There are tens of thousands of podcasts to listen to on your mobile phone or tablet and they can be funny and entertaining, educational and instructive, packed with news and comment, and much more. If you like listening to podcasts, here are two of the best around and a comparison of their features and ease of use. Which is best, Podcast Republic or Podcast Addict?

Podcast app Interfaces

Podcast Republic has two colour schemes and you have a choice of light or dark. Both look good and the design conforms to the latest app standard, with a menu button in the top left corner which opens a panel on the left that provides access to the various sections.

Opening the panel enables you to jump to your subscriptions, podcast categories, favourites, unplayed podcasts, downloads, playlists, what’s currently playing, and car mode. Car mode switches to a very simple interface for the current podcast and playlist that has a few simple gestures and swipes to play/stop, jump to the next podcast and rewind/fast forward.

The Subscriptions view lists the podcasts you are subscribed to and there is an episode count on the right. Tapping a subscription lists the episodes and a toolbar under each one enables it to be downloaded, trashed, added to a playlist, added as a favourite, or shared. All the episodes can be listed, only unplayed or played ones, or favourites.

Podcast Addict has a similar design with a menu button and slide out panel for accessing the sections. There are three colour schemes, but they are not quite as attractive as Podcast Republic and there is black, dark and grey. However, the interface does have a lot of features and there is a grid view of podcasts that is reminiscent of Google Play Music. Podcasts are displayed as tiles showing the artwork, with the name below and a three-dot menu button.

It is an interesting display that fills the screen with artwork and there are two sizes of tiles. However, the alternative list view is actually more informative and it shows episode counts and longer, more descriptive titles. The three-dot menu button is too small in all three views, even on a phone with a 5in screen, making it a bit awkward to use.

You can view the latest episodes from podcasts you are subscribed to, downloaded episodes, favourites, playlists and more. Played episodes can be hidden and there are lots of ways to sort and list the podcasts.

Podcast Republic has a simpler and more attractive interface, but Podcast Addict has more features. It is a hard choice, but I prefer Podcast Republic.

Podcast Republic . Podcast Addict
<------------ Podcast Republic | Podcast Addict --------------->

Finding podcasts

Finding interesting podcasts to listen to and watch is where some apps fail and having to find them yourself through a web browser and then enter the URL manually using a phone’s onscreen keyboard is slow, tedious and irritating.

Podcast Republic makes it easy to find and subscribe to podcasts by letting you browse the top lists on iTunes. You can select any of the podcast categories on iTunes, such as arts, business, comedy, education, health, news and politics, technology, science and medicine and so on.

There are 16 different categories and 200 podcasts in each one, so that’s 3,200 podcasts you can browse. Artwork and descriptions are displayed, you can view the episode descriptions and easily subscribe. This is excellent and finding podcasts to listen to could not be easier.

Podcast Addict has a good selection of podcasts, but it isn’t quite as straightforward. There are several options and one is to use the search facility. Just enter a keyword or two and it will list relevant podcasts. There is an option to search using iTunes and to limit podcasts to either audio or video.

You can browse podcasts by category and the top 50 in each one is displayed. You can browse podcast networks, which are sources that have multiple podcasts. For example, BBC, CNN, NASA, Scientific American, Slate, ESPN and others. There are also podcast suggestions.

The app claims to have access to hundreds of thousands of podcasts, but Podcast Republic makes the task of finding them and subscribing that little bit easier. Its top lists from iTunes containing 200 podcasts is excellent and is the one I prefer.

Podcast Republic for Android . Podcast Addict for Android
<------------ Podcast Republic | Podcast Addict --------------->

Managing podcast downloads

Podcast Republic lists your subscriptions by last updated time, most recent count, total unplayed count, or by title. Tap a subscription to view the podcast episodes and there is a download button for each one to manually download it. You can then go to the Downloads screen and view the podcasts on the device.

Podcasts can be automatically downloaded as they become available, although when you are subscribed to a dozen podcasts this gobbles up storage space really quickly. A limit on the space used can be set though. The app can be limited to Wi-Fi to avoid clocking up hundreds of megabytes of data usage on the mobile network.

I prefer to manually select and download Podcasts. Podcasts that have been listened to can automatically be deleted to free up space.

Podcast Addict also shows a list of your podcast subscriptions. They can be ordered by name, date or priority. Tapping a subscription displays a list of the episodes. Tap an episode and on the details screen is a download button.

You can then go to the Downloaded episodes screen to see the downloads. There are lots of configuration options for downloads, such as enabling automatic downloads, limiting the number of downloads, and whether to fetch the newest or the oldest first. Downloads can be limited to Wi-Fi.

As with Podcast Republic, my preference is for manual downloads, so I can choose which episodes I want and when I want them. Podcasts can be automatically deleted when they have been listened to or after a certain length of time, such as one month.

Podcast Addict has more features than Podcast Republic and will appeal to some people, but once again I prefer the simplicity of Podcast Republic.

Podcast Republic for Android . Podcast Addict for Android
<------------ Podcast Republic | Podcast Addict --------------->

Playing podcasts

Podcast Republic has play/stop, fast forward/rewind, and next podcast controls. There is a sleep timer that stops playback after a certain length of time. An equalizer enables the audio quality to be customised. Playlists can be created and podcasts can be added to a favourites list.

Once again, Podcast Addict has more functions and the playback speed is adjustable, so you could whiz through a podcast at twice normal speed for example. The usual play/stop, fast forward/rewind, next and previous podcast buttons are present, favourites, and a sleep timer control. Podcasts can be streamed and played, rather than downloaded and played, which means playback starts almost straight away.

It has an extensive range of sorting options and it can order podcasts by publication date, download date, duration, remaining time, file size, name and rating.

Podcast Republic . Podcast Addict
<------------ Podcast Republic | Podcast Addict --------------->

Conclusion

As you can probably guess, my favourite podcast player is Podcast Republic and this is partly because of the simpler and more attractive interface. I just find it easier to live with. If you dig around in the app, there are actually a lot of features and it just appears to be simpler because of the better interface.

Podcast Republic does have a few extra features that some people may prefer, such as the variable speed playback, streaming rather than downloading, podcast search facilities, podcast networks and podcast suggestions.

There really isn’t much to choose between them and you should try both because they are free (with ads, but you can pay to remove them).

 

TitlePodcast Republic
Price: Free
Developer: NonlinearSoft
Size: 17 MB
Android: 4.0 and up
Rating: 5/5
TitlePodcast AddictPrice: Free
Developer: Xavier Guillemane
Size: 30 MB
Android: Varies with device
Rating: 5/5

 

Comments   

0 # Chuck Kollars 2017-05-19 20:49
As to many of the features you mentioned: variable speed playback, streaming rather than downloading, and podcast search facilities, Podcast Addict appears to have all these too. Problem is the Podcast Addict UI is sufficiently confusing those features may appear to not exist at all ...but they do.
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+2 # Roland 2017-05-20 08:13
This podcast article was written a long time ago. I think it is time for a new look at podcast apps. I'm still using Podcast Republic, but apps change so much over time I need to check the competition.
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