Podcasts with Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts does a great job with podcasts, providing a host of features such as auto-download, auto-archive, and reliable search.

Simply put, a podcast is a series of spoken audio episodes that often focus on a particular topic or theme. You can listen to one directly from its website, if it has one, or by subscribing to it via an app. Some of the most popular apps are Pocket Casts, Overcast, Castro and Anchor.

Pocket Casts is available for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and the web. It’s free to download on iOS and Android. The web player requires a subscription to use, as do additional features in the mobile apps. You can downloaded it from the official website.

The app has a modern design that fits in well on all platforms. Once installed you’ll see four tabs at the bottom: Podcasts, Filters, Discover, and Profile.

Podcasts

This tab shows all your subscribed podcasts. These can:

Podcast list and options.

Tapping on a podcast icon opens the podcast page with info on what the podcast is about, the downloaded episodes, when the episodes aired, and settings for changing when the podcast is downloaded, whether to get notifications and whether to skip intro and outro music like the power user that you are.

Single podcast view & settings. One useful option to enable is automatically adding an episode to the now playing queue.

Filters

Think of filters as playlists that collect your podcasts depending on conditions that you’ve set. These conditions cover:

Single filter view & options. You can change the color and icon of the filter as well as have episodes auto downloaded when released.

Discover

This tab contains the podcast directory, where podcasts can be searched and subscribed to. It’s organised into:

Left: Discover screen with available podcasts. Right: Unsubscribed podcast with episode search.

Subscribing to a podcast adds it to the Podcast tab. Episodes can also be searched for, and downloaded, without subscribing.

Profile

This view displays your user account, listening statistics and history, downloaded files and copied files as well as starred podcast episode. There’s a section at the top showcasing the number of podcasts you’ve subscribed to and how much time you’ve spent listening to them.

Profile and Settings.

The account section has details of the currently logged in account with the option of upgrading to Pocket Casts Plus. The Plus subscription plan provides a web player, additional app icons, extra themes and 10 GB of cloud Storage for custom files at $0.99 per month.

Account screen and Listening stats.

Files

You can use Pocket Casts to listen to custom audio files such as audiobooks. You add these files by sharing them to the app from your devices files app. Subscribers to Pocket Casts Plus can upload the episodes to the cloud and access them on the go.

Files and settings.

The files are supported by the audio effects just as well as normal podcasts episodes. I use this feature a lot as it enables me to listen to audiobooks via Pocket Casts.

Settings

General settings and Appearance.

Pocket Casts offers a wide variety of settings you can change to customise the app. These include:

Left: Auto archive settings. Right: Download options.

Now Playing Screen

The now playing screen has everything you might need when playing your podcast episodes. The podcast artwork is displayed front and centre with the play, rewind and forward buttons below it. The duration of the rewind and forward buttons can be customised from the Settings screen.

Playing podcast and audiobook screens.

Tabs are available at the top for switching from Now Playing to Show Notes to Chapters if the podcast episode has them. Audiobooks displays chapters instead of notes.

Podcast notes & audiobook chapters.

The queue button is at the top right corner, and it can also be accessed with a swipe up gesture. Episodes can be rearranged and removed from the queue with easy gestures.

Up Next queue & episode selection.

Between the artwork and playback buttons is the currently playing chapter, provided the podcast supports chapters. Below the buttons there a customisable toolbar with the following options:

Only 4 options are displayed on screen, with the last ones delegated to the overflow menu button.

Playback effects and toolbar options.

Pocket Casts has a few audio effects that make listening to podcasts even better. There are 3 playback effects that enhance your listening experience:

Additional Features

Pocket Casts offers some additional features that make it a great podcast app. These are:

Import/Export screen and About page.

Conclusion

Pocket Casts is a great podcast app. It looks good, is packed with features, and is available on multiple platforms. And to top it all off, it’s completely free! I got the app in 2016 and have been using it consistently ever since. It’s the most used app on my phone, and one of the first apps I download when I get a new phone. Go try it out, and see whether it’ll change how you listen to podcasts.

"It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions."