Google Podcast App

There’s is a lot of scorn directed towards the Google podcast app in places like /r/androidapps. I’m a little late to the party here because I was one of those people who didn’t like it. The lack of automatic downloading and auto-playing the next item in a playlist (oh, playlists other than the default podcast feed are also not supported) make people dismiss immediately.

Then I saw a few positive reviews and decided to give it another shot. The first thing I realized was that it is kind of freeing to not auto-download. I subscribe to a lot of Podcasts and feel obligated to listen to the once downloaded (yes, I have issues). I find choosing a podcast more like viewing an RSS feed now, and prefer it.

Podcasts you haven’t listened to are either in New or In Progress If you’ve listened to them but not too the end. At first, it was annoying because I was looking at the Download list to pick a podcast because it is hard to tell what has been played since the “mark as played” action doesn’t show the podcast as completed in the same way as listening to it all the way through does. Then I realized any podcast was either in New or In Progress and download was basically not needed except for file clean up, which happens on its own, anyway.

I did try the beta but found it was not great. You get into it by joining the Google App beta (I think) but I don’t think Podcasts is compatible with this beta. Podcasts is basically a front end for the Google App as far as I can tell.

As I said, my favorite feature is the need to download deliberately. I subscribe to a lot of Podcasts so they are always filling up storage. It feels more like any RSS reader. I know you could do this with any app but I find the layout and interface to be simple and clean, much more friendly than the other apps (I’ve tried all of them).

The one thing I miss is the ability to make a playlist for long drives. One thing most people don’t realize is if you have multiple episodes to listen to in a single feed it will keep playing. So I am planning on building a feed generator to make my own meta feed so I can queue up a few episodes of a few different Podcasts. Seems silly to have to do this, though. :)