Podstation is a Chrome extension that lets you listen to podcasts and download episodes

Dec 3, 2020
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

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.

Podstation is a Chrome extension that lets you listen to podcasts, download them

There are many podcast apps on mobile devices, I use the open source app, AntennaPod. On PC, you can use something like gPodder or even use MusicBee.

Podstation for Chrome

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 search for podcast

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.

Podstation add an rss feed

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.

Podstation add an rss feed 2

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.

Podstation add an rss feed 3

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.

Podstation big list view

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.

Podstation small list view

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.

Podstation 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.

podstation built-in podcast player

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.

podstation download episode

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?

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  1. JC said on May 8, 2021 at 5:12 am

    Hi, I use Opera. Post a forced update this morning, podStation does not seem to be playing or updating anymore. It looks like thr may be some itunes thing built into Opera now getting in the way, it is not clear. Just letting you know.

    Thx for all your work. I’ll keep trying to find a wrok around.


  2. Anonymous said on December 23, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Hi, is it legal?

  3. PANAMA PATRICK said on December 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm


    1. Guilherme Dellagustin said on December 13, 2020 at 11:12 pm

      Hi, extension buttons are a bit hidden now (it is a browser thing, nothing that we developers can do to solve it) – except trying to inform the users.

      Look for the puzzle block button on the toolbar, click on it, you will see the button of the extension there.

      You can Pin the button to the toolbar, for making it easier to access. I hope this helps.
      If not, get in contact with me and ask for support: https://github.com/podStation/podStation#support-and-contact

  4. Jello said on December 7, 2020 at 2:58 am

    This looks handy for if you want to consolidate podcasts from different sources. Yet all the podcasts I listen to are on Podbay, and their GUI works great, although you need to sign-in for all those features, but it’s still free.

  5. Sophie said on December 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you Guilherme! I am loving it. I have at last got my podcasts as I want them, and this is just perfect to marry up with Gpodder.

    Absolutely great! Works so well, and prefer to use the dark theme also.

  6. Sophie said on December 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    I’m immediately loving this. In fact, I was having a frustrating time, because while I use Gpodder, I found it hard to get proper RSS feeds/URLs/OPML files, and as a result, my Gpodder was not populated in the way I would have liked. It seemed to me that Podcasts were not as straightforward to get import/export as I would like.

    Then I saw this, and immediately found I could import OPML to Gpodder – after a quick and very successful search using this Extension. I have not used it enough to encounter the issue that Bertie mentions, and that the developer has responded to.

    At last, I think I can get my podcasts working as I would wish, and this Extension will be a key part to that. Great thanks!

    1. Guilherme Dellagustin said on December 6, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you for your kind words about podStation.

  7. Guilherme Dellagustin said on December 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Ashwin, I am the developer of podStation, thanks a lot for writing about it.

    Have you tried the Dark Theme? it looks pretty neat.
    It is the button to the right of “Add Feed”.

    1. James Kirk said on December 5, 2020 at 2:44 am

      Any chance you could port it to Firefox as well? :p

      1. Guilherme Dellagustin said on December 6, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        There is a chance, but I never managed to dedicate the necessary time.
        Let’s see, maybe it will happen some in the future.
        I have an open milestone for that: https://github.com/podStation/podStation/milestone/2

  8. Bertie said on December 3, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, the OPML-export of Podstation could be better. A few of my podcasts were not saved in the OPML-file. And I could not import this file in other Feedreaders.

    1. Guilherme Dellagustin said on December 4, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      Hello Bertie,

      I am the developer of podStation, there is a known issue that may be the cause of this problem you are describing: https://github.com/podStation/podStation/issues/157

      I will try to fix this soon.

      thank you for commenting about it.

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