App Review: Pocket Casts


As someone who produces his own podcast, it only stands to reason that I also listen to a lot of podcasts.

By far, the best podcast app that I have come across – and believe me, I have tried many – is Pocket Casts by ShiftyJelly.

Pocket Casts is a highly intuitive cross-platform (meaning it plays nice with both iOS and Android) podcast catcher that allows you to easily find, subscribe, organize and listen to your favorite podcast content providers…*ahem*…including, of course, Stimulated Boredom…even though I have my own app, just sayin’. 😉

There are many app options available to podcast fans. Whether it’s Stitcher, Google Listen, DoggCatcher, TuneIn etc…however Pocket Casts quickly became my favorite and is the primary app that I use to consume the long list of podcasts that I personally subscribe to and enjoy. By the way, Stimulated Boredom is available on all of these options…again, just sayin’.

Why Pocket Casts?

The best thing about Pocket Casts is how intuitive the UI is. It is very simple to search, add and start playing your favorite content.

For instance, say you want to find my show…and seriously, you really should if you haven’t already, what the hell are you waiting for?:

  • Simply tap the ‘Search‘ icon –> type in ‘Stimulated Boredom‘ –> select ‘Add‘ when it my show comes up and VOILA!…you are subscribed.

From that point forward, any new content / shows will automatically update in the app, in addition to allowing you to easily listen to all past episodes, stream directly over WiFi or 3G, and/or download directly onto your phone’s memory – in the event you are going to be out of coverage or in airplane mode. In addition, all shows that you subscribe to are automatically organized on the home screen and the right-hand corner of each show conveniently displays how many new / old episodes are available that you have yet to listen to…making it easier to see at-a-glance which shows have added new content recently.

Also, unlike other podcast catcher apps that I have tried, Pocket Casts is stellar at remembering exactly where you left off if you have to stop playback or answer a call. This is great because I don’t always have a chance to listen to a full podcast in one sitting, so its ability to pick up right where I left off (regardless of OTA streaming or if you directly downloaded the episode) is outstanding and very handy. Additionally, you have the ability to easily rewind or fast-forward in 30-second increments (just a simple touch to the left or right of the screen), should you realize that you missed something or zoned out for a moment.

Lastly, if you are on Android, the app also comes with a handy widget that you can place on one of your home screens to make launching and playing|pausing from the application even easier.

So far, I have yet to have any trouble with finding the shows I like and the search function is quick and accurate every time. Everything from “This American Life” to “The Nerdist”, “Stimulated Boredom” to “Fresh Air” or “Bill Maher”…all of my favorite podcasts are available at my fingertips.

Considering all of these features, Pocket Casts is easily worth the $2.99 (on Android) and $1.99 (on iOS) price-tag. Truth be known, I’d be willing to pay more in order to support a developer who finally created a podcast catcher that just works every time…which is something I can’t say about some of the others that I have tried.

Click any thumbnail to view the screenshot gallery:

Why Podcasts?

This is more of a sidebar relating to the on-demand convenience and great content offered by subscribing to podcasts.

Back when I started Stimulated Boredom in February of 2005, it was a lot harder explaining to people exactly what a “podcast” was…”I don’t get it, is it a radio show? What channel can I hear it on?“…there also weren’t a lot of people podcasting, as it was a pretty new medium at the time.

But today – thanks to the meteoric rise in the popularity of apps – far more people are aware of what a podcast is. By the way, if you’re still downloading podcasts in iTunes and manually loading them onto an iPod…please say hello to my Grandma for me and ask her how she likes her new flip-phone.

There are so many podcasts out there that offer outstanding programming; whether from a favorite celebrity / personality or an independent content provider like me, you can find podcasts on (literally) any area of interest that you can think of. Not to mention that some of the most popular radio programs and TV shows offer a podcast version as well.

So, whether you are looking for politics, gaming, news, zombies, sports, humor, science, accounting, comics, knitting, entertainment, dog training, movies, underwater basket weaving or everything else in-between, you are sure to find a podcast that is produced by someone who is very passionate about the subject matter. Couple that with the on-demand convenience of listening to exactly the kind of content you are specifically interested in and the absolute lack of car commercials, lawyer ads and other interruptions, and I don’t understand why people still listen to terrestrial radio anymore.

Although you will find some podcasts that are low quality, I believe that the vast majority are produced by people who really care about their chosen subject matter and are extremely talented. Also, In the last few years I have also noticed a TON of celebrities and well-known personalities starting their own podcasts, getting sponsorships and parlaying their podcast’s success into other endeavors.

My point being, if you aren’t already supporting some of these great shows, I highly recommend that you jump into the world of podcasts. Pocket Casts is a good start, as the app makes it very easy for you to browse popular programs or search by genre | subject matter.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Stimulated Boredom!

…just sayin’.

By:

Bipedal. Podcaster. Blogger. Geek. Browncoat. I Occasionally Pee Sitting Down. Dana is the host and owner of Stimulated Boredom.