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One of the best features of podcasts as a genre is their variance. Two or more podcasts can talk about the same subject in different ways. And any number of podcasts can address different issues methodically using a solid and reliable pattern. The issue with podcasts, however, is that they are not really known outside of a few popular platforms, such as iTunes. Here is where Podcast Addict enters the scene.
What is Podcast Addict?
Podcast Addict has been a service available to the people since 2011. On June 17th 2016, the app hit over five million downloads, becoming the most downloaded podcast browser on the Google Play Store.
On its Play Store Page, Podcast Addict also boasts a rating of 4.6 out of 5. Looking into the more than 200,000 reviews, people from different walks of life all have something to say about the app.
Podcast Addict is currently available exclusively on the Google Play Store and on Chrome OS. Its developer, Xavier Guillemane, does not have any current plans to release an iOS-compatible version of the app.
While there is popular demand for a Podcast Addict for PC version of the app, only the Chrome OS version presently exists.
Users can install Podcast Addict for free for an ad-supported version of the app. An ad-free version of the Podcast Addict app is also available for purchase.
Do not be intimidated by the few reviews that say the app crashes. Each device pretty much runs its own version of Android making apps for the Play Store be part of a giant stability lottery.
We used six different types of devices to install the Podcast Addict Android app on. It runs smoothly, and we found no complaints in regards to installation times. Nevertheless, one older device did register a couple spikes in memory usage during the first booting and then each exit of the app.
Podcast Addict Design
Talking about the design of Podcast Addict, this is the first aspect a lot of users seemed to have issues with. The design is open and simple. Black backgrounds and light fonts make everything easy to read, and there is no interface clutter whatsoever. This efficiency of style, however, vexes many people coming from iTunes. The Tech Exploring team did not particularly mind the lack of impressive visuals on an app which is mainly used for its audio experience.
The app does support themes, but they merely recolor the original design in new ways.
There are advantages to the minimalistic design. First of all, Podcast Addict loads with lightning speed and its memory consumption is low when compared to other podcast browsers. The lack of visual flair also adds more contrast and color to the podcasts themselves. In the Podcast Addict screen, the app is just the stage, and the podcasts are the true performers.
Finally, low clutter visuals mean that all the buttons are easily visible and accessible. The drawers and buttons are aired out. The app does not have the one toolbar with absolutely everything squeezed in it.
Behind The Wheel of a Podcast Browser
In terms of logistics, Podcast Addict is fairly straightforward. However, on first glance, the way the features are accessed and organized does not appear to be as intuitive as expected. Nevertheless, this lacking intuition is probably due to the low number of actually good podcast browser apps. Each app also wants to have its own design and logistics. People coming from iTunes may, again, feel slightly confused at first.
What feels odd today will feel right at home tomorrow, however. The app is overall easy to pick up and use.
For any Podcast Addict help users could need, there is a praiseworthy knowledge base on the app’s website. That feeling of unintuitiveness may stick around for a few users, but realistically it is a minor quality drawback.
Podcast Addict Audio
Moving on to one of the two most important podcast browser qualities: the audio. Podcast Addict offers users high-quality audio. Playback sounds great on headphones, Bluetooth speakers, even a car audio system. The options to increase or decrease the pitch, as well as skipping over silence are both great time-savers.
Users can both stream and pre-download the audio. Podcast Addict uses the same audio file in both cases, so there are not going to be discrepancies when checking out a podcast and then saving it for later.
We did not meet any issues in regards to buffer times while streaming podcasts. Downloading is quick as well due to the on average small file size of the audio files. We recommend users only download over Wi-Fi, however.
Podcast Addict did not have any compatibility issues when used with separate audio equalizers or other well-known audio effects apps that we used.
A Podcast for Every Addiction
Good podcast browsers require variety. For newcomers, Podcast Addict’s selection may prove initially overwhelming. New users should be looking into the popular podcasts featured on the app or perhaps browse by genre. Users who know exactly what shows they are looking for can use the search bar. Podcast Addict also allows users to Discover new networks.
Users can subscribe to any podcast they are interested in. Subscribing to a podcast makes it more accessible for quick browsing, similar to a favorites tab. Users will also get notifications from the app when new episodes from the subscribed apps are available.
Subscribing to a podcast will not automatically download newer episodes. Downloading also does not require a subscription; the two features are entirely separate. Automatic Download is a feature present in the array of Podcast Addict options.
Finally, when talking about subscriptions, Podcast Addict can import OPML files. Subscription list recovery from other podcast browser apps is easy.
We intentionally used extra-bloated lists to stress test the app but apart from only one or two unreasonably large subscription exports from iTunes the app did not stutter or freeze.
While testing how well Podcast Addict dealt with OPML files from other apps, we realized that we forgot to turn off Automatic Download. Devices with 32GB and even 64GB MicroSD storage filled up considerably quickly.
Additional Settings Under the Hood
On a fresh install, Podcast Addict comes with a default system of settings that was preset with users new to podcast browsers in mind. The Settings menu has a lot of different options to choose from. Many Settings improve on the core aspects of the app, but caution is advised in toggling with too many options all at once.
As previously mentioned, setting the storage to MicroSD, turning on Automatic Download and then importing a very large list of subscriptions will lead to a quickly filling external storage.
After going through the Settings, Podcast Addict users can turn the app into a finely-tuned automated service which will download new available episodes via mobile data or Wi-Fi to either internal or external storage.
The episodes can be automatically added to the playlist and then removed from the playlist after one full playback. To save storage space, the app will even automatically remove older episodes from storage after playback.
Podcast Addict has toggles for skipping silence in playback, as well as continuous playback. The playback speed slider is also quite useful but needs to be set to each user’s individual preference.
Final Thoughts on Podcast Addict
The Tech Exploring team thoroughly enjoyed Podcast Addict and several of us will be using the app from now on. The app is fast, has a broad range of networks, and it is reliable.
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