Podcast Critter
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Go beyond the native podcast support in Windows Phone with Podcast Critter

Native podcast integration with Windows Phone 8 is decent, but leaves a lot to be desired. Which is probably why Microsoft is releasing a standalone podcast app from Bing in Windows Phone 8.1. It’s also why we use and recommend apps like BringCast, Podcasts! and Podcast Lounge. Today we’re checking out another podcast application for Windows Phone called Podcast Critter. Let’s check it out.

Podcast Critter is a fully featured podcast app for Windows Phone. You’ll find support for not just audio podcasts, but video podcasts as well. You can subscribe to your favorite podcasts and get notifications anytime a new episode is available. You can do a lot with Podcast Critter. Don’t believe us? Just check out the apps description in the Windows Phone Store. Below is a selection of just some of the things you can do:

  • Subscribe to your favorite podcasts & never miss an episode
  • Support for both audio & video podcasts
  • Download or stream episodes
  • Download episodes in the background
  • Auto-delete downloads after completion
  • Choose custom accent colors
  • Episode playback position remembered
  • Live Tile shows number of new episodes added in background/artwork for currently playing podcast
  • Full integration into Music Hub - tap history item and it will begin playing right where you left off
  • Export subscriptions to OneDrive/email
  • And much more

Podcast Critter

We’ve been playing around with Podcast Critter the past few days and really like it. The app layout is clean and very friendly for fans of metro (don’t care, calling it metro till I die). Plus it’s a pretty powerful app.

You can add podcasts to your feed in a variety of ways. Manually you can add by RSS URL, raw OPML data or an OPML file URL. You can also add podcasts by importing an OPML file from OneDrive. OPML files are generated from popular podcast clients like iTunes or any other major podcast client. Is that too complicated for adding a podcast? No worries, you can also search or browse for podcast. Search works as expected and the ability to browse is broken into either channels or categories.

Podcast critter

You can manually adjust the settings for individual podcasts. You know Windows Weekly comes out once a week, so you probably don’t need to have the app check for new episodes at startup every time. However, NPR’s Hourly News Summary comes out hourly. So you might want Podcast Critter to check for updates every time you launch, which it can do.

The customization options extend beyond just podcasts. You can select the theme color and accent color for the app. By default it’ll mimic your Start screen, but you can make it standout by giving it a different feel from the rest of your operating system.

There are a lot of little touches to the app that we really like. Start playing a podcast and navigate around the app. You’ll see a pair of headphones on the side that acts as a quick access setting to that podcast playing. Very cool. You can also tap anywhere on the top part of the app to see the podcast episode you’re playing.

We’re very impressed with Podcast Critter on Windows Phone. It does cost $0.99, but you can trial the app to see what you personally think. The trial will disable downloads and limit you to one subscription. You also won’t get gpodder.net & OneDrive import with the trial. However, if you like the app it’s really worth the dollar to get the whole experience.  

Download Podcast Critter from the Windows Phone Store.

Already using Podcast Critter or other podcast apps? Sound off below with your experiences. 

QR: Podcast Critter

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Reader comments

Go beyond the native podcast support in Windows Phone with Podcast Critter

65 Comments

The one I can't get anymore is NRA news because they're on iHeartradio. I would love it if this app would stream the audio but I think iHeart has the rights to that podcast. I already have two podcast apps so I'm not sure if I can handle another one. :)

That first sentence.... HaHaHa, I'm sorry but You can only sugar coat it soooo much and then its just absolutely hysterical because MS just dropped the ball and all their people just went back to their Itunes and left us with the residual crap that replaced Zune... Podcast support...? no, it can only be described as podcast wasteland!!!

Basic podcast functions like add podcasts by URL and podcast subscriptions with passwords are missing, then there is a host of other things in comparison to Zune like podcast syncing between PC and phone over WiFi.

The fact that unless you live in the US, the Podcast button does literally nothing. It's a walled garden where nobody is allowed to plant any seeds.

And that is about all you can do which is fine if that is all you need to do but for people like myself we had to resort to apps which have been slow to get up to speed and until lately were all buggy as hell and a terribly unsatisfying experience. The shame is that at one time Zune offered an experience and functionality unmatched by any device or app imho and MS threw it away and it looks like WP or its apps will never be able to fully replicate it.

Can wait until we see how this improves in 8.1. If MS doesn't bring it, one of these will get a look see from me.

The built in podcast support is sufficient for me. Mostly talk shows that are an hour or two and I can't through them before they are old news...mark as played and start with something new next day.

