This article is going to be a bit different from my usual Friday free stuff recs. A couple of weeks ago friend asked me about podcasts and how to listen to them. Here it is.
I'm addicted to podcasts. I love them. I listen to them compulsively.
Podcasts are big right now. Huge. It's easier than ever to both find a player (podcatcher) and find a podcast that captures your interest and compels you to listen. Professional actors and newscasters are involved in making podcasts. The subjects are broad. My own subscriptions range from Celtic Christmas music that posts only in November and December every year to Ronan Farrow's new podcast that covers the release of his new book "Catch and Kill".
There are a plethora of apps available for all platforms. The podcatcher that I use on my desktop is GPodder. It's short for Gnome Podder and it is an open source tool for catching and maintaining a feed of podcasts for Linux machines. GPodder is not a podcast player. It is an aggregator. When you hit the play on an episode you want to listen to, it opens up in the media player of your choice. I use VideoLAN and recommend it highly.
But that's me. I am compelled by unseen forces to use open source everything unless it is on my phone. Which is where nearly everyone else else listens to podcasts. The lesson here is don't be like me. Go with the easy stuff.
The easiest way to listen to podcasts is with native apps:
If you have an Apple phone use the pre-installed Apple Podcasts app.
Yes. It's that simple.
If you have an Android Phone use the Google Podcast app. I've been using it for a couple of days now and I like it. It's dead simple to use and doesn't drain my battery to death. The app is a win for me. (Side note: I'm not sure WTH is up with the reviewers - I have not had the problems they are describing at all. It's easy to close the program in 'close all' and the podcasts are supposed to start where you leave off. That's how it works.)
You can also rinse, lather, repeat with Spotify. Spotify has an excellent interface for podcasts and is one of the podcast catchers/players of choice for all platforms - Mac, Windows, Android, Chrome, iOS and even Linux. I've been using it on my desktop for a few days and it's good. The ads can get annoying, but it's a commercial product, not open source. I didn't expect to get it for free.
There are other podcast catcher/players that are platform specific like Overcast (iOS) and Podcast Addict (Android/Chrome). I didn't like Podcast Addict when I tried it a couple of years ago, but other people seem to like it well enough. Like Spotify, Podcast Addict is free for basic use, but has a paid version that removes ads.
Finding a good app for catching and listening to podcasts is easy. What's hard is finding a good podcast - Mostly that's because there are so many good ones out there. You could spend the rest of your life listening to interesting podcasts and still not reach the end of them.
And that's what I'll be talking about next week. Finding good podcasts that are right for you in an ocean of good podcasts.