Apple releases free ‘Podcasts’ app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Apple has released “Podcasts,” a free app designed for iOS devices.

Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.

Features:

• Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
• Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
• Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
• Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
• Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
• Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
• Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
• Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
• Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
• Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
• Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices

Requirements:

• iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.
• Requires a device with iOS 5.1 or later
• Optionally syncing episodes requires iTunes 10.6.3 or later
• Streaming or downloading episodes requires internet access over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection

More info and download link via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now “blogcast” will never catch on. (smirk)

Related articles:
Apple and the birth of the drive-time podcast: How to turn an afterthought into a new mass medium – June 18, 2012
Apple’s podcasting stroke of genius – June 17, 2012
Apple gives podcasts a gentle push out of iTunes – June 15, 2012

18 Comments

    1. Actually, Downcast doesn’t have as much to worry about. I feel bad though for the users of Instacast. The Instacast folks ticked off all their paid users by dumbing down their latest update, and making people pay again to get back features they previously had. Their rationale was to offer a cheaper up-front app with basic features, and up-sell the power users on the more advanced features – a plan that will almost certainly have to be scrapped, now that Apple has its own free “basic features” podcast app out there.

      The way I see it, third-party podcast apps like Downcast will always offer more features for users like me who want them, while Apple’s Podcasts app will provide the basic functionality for most folks. While the weaker podcast apps currently out there will definitely be driven out of business, those that provide quality and value above and beyond what Apple offers should still be able to survive and grow.

    2. Tried it and deleted it. It’s very basic compared to Downcast and wouldn’t even let me subscribe to some podcasts. I’ll stick with Downcast until it improves a lot more.

  1. The revolution is being televised on an iOS device near you.

    If the app is the channel, then the Podcast App just blessed us with thousands of new channels.

  2. Here’s what I love about Apple: I downloaded the new Podcast app on my iPhone. When I opened it, I found it had imported all my podcasts from the Music app and, when I went to play one that I had gotten half-way thru, it began playing in the new app right where I left off in the old app. Gotta’ love that.

    1. Yeah, it works great for that first use. After that, not so much.

      This morning, I synced my iPhone to pick up my new podcasts, as I always do. (I prefer to download on my Mac, because I sometimes listen via iTunes.)

      I opened the Podcasts app. This is what happened:
      — The new podcasts showed up in an “unplayed episodes” playlist, but there was no alert in the individual podcast entries themselves. So, for example, the “unplayed episodes” playlist showed I had an episode of “WTF” I hadn’t listened to, but the entry in my library for “WTF” itself didn’t show any indication that there was a new episode.
      — Playing two seconds of the “WTF” episode removed it from the “unplayed episodes” playlist. Now I have an unplayed episode with no indication at all.
      — Also, the “unplayed episodes” playlist is just stupid, as it plays just like a playlist, one podcast to the next. The only reason I played two seconds of “WTF” is because it came after another podcast in the playlist. I need the option to play one at a time, but if the playlist is the only way I can discover unplayed episodes (short of tapping every podcast in my library)…
      — Listened episodes don’t disappear from the app once you remove them via iTunes sync. Instead, they remain as a download link. Not a show-stopper, just annoying. If I want them gone, that means gone, please.
      — Worst of all, listening to a podcast in the Podcasts app does not update its status in the “Music” app. That is unacceptable.

      So I’ve thought it over, and the podcast functionality of the “Music” app works better for me than the “Podcasts” app, even though the new app looks cooler. The Podcasts app needs to mature. It needs to improve its syncing with iTunes and do a better job of handling partially listened episodes.

      So for now, I’ve deleted the app. With the exception of bringing audio and video podcasts together (again), it’s just not an improvement over the experience offered by the Music and Video apps.

      In iOS6, I’m expecting the Podcast functionality to be removed from the Music app, and that plus an update to iTunes and other improvements should make the Podcast app much better. For now, I’m sticking with what I have.

      ——RM

  3. Ok, I downloaded the app, started it up, clicked on the Podcasts button, entered a search term, screen dimmed, and nothing happened. So, I clicked on the Top Stations button, and a notice appeared in the middle of the screen saying it couldn’t connect to the iTunes Store. I’m obviously missing something, since others here are praising the new app, so how do you get started in the app?

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