Apple Podcasts

After (a lot?) of years using Pocket Casts, and thinking how cool it is that it’s fully open source now, I’ve moved off it.

I love podcasts, but the only time I really have to listen to them is in the car (CarPlay), and my trips are usually 10-15 minutes (I’m a 1.5×-er). Pocket Casts just crashes a ton. Nearly every car trip I put a podcast on, it’ll crash once. And I can’t just re-open it and hit play again, it’s forgotten where I was. It’s just untenable.

I feel like I should try Overcast. It’s the other mega-popular and fairly indie podcast player. I wanna like Airshow but I haven’t been able to get it to work (literally shows a blank screen when I open it) and from what I understand is perhaps a bit under-featured for what I like.

So I’ve switched over to Apple Podcasts. Manually, which ruffles my API-loving feathers. I feel like Apple deserves another shot at it. We can thank Apple for the initial success of podcasting, and for not screwing it up over the years (unlike Spotify — “exclusive” podcasts can suck it). Maybe the apps aren’t great, maybe their few attempts at innovation (e.g. subscriptions) aren’t hitting home, but all in all, they’ve done nothing but help the podcasting world and have done it for “free” (read: an investment in keeping people on Apple hardware). The Podcasts app, for both iOS and macOS, doesn’t cost anything and helps users discover, download, and listen to shows.

ShopTalkShow statistics have Apple Podcasts as the clear front-runner.

The main reason I’m switching back is that I also trust Apple to have an app that doesn’t crash every day. Not that they make perfect software, but no way are they going to have a podcast app that crashes every day for users just trying to listen to podcasts. It would get fixed (says my brain).

I’m only a week or so in, and it’s… fine. I don’t like the interface as much as PocketCasts. There are too many discovery features (which I shouldn’t be complaining about because discovery is certainly an issue in podcasting, but here we are) and less emphasis on my chosen shows and my listening status of each. It shows the wrong artwork for shows sometimes. You can’t swipe away “subscription” episodes on shows that offer them but you don’t subscribe. It doesn’t auto-archive old shows as well as I’d like. It doesn’t have a listening queue feature. It doesn’t offer to sync with other apps. It doesn’t have OPML export. So yeah, not great, but I’m gonna give it a shot for a while anyway.

I don’t actually use the desktop app much, but I might start since the syncing works pretty well.

One minor thing I like about Apple Podcasts is that when I “follow” a show, it automatically assumes it should download copies of those shows. In Pocket Casts, I had to flick a setting to ask it to do that rather than stream the shows by default. Even when I did download the shows in Pocket Casts, there was this quirk where if I pulled into a parking garage and it disrupted the internet connection, it would stop playing the show seemingly until it had a bit of internet again. I was hoping Apple Podcasts would not have this behavior (you already friggin downloaded the show, it’s not streaming WTF) but it does the same thing. I just don’t understand it.


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One response to “Apple Podcasts”

  1. Peter Kaizer says:

    You should definitely try Overcast. I have never had it crash on me.

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