechie
      December 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      gPodder supports authenticated podcasts. It's buried in the individual podcasts. Right click on the subscribed podcast, select "Podcast settings" select the "Advanced" tab.

  11. Noah A
    October 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I like iTunes the best because I have an iPod Touch.

  12. Erik
    October 2, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I have tried several podcatchers and I have settled on HermesPod (http://hermespod.com), at least for now.
    It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is faster and easier to use than the ones i have used before.

  13. Hbarnwheeler
    October 2, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I have tried them all and found ziepod to be the best.

  14. Tug R
    October 1, 2013 at 7:22 am

    If I'm going to listen to a podcast on my computer, I use MusicBee.

  15. Anonymous
    October 1, 2013 at 1:20 am
  16. Rodrigo G
    September 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I love Miro! But it has some bugs.....

    I also love VLC but never used the Podcast option....

    • D. Fisher
      January 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Don't like Miro - "home" page defaults to a chick pick up site which sort of doesn't fit for me.

  17. Alexei
    September 30, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    http://gpodder.org/ - The best for me.

  18. Alek Davis
    September 30, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    The point of a podcast manager is -- in addition to retrieving podcasts -- to sync with your device, whether it's a smart phone or a media player. It should know which podcasts you listened to, so you do not have to manually check the ones you have already heard. This is most likely impossible to do without device integration. For Windows devices (legacy Zune, Windows Phones), Zune has been working relatively well. I assume for Apple devices, iTunes should work. I'm not sure how Android devices work in this respect.

    • Brett
      November 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

      I agree Alek. I am after a Windows based podcast manager that will synch with my Android. I have been using iTunes with a 3rd party app to synch but iTunes has got too buggy.

  19. Jumo
    September 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    People still use podcasts? LOL.

    • BasisLoaded
      February 20, 2014 at 4:22 am

      I bet you really did laugh out loud at that zinger.

  20. Avi Dey
    September 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I use an RSS reader (the digg rss reader now that google reader is dead and feedly is too...heavy) as a podcast manager. Best if you want to stream instead of download.

  21. jEsuSdA 8)
    September 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    You forget include GPODDER, a free, open source and multiplatform nice software:
    http://gpodder.org/

    It is my favourite! ;)

    • WorknMan
      October 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

      Tried it on Windows, and it apparently needs Python to run.

      Fail.

  22. WorknMan
    September 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    As far as I know, there are no decent podcast managers for Windows. By that, I mean something that's very lightweight, that I actually wouldn't mind running in the background to check for new podcasts. Juice is probably as good as it gets, but that app is kind of buggy, and I don't think it's been updated in 6+ years.

    • George
      January 20, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      My experience with Juice over the past 6 years is that has worked very well for me. I originally had it on Windows XP, then on Vista. I was unsuccessful in installing it on Windows 8 (64 bit), but found an installer that worked flawlessly:
      http://www.webbie.org.uk/juice/
      Juice isn't perfect, but it beats itunes any day. It quietly downloads daily and weekly podcast subscriptions, and files them appropriately under the subscription name. All this happens in the middle of the night at my specified time while I sleep.

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