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Tech review: These apps will help you locate the perfect podcast

Google Podcasts offers a variety of listening topics

Google Podcasts offers a variety of listening topics and an extensive library.  Photo Credit: Google

Podcasts are hot. There are hundreds of millions of podcast episodes available on virtually every subject imaginable. But how do you find and listen to a podcast that interests you? That’s where these apps come in.

Google Podcasts

(Android; free)

Apple Podcasts

(iOS; free)

How big have podcasts become? So big that the biggest of the big tech companies want in — and want their main competition out. Apple Podcasts is an iOS exclusive and Google Podcasts is only available on Android devices. Both do a good job of finding and playing podcasts in a wide variety of topics and maintain an extensive library. In Apple’s case, you have access to 450,000 podcasts with more than 15 million episodes.

Castbox

(iOS, Android; free)

Castbox gives you access to an enormous library of podcasts: About 50 million are available, from well-known professional podcasts such as “The Joe Rogan Experience” (which made news earlier this month when guest Elon Musk apparently smoked marijuana) to millions of homegrown podcasts from unknown contributors. Like all the podcast apps discussed here, you can download episodes for offline listening.

Pocket Casts

(iOS, Android; $3.99)

This venerable podcast app was recently bought by four of the world’s top podcast producers: NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago and This American Life. So it’s not surprising that it is very strong on content from public radio. But beyond that, it may be the best podcast player available. For example, it has strong playback functionalities, allowing you to change the speed so you can zip through a podcast during your morning commute.

TuneIn Radio

(iOS, Android; free)

TuneIn Radio Pro is not often thought of as a podcast app first — its main strength is streaming live radio stations from around the world — but it does maintain an extensive library of nearly 6 million podcasts, including many from NPR and from popular TV shows such as Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” The “Pro” version ($9.99) adds more features and removes ads.

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