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Radio is dying and podcasts are taking its place. Over the past few years, the podcast revolution has really taken off. It has gained mainstream acceptance and artists are experimenting more than ever.
You already know what podcasts the staff of MakeUseOf recommend, but that’s just a small part of the podcast experience. Whether you’re new to the medium or already have a few favorites, you need the right apps to really make the most of it.
From managing and saving the podcasts you want to hear, to finding new episodes that you are bound to like, these are apps every podcast addict or beginner needs to know about.
1. Pocket Casts (Web, Android, iOS): The Best Podcast Manager App
There’s no doubt about it. Pocket Casts is hands-down the best podcast manager app out there. It already had legions of fans on iPhone and iPad. It makes it to every list of the finest podcast players for Android. And a recent web player syncs with your mobile apps seamlessly to listen to podcasts on your computer.
In fact, Pocket Casts 6 launched just a few months ago, making the player better than ever. The interface is faster and features a new dark skin mode that looks gorgeous.
Pocket Casts lets you queue your podcasts in the order you want to listen to them, track your favorites for new episodes, remove silent bits of any recording, and has a fantastic “Discover” section to find new things to listen to.
2. Audiosear.ch (Web): Search Any Podcast, Including Transcripts
Which podcasts has Twitter’s favorite scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson been featured in? Which podcasts have talked about molecular gastronomy? How can you find episodes that feature your favorite tech celebrity, like Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel? Audiosear.ch has all the answers.
Audiosear.ch solves a problem that no one else has been able to. It searches through transcripts of podcasts, not just the titles, so you can get the right episode each time. That’s a gargantuan task considering how many shows there are, so you might not get some of the smaller podcasts in this. But Audiosear.ch still covers 9,656 shows with a total of over 206,492 episodes. That’s a massive database there.
You can sort your results by date, duration, or relevance. I’d suggest going with relevance since Audiosear.ch actually manages to do a good job of understanding why you are searching for something.
3. Latr.fm (Web): Bookmark Podcasts for Later
While you’re surfing the internet, you’ll often come across articles or podcast recommendations that seem really interesting. For reading, Pocket lets you digitally bookmark articles for later. For listening, Latr.fm does the same thing for podcasts.
Once you sign up for the service, just add the lightweight bookmarklet (not an extension) to your browser. If you come across an interesting podcast, open the episode, and click the bookmarklet to add it to your Latr.fm list. It’s a personalized list of episodes you want to listen to, not the full feed of a podcast.
Your list can be turned into a RSS feed that you can add to your podcast manager, so they are automatically stored there. You can even share your list publicly so that others can look at what you’re listening to.
4. Earbud.fm (Web): Handpicked Podcast Recommendations
NPR’s Earbud.fm is perhaps the best repository of podcasts anywhere. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find something to listen to here. And if you’re new to the world of podcasts, this is where you should start.
Earbud.fm focuses on episodes, not podcasts, which is a great way of finding stuff worth listening to. So there are episodes recommended by celebrities and radio hosts, episodes collected around a topic, and so on. For example, the “Tell Me A Story” category has episodes that feature the narrator telling a wonderful tale, fictitious or personal.
NPR is known for its quality content and often makes it to lists of the best podcasts you should check out right away. But this isn’t a collection of NPR-only stuff. Earbud.fm curates podcasts from all across the web.
5. Product Hunt Podcasts (Web): What’s New in the World of Podcasts?
Over the last few years, Product Hunt has become a haven for geeks to discover things they like. When we talked with him, Ryan Hoover started out just recommending apps, but his site has grown by leaps and bounds since then, recommending books, games, podcasts and more.
Product Hunt podcasts is the first place to go to find podcasts every geek should listen to. Items listed here focus on entrepreneurs, technology, science, and similar topics. While that’s the bulk of the recommendations, it’s not restricted to these topics. The community at Product Hunt will often add and upvote trending podcasts, like Serial.
Newcomers can find it a little difficult to browse through the site. So I’d recommend clicking on a tag you like or searching for a keyword, and then filtering the results by “Podcasts” in the category.
What’s the Best Free Podcast Manager?
There’s no doubt about Pocket Casts being the best podcast manager app, but it costs a pretty penny.
If someone is not willing to put down four bucks, which free podcast manager would you recommend?