Podcast Apps for Android – Podcast Addict Yay, Stitcher a Reluctant Nay

For podcast listening, I’ve been running both ‘Podcast Addict’ and ‘Stitcher Radion for Podcasts’ alongside each other, for a few months now, and this morning I disabled Stitcher’s offline downloading, relegating the app to a live-streaming app, for my phone, versus a file-player. Its lack of settings to restrict the number of downloads, at all, much less for specific podcasts, was the clincher for me.

Stitcher’s interface is prettier, with a tiled, smooth scroll, featuring a nice graphic sampling of the content. Note however that choosing the setting to ‘limit downloads to WiFi only’ had no effect, in my testing, in preventing a live-stream/live-play of a show. The distinction of a ‘download’ being limited to an off-line file listening session, versus a live-stream, is an important one. I consider any download — file or live stream — to be a download, because a download costs bandwidth allocations on my Verizon account. The app only considers a download to be a file. For my test I streamed a cast, disabled my WiFi, and the feed continued uninterrupted. I let it continue for one minute, just in case it had cached the audio, while connected, but it appeared to still be streaming using my mobile data connection. I will return to this and try it again the next time I’m able. I.e., do not take my word for it, that the app behaves this way, but be wary until you know for sure, lest you spend your mobile data unintentionally.

Podcast Addict’s interface is a bit clutzy. One needs to click the upper left corner and navigate among the primary areas via clicks. I would rather have an active drag interface where I can navigate where I wish, without raising my finger, and release on what I want. This would make the 30 traffic-light time stop more useful. Nonetheless, the app provides sophisticated storage features allowing both an app-wide and ‘cast-specific settings for the number of downloads to initiate, the number of downloads to keep, and auto-cleaning/purging. It also offers many sorting options.

I come at this with some bias. 99% of my podcast listening is off-line (non-streaming), in my car, during my commute. I am stingy with my phone data usage. For those of you who prefer live-streaming your radio and podcasts, Stitcher is wonderful and a good choice.


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