I love listening to podcasts as well as creating them. (“Lightly edited” ones too!) When it comes to “podcatcher” software, I’ve shifted among a variety of desktop/laptop software programs as well as mobile apps over the past nine years in a continuing quest to find an easy/functional way to update/download podcasts for consumption on the go. For the past two years, my favorite iPhone podcatching app has been Podcaster. Thanks to a recent tweet from Korean educator David Jones and some testing of the app over the past weekend, however, Pocket Casts ($2) has now become my fav podcatcher. Here are a few reasons why.
Podcaster had worked since January 2011 for me as a mobile podcatcher. By “mobile podcatcher,” I mean a software program which runs on my iPhone and does NOT require a tethered sync to my laptop. The following posts highlight my past endorsements of Podcaster in detail:
- Manage Podcasts WITHOUT an iTunes Sync Using Podcaster (Jan 2011)
- Rediscovering the joys of mobile learning with Podcaster & Audible
- iOS Podcast Subscriptions on the Go (Aug 2011)
- Enjoy Podcast Fast Forward and Rewind Options with Podcaster.fm
Recently, in the past two months, I’ve been unable to stop Podcaster from downloading numerous updates to my podcast subscriptions when I “refreshed” my individual channel subscriptions in the app. I tried changing different app settings, but couldn’t get it to function in a mode where podcasts would only download when I manually tapped/selected them. Podcaster also crashed periodically on me, which was an irritating problem. I love how Pocket Casts refreshes recent podcast episodes and lets me either directly stream them (a much faster experience thanks to the availability of LTE speed cellular data connections from AT&T in Oklahoma City on my iPhone5) or download them with a tap.
One of the best features I loved about Podcaster was its support for OPML files. OPML is a file format for multiple podcast subscriptions, and Podcaster allows users to export a backup version of podcast episodes to DropBox as well as import an OMPL file created with any podcatcher software. While Pocket Casts didn’t let me directly important my Podcaster OPML file via a web link (available if you want to use it for your own subscriptions) it did allow me to import them after I emailed myself the OPML file as an attachment. This is GREAT, since the last thing I want to do with my podcast subscriptions is manually import them one by one on my iPhone. Hopefully Pocket Casts will add the option to EXPORT and backup your OPML file similar to the way Podcaster does currently.
Using Pocket Casts today, I listened to the first season 5 episode of the wonderful Seedlings podcast (@seedlingsPLN on Twitter) as well as last week’s episode of the NPR Technology Podcast. I also downloaded a few other episodes so I’ll be “prepared” for offline moments during some upcoming trips.
The main reason I don’t like Apple’s free “Podcasts” app is that it doesn’t support OPML importing. As an avid podcast listener, it’s VITAL that I’m able to readily import and use the “feeds” to the 57 podcasts I’ve subscribed to in the past.
What are you using as “mobile podcatching software” these days? Are you happy with it? Does your app support OPML imports? I’d love to hear more about what other people are using and enjoying for mobile podcast updates and listening.
My refresh of a mobile podcatching app this weekend got me thinking about how vital it is that STUDENT mobile devices in our schools support audio as well as video playback and recording. It’s wasteful, IMHO, to simply purchase eReaders for students as mobile learning devices. There is an amazing world of free as well as commercial digital content available today, and that content is only going to GROW in both quantity and quality in the years ahead. If we lived in a text-only Internet age, I could understand schools moving to embrace eReaders for students.
Thankfully, we don’t live in a text-only digital age.
Did you know Wes has published 9 eBooks, and 1 of them is available free? Check them out! Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard!
If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Curriculum."
On this day..
- Good Teachers Make a HUGE Difference - and PD is VITAL! [VIDEO] - 2013
- Digital Storytelling with Pinnacle Studio for iPad - 2012
- NCLB Fulfilling Mission to Portray All Public Schools as Failing - 2011
- Comparing Electric Cars (October 2011) - 2011
- The backstory of Oklahoma State Question 744 - 2010
- Gridlock may promote US Political Stability - 2010
- Eliminating Mac Address Book Duplicate Entries - 2009
- Advancing eBook technologies - 2008
- Podcasts of today's presentations - 2006
- Robotics interview podcast deleted - 2006