What do many users desire that the native support doesn't accommodate? I find the native app perfect for my needs so far. What am I missing?

I love when it forgets where I stopped listening and I have to fast forward with the half assed seek button through hours of content.

I think a lot of the time it's users coming from ios/Android that have developed high expectations for podfetching apps. The built in solution is pretty bare bones for users that manage multiple feeds and desire fine grain settings.

In the end it really just depends on the use case.

The ability to play back podcasts at different speeds. On the PocketCasts app on my Android I like that I can play back long talk radio podcasts at 1.3x speed. For a 2.5 hour show I can finish it in 2 hours or less. Some people are able to listen at as much as 2x speed and still understand it.

Some apps provide more control over of subscriptions work, what's downloaded vs. streamed, when played podcasts are deleted, notifications when new episodes are available, etc. 

Improved scrubbling, i.e. dragging a slider to move to different points in the podcast. 

Subscribing via RSS feed. Syncing settings and playback history across devices. 

There's a lot of stuff for advanced users. Hopefully the Bing app in 8.1 evolves to support all of these things in a first party app. In the meantime, it's nice to have options. 

There is no native support if you are outside the US (i.e. Those countries where it tends to have much greater than 3 or 4% market share and it would make sense to have this functionality ;) )

Basic podcast functions like add podcasts by URL and podcast subscriptions with passwords, then there is podcast syncing between PC and phone. Zune was awesome because it did it (sync'd) over WiFi and I could listen to a podcast on my desktop and then continue later on my phone without having to figure out where I was at. It rarely missed a beat. Sorely miss Zune in a lot of ways but podcast support is ridiculously lacking on WP. I used Podcaster and now trying Podcast Lounge again and they are slowly getting it so that its not frustrating but MS has no excuse for putting me out in the cold and basically saying to use Itunes like I'm sure their people were already doing. That convoluted program has never touched my hard drive. They should fire whoever decided to kill Zune and any of their engineers caught with an Iphone or Itunes...

Unfortunately not. There's currently no way to transfer this information from one podfetching app to another. :/

Can I ask what app you're coming from, or are you just wondering about exporting from Podcast Critter?

Does it save the podcast to an SD card as media like the build-in app will or does it save it on the main storage like other podcast apps seem to?

Podcasts is a very important feature for me, I've tried them all and paid full feature for most since Zune went for dead. Now I just use the native with the WP phone app and a nas manager. Unless we get WiFi sync, full management functions and sdcard storing, none is a good replacement from Zune.

Has anybody tried i Podcast? What's your opinion? Its the first podcast app I downloaded and use regularly (and the logo is pretty cool) but it doesn't have a share option:(

i Podcast is what I use.  Tried, and paid, for a bunch of others and it's the one that suited me best.  Developer is very responsive, which is always a boost for an app.

No native podcast for me either.

 

The developers at i podcast are dicks. put through an update without notice that deleted all my podcasts and links.
Podcast lounge is great

I've tried (and paid for) many podcast apps on the WP and no one came even close to Downcast I've used on the iphone. That said, this is one of the best I've encountered on the WP. Only its quirky interface prevented me from leaving my current favorite I.podcast which is highly recommended.

I find it hard to go past Podcast Lounge - even Bing's podcast app might not sway me. Podcast Lounge is quality - if you're using PODCASTS! you're missing out.

Another podcast lounge user here, it really is the best one out there, however since the last update sometimes it breaks my volume control (volume won't change even if i set it to zero) but I'm sure that will be fixed shortly or with 8.1 and the dual volume control.

I love this app! I had been going back and forth between Podcaster and Podcast Lounge. One handled my paid subscription well, but the other was more reliable.

Critter set up in seconds, gave me great feedback on success, and sorts by date, a-z, oldest or newest. I found the best so far.

Will it download podcasts over cellular? The native app never downloads over cellular for me even though I have said it's ok. I get tired of having to turn WiFi on everytime I have a new podcast and then turn it back off when it's done downloading.

I have an unlimited plan from Sprint and I would like to use as much of their data as possible so I only turn WiFi on if I have to.

Unfortunately, Microsoft restricts downloading files greater than 20MB over cellular. There are workarounds to this issue, and I'm considering implementing but am somewhat hesitant to blatantly go against Microsoft.

With that said, I'm hoping the restrictions are loosened/lifted in 8.1! :)

So I guess that means it was just Apps that they have increased the file limit on. Bummer.

 

Thanks for the response!

I cant get AAWP podcast working. And the AAWP team doesnt have a proper RSS link either. The available podcasts is few.