Podcasts are the hot, rising trend in new media and everyone is trying to get their fix. It has never been more important to tap into the best selection of top podcasting apps available. The market is awash with podcasting apps and platforms of all different shapes, sizes, and types. It can be confusing to navigate the overwhelming overload of options, so turning to the experts is the best course of action.
Podcasting apps include players, file managers, audio production platforms, and more. Not only can you listen to compelling podcasts from the comfort of your portable device, but you can also fulfill your dreams of podcast stardom.
Apps today go beyond simple players, ranging from platforms that allow you to record, edit, produce and monetize your podcasts to management platforms that can fully customize and organize your complete podcast library.
More Than Players
The most impressive podcasting apps are those that allow podcast producers to have fully functioning studios in the palm of their hands. The mobile revolution is hitting the podcasting world and shows can now be produced from anywhere. Investing in a holistic mobile podcasting platform is one of the best ways for an aspiring podcaster to bring flexibility and reach to their production. Platforms such as Anchor provide unprecedented centralization of modular aspects of the production process.
Education for the Future
What once required a home studio setup and expensive gear, can now be accomplished with minimal technology. Your smartphone can be the heart of your podcasting world in more ways than one.
The unparalleled control that podcasting playback systems provide to listeners allows them to gain insight into the audio engineering process while they listen. This way, aspiring producers and hosts can more easily learn about the process by getting their hands dirty with some of the advanced features many of these apps provide.
Managing the Milieu
For those who listen to more podcasts than they can keep track of, a management system is critical. It can be easy to lose track of a complex series or multiple series at once. Scheduling downloads and syncing to your favorite feeds allows you to more efficiently and effectively consume podcasts. Don’t waste your time infinitely scrolling for compelling podcasts you’ve lost track of. Apps that organize the milieu of feeds and streams you are subscribed to can make your life easier in countless ways.
Podcast managers are one of the most popular features sought after in a fully-functional podcast player. Serious podcasting fanatics need to introduce a management system into their lives. These apps are like the DVRs of the podcasting community.
Accessible Podcasting Apps
Before going any further, here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular and well-known podcasting apps out there. If you’re just looking to dive into listening to your favorite podcast immediately without any specific needs, these apps will get you up and running.
Spotify is one of the most trusted apps for accessing most podcasts available today. While their roster isn’t utterly exhaustive, Spotify has the vast majority of relevant podcasts. This is a great go-to, as you may already have the app on your device when you are browsing for something to listen to.
It has multi-platform functionality and is one of the ubiquitous all-around audio platforms today. The main drawback to Spotify is that it isn’t optimized for or focused specifically on podcasts. If you are a fanatical podcast junkie, you may want a more dialed in and focused experience.
As one of the quintessential podcasting apps, which helped to popularize the medium globally, Apple Podcasts is a decent entry point into podcasts. For iOS users, this app may have been their first exposure to the podcasting craze. Many cite this as the point of origin for the feverish popularity of podcasts. It is far from the most stable or user-friendly app but it comes installed by default on your iPhone.
Arguably the most refined and effective cross-platform podcast app is Pocket Casts. Completely optimized for podcast listeners of all types, this is the quintessential hub. From an exhaustive catalog of podcasts to a sleek user interface intended for true podcast consumption. The app is also owned by public radio organizations for those who want to stay connected to the world of civic media.
Crucial Apps You’ve Got to Have
Now that you know how to get started, let’s dig deeper into the core of the issue. Keep in mind, you may find a lot of apparent redundancy when comparing podcasting apps. That’s because it’s a saturated market and there are many tools available, which can do many of the same things. The trick is to identify the specific angle or feature that sets an app apart from the pack and makes it perfect for your needs. The fact of the matter is that many of these apps share the same core functionality and it’s up to the listener to decide which they prefer.
Some podcasting apps are optimized for a specific subject matter or audience, while others feature different ergonomic user interface (UI) and quality of life features. While this list is not exhaustive, it will give you a good sense of the terrain when shopping for the right app. From platforms for aspiring podcasting entrepreneurs to simple players for playlists and offline listening, it is out there.
Cross-Platform Podcast Apps
Don’t want to be restricted by an operating system or device? No problem! Many of the best podcasting apps and tools out there feature cross-platform functionality between all of your relevant devices. Never again will you have to choose which smartphone you love more than the other. These apps are flexible.
This is a very exciting app for aspiring podcasters. Anchor allows you to record, produce, and monetize your podcast all from the comfort of your smartphone. More than just an app, Anchor promises to be an all-inclusive podcasting production platform. They provide analytics, distribution, and other services for the aspiring podcast entrepreneur.
RadioPublic is for podcasting fans who are very particular about customizing their experience. This app makes it easy to find new podcasts related to your interests. Are you often frustrated when you finish a particularly excellent podcast and can’t find something else that can top it? The discovery features of apps like RadioPublic can send you in the right direction for podcast heaven.
Castbox is an all-inclusive app that has features for listeners as well as podcasters. They’ve got all the popular podcasts you want to hear, plus a vast suite of features for podcasters to go live from anywhere.
Another multi-faceted, holistic podcast hosting platform, Podbean offers free hosting as well as the obligatory suite of features to make your podcast as fantastic as it can be. Their free service expands upwards to include much more significant unlimited podcasting plans to suit the needs of even an avid professional.
Another streamlined, focused app specifically focused around podcast listeners, users agree that Stitcher is accessible, streamlined, and fully-featured. You can create playlists and discover new podcasts and content.
