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Podcasts are an essential medium on their own today. While most people listen to podcasts on their mobile devices, there are times when you’ll want to listen to them on your desktop. For example, when your phone is low on juice or when you’re on your PC at work.
We’ve compiled a list of good podcast players that can work from anywhere and are compatible with any modern browser. Many of these options also sync effortlessly with mobile apps or websites.
1. Player FM
Player FM is a popular podcast app for mobile, and its web equivalent is one of the most robust options on the cloud. You can use the same account on both the mobile app and the web platform. This allows you to sync your subscriptions, played episodes, and play later list instantly.
The website lets you manage your playlists and categories. You can export your full library to OPML and import podcast feeds from RSS or iTunes. When playing a podcast, you can control playback settings such as speed, volume booster, and scrub the podcast with the playhead.
Player FM also has a useful discovery system that sorts podcasts into multiple categories and subcategories. When you subscribe to a podcast, it is automatically sorted by its subject. Player FM then recommends you podcasts based on what you’ve been listening to.
For a fee, you can also subscribe to an upgraded account which allows you to sync the duration of your playtime across platforms. So if you are on the web player, you can instantly pick up where you left off on your phone. It also allows you to bookmark certain parts of an episode.
2. Cloud Caster
Unlike most of the other apps on this list, Cloud Caster is completely cloud-based. That means that whether you open it on your desktop, on your mobile device, or on your tablet, it runs entirely inside a browser thanks to HTML5.
This implementation has some key advantages. Cloud Caster is entirely free to use and has a feature set that can rival the better paid apps.
If you’re logged into your account, your playtime is always saved. So you can pick up where you left off in an episode of an audio or video podcast. This is one of the few free podcast players that supports this sync between platforms.
Cloud Caster lets you customize playback speed and has a built-in sleep timer. If you want to listen to your podcasts offline, you can save any episode as MP3 and play it from your preferred audio player. Cloud Caster also allows you to import and export OPML databases.
Spotify has recently expanded their support for podcasts. If you prefer to keep your media in one place, their platform is a reasonable alternative to a traditional podcast app.
Spotify has a large library of podcasts, along with support for importing RSS feeds. You can sync playback, subscriptions, and played episodes across all of their applications. Their platforms include browsers, desktops, mobile devices, and television boxes.
The podcast options in their web app are similar to the ones in their mobile application. You can subscribe and unsubscribe to podcasts, customize playback speed, and save your favorite episodes.
Spotify recently acquired some podcasting companies, so you may start seeing shows exclusive to Spotify soon.
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you’ve probably already heard of Stitcher in an ad or introduction. Its web app syncs seamlessly with its iOS, Android, and smart speaker counterparts. You can view your library, subscriptions, and saved episodes. It also supports resuming episodes from where you left off.
In addition to being a podcast player, Stitcher produces its own content. This includes popular shows such as Freakonomics Radio and Today, Explained.
Where it really excels is in curating and recommending content. They compile playlists of episodes from different shows that are centered around specific topics. They also have an autoplay mode that automatically lines up shows similar to the one you’re listening to. Here are some key tips for listening to podcasts using Stitcher.
Stitcher offers a premium version of its service for $4.99 per month that removes ads. You also get access to their library of exclusive podcasts and comedy albums.
Podchaser is an online podcast player that focuses on building communities and audiences. It has many user-driven features that most apps don’t have.
For example, users can create lists of shows and episodes based on any criteria. There are lists on the site for gaming podcasts, shows from Chicago, and recommendations for ongoing audio dramas. You can also sort podcasts in a variety of categories, from broad topics like storytelling to narrower topics like fishing.
Podchaser supports rating and reviewing both shows and individual episodes. You can view top-rated podcast episodes and shows.
It also has a robust search engine that allows you to search through creators, shows, and episodes. You can also filter by episode frequency, rating, and subject.
If you are a content creator, you can set up a profile on the site where you can add all the podcasts you host and have guested on. You can also add a description as well as links to your social media accounts. Users can browse through profiles and share them with friends.
Castbox is a podcast player for Android, iOS, and the cloud. Whether you’re using the web app as a standalone player or integrating it with your mobile device, it’s a feature-packed option.
The first thing that stands out is Castbox’s clean, easy-to-use interface. At the top of the home page are daily suggestions, with other podcasts are sorted by category throughout the page. They provide recommendations that cater to your favorites and listening habits. You can also read and add comments to individual episodes as well as entire shows.
The app also recommends you with local podcasts based on your location.
In addition to subscribing to whole podcasts, you can also add specific episodes to a favorites list. Your subscriptions and favorites automatically sync to your mobile phone. You can also view a complete history of podcast episodes you’ve listened to on your profile.
If you’re a creator, you can also upload podcasts directly from their website.
Enjoy Your Podcasts From Anywhere
All the options we mentioned sync well with your other devices, with dedicated mobile apps or responsive websites. Before you pick an app to use, make sure that you enjoy the experience from every device.
If you’re looking for a fresh way to listen to podcasts, we made a list of unique podcast apps for when you want to enjoy them differently. If you want some podcast recommendations, check out our list of addictive podcasts telling stories you need to hear.