Since iOS gadget users don’t have much of a problem with using apps for playing and managing their podcasts (i.e. iTunes), I thought I’d have a look at the competition (namely Windows, Android, and yes, even BlackBerry) and see what choices they have to offer avid podcast listeners.
First up is DoggCatcher for Android. It is so and by far the most popular 3rd-party app out there, not just for managing but also for playing your podcasts a. The app comes at a price tag of US$4.99. There are two ways to purchase this app; one’s via Google Market, and the other is via Amazon. But of course, if you’re looking for something that’s free then you don’t have to look further than Google’s very own Listen.
Next we have is the Podcasts! app for the Windows phone. Unlike Windows’ proprietary software Zune, this one doesn’t require computer access when you want to subscribe to and download your favorite podcasts. However, you can’t download episodes to your phone, you have to stream the podcasts from the Internet so it somewhat becomes much less useful unless you’re subscribed to a data plan. But overall, it’s definitely a good alternative, especially since it’s FREE!
Now for BlackBerry, we have the PodTrapper Podcast Manager by VersatileMonkey. The PodTrapper is to BB users as what DoggCatcher is to Android. This app is what the BB podcasting community considers as the go-to app when it comes to playing and managing their favorite podcasts episodes. Majority of the praise stems from the app’s customizability. And yeah, at US$9.99, it may be a little bit on the pricey side but considering its positive reviews, it’s pretty much worth every penny. If you’re looking for something that’s free, I’d go with PodPlus.
Need a tag editor for managing your music archive, as well as editing its information and inserting cover art? Then Audioshell is what you need.
AudioShell is a freeware MS Windows Explorer shell plugin that allows you to view and edit music file tags directly in Windows Explorer. It supports all major audio file formats: MP3 (all ID3v2 tag versions), WMA, AAC (M4A and M4P), MP4, OGG, FLAC, WAV, MPC, MP+, ASF and many more.
It supports full Unicode and adds a tag editor to the music file properties menu so you can easily edit tags by groups or file by file. Because it integrates with Windows shell, it is not a standalone application. You will need to open file properties and under the AudioShell Tag Editor tab, you can add other information like Title, Album name, Artist name, Genre, Track number and even insert a cover art image.
To insert a cover art image:
Simply click Add Cover to indicate the image file. It supports JPG and BMP formats. After inserting the cover art, click Apply to save the tag information.
Other added features:
- More language translations (Polish, English, French, Czech, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese)
- Fixed bug in m4a tags reading
- .m4v files extension support
- Support for cover art in flac files
- Wav files support
- Redesigned music properties tab
AudioShell is a useful tool for mp3 player owners, music aficionados and Windows-based podcasters because it lets you edit tags and makes all your music file collections organized before uploading them to your mp3 players like iPod.
Note: It works on Windows 2000/XP 32 bit systems.
Download it now!
Forget about the hassle of logging in to Facebook just to post updates on your latest podcast episode. Simply install the RSS Graffiti app on your Facebook page (NOT profile) and it will automatically retrieve any recent post from your podcasting site.
The setup is quick and easy and will only take less than 5 minutes. Also, you only need to provide your URL feed to get it to start working.
Sometime around late December of 2011, Spreaker already launched its free app for Android devices. Podcasters with Android smartphones can now broadcast live updates and share them on their social networking sites as well (it isn’t just for iOS device users anymore).
To those of you who are still unfamiliar with Spreaker, it is an online application for creating and sharing audio content across the Internet.
The app makes it easy to share audio content across social networks because it can connect with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can broadcast LIVE status updates! Your friends and followers can listen live or later as a podcast.
Android users click here.
iOS device users click here.
Better yet, simply visit their site to learn more about how this cool tool can help you create your audio podcasts!
Recording telephone conversations for your podcast can be quite tricky, so here’s the skinny on podcasters’ picks.
For interviews or calls, a huge number of podcasters prefer to use Skype. It’s free as long as you’re both on computers and it’s a one-on-one call. Plus, you can opt for video call, which you can also record! So I’ll be focusing on recording software that optimized for Skype.
