Podcast Lounge UWP finally hits open beta!

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Yes, yes, it's been almost a year since I posted here about testing the 'closed beta' of Podcast Lounge UWP, but I can exclusively reveal that it's finally now available here in the Store, as an 'open beta'. This was most people's favourite podcatcher for Windows Phone 8.1 and I'm delighted to report that it works very well, if a little belatedly, under Windows 10 Mobile.

(Nearly) everything from the old 8.1 version is here too, from the auto-downloading in the background to the smart playlists (e.g. "Everything new from yesterday and today") to the huge searchable podcast directory. Playback is clear and simple, with four speed options and a similar number of skip options. Add in a sleep timer and comprehensive import/export/backup facilities and it's clear that this is one of the top podcatching options from the get go. It's been my only podcatcher under Windows 10 for the last fortnight.

New for the UWP version is the idea of categories for your podcasts, so that you can browse your favourites by 'Tech', 'Lifestyle', and so on. There's even an auto-categorise feature, filing your existing favourites according to their stated category in existing online directories.

Yes, I've found a few bugs, and reported them too, and this is partly where you come in. Anecdotally, everyone seems to use podcatcher applications in slightly different ways, so a wider pool of enthusiasts is invited to hammer on Podcast Lounge.

Here's the latest version in action on my IDOL 4 Pro:


As with all good UWP applications, Podcast Lounge starts by introducing its functionality - it's necessarily text heavy but well worth reading if you've not used the application before...


Getting going - in my case by importing an exported version of my feeds from a previous version of the application under Windows Phone 8.1. And yes, I've found some new favourites since then, don't worry!


So I'm diving into the search facility. Note the way new podcasts get assigned categories as part of the adding process; (right) Long pressing a podcast shows context-sensitive actions, as you'd expect.


The much vaunted custom 'Smart Playlists', here showing three of the presets and one of my own; (right) a rather spiffing podcast playing, note the speed, skip and sleep controls, plus extra functions on the '...' menu.

And, just to prove that this is a full UWP app for all Windows 10, here's a shot of the interface on a Continuum display:

Screenshot, Podcast Lounge UWP beta

This is using Podcast Lounge on the phone still, of course. Should you want to use the system on a laptop, that there's no direct sync between devices, though you can of course, restore your set-up via the Cloud (see below).

Having grabbed the beta from our link through the hidden URL in the Store, there are two things which need to happen now:

  1. Feedback to the developer, Richard Castle (Igneous Software), via the 'Feedback' function under 'Help' in the application. The point of a beta is that if you see something that's not working then, by reporting it, you can help get it fixed.
  2. You backup your Podcast Lounge settings, feeds and so on to OneDrive, using the 'Backup & Restore' functon under 'Tools'. This means that when the full application is released, on a different Store URL, you'll be able to restore everything from the Cloud and you'll be right back where you were.

The beta is here in the Store. Go to it!

PS. It's true that I've already done a big podcatcher round up for Windows 10 Mobile, so at some point I need to update it to add Podcast Lounge. And do see my top picks there, for comparison against this new contender.