I’ve used many podcatchers through the years and had been using (and liking) Downcast of late. I like the fact that it uses iCloud to keep things in sync so that no matter which iOS device I’m using (iPhone, iPad Air, iPad Mini) , it remembers my podcast subscriptions, what’s been played and not played, where I left off, etc. At work, I use an OontZ Angle PLUS Bluetooth speaker connected to my iPhone 6S to listen to my podcasts. It’s a workable system, but would be so much nicer if I could listen using my computer speakers. Well, I found the solution…
Pocket Casts from Shifty Jelly is a podcast service that supports iOS, Android, Windows phone and–most importantly–web browsers. They boast that it’s “available everywhere” which is not far from the truth. Similar to Downcast, everything is synced between my iOS devices, but I have the added ability to play podcasts using a web browser and, thus, through my PC speakers! I’m sure there are some esoteric differences between Downcast and Pocket Casts, but I haven’t noticed anything that would keep me from switching. I can set automatic downloads, limit the number of episodes to keep, playback at variable speeds, organize podcasts into groups (using the filter feature), etc.
Pocket Casts also supports the Chrome extension Media Keys by Sway.fm which allows me to use my keyboard’s native media keys to play, pause and skip songs, which is very handy.
If there is a catch, it’s the cost. There’s no monthly subscription–thank gawd–but after the 14-day trial you will have to pony up $9. The iOS app is $5.99 as well. For me, $15 seems like a deal for what I’m getting. Check it out and let me know what you think!