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Podcast Issues With Windows Phone 8


kylejwx
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I posted this general comment at the Average Guy Facebook group, but I wanted to see if anyone else could shed some light on my issues with listening to podcasts on Windows Phone.  I just can't seem to get the same experience that I did on Android or iPhone.

 

I am a huge fan of PocketCasts on Android, but now I am using Windows Phone 8 and I am very frustrated with the podcast experience. Some things just don't seem to work and other features aren't supported.

First of all, it seems that the built in Xbo
x Music/Zune podcast manager is always slower at getting the RSS feed than iTunes/PocketCasts. It also does not handle cleaning up your old podcasts very well. You can set it to download 1-5 or all of the podcasts in a series. If you have 5 podcasts downloaded and a new podcast comes out, it won't download the new one until you delete an old one. If you delete the oldest podcast before a new one is out, then the phone automatically downloads an older podcast that you have already listened to because it wants to follow the rule of keeping 5. The alternative is to set it to download all, but then you are really starting to cram up your phone storage with old podcasts.

There are also limitations on when it will download podcasts. The phone would prefer to download podcasts while it is charging and on Wi-Fi (and probably with the screen locked, which is the same way iPhone does backups to iCloud). This is fine for making backups, but it is very inconvenient for podcasts. When I am at work my phone is neither charging nor on Wi-Fi and I really want to listen to my podcast on my commute home. You can change it to download over the cellular network as well, but Windows Phone has an OS level "feature" that prevents any file over 50mb from being downloaded over cellular networks. (This is a whole separate issue, but I pay for 4GB of data and I think I should get to decide how to use it.)

The main feature that seems to be missing on Windows Phone is the ability to listen at 1.5x or 2x the speed.

Overall, I have not found a reliable substitute in the Windows Phone Store. I currently have four different podcasts apps pinned to my start screen and I am evaluating all of them. Right now CarbonCast is in the lead, but I need to do more testing.

Perhaps I am really missing something with the Xbox Music/Zune podcast manager and there is a fix to some of these issues. Please let me know if you have had similar issues or know of ways to fix them.

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I really like Podcasts! (the ! is important).  It does not have the double speed though, I have carboncast installed and like that one as well. 

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I have had a lot of issues with my Nokia 920 and podcasts. Having had several years of listening to podcasts on my old WP7 Samsung Focus with few problems, imagine my surprise when I start to use my new WP8 handset and have trouble listening to Podcasts. 

 

Around 50% of the time, when I attempt to play a podcast I get an error message. The message doesn't stay up for me to capture the error number. I can generally get the podcast to play by closing the message or waiting for the error dialog to close itself and then hitting the play icon again. So, I presume this means that the actual files are fine and it's something to do with the software. Everything else about the phone I really, really like. However, as I listen to 2 to 4 podcasts a day (mix of audio and video) this tarnishes the experience when you see a error message popup and then everything works fine when you try again.

 

I am actually on my second Nokia 920 phone as the first one stopped being able to connect to the cellular network. The replacement handset has been working fine.

 

My previous phone was a Windows Phone 7 Samsung Focus that I bought the first day WP7 was available for purchase. I loved that phone and my son has "inherited" it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Perhaps I am really missing something with the Xbox Music/Zune podcast manager and there is a fix to some of these issues. Please let me know if you have had similar issues or know of ways to fix them.

 

Unfortunately, you're not missing anything.  The Xbox Music Podcast interface is woefully inadequate.  I think this is an area that Microsoft definitely took a step backward from Zune and WP7 to WP8.   However, I am hopeful.

 

I have used a few podcast apps, and haven't found one I really like yet.

1. Podcasts! :  Is 'Ok", but I had a lot of issues with syndications, weird playing issues and other problems.

2. Podcatcher:  I have heard some positive comments about it, but haven't used it personally.

3. Podcast Lounge:  Again, haven't used it, but heard some good things about it.

 

Now that I'm adding more and more podcasts to my weekly travel commute (500 miles a week!) I've started looking harder.   Sing out if you find something good!

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  • 5 weeks later...

As a follow up to my post above, David mentioned iPodcast as a good app.  While the name leaves much to be desired, I have to admit the app is pretty good.  It's certainly worth paying for, which for me is the test.  

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I am planning on a blog post about all that I have tried or breaking it down further in a podcast.  Regardless, I am still using iPodcast. 

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I know I posted this somewhere else. Don't forget the podcast/music team at Microsoft are swear and will be addressing their limited content abd functionality. I assume its coming sooner rather then later, with all the new Xbox music updates rolling out.

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Hopefully, MS will fix the issues with listening to Podcasts on the WP8 devices. If there was one thing that would make me consider switching to an Android phone it would be this. I have almost switched back to my WP7 Samsung Focus. Beyond that the Nokia 920 is perfect.

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