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Guide: Best Cross-Platform Podcast Apps
Podcasting is a relatively new form of media that is disrupting more traditional forms of media, such as radio talk shows. The success of Serial suddenly brought this somewhat obscure medium to the fore, and now people all over the world seem to take it seriously enough.
Since podcasts are not subject to the same types of restrictions as a medium like radio, creators have much more freedom in terms of the type of content they can create and the length of the podcast.
Long podcasts are increasingly popular. With this format, hosts talk extensively about a topic or have in-depth interviews. This makes for more meaningful discussions and gives listeners the full story.
Podcasts are also easily accessible from the web and through various apps. However, there is sometimes a problem syncing your podcasts across devices. A cross-platform podcast app is required to achieve this.
Let’s say you have an iOS device and an Android device. If you are following a podcast in your iOS podcast app without a cross-platform app, you will need to add it to your Android app. You also can’t sync the listening progress of episodes across devices. This can be quite a hassle.
Fortunately, there are some apps that have addressed this and will provide some relief. Here’s our top 4 pick for the best cross-platform apps.back to menu ↑
Pocket Casts offers a variety features aimed at facilitating use. You can adjust the playback speed with Pocket Casts and apply filters to show episodes based on parameters such as download status and release date.
Cloud sync is also available. With Pocket Casts, episode progress, subscriptions and filters are stored in the cloud.
This is especially useful for people who use multiple devices. For example, if you have your favorite podcast on your phone during the day you can easily retrieve up exactly where you left off later in the day on another device like your laptopback to menu ↑
iTunes offers great functionality, and the app’s design is quite smooth. iTunes is known for many things and being an effective podcast player is certainly one of them.
Similar to Pocket Casts, iTunes allows you to sync subscriptions and playback information across devices, meaning you can start listening to a podcast episode on one device and pick up where you left off on the other. The playback speed can also be adjusted.
While iTunes is free to download, it doesn’t necessarily differ from Pocket Casts. There is no iTunes Android app or web app. Apps are limited to Mac OS, Windows and iOS.back to menu ↑
Stitcher offers apps for Android, iOS and the web. It is able to sync your subscriptions and playback information.
What sets Stitcher apart is the original content. Some episodes of Stitchers shows are free, but premium content is also available to premium subscribers.
Stitcher’s original podcasts include LeVar Burton Reads and Wolverine: The Long Night. LeVar Burton Reads is all about the Star Trek actor who reads short fiction stories. Wolverine: The Long Night is a scripted podcast from Marvel that follows a series of mysterious deaths.back to menu ↑
There are Castbox apps for iOS, Android, Android Auto, Web, Amazon Alexa and Google HomePodcasts can be synced across the supported platforms, allowing a paused podcast to resume on different devices.
What makes Castbox special is the way users can search for content. It uses natural language processing to transcribe audio files, providing more accurate search results compared to keyword and tag based searches. Essentially, your searches will return results based on words actually used in podcasts.
In fact, Castbox goes the extra mile and lets content creators host their own podcasts too.back to menu ↑
Which app works best for you?
If you are an Apple Junkie, iTunes will work fine for you. However, if you have an Android device, you will be in trouble. Using an app like Castbox is a great solution for Android and for class platform use in gerral.
The truth is, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and Castbox will give you a wider cross-platform experience and allow you to sync your subscriptions. Each app has its advantages. Pocket Casts provides detailed synchronization of many parameters such as filters between devices, Stitcher has original content and Castbox allows you to host your own podcasts.
Depending on what you value more, you may want to choose one app over another. Keep these things in mind and choose the app that works best for you.back to menu ↑
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