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My needs are simple

My favorite podcast app is shutting down. They’re being absorbed into the subscription service of their parent company (SiriusXM). Because of course they are.

I hate monthly fees.

I’m bummed because I paid for it. Eh, it was a one-time fee and a long time ago – it doesn’t owe me anything – but I’d gotten used to it and I can’t find a substitute I like.

What I want from an app is simple: when I subscribe to a podcast, I want it to go all the way back to the first episode and play the lot, in order, remembering what I’ve already listened to. Download to listen offline is useful, too – my garden activities sometimes take me out of range of the wifi.

I’ve tried several that I shall not name because my phone is in the other room and I’m too lazy to go get it. One didn’t let me sort from oldest to newest, so I had to scroll past pages and pages manually. One gave me a free period after which it wanted to charge a modest annual fee – but give us your credit card information up front, luv. (I actually did give them my payment details, but my time anxiety was so grievous, I deleted the program almost immediately).

One – and I remember it was the Google one – would only play one episode of the thing I wanted to hear, after which it switched me to a podcast from the front page that it apparently really, really wanted me to listen to.

I’m sure I could learn to drive any of those apps eventually, but remember: lazy.

At the moment, I’m on the free version of Spotify. I get the feeling it would much rather I listened to Taylor Swift, but it’s doing okay with podcasts so far.

Do you have a favorite podcast app? Why do I anticipate most of you boogers telling me you don’t listen to ’em?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 10, 2023, 7:52 pm

I had fun signing up to Spotify. The first thing they do is ask you to pick out three artists you like. I scrolled thrugh three pages of their suggestions before I gave up and did a search. I picked Earl Scruggs, R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I should have picked Gregorian Chants or something for the third one, just to screw with their algorithm a little mre.

Comment from TGFL
Time: July 10, 2023, 8:38 pm

They all stink to different degrees, but I use Pocket Casts and am pretty happy with it. Reasonably configurable, can sort new/old and short/long up or down, archive, start xx sec into episode, good playlist management. May not have been free, but not expensive.

Comment from Ea
Time: July 10, 2023, 10:03 pm

Podcast addict, free, they will ask you to upgrade occasionally. Easy for me to use. Not sure if it meets your needs but again, free. I like free.

Comment from Ben
Time: July 10, 2023, 10:16 pm

Check out Player FM, it’s free and works fine.

Comment from Jeff Weimer
Time: July 10, 2023, 10:43 pm

I second Podcast Addict. It has plenty of free features, including the ones you listed, and you can sort oldest to newest.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 10, 2023, 11:16 pm

Why do I anticipate most of you boogers telling me you don’t listen to ’em?

Because you know that a bunch of us boogers are old and that implies a fair number are hearing impaired!

Is there such a thing as a podcast app that does speech-to-text decently? Any good podcasts that also publish transcripts?

Comment from Gromulin
Time: July 10, 2023, 11:18 pm

I’ve been using Spotify to chew through all the Huberman Lab podcasts. I like that it starts playing over the Bluetooth where I left off when I turn the key in my truck, and stops when I turn it off. Maybe they all do that. I listen commuting to and from work, so usually get through one episode worth a day. Science!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 11, 2023, 8:37 am

I just want to track down the moron that first decided to use the word ‘pod’ in a computing context and fill his undergarments with red ants.

I suspect he works for Apple.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: July 11, 2023, 10:57 am

@Uncle Al – you too eh?

I assume it was an acronym – personal somethingorother device. Hmmm, play on demand?
Ah, portable open database in the iPod context.

Play on demand for the context of this thread.

Having once jokingly labeled a master table of tables the “MOT” – mother of tables for a Sprint billing project just after Saddam coined ‘Mother of Battles’…I can understand how ‘pod’ probably appealed to someone’s twisted sense of humor.
That got more fun when the customer asked us what the MOT was one time when we said we needed to update it.

Bring on the red fire ants.

Comment from OldFert
Time: July 11, 2023, 11:00 am

OT, but is there a way to look at twitters without signing up? Used to read a bunch of them (including Stoaty) before they cut us off. I can look at twitters if they link from Insty or some such, but not directly.

Also, a way to watch Tucker without a twieeter acct?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 11, 2023, 11:52 am

Uncle Al, I’ve been deeply jealous since I learned my friend’s hearing aid double as an earphone. Also, she has an app that lets her put her phone next to the speaker at a conference and it’ll pipe the voice directly into her ear.

I’m just coming into the range of needing hearing aids, but I haven’t gotten tested yet because I’m too lazy to faff with hearing aids if I don’t absolutely have to.

OldFert, I think they closed that door. You can explore hashtags without an account, but anything else someone has to give you a direct link.

When I get home, I’ll shoot you some links to Tucker.

Comment from Greg
Time: July 11, 2023, 3:26 pm

I’m even worse than Uncle Al. I can’t get more than two minutes into most podcasts without wanting to scream “Gimme a freakin’ transcript!” I can read in five minutes what most podcasts take half an hour to ramble out.
As for hearing aids, I was pleasantly surprised. Mine are the best bluetooth headset I’ve ever had for my phone. I can answer a call and drop the phone into a pocket and babble away like a loon to all appearances. They were hideously expensive, for which I’m still offended, but after all the horror stories from my parents generation hating the things, mine work so well that they’re a great relief. What finally led me to get them is a screaming case of tinnitus, which they mask reasonably well. That, and ME getting annoyed at having to ask people to repeat themselves constantly.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 11, 2023, 5:02 pm

I absolutely will not watch embedded videos or listen to podcasts when I’m banging around online. I want it written down, too.

Podcast fill a very specific niche for me – when I’m doing something physical and boring that I don’t have to think about. Like weeding.

The weeding keeps my hands busy, the podcast keeps my brain busy. It takes both.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 11, 2023, 11:24 pm

Hey Greg, you got a make and a model on those hearing thingamabobs? Asking for a friend. I SAY I’M ASKING FOR A FRIEND.

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: July 12, 2023, 12:19 am

Spotify – I used to love them, but now I hate them. Back when everyone was going apeshite for BLM, Spotify decided it would be a good idea to plaster BLM propaganda all over my home page, whether I wanted it or not, and without means to disable the shite. So I terminated my account, left them a flaming turd in their inbox when they asked “why are you leaving?”, and I have never looked back.

Now, don’t start me on YouTube and all of their freakin’ ads that interrupt every 3 minutes and at the worst times.

Comment from Greg
Time: July 12, 2023, 12:28 am

My hearing aids are Phonak brand (phonak.com). They must be programmed by the audiologist, so they’re only available through an office visit. Mine are rechargeable; I plug them into a charger at night, no batteries to fool with. There is a phone app for them, but I have so little tolerance anymore for learning software that I’ve not used it.

Comment from Dan
Time: July 12, 2023, 1:34 am

Check out https://podcastindex.org/apps for a comprehensive list of apps; I like Podcast Guru 🙂

Comment from Joe A
Time: July 12, 2023, 1:44 am

Another plug for Podcast Addict. I’ve been using it for several years and been quite happy. the free version, no less. The ads are very non intrusive. I might actually splash for the paid version, just to help support them.

Comment from blake
Time: July 20, 2023, 3:58 pm

I listen to some podcasts. If I’m at my desk, it’s YouTube or Patreon, don’t bother with an app.

If I’m using my phone, I just download the MP3.

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