Trying a different podcatcher: Stitcher

I’m trying an experiment this month.  It’s part of my quest to improve how I find and listen to podcasts.  (Previous posts)

Stitcher logoNow I’m going to try Stitcher, a podcatcher client for mobile devices.

This meant downloading the app to my phone (Android, Galaxy Note 3), then manually subscribing to every podcast I normally listen to.  That involved opening my laptop to the Digg Reader podcast folder, searching for each title (from Analysis to Wiretap), and clicking a fat plus sign to include each one in what Stitcher calls my Favorites Playlist.  Next I set “Available Offline” to ON, meaning the hard-working phone can snarf new podcasts when it’s connected to the internet by WiFi.

Over the next few weeks I’ll use this setup to download and consume podcasts.

Reflections so far:

  • While Stitcher indexes lots of podcasts, it misses some that I love.  SFF Audio isn’t there, for example.
  • Stitcher describes itself as more of a radio than podcast service.  Hm.
  • I’m honestly uncomfortable with not having a stack of mp3s in a directory to examine and mess around with.
  • This feels a bit like moving from Netflix DVDs to Netflix Streaming.
  • The app is extremely easy to use.
  • I’m nervous about data charges.  Normally I download mp3s to one of my laptops over WiFi, which has no cost implications.  Now I’m looking at twenty-eight (28) podcasts, some of which (examples: Clarkesworld, Hardcore History) can be pretty hefty files.
  • We don’t live in cell phone range.  As some of you know, Vermont has awful mobile phone coverage.  We do have broadband at home, so I can charge up the phone over our home network’s WiFi.  Now I’ll have to remember to top up my playlist on the go, or at least be mindful of when that occurs automatically.
  • I’m not sure what the Front Page is about.  Is it a generic stream, or something tailored to my listening habits, as a recommendations list?

Anyone else using Stitcher?

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7 Responses to Trying a different podcatcher: Stitcher

  1. storybooth says:

    I tried Stitcher for about a day, and fled for many of the same reasons. I prefer a more intentional experience, where I choose my subscriptions and the play order of episodes.

    Podcast Addict is my podcatcher of choice for Android.

    Like

  2. Pete Wright says:

    Forgive the belated reply, but just ran into this post!

    As a publisher, I have to say I’m not keen on Stitcher, and I think you’ll find some of your favorite shows have something of a tenuous relationship with the service. It came with many great promises around access (and, frankly, revenue) which never came to fruition, and the way they handle feeds, (caching audio) makes it tough to manage the backend. I know I’ve been leery about adding my most recent series to Stitcher and don’t give it much attention. That, plus such a small portion of my listenership actually comes by way of Stitcher that there’s very little incentive to change that behavior.

    The best apps poll our feeds smartly, don’t cache audio unreasonably, and make no assumptions about presentation of notes, etc. I’m an iOS user and swear by Overcast (https://overcast.fm) as the app that makes my podcasts sound the best (fantastic attention to the fundamentals of the audio engine itself), but cross-platform love goes to Shifty Jelly and their terrific PocketCasts (http://www.shiftyjelly.com/pocketcasts).

    I should add that Google has announced that podcast support is coming to Google Play, which should have a non-trivial impact on our work (http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2015/10/podcasters-welcome-to-google-play-music.html). Keep a weather eye open for launch as that may give you something new to play with!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Trends to watch in 2016: technologies | Bryan Alexander

  4. Pingback: Fine podcasts for 2016: a mega-list of what I’m listening to | Bryan Alexander

  5. Pingback: Podcatching frustration: on leaving Stitcher, looking for a new podcast strategy | Bryan Alexander

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