Author Topic: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?  (Read 568 times)

Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« on: June 17, 2019, 01:44:51 pm »
Ok, I admit I'm not too bright when it comes to this stuff, but ......

I've become addicted to listening to podcasts, from a variety of creators/publishers, on my phone. I've tried several apps - Stitcher, RadioPublic, Podbean - as well as the BBC Sounds app. I find the latter very unintuitive and of course it doesn't have the capacity to catch non-BBC stuff and I'd like to have all my stuff in a single app.

The part I'm struggling with is getting the app to subscribe to particular programmes. Usually, the process is simply to use the 'Search' function in the app but quite often I find that this fails to locate the programme. The next step is to locate the RSS feed URL of the show you want and paste it into the Search box in the app, but again this often fails. I have got to the stage where I have some shows in Stitcher and others, which Stitcher just can't find or won't accept, in RadioPublic, which itself won't deal with some of the shows that will work through Stitcher. Plus some BBC ones in Sounds.

Researching on the 'net to try and educate myself on how this all works has led me to believe that the process of publishing podcasts is a long way from being standardised and many creators push their episodes out through a variety of channels which don't cross-connect. The result seems to be that there is no single app which can capture any and every podcast being published. iTunes works better than most in this regard but fails in other respects and won't talk properly to my non-Apple hardware, and anyway is being deprecated now by Apple so isn't a viable option long-term.

Am I correct in this understanding or am I just under-educated and looking at the wrong apps?

P.S. I do also have MediaMonkey but the learning curve for it is very demanding (for me) and I can't get it to synchronise reliably with my phone.


Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2019, 02:14:52 pm »
I was going to recommend Overcast but I've just noticed that it's only for iOS. If that's not disqualifying I can recommend it. Except for some BBC podcasts I've never failed to find and subscribe to a Podcast I've been interested in. For those of the shows which are in Stitcher or RadioPublic but not both you could try the search in Overcast without having to download the app. I'd be interested in the results.

Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 02:43:16 pm »
There is one standard system for publishing *podcasts* (RSS/Atom feed URLs). There are also various companies publishing podcast-like content inside walled gardens (Stitcher, Spotify, etc) to capture audiences. The latter things are not podcasts.

iTunes, funnily enough, only supports public standard podcasts, so anything available there should be available everywhere else, but not the reverse.

Though I believe some podcast publishers boycott Stitcher et al because they don’t want to encourage walled gardens.

Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 02:49:43 pm »
I've listened to They Walk Among Us on Spotify.

It does have some adverts but the fast forward skips 15 seconds so it's easy to skip them.

I would be curious to know whether it would not have adverts on say overcast?

The advantage of Spotify would seem to me to be that I can set a playlist that has "podcast" (or podcast like things) interspersed with music.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 03:09:38 pm »
Nuncio - OK. One of my 'problem' shows is the BBC's 'Beyond Today' - Stitcher just cannot 'see' it, although RadioPublic can. Interestingly - and this could I suppose be part of the problem - there is another show of the exact same name, published by the 'United Church of God' (which as far as I can tell is not a covert BBC outfit!) which Stitcher CAN see.

Podbean can find BOTH these two shows and so can Overcast, if I just use their Search on their webpage. Since iTunes was much earlier into the whole podcast thing and is very widely used by creators, maybe iOS-based stuff is more likely to work, but since I don't have an iPhone that's no use to me.

It's interesting also that you say "Except for some BBC podcasts, I've never failed..." - another difficult show is the BBC's 'Political Thinking, with Nick Robinson' which Stitcher steadfastly fails to find, although it will get a number of other BBC Radio 4 items. Both Podbean and Overcast do find this.

A further oddity surrounds the Patreon service. I support two or three podcasters who publish ordinary podcasts but who look to garner a bit of financial support by publishing separate, supplemental episodes via the Patreon platform. To get these 'member-only' episodes, one has to get a different RSS from Patreon, because they are in effect a separate podcast. Stitcher would get the main show but not the Patreon supplemental and RadioPublic was vice-versa - bizarre!

Grams - interesting. I hadn't picked up the concept of - if I understand you correctly - 'proper' podcasts vs. 'not podcasts' although I had assumed that the monetisation aspect would likely be a factor in this somewhere. Perhaps the 'walled garden' is opened only to publishers who accept advertising being attached to their stuff (as seems to be the case with Stitcher)? I have sometimes found that an app won't work with the plain RSS feed string but will accept the 'Copied link' from iTunes.

Ben T - yes I too value the 'skip' button - both Stitcher and RadioPublic allow you to adjust the period forward and back independently, which is really useful. All the apps I've tried so far have had 'Playlist' options but I haven't used them yet, since I'm still struggling to find one I like!

Edited to add: I don't mind paying to remove the advertising but I do need the app to meet all the other requirements first.

quixoticgeek

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Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2019, 03:26:30 pm »

I use podkicker pro. I think I paid for it long ago.

It can find most podcasts by its built in search, but for everything else, I give it a RSS feed (found through Google).

It does auto refreshing, auto downloads etc...

I use it a lot. (>6GB of podcasts consumed during RatN alone...)

J
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Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2019, 03:55:24 pm »
I use podkicker pro. I think I paid for it long ago.
It can find most podcasts by its built in search, but for everything else, I give it a RSS feed (found through Google).
It does auto refreshing, auto downloads etc...
I use it a lot. (>6GB of podcasts consumed during RatN alone...)
J
Thanks. I'll give that a look-see.

Salvatore

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Re: Podcast catcher apps - how do they work?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2019, 07:36:28 pm »

I use podkicker pro. I think I paid for it long ago.

It can find most podcasts by its built in search, but for everything else, I give it a RSS feed (found through Google).

It does auto refreshing, auto downloads etc...

I use it a lot. (>6GB of podcasts consumed during RatN alone...)

J

Same here. I've been using it for ever. If it can't find a podcast on podcicker.com, you can specify that it searches in itunes instead. I don't think I've ever had to specify the RSS feed.

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