Which app do you use to listen to podcasts? [Poll]

We love podcasts here at iMore -- you can tell by how many we make! -- and we're curious how you're listening to them on your iPhone, iPod, and iPad these days? Since Apple has released their own Podcasts app has that become your default? Do you prefer to use a third party app like Pocket Casts, Downcast, Instacast, or iCatcher? Do you use something else entirely? Or do you not listen to podcasts at all?

As always, give me your vote in the poll up top and tell me what makes your go-to podcast app your go to podcast app in the comments below!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 34 comments. Add yours.

donasmus says:

You missed the Music app. I use a Smart Playlist, and it is also the only player that is compatible with my car audio system.

Strack says:

This is my solution too. I have always used a smart playlist, with "live updating" turned on, to put my new, unplayed podcasts in one place. I play them in the car via my iPod Classic, which I just plug in and sync every morning before I head out. No muss, no fuss.
Even if I didn't want to carry the extra device, I'd still be tempted to stick with the smart playlist because it "just works".

hardcle says:

Me too. I listen to several hours of podcasts every day as I have been for years. When I need more, I download what's new, arrange it in the order I want to listen to it and I'm good. I don't really see the need for a separate app.

aallison05 says:

Agree totally, I like to listen to my podcasts in chronological order and can't do that with the Podcasts app. I also have some that are mixed video and audio, sucks I can make a playlist mixing the two on my old ass iPod Classic but not on my iPad.

Peter000 says:

Downcast, even though it costs a few bucks. One of my most used apps.

mbpre says:

I used Downcast for a while until Apple Podcasts came out. Downcast honestly had too much customization for me. I'm not that hardcore of a podcast listener. So really it came down to user interface and I like Podcasts better.

FlopTech says:

Have only used the built-in apps: first the iPod app, then the Music App, and now the Podcasts app.

iSRS says:

Was using Podcaster until Apple Podcasts came out, then switched back when that frustrated me. However, since I got my iPhone 5, switched back to Apple Podcasts as the performance has greatly improved. I always felt Apple released it to early and it was planned for, or as part of, iOS 6.

RickyF says:

Downcast is amazing. It has wonderful features, including the ability to sync across iOS devices. Highly recommend.

ecr80 says:

I was using instacast then went to the apple app but it seems to be one of the apps affected by the Cellular data leak on iOS6. So went back to Instacast (love the smart playlist)

yenyob says:

I've been using InstaCast for awhile now on my ipod. When I need to listen on my GS3, I use Pocket Casts. Both are great but I prefer InstaCast. However, I heard Pocket Casts will have a sync feature across the different pplatforms which may be the feature that switches me to them.

gtg465x#IM says:

Am I shallow for disliking Downcast, Instacast, and iCatcher because of their boring, old school iOS interfaces? For this reason I use Pocket Casts, but Apple's Podcast app would be my second choice.

mbpre says:

Not shallow at all. It's all about user interface!

9thWonder says:

I don't think it's shallow. You like what you u like. For me i kinda prefer the look and interface over, say the new apple podcast interface. I find it easy to use and very efficient. Things are where i expect them to be so i don't end up in the wrong menus often. Like sometimes with the new apple app i'll end up in the itunes app when i didn't mean to.

Excellerator says:

You forgot Stitcher in your listing. That's what I, and a lot of people use.

loanhighknight says:

I was gonna say. I didn't think Stitcher was a particularly "indie" choice. It's absurdly popular.

Ozy says:

Stitcher makes it a bit clunky to get to recent previous episodes, but I'm hooked still.

tracydanger says:

For podcasts I know I'll for sure listen to each time, I use the native Podcast app, but I also love Stitcher for podcasts I just wanna stream if I have time. I also used to use stitcher for my regular podcasts while on vacation & couldn't sync to the computer, but it seems the apple Podcast app now takes care of that issue. Maybe apples Podcast app could work for the 'just streaming' category. The main issue is having quick access to those w/o having to search for them each time you wanna hear.

tracydanger says:

I've sent in multiple requests for bug fixes to apple's Podcast app recently. I hope it gets fixed.
1. No way to do a batch delete of past episodes you never downloaded if you subscribe to a podcast.
2. Clicking "mark all as played" doesn't keep - they'll show back up as unplayed.
3. Podcasts I've heard & deleted will redownload.
4. Listened to podcasts don't seem to auto delete even if you set it to keep "All Unplayed Episodes."
Etc., etc.

dloveprod says:

I wish apples podcast app would sync with the podcast app on apple tv.

Ronlutes says:

I can't believe that many people use Podcasts.app. Wow!

temm says:

Well that's what i believed, until i used instacast. It makes your life easier. It just sync all your subscribed podcast. Not to mention me favourite function customizing forward and backward button to jump through your listening.

snookiesnoo says:

I find that Downcast has the best interface and it is updated quite often. Tried Instacast and went back to Downcast. Cloud syncing across iOS devices is a must have.

linuxdaemon says:

I use the podcast app because all I want is for podcasts to automatically download on the device (which it really doesn't even do). While I am cheap and use the free option, the podcast app is just about the most frustrating piece of crap I have ever seen with many basic things that just don't work, yet we have a pointless skeumorphic reel-to-reel tape animation. Hopefully they get it fixed, because I don't think it can do anything but get better.

muad'dib says:

I'm a big fan of Downcast. I prefer it over Pocketcast and Instacast. Will give Apple's Podcast a try though.

marikian says:

Downcast is a fantastic app. I listen to many podcasts and this app has made my life much easier.

claustin says:

Nice poll (TWSS). I've been using iCatcher to get my paid podcast when I'm away from home. It really disappointed me that there's no support for account authentication in the Apple Podcasts app. The Apple Podcasts app also has trouble syncing my paid podcasts correctly, it seems. As such, I've deleted it and gone back to using the Music app. I'm going to have to take a look at some of these other apps mentioned though. iCatcher works great, but I'd like a more simplistic solution.

ripcity00 says:

I use Downcast mostly. Like the syncing and the swipe feature.

Tunnelrunner says:

Downcast for me as well. Use it hourly (when not at work). I started with Instacast which is also a fantastic app but I just found Downcast to be little more simple an organized. But both are the 2 best podcast apps for iOS.

jwsnj3rd says:

I've been using apples podcast app or some of the people I listen to actually made there own app like For example the Adam Corolla app which I listen to all the time he's got his own podcast app which is so easy. IMore should do this ;).
But I'm starting to hate apples podcast app it's takes a while for it to get going and actually play what podcast I want to listen to. God forbid if you have to stop it and then try to start it were you left off.

bboykin87 says:

Stitcher is my favorite as it syncs across all devices cross platform and has gotten even better with the latest update that allows you to download podcasts.

mikehoopes says:

I used Stitcher for quite a while when it came out, but am now a heavy user of Downcast. Lots of good features, configurability, syncing, gestures (handy for driving and running). No wasted screen space. I checked out the Podcasts app, as I liked the idea of controlling it with Siri. I was surprised at the uncharacteristic busy-ness of the interface; that reel-to-reel animation is a perplexing blend of retro tech and non-utility. You might as well replace it with one of Steve Jobs spinning in his urn, with an expletive-laden thought bubble attached.