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PocketCasts - the best podcast player to replace the standard one

PocketCasts - the best podcast player to replace the standard one

We break it down into molecules, show you the features and how to use it

The built-in "Podcasts" do their job quite well. On the app side: seamless integration with Siri, reliability, large library. It's enough to cover basic needs. But not enough for advanced use. Podcasts has a specific library organization, no custom filters or effects.

PocketCasts is the best way to fix these shortcomings for free.

How PocketCasts work

Unlike Podcasts, which repeat after Music, PocketCasts has an interface divided into three key tabs:

  • "Podcasts.". Here are the covers of all the shows. You can show them in a list or a grid (small and large). The app also allows you to display a badge with the number of unlistened episodes on the cover. There are also different sorting options: by episode release date, title, or adding a show. The player's library is much easier to navigate and keep track of more content.

How PocketCasts work

  • "Filters.". This is one of the key advantages of the service. For example, you can filter episodes into a "Downloaded" feed or make filters by topic. You can highlight only your favorite episodes or design the feed to look like unfinished programs. You can assign an icon and color to each filter.

How PocketCasts work

  • "Search.". This is a library of new content and probably the only disadvantage of the service. The tab is geared for the English-speaking audience: fiches and selections with English-language podcasts. At most, you can change the region to "Russia" - then the list of trending Russian-language shows appears. Ukraine is not on the list of regions.

PocketCasts - the best podcast player to replace the standard one

How to listen to podcasts in PocketCasts and what's special

It's as easy as possible to start listening - when you click on the show cover, you'll see a list of available episodes. You can sort them or archive old episodes.

In the podcast itself: you can download, add to queue, mark as listened to, or archive. During playback, there are additional options: you can enable voice amplification and cut silence, as well as change the playback speed. PocketCasts supports splitting into chapters, you need to swipe up to view them.

How to listen to podcasts in PocketCasts and what's special

You can set your own rules for each podcast. For example, you can set automatic scrolling of the intro, which will allow you to avoid wasting time on boring titles. The same applies to sound effects. In a podcast with a quiet recording, you can increase the volume of conversations - and the settings will not be carried over to the entire program.

How to listen to podcasts in PocketCasts and what's special

One of the strengths of PocketCasts is its integration with Shortcuts. For each show and filter, you can create your own command and start playback via Siri. This makes up for the lag of native Podcasts, where Siri is supported by default.

What other features PocketCasts offers

The app collects detailed statistics on how long you listen to podcasts. There is also a full log of activity by episode and by action. Colored themes and synchronization with your system settings are supported.

Other settings are also customizable, such as data consumption and content saving rules. You can strictly limit the use of mobile traffic and smartphone memory. PocketCasts also has a minimalistic widget: it shows the covers of the current show and the ones added to the listening list.

PocketCasts - the best podcast player to replace the standard one

The Apple Watch app does exactly what it's supposed to do: it allows you to control playback without any problems. But it is not limited to the basic control keys - from the watch you can adjust the effects, browse the library or filters. In watchOS 6 the native "Podcasts" also have their own client, so here the difference between the services is leveled.

The cost and cross-platform nature of PocketCasts

Until September 2019, PocketCasts was a paid player, and you had to buy a separate version for each platform. The mobile version cost $4.99, and the desktop version cost $7.99.

Then the switch to a subscription model happened. And this is one of the rare cases where users lost nothing. The mobile version retained all the features, but became free.

PocketCasts - the best podcast player to replace the standard one

The premium PocketCasts Plus plan is priced at $0.99/month or $9.99/year -- for that money, several new themes, 10GB in the cloud to sync your files, and dextop and web players are unlocked.

This means that you don't have to pay for a player at all: listening from your smartphone and tablet is completely free and not limited to anything. For many people, podcasts are a way to pass the time in transport or while walking, and they are listened to less often at the computer.

Of course, Apple's standard "Podcasts" offer a macOS version for free - but you can't listen to them on Windows or the Web, either. And other podcast programs are usually more expensive or flooded with ads. Therefore, if you feel cramped within the walls of native podcasts, PocketCasts is exactly the application you should consider.

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