Pocket Casts arrives into a crowded genre on Windows Phone

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Regular readers of AAWP will know of my series of podcatcher round-ups. Which itself is now out of date, since there have been several additions in the last six months. And now we have Pocket Casts, arriving from other platforms, bringing the grand total of podcast clients up to around 20. That's Twenty. So, though I wish Pocket Casts well (and I use it on Android), the sheer competition (much of which is free) and the purchase price with no trial will surely hurt it somewhat. Details below.

From the Store description:

We love podcasts, so we made a podcatcher that is full featured and simple to use:

  • CROSS PLATFORM SYNCING: Sync your subscriptions, playback and filters between Windows phones, Android and iOS, as well as Pocket Casts Web*.
  • AUTO DOWNLOAD: Customise which podcasts the app will download in the background. No need to even open the app!
  • UP NEXT: Listen to episodes back to back, no fumbling with your phone during your commute.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: Play audio all the way from 0.5x to 2.0x.
  • FILTERS: Want a list of every unplayed episode? Right here. How about sorting your episodes by custom categories? Done.
  • DESIGN: We’ve paid close attention to the Windows Phone design guidelines and where the platform is heading with Windows 10. As a result Pocket Casts feels right at home on your phone.
  • CONTROL: Customise the start time of your episodes to skip repetitive intros, and adjust skip intervals to suit your needs.
  • REFRESH: Instantly refresh all your podcasts before other apps even have a chance to do 1! Our servers monitor your podcasts, so your phone doesn't have to.
  • DISCOVER: Choose from over 200,000 podcasts. Find great new content with curated featured, currently trending and most popular podcast lists.

In short, Pocket Casts is arriving fully-featured, though note that there's no OPML import of an existing set of feeds (e.g. from OneDrive), so it relies on you either owning Pocket Casts on another platform and syncing the feeds across through the developer's server or just manually searching and adding feeds one by one. It also doesn't play video podcasts yet.

Here are some shots of Pocket Casts in action, to give you a flavour:

Screenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows PhoneScreenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows Phone

Subscribed podcasts shown by their cover art here; (right) sorting 'Unplayed' chronologically, though I tend to stick 'Audio' on other platforms, since I'm often halfway through several podcasts at once(!)

Screenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows PhoneScreenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows Phone

A clean design for the 'Now playing' screen and good use of pivots too, moving to the rest of a playlist...

Screenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows PhoneScreenshot, Pocket Casts for Windows Phone

Pocket Casts's directory of podcasts is first class, as always, albeit with the usual USA bias in terms of what's 'Featured'; (right) a full backgroud agent means that everything's gathered even if Pocket Casts isn't open. Note also the Sync feature, keeping your feeds and playback positions synced to and from other platforms.

You can buy Pocket Casts for around £2.50 (in the UK) in the Store here. There's no trial. Comments welcome - is Pocket Casts too late to the ecosystem? Or is it just in time to get for Windows 10 and beyond?

PS. My latest podcatcher roundup (now slightly out of date) is here. And here are tips for getting more out of the Podcasts client that's built into Windows Phone 8.1 itself.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store