Do you love to laugh? Then this is the app for you. Laughable is a podcasting app that focuses exclusively on comedy and comedians. Laughable does not stop there though, as they also give you access to a broad library of podcasts on other topics. For those seeking to tickle their funny bone and maybe learn about some new comedians, Laughable is a fantastic option for your podcasting app roster.
In addition to podcasts, do you also love internet radio? TuneIn caters to fans of diverse broadcasting media including podcasts. Get your fix of streaming sports, news, and talk radio, in addition to all the podcasts you love. This is a great app for a holistic listener. TuneIn bridges the gap between old school radio and new media formats.
iOS Podcast Apps
Do you love your iPhone? Well, now you can love it even more with this vast variety of fantastic and diverse podcasting apps. The iPhone is one of the best platforms for listening to podcasts. Apple fans can find podcasting apps that suit their discriminating tastes and to complement their favorite iOS device.
This app is a lifesaver for anyone caught in a situation where they have no data service but must have their favorite podcast available. Overcast specializes in downloading your podcast ahead of time and storing it for future usage. Overcast features the standard suite of podcasting focused audio enhancement tools that most apps come with.
Castro touts itself as a podcast app for podcast lovers. The app sports a sleek interface as well as a host of convenient features to boost your experience. Castro allows you to have access to your own audio-mixer to get the best sound. Aspiring podcasting audio engineers take note, if you know how to coax a better sound out of your podcasting heroes, this is your chance.
The app also provides precise control over playback speed and makes it easy to save your progress. Never lose your spot when you fall asleep with your headphones on ever again.
Now we’re delving into truly peculiar podcast listening territory. For those who want a more social experience around their podcast listening, ListenApp allows you to actively voice chat with other listeners. Are you the kind of podcast fan who loves to engage in a lively discussion about your favorite program with like-minded fans? Now you have the opportunity to get every hot take and bit of juicy gossip from the community at large.
Downcast is a great alternative to other podcast player platforms. If you want to try something different and experience an alternate UI and experience, Downcast is a great choice. It comes with all the features you would want from your podcast player and diversifies the pool of options.
Another alternative podcast player that boasts superior functionality and user-friendliness. If you often experience stability and crashing issues with other players, PodCruncher may be a better solution. It is well-reviewed, affordable, and stable.
iCatcher is a platform that allows you to coordinate and download your favorite podcasts ahead of time. It is another way to enhance the convenience of your listening experience by being prepared for those dreaded times away from abundant wi-fi. A simple and intuitive UI keeps happy listeners coming back.
Castaway 2 is an excellent and fully-featured app that prioritizes a sleek and minimalistic design for those who seek to minimize clutter. It has got all the features an avid podcast listener wants and expects. This app’s primary claim to fame is its low-profile and utilitarian interface.
Android Podcast Apps
Android aficionados fear not, you too are covered with a vast selection of podcasting apps. There are so many fantastic podcasting apps available for Android, it is just as much of a podcasting powerhouse as any other popular platform or OS.
Google Podcasts is the quintessential casual podcasting app for Android users. Listen to the most popular podcasts, download them for later listening, subscribe to your favorites. This is a solid standby and easily recommended for your basic listening needs.
Podcast Republic is a reputable and highly regarded podcast platform for Android. You know the drill, it’s got the basic features and is another alternative player for those seeking that special feel and functionality. Podcast Republic also provides internet radio broadcasts.
More than just a basic podcast app, Podcast Addict also allows you to manage a broad variety of other media types including audiobooks and youtube. This convenient app allows you to coordinate all your new media consumption in one centralized hub. Get all the updates about your entire media universe all in one place.
BeyondPod is a customizable podcast interface for true enthusiasts. BeyondPod allows you to comprehensively chronicle all podcasts of interest. This app gives you unprecedented control over your scheduled podcast downloads and storage as well as the ability to manually add feeds to your queue. Highly recommended for the bonafide podcast junkie.
Doggcatcher promises to be the only podcast management system you’ll ever need on Android. It comes loaded with a full suite of customizable features to download and store your favorite podcasts. Doggcatcher also boasts an advanced recommendation system to make sure you’re discovering everything within your scope of interest.
A fantastic alternative podcast player for Android, Player FM is fully featured and great for casual listeners looking to listen to popular free podcasts.
Podkicker is an alternative podcast manager and player. Podkicker’s unique and intuitive UI sets it apart from the competition. It is definitely worthwhile to try a variety of apps to determine which ergonomic features you prefer. Podkicker is another fantastic fully-featured podcast manager.
AntennaPod is one of the best podcast apps available. Not only does it come with every possible feature you could want but, it’s also completely free. Import and manage your feeds with a fully customizable podcast management system. AntennaPod is highly recommended and is easily the best podcast app for serious listeners everywhere.
It’s a lot to take in but it will serve you well when you are inundated with options in any of the various app stores. However, with a bit of perseverance and focus, you can become fully knowledgeable about the vast array of tools available to you. Listening to podcasts has become a major hobby and the demand for more options is always on the rise.
The Road to Podcast Perfection
So there you have it, the best tools you can find to optimize your podcast experience. Top podcasting apps are a dime a dozen these days and you can definitely find everything you need. Regardless of what device or OS you’re running, you have options available to you.
Whether you want to catch your favorite podcasts on the go or contribute to your own podcasting ambitions, there is an app to suit every flavor and purpose under the sun.
Podcasting apps can feature a lot of the same basic functions but with a great deal of variety in form and features. It is worth it to familiarize yourself with many of the alternatives within each category of podcasting app to determine which is most suitable for you. Some aspects of your preference may boil down to subjective factors of usability and aesthetics. However, some apps may not have the exact features you’re looking for. Many of the apps on the list offer one-stop shops for all your needs but may lack some fine-tuned detail that you need.