To put it simply, I love podcasts. If that word is foreign to you, think of it like a radio show that comes to you instead of you having to tune into a station at a particular time.  In fact, if you are a radio listener, many of the shows that you’re familiar with probably already have a podcast version available.  When you find a podcast you like, you can subscribe to it the same way you would a newspaper or magazine and new episodes will then be downloaded to your computer, tablet, or smartphone anytime they become available.  Best of all, they’re all 100% FREE!

Podcasts can be acquired in a variety of ways, including using Apple’s own iTunes app or the dedicated Podcasts app on any iOS device.  However, while Apple does a lot of things very well, the Podcasts app is not one of those things. The interface is clunky and leaves many things to be desired, especially when you look at the features offered by third-party apps. My favorite is called Downcast.

For one thing, let’s talk features. Downcast has TONS of options when it comes to how it handles podcasts. You can control everything from how often it checks for new podcasts, how playback works, max volume adjustments, how it backs up to iCloud, and a whole lot more.  If you’re like me, you’ll start to accumulate quite a few podcast subscriptions.  Downcast keeps them all nice and tidy in a list view, and also separates the podcasts that have been listened to already.

downcast list view

If you need ideas for podcasts you should listen to, you can click the “Add” button and then find popular podcasts by category. If you have a specific one in mind, search for it by name and Downcast will almost always find a match.  One of my favorites recently is a podcast called “Radiolab”.  They talk about a huge variety of topics, from how we derive the weight of a kilogram to high-speed trading to our perception time itself!

And of course, if you find a podcast that you just love, you can always stop by mac-fusion and tell me about it. Happy podcasting!

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