App of the Day: Pocket Casts

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App of the Day: Pocket Casts

Alyson Burton / Illustrator

Alyson Burton / Illustrator

Alyson Burton / Illustrator

Alyson Burton / Illustrator

Edward Ruano

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Since ‘Serial’ producers are coming to CSUN next month, many Matadors are finding themselves frantically binging on the show in preparation. Some, however, may still be searching for a decent podcasting app to stream their marathons through. If you’re lost among the waves of podcasting managers out there, Pocket Casts is the app you’ve been looking for.

Pocket Casts is the app of choice when it comes to podcasting. It’s main difference from other podcast managers lies in its simple, clean and elegant user interface, making it convenient and easy to sift through your favorite shows.

The app’s clean navigation is presented immediately upon booting up Pocket Casts. It’s homepage, which features a minimal podcast selection screen, uses cover tiles to provide a broad view of the user’s subscriptions. These icons can be resized for those with many different shows in their library.

The episode list is another great element which adds to Pocket Casts’ simplicity and user-friendly focus. Played episodes get greyed out and can be set to delete themselves, while unplayed or unfinished episodes can be automatically downloaded and pushed to the top of the list.

After selecting an episode, the app presents listeners with a basic audio control scheme: a play button, a pause button and volume controls. Pocket Casts, however, also includes skip buttons. By default, the player can skip 10 seconds backward and 30 seconds forward, though these lengths can be changed to suit the listener.

The multitude of extra features the app provides also gives Pocket Casts the upper hand. The app offers cross-platform syncing, which allows users to switch their devices seamlessly, along with variable speed and a sleep timer.

The Discovery feature is helpful for those new to podcasting or looking to expand their taste. This option offers a Featured tab, a Top of the Charts list, a Categories bar and a basic search function. Pocket Casts’ users shouldn’t be shy when subscribing to a slew of new shows, as the Episode Filters function makes it easy to divide them into relevant categories for easy sorting.

With shows hit shows like This American Life, TED Radio Hour and Mystery Show quickly rising in popularity, it’s undeniable that the podcasting renaissance is real and happening. Though this new medium of storytelling is not for everyone, those who enjoy waiting for that next episode of Invisibilia or RadioLab should give Pocket Casts a download.

The app is available on Google Play Store, iTunes App Store and Windows Store.