I’m looking for a new podcatcher. Which one should I try?
Background: I’m a serious podcast listener, subscribing to dozens (here’s an annotated list). Podcasts play an important part in my life, both for research and entertainment. I listen several times daily.
Most of the time I listen to files on a battered but fine old mp3 player, and occasionally play from my laptop.
I used to rely on the late, lamented Google Reader as a podcatcher. RSS feeds were (and remain) an important part of my daily routine, so it was convenient to make a folder in Reader for podcasts and check it while working through other folders. Once Google Reader went away I migrated to Digg Reader for RSS purposes, but its podcast support was weak. Namely, there’s no download function, which is a problem if one wants to, say, copy files to an mp3 player.
So I actually turned to Bloglines, an RSS reader I teach with (very simple, clear layout), and just used it for podcasts. That was a nearly perverse solution, but it served. Yet recently it’s been going offline for days at a time.
What about iTunes, the leading podcatcher?
I can’t stand the thing. It runs slowly on my (Windows) machine and hogs memory. I am opposed to the idea of commenting on feeds off the Web. Moreover, I don’t buy music from iTunes, so using it solely as a podcatcher is overkill.
I’ve toyed with Stitcher, but it doesn’t really meet my needs. First, I spend a lot of time with poor or zero cell phone coverage, as I live in rural New England. Second, Stitcher seems to be streaming only, i.e., no downloads.
My specs for a good podcatcher:
- Should run on Windows (laptop) and Android (phone).
- Should handle a lot of feeds.
- Must support downloads.
- Can organize individual feeds into a sequence.
So what do you recommend, readers, technologists, and podcast mavens? Perhaps Feedly on the desktop is an option, or Digg is going to support podcast downloading. Maybe there’s a little-known but excellent app. Or there’s a neat hack out there, a nifty combination of tools. What do you advise?