Podcasts are audio files that are the digital equivalent of radio shows. Thus, they’re digital radio shows (but can also be videos) distributed via the web with RSS feeds. Podcasts update subscribers with all the latest content from websites and blogs. There are now hundreds of thousands of podcasts that you can subscribe to and play with desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet apps.
Podcatchers, or podcast managers, are software with which you can download and manage podcast RSS feeds. Some podcast programs are also more general media players that play video and music. Although podcast apps are more prevalent on Apple platforms, there are still some great podcatchers for Windows. This is some of the best podcast software for Windows.
Apple was among the first to embrace podcasts in its multimedia software. So the iTunes media player is perhaps the best established podcatcher for both Apple and Windows. Even though it’s a more general media player, iTunes still has some of the best podcast resources and holds more than 250,000 podcasts. This is freeware you can add to Windows 7/8/10 from this page.
The iTunes software has many handy podcasting options and enables you to subscribe to podcasts via the directory or by entering their RSS URLs. Users can organize their pods in playlists according to genre, episode length, etc; and with the smart playlists you can blend podcasts together. The speed indicator enables you to adjust the audio playback speed if required. It includes handy bookmarking options for podcasts. Furthermore, iTunes also has sharing options that enable users to share the podcasts via social media sites. Check out this Windows Report article for further iTunes details.
Juice is open-source software more specifically designed for searching, downloading and organizing podcasts. Consequently, this program isn’t much good for playing podcasts as it doesn’t have an integrated audio player; but it does support multiple media players. Nevertheless, this is still a lightweight and intuitive program compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Press the Download button on this home page to add Juice to Windows.
Juices enables users to quickly download and subscribe to their favorite podcasts by entering their URLs in search box. You can also download pods from its built-in directory tab. One of the best things about the software is that it enables you to set up download schedules to check for new podcast updates at specified intervals. It also includes a handy cleanup tool to delete podcasts with.
This is another open-source podcatcher that doesn’t include a built-in media player. Yet, gPodder still has some advanced options and tools for downloading, syncing and organizing subscriptions. This is a reliable and intuitive program that you can add to Windows, macOS and Linux platforms from its home page.
This software enables users to download pods from RSS, YouTube, Atom, Vimeo and XSPF feeds; and you can configure the update intervals and max number of episodes per podcast. The gPodder program automatically checks for and notifies users of the latest podcast releases, and it also automatically deletes played episodes after a specified time. You can search for new subscriptions through gPodder’s database or by entering the RSS URLs.
However, the best thing about gPodder is probably its syncing options that enable you to synchronize the software with MP3 media players and iPods to add podcast playlists to them via gPodder. The gPodder.net web service further enhances the software’s device synchronization so that you can back up subscriptions, discover content and share podcast content.
Podcast Lounge is a podcast manager app for Windows mobile devices. This app boasts one of the best directories with a library of more than 90,000 pods to download, and it has a delightful UI design that includes podcast art presentation. The Windows 10 Mobile app is retailing at $1.99 on this web page.
Podcast Lounge has pretty much all you’ll need from a podcatcher app such as audio and video pod support, auto check and download, extensive directory search options and download manager. Its play position algorithm that saves playback position is a great addition, and PL also has customizable playlists that users can configure from favorite lists. Podcast Lounge is fairly resource heavy and only automatically updates feeds when the battery is at 90% charged, but aside from that it’s a great podcatcher.
Miro is an open-source media player that you can download and subscribe to podcasts with. As such, this program is more comparable to iTunes; but it’s not so restricted to Apple products. Miro is compatible with the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms; and you can save its installer to your hard drive by pressing the Download button on this website page.
The great thing about Miro is that you can play both video and audio podcasts with the software as well as download and subscribe to them. The software has especially smooth video playback, and you can configure it so that the sidebar includes podcasts in both the video and music sections. Like Juice and gPodder, Miro automatically downloads podcasts and checks for new content at specified intervals. The software can resume playback from where you last stopped the podcast. As you can also import and export podcasts in ODML format, Miro is compatible with all the foremost feed readers.
The Grover Podcast app for Windows 10 has been getting rave reviews. Grover has playback controls so that you can play the podcasts in the program as well as search for, download and subscribe to them. This app also has a UI design comparable to Groove Music with the same Light and Dark themes. Press the Get the app button on this page to add GP to Windows.
Grover Podcast has all the more essential podcatcher options plus a bit more besides. You can search for and then subscribe to podcasts with Grover’s search box and configure the app to automatically download and remove pods. The app is flexible as you can switch off auto-download and cleanup for specific podcasts. GP also includes options to import and export OPML, cloud sync with OneDrive and provide system notifications for new podcasts. In addition, this app has playlist list support; and its playback controls include a slider for you to adjust playback speed with.
Those are six of the best podcatchers for Windows and other platforms. All of the above programs have great options and features for downloading and organizing subscribed podcast feeds, but Grover Podcast, Miro and iTunes are the best all-in-one podcatchers for both podcast subscription and playback.