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Podcasts are to us what radio shows were to the generations before. But unlike our grandparents, you don’t have to lug a transistor around your neck. A nice earphone will do just fine. On-demand audio streaming is on a rapid climb and podcasts of all types for all audiences are scrambling up with it too.
That’s why the sheer variety of podcasts is so much fun to dive into. Let’s look at five podcast apps that help us catch up with what’s there in the audio streaming universe. And listen to them in different ways.
1. The Podcast App (Android, iOS): The Stitcher Alternative
You want the top podcast discovery app out there. Popular names like Stitcher and Pocket Casts do a great job, but podcasts still have a discovery problem. So you should look at The Podcast App when the itch to see the new best thing tickles your brain.
The Podcast App’s design is simple. It’s also meant to be “blazingly fast” and that includes how fast you discover new shows and episodes. There’s no sign-in hurdle to cross as you go about rummaging through the 550,000 shows and 40,000,000 episodes it has curated.
Try the quick search with keywords. You can favorite the entire show, listen to the choicest “Best Of” episodes, or just the single episodes on topics you want to pick across different shows. The free app is ad-supported.
2. Wilson (iOS): Take a Deep Dive Into a Topic
Wilson is one of a kind podcast app. To begin with, it doesn’t fit the common template of a podcasting app design. With its minimal design and typography, it looks like an art magazine.
It is a weekly podcast magazine. Every week, the team handpicks the best podcast episodes that center around one topic. The short playlist of podcast episodes aims to make you better informed about relevant issues.
For example, a few episodes might be devoted to the upcoming Presidential elections, or you might like to immerse yourself in the mysteries of creativity.
The podcast magazine is for those listeners who want to know more about a subject and not get distracted in the noise.
Download: Wilson for iOS (Free)
3. Narro (Chrome, Android, iOS): Turn Your Articles Into Podcasts
It goes without saying that there’s more content on the web compared to podcasts. Narro is a simple tool that can convert your articles into podcasts which you can listen anywhere. It could become one of your favorite ways to go through your Pocket reading list. Just give Narro a URL and it will turn it into your own personal podcast.
Narro has a pricing plan. The basic free version allows you one hour per month of article conversions. It also syncs with Pocket and Instapaper. You can also extract audio from YouTube and Vimeo videos. You can have your choice of 25+ voices and automatic detection of 12+ languages.
Download: Narro for Chrome (Free, Pro plans)
4. Synth (Web, iOS): Bite-Sized Conversational Podcasts
Listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History takes a serious chunk of time. Perhaps you just want to hear something interesting on a coffee break. Synth (beta) is a nice little app that focusses on conversational audiograms that anyone can share. The 256 second sound bites can be recorded by anyone and shared through the app.
You can create or find regular podcasts broken down into smaller “synths”. Click on them to go to the full podcast. The Synth feed lets you explore the brief podcasts shared by others and comment on them too.
Synth can useful in many ways. Want to share an opinion with the world or teach a mini-lesson? Or maybe, you want to promote your latest work. Use Synth to record these clips and share them privately or publicly. Synth is a good alternative to 60db (bought by Google).
Download: Synth for iOS (Free)
5. Anchor (Android, iOS): Start Your Own Podcast
You have your fill listening to others talk about their passions. Now, you want to jump in the game. But starting your own podcast can be knotty. Choosing a topic to talk about is just the tiny first step. There are little details like cover art to pick, buying a microphone, and choosing a host platform, learning about audio editors to think about. Podcasting was supposed to be easy!
Anchor is the podcast studio in your pocket. It has all the tools to create high-quality soundbites. You just have to record and share without the need to have special knowhow. All at the tap of a button. You can do the podcast on your phone and also invite others to join in from anywhere. Use the easy editor to add transitions, sound effects, and background music.
The service also helps you monetize your show or build it with contributions from listeners. Anchor has started its own micro-podcasting trend. Join in if you are interested in bite-sized knowledge sharing. As a side note, Anchor was bought by Spotify recently.
How to Listen to Podcasts?
Play around with different podcast apps until you find the one that suits you. Fill them with the help of good podcast recommendations floating around on the web.
Often your podcast habits will decide the app you go for. If you are stuck in front of a screen all day, try these browser extensions for listening to podcasts too.