Podcast problems - It's time to get down(cast)

Published November 10, 2013

I stayed with the Apple podcast app for much longer than I should have done. For a while, I couldn’t really abandon it - having far too many podcasts to listen to, limited space available on the phone, and a need to manage which episodes synced to my device. But a while back, I got over my obsessive compulsion to listen to every single thing in the right order from the very beginning, and that has allowed me a good deal of freedom when it comes to sorting podcasts on the phone directly.

I stuck with the official Apple stuff, even when they spun the podcasts out onto their own app and wrecked the system I had in place, and even when they “improved” the app and ruined it all over again just after I’d got used to doing things their way.

After the latest iOS7 problems, I’m done with it.

Firstly, I was halfway through an episode of something when it just started refusing to play. The episode wasn’t available, even though it clearly was and I’d been listening to it about an hour beforehand. Then the app seemed to reset itself and lose a heap of episodes. This is something that would have driven me crazy before, but isn’t so much of a big deal now. The only issue is with certain BBC subscriptions, as they only last a week and then disappear into the ether.

So, I was barred from listening for a while, and then when it did start working half of the shows had been removed. There’s only so much pain a user can take, so I’m going over to Downcast. I don’t know why I didn’t switch before - I’ve had the Downcast app for a while, but never got round to moving everything across.

Of course, when you’re storing everything on the one device, there’s always a chance that you might lose subscriptions or episodes, no matter which service you use. But something tells me it’s a lot less likely to happen on a non-Apple product. It’s a shame because Apple were so instrumental in making podcasting popular, but they seem to have forgotten everything they did to get there. Others have also noticed the problem. I’m particularly interested to see what Marco Arment can do. The creator of Instapaper and Tumblr and all-sorts has turned his attention to the problem. If getting down(cast) about it doesn’t work, perhaps it’s time to get over(cast) it.

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