Anyway, here are our prospects:
Call Recorder by Ecamm – This is actually a Skype add-on and not a standalone software. It records both Skype audio and video calls (MOV format). What users like about Call Recorder is that it records their and their guest’s voice in separate tracks. It has a utility that can split the sound input into separate files, so you can balance out the volume in the final product and hear the voices of both interviewer and interviewee in the left and right audio channels. It’s built for the Mac OS platform and comes in at about $20.
PrettyMay – Unlike Call Recorder, this one can only record audio in MP3 and WAV file formats. This too is a Skype add-on, and not a standalone software (for Windows). Aside from the free Basic version, it has 2 premium versions: Business, and Professional. Both priced at $25.
Callburner – Want something that’s totally free? Then Callburner is for you! It can also record each side of the call in separate WAV audio file (uncompressed = better quality), which gives you terrific flexibility when editing (e.g. amplifying one side, editing out noise artifacts, etc).
Pamela – I haven’t tried out this one myself but one podcaster claims that the quality is so good that it’s close enough to ISDN (provided that the person on the other line has a good microphone). But of course he also adds that you’d have to be a broadcast pro to notice the difference. Price ranges from $20, $25, and $40 depending on which version you pick.
So there you have it! Four recording software for your Skype calls during your podcast. Aside from Callburner, which is already free, you can download and try out the free trial versions of the other three to see which of them you’d think has enough features that are worth your money.
Tip: Experienced podcasters strongly advise against recording the voices on each end separately because it’ll be almost impossible for them to sync up.
PowerPress is a great WordPress plugin both for blogging and especially podcasting. It makes podcasting really easy and even lets you have real stats!
It’s pretty easy to set up, with six different audio players and 2 video players, all of which are highly customizable players.
The players also come with a download link so users don’t have to add an HTML at the end of every post just to do it manually; it’s all done automatically now. Its audio player options have also been getting a lot of positive feedback from users.
PowerPress provides support to a whole bunch of stuff: HTML5 video, iTunes, multi-podcasts, and a myriad of media formats!
If I were to nitpick on anything about this amazing plugin, it’s that you to create an account just to use their stats program.
In case you still haven’t it tried out yet, download it from here, right now!
Web developer Kyle Graham has silently released a new plugin for WordPress that would change the course of blogging and even podcasting. It is called VoicePress.
Preview the VoicePress.it speech recognition WordPress plugin from WPCandy on Vimeo.
This is an amazing plugin that uses voice recognition software to transcribe your recordings as you speak. Since it is still in its early stages, expect upcoming improvements soon. For now, it is available in beta and only works in Chrome browser.
It would be very interesting to see how WordPress-based podcasters maximize this awesome tool, transcribing the spoken word into the written word, especially for WordPress mobile versions.
Download the plugin HERE, for free:
Avid podcast listeners who use Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have something to cheer about! I’m talking about browser extensions: add-ons (Firefox) and apps (Chrome).
Here’s a short list of cool browser extensions that may enhance your podcasting experience. Let’s start with Google Chrome.
1. iTunes Audio Preview/Podcast Downloader – This allows you to download podcasts and audio previews from the iTunes website manually WITHOUT the need for QuickTime and iTunes!
2. ChromeCast – This nifty browser extension lets you play your favorite podcasts within your browser. It definitely sounds like a cool plugin to have but judging from the most recent user feedback, it seems to have a bit of a minor issue with feedburner. Try it out and see if it’ll work with your favorite feeds.
3. Podcast Alarm Clock – Wake up to the sound of your favorite podcast!
4. SpokenText – Convert text on any web page to speech. Select the text, run the extension, press ‘Record’, and you’re done! It supports English, French, and Spanish.
And now for Mozilla FireFox:
1. Huffduffer – Bookmark your favorite audio files and create your own podcast of found sounds.
2. FoxVox – FoxVox will speak any text you highlight in a web page; it’like SpokenText for Chrome. You can create audiobooks with this awesome add-on and even turn your blogs and articles into podcasts!
3. Youtube MP3 Podcaster – With this self-contained add-on you can download YouTube videos and convert them to mp3 files for easy listening on podcasting gadgets!
Of course there are other add-ons but we’ve picked out the most popular ones for you. You can also head on to your browser’s site and check out their corresponding extensions page for more.
I tried searching for podcast-related add-ons for the other browsers (IE, Opera, and Safari) but so far they only came up with one result. Perhaps we’ll find more soon, but for the meantime, enjoy these apps!