I'm a huge fan of radio, and also like listening to talk shows and podcasts. It's always interesting to listen to other people's opinions about my favorite topics.
If you want to listen to podcasts in your browser, Podstation is a Chrome extension that works flawlessly.
Install the plugin and its button will be added to the browser's toolbar. Click on it and a new tab will open, this is the Podstation interface. It's pretty clean. To get started, you'll need to add some feeds. Enter the name of the podcast or the host in the search bar at the top, and hit the enter key.
Podstation pulls the relevant results from three sources: Digital Podcast, iTunes or Podcastindex.org.
The results are displayed along with the thumbnail of the show, the podcast's name, author, a link to the official website, and also includes a brief description about the show. Click on the + button towards the right edge of the result, to subscribe to the podcast.
Wait, what if the podcast I want isn't found by the extension? You can paste the RSS feed of the podcast in the search bar and click on the add feed button.
When you subscribe to a feed, Podstation will automatically switch to the podcasts page, this is where you can manage the feeds that you've subscribed to.
The "Big List" view, which is the default one, displays the number of episodes, the last publication date, and the status (whether it's active) of each podcast. Click on the x button to unsubscribe from the podcast or the refresh icon to fetch new episodes.
The Small List view hides the thumbnail and other information and just lists the episodes which are available. We'll be using screenshots of the big list view here, but both modes have the same options.
To access a podcast, click on its name. Podstation will list all episodes that are available in the feed. You may sort the list by the oldest date or the most recent ones. The extension displays the summary, title, and published date of each episode. This is helpful in case you're new to the show, and want to start from the first episode.
There are three buttons next to each episode. The + button adds it to your custom playlist, e.g. if you want to listen to a series in chronological order just add them to the playlist. Your playlist appears in the top left corner of the page, click and drag an episode to change the order, use the x button to remove it from the playlist.
You can even mix and match episodes from different podcasts if you want to. When an episode has been played, it is automatically removed from the playlist.
The second button in episode page is the play button, which starts playing the episode. Podstation's podcast player appears at the top of the page, you can play or pause the episode, control the volume, adjust the speed, rewind or fast-forward the playback. Click on the "show player options" to bring up a few more settings.
The third option in the Podstation's episodes screen is perhaps the most important one, because it allows you to download the episode. The download is saved in the MP3 format, this is very useful because you can listen to the episodes offline, on any device using any music player. As someone who likes to have an offline archive of podcasts, I like this option.
The "Last Episodes" link lists the most recent episodes from all your feeds. The Options screen in Podstation lets you set the update interval and toggle notifications. And while you're on the page, you may want to disable the "send anonymous usage data" telemetry stuff, this setting is enabled by default.
The refresh icon checks all feeds for updated content, while the button next to it lists episodes in progress, i.e. the ones that you were listening to but haven't finished yet. You can start an episode, and close the Podstation tab, and the extension will continue playing it in the background while you browse.
Podstation can import podcast feeds from an OPML file, and can export your subscribed shows to an OPML file. This is useful as you can have a backup of your feeds, and also use it to migrate to a different app or subscribe to the podcasts using a mobile app that accepts the OPML format.
The extension is open source, you can download it from the Chrome store. Podstation for Firefox could arrive in the future, but there hasn't been an update regarding that since an issue was filed on the GitHub page in February.
Now you, what do you use for podcasts?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.