Instead of using the Music App why not use Downcast iPad to listen to podcasts
Using Downcast as your podcast catcher to keep up-to-date with your podcasts that you listen to on the iPad. This is in comparison to using the Apple Music application on your iPad. For a start off the music app isn’t really just about music, but when you open it up it will take you to whatever you are looking at before, which is okay if you were looking at your podcasts otherwise it will just take you to your music. I like listening to music, but honestly I am more likely to be listening to a podcast than I am to be listening to the latest from Coldplay. I suppose if you are often listing to both podcasts and to music artists on new iPad, then maybe the music app on the iPad is possibly the best one for you.
Downcast is a serious application for listening to podcasts
Right from the start you can see that Downcast is better suited to listening to podcasts. There are more buttons available to control what is you are listing to. In the top left corner you have a button which allows you to choose the speed of the playback you can choose half speed, one and a quarter speed, one and a half speed, one and three-quarter speed, two times speed and increments up to 3 times speed. When I’m listening to podcasts using my iPhone, I am able to use some of the faster speeds to work my way through a podcast quickly. It is handy to see that on this one you can also listen to something slower if you wish. Much better choice regards podcast speed in Downcast.
The next button to that in Downcast iPad, is the one which tells the application to do a loop. I haven’t yet worked out whether it is going to play the same podcast over and over or whether it will go through all of your podcasts and then start up back at the beginning. Then there is a button which is a sleep timer and it looks like the way that this works, is for it to start a countdown and it will turn off the podcast you’re listening to as soon as the countdown is finished.
In the middle at the top you have a set of four buttons which you can also use to move your way through the podcast. The first one takes you back 30 min, the next one takes you back 15 min, the next one moves you forward 30 min and then there is one which takes you forward 2 min. The 2 min forward is useful if you are listening to a podcast with adverts and you want to jump past the advertising that is playing. The jumping forward by 30 min or back by 30 min or 15 min I don’t think are quite as useful, but still our handy to have them there.
There is another way to control the application also and it makes use of the iPad’s unique features. If you use the gesture area you can do a double tap which will either play or pause, a single finger horizontal swipe will skip forwards or backwards, depending on whether you swipe to the left or to the right. Then two fingers for the horizontal swipe will move between the next and the previous episodes. Then you also have the two finger vertical swipe that will let you mark the podcast as either played or un-played.
Getting your podcasts organised in Downcast, using the facilities available.
The rest of the application divides the screen up in the main lower part of the app so that on the left-hand side you have your list of podcasts and this is true whether you are in portrait or landscape mode. Then on the right-hand side of the podcast area you have your details of the podcast and also the list of podcasts that have downloaded. Underneath that area you have the edit button which will allow you to delete podcasts from that list. There is an info button which will give you details about that podcast in a pop-up window and from that pop-up window you can share through Twitter, Facebook and more. If you click on more, it will take you to another window which gives you a choice of actions and services. With the actions you can send things out by e-mail, open in Safari and dispatch by SMS. In the services, aside from Facebook and Twitter, you also have Instapaper and Read-It-Later. In order to use any of the services you need to log in to them from the login windows. Also from this pop-up window you can look at the podcast details and set up settings specific to that podcast. From the pop-up window you can tell it to use the global setting for how many episodes to keep and other options like the playback speed. One particularly useful setting is the volume adjustment. This is because some podcasts have better production values and come in louder than others. So that if you know that a particular podcast is always low in volume then you can turn up the volume that is the default for just that podcast within the settings area.
Playlists in the Downcast iPad pod catcher app
One of the annoying things with the iTunes application or the Music application in either iPad or on the iPhone, is that if you are listening to a podcast and all the podcasts for that one have finished playing then you need to go to the application and to navigate back to where you can choose another podcast so that you can continue with your listening. With Downcast it has a playlist function and you can set it so that all podcasts that you haven’t listened to yet, could be added to a playlist. So if you were on a long drive and didn’t want to have to stop to be able to choose the next podcast to listen to, then you would use this playlist function. That seems to be a good design and much more sensible. Within the settings for your playlist you can have the podcast sorted by release date or grouped by podcast.
Another good way to have your podcasts divided up would be to have playlists that are the just the video or just the audio. So that you could set a playlist playing, knowing that only the audio podcasts will pop-up and play once you have started that playlist doing its thing. No point in having the iPad videos inside a playlist that you are not going to be able to watch. There are number of settings that you can use to customise and personalise your playlists within Downcast.
Overview of the pod catcher Downcast
Downcast is not the only application you can use for listening to your podcasts, but it is certainly one of the better ones. I know that I will be moving all of my podcast listening into Downcast as it is much more configurable and a better experience than using the iTunes or Music applications on the iPad. Downcast is not a free application, but it is inexpensive and well worth getting. There is another application which is called Podcatcher and also iCatcher. I have heard of another one mentioned in a couple of the Mac-based podcasts and I think it may be called a Instacast and I will have to do a downcast vs Instacast review. I can thoroughly recommend Downcast podcast catcher app and video podcast catcher as being a great way to organise your podcast listening. Do you use iPhone as iPod, listening to music and podcasts? I certainly do.