@NathanTsoi's OneCast: Simple Podcast Management on Android

Podcasts are a fantastic medium. They can inform, entertain, and enlighten without the hypnotic glow of the screen. It’s difficult to absorb a podcast while doing anything else, so they’re a great way to be conscious of the moment you’re in. Grab a pair of headphones, kick back on the patio, and find audio zen.

Mobile apps abound in the podcast consumption arena, but most are bloated and unintuitive. OneCast is a dead simple way to manage your podcasts on Android.

The first thing you’ll notice is the design- the app is minimal without being spartan, and when you fire it up, you’ll also notice that the minimal approach extends to its resource usage.

There is no synchronization or import, so you’ll need to add the podcasts you want to keep up with manually. Fortunately, OneCast has a fantastic search feature. Just click on the ‘+’ button to search through its vast database. I’ve yet to come across a podcast that OneCast didn’t find on the first try.

Clicking on a podcast from the search results presents a detailed view, and again clicking the ‘+’ button adds it to your homescreen. Search. Add. Repeat.

The homescreen, of course, lists all podcasts you’re subscribed to, and entering the detailed view gives you the option to click on an individual episode, at which point a ‘stream’ and a ‘download’ icon pops up. Both happen smoothly, in my experience. When you’re ready to listen, hit the play button to go to a simple ‘now playing’ screen. You can also multitask and go back to the episode later via the notification the Android status bar.

That's it, and that's the beauty of OneCast. Podcasting made simple and packaged in a great interface. My only gripe is that the app automatically attempts to refresh a podcast when entering the detailed view, and sometimes gets stuck. Hitting the back button bypasses that function. Head over to the OneCast site or the Play Store to pick it up and get started. In case you need a few good podcasts to get you started, or just want to vary your current selection, here are some of my favorites:

This American Life

The New Yorker Out Loud

The ZenGeek Podcast

Home Work

The Big Ideas Podcast

The VergeCast

Write for Your Life

You Are Not So Smart