A Podcast User’s Guide for People Who Don’t Use iTunes or iPhones

We routinely hear from people who’ve heard about our Freakonomics Radio podcast, but feel somewhat shut out from the podcasting world because they don’t use an iPhone or iTunes. So here are some alternative options:

1) For Android Users

Freakonomics Radio can now be heard on Google Play. Also, we’ve heard great things about Pocket Casts, which, for $3.99, syncs your favorite podcasts and keeps them backed up. You can also stream it to your Chromecast. Pocket Casts also works for Apple devices.

2) Windows Users

You actually don’t need a third-party app to stream, download, or subscribe to podcasts. It’s super simple: here are instructions. If you use a Windows phone, you can download the Podcast Lounge app to subscribe and listen to Freakonomics Radio.

3) Stream from our website or RSS Feed:

If you’re listening from your computer, this is probably the easiest way. Go to the Freakonomics Radio page and click on the “Feed” button on the right-hand side just below the search bar (or access it here). This will take you to a list of all of our podcasts. Find the one you want, and click “Play Now”; an MP3 of the podcast will now begin downloading to your computer. When the download has finished, you can open it with your media player of choice.

Alternately, you can also download a podcast from its individual page on Freakonomics.com/radio. You can click the play button to start streaming or click the “WNYC” link, which will take you to a WNYC page where you’ll see a “download” button under the player.

4) WNYC App

You can download the free WNYC App for iPhone or Android. In the app, go to “shows” in the dropdown menu. Scroll down to find Freakonomics Radio, pick an episode and hit “play” to start streaming. If you want to download an episode, hit “save.” You can adjust the settings — whether you want to bookmark an episode or download it, e.g. — under the “saved audio” tab.

5) Stitcher App and Swell App

You can listen to Freakonomics Radio on Stitcher or use the Stitcher app. On the app, select Freakonomics Radio and add it to your favorites playlist. You can also add specific episodes to your playlist, and again you can use the settings to adjust whether you want to stream or download for offline listening. We’ve also started hearing good things about the Swell app.


Any other suggestions? Please leave any listening tips or workarounds in the comments below — and, as always, thanks for listening.

Matt Wilson

I like AntennaPod for Android. It's free, and my only complaint with it is that it won't sync across devices, as some podcatchers do.

David S. @seemsArtless

It has been a long time since I left Apple to move to Android - as a serious podcast listener, it drove me nuts that I couldn't easily queue up a series of episodes from multiple podcast sources and just let them play while I was driving (ie a Freakonomics episode, then a Radio Lab episode, then a CBC spark episode...) I assume the Apple podcast player has improved since then?!

On Android I use the free BeyondPod app - it has a good search for new podcasts, automatic download as new episodes are available (maybe only in the paid version?), and like I said, the ability to mix episodes from different sources. See https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.beyondpod

Kevin B.

I would also like to reccomend BeyondPod for Android like devices. While the automatic pull function is only in the paid version, the free version is useful to stream or download podcast episodes.

Sadly I hear the apple standard podcast app is less than stellar, I imagine workarounds through iTunes are possible.

Bill McGonigle

I'm a long time BeyondPod user as well. It was one of the first so I bought it years ago, along with the Presto plugin to listen at 1.5x playback speed. I love the business model - I never have paid for an upgrade and am now syncing among devices via a Feedly account. I like to use its SmartPlay feature which lets me set feed priority and quantity, so when I hit 'play', I get an automatic talk radio station of content I enjoy. Makes driving for work bearable.


People who have Chromebooks can use the Cloud Caster app. It’s not as easy as it is on other platforms, but it gets the job done.


For my Android phone I use BeyondPod (http://www.beyondpod.com). There is a commercial and free version, but the free version works well for me. I think what commercial does is it automates the downloads for you. Because I know Freakonomics comes out every Wednesday or Thursday morning, I just check for a new one every Thursday at some point and there it is.

For podcast who's intervals are less predicable I have RSS feeds set up in my email client to know when a new one is available and so I know when to go get a new one. I have this set up for Freakonmics too as I sometimes like to read the transcripts.


I use Downcast


For Android: I have found it on DoggCatcher as well.


I use an app called Podcast Addict on Android devices, It's worked pretty well for me since Google canned Reader/Listen.


If you're listening (or simply downloading and transferring) on a Unix machine of some kind - Linux, BSD, etc. - (or want to use a Mac but not iTunes), there's bashpodder and mashpodder, podcatchers that runs inside the bash shell and rely on a handful of fairly common Unix utilities. They'll both need the URL of the RSS feed added to their respective configuration files.

Google "podcatcher Windows" and you should come up with some good things that let you download podcasts to your Windows machine. Unfortunately, I didn't get into podcasts until after I had switched to Linux, so I don't know what's good there.


I have found the gPodder to be quite good at managing my podcast feeds. I use it on the Ubuntu Linux build, so I can't speak to their apps on other platforms.


Podcast Addict on android has been perfect for me so far. And it is free.

Vaibhav Garg

Windows Phone 8.1 includes a Podcasts app by default, that can find and subscribe the said podcast. Its merely a search and a tap on Subscribe. Pretty user friendly, and free as in a beer.


I too was driven nuts for awhile, then I figured out that my phone has the tunein radio app. You can find every podcast on it. You can't download, but you can stream episodes.


BeyondPod is another app, also free, that will find Freakonomics for a feed. As well, as many others. Allows streaming and downloading.


The Swell page says:
Thank you for using Swell over the past year. We wanted to let you know that the Swell service is no longer available. We’ve been inspired by the opportunity to create quality products that positively impact users’ lives, and we are grateful to all our listeners. Thank you everyone for your support!


I use BeyondPod on 2 Android phones, synced with Feedly to listen to about 30 feeds. I usually use Feedly to sort through and delete specific episodes I'm not interested in, or to listen while I"m on my laptop. I use BeyondPod to listen off-line. I like the multiplatform option. The free version of BeyondPod has to be synced manually, and I planning to upgrade.


Pocket Casts is the best! I listen to a LOT of podcasts for years on several different apps, an Pocket Casts is the BEST.


I've got a five hour flight and want to read a few of the transcripts but can only see one at a time and can't download during flight. Is there a way to voluntarily overdose on freakanomics transcripts for long flights? (I don't like headphones)

Walter Lipman

I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy who enjoys downloading podcasts to my computer, and then copying them to my phone. Right-clicking the "Play Now" hyperlink, and clicking "save as" will save the podcast to your computer, from whence you can copy it to your Android phone or device. As for Apple? Don't know, and frankly don't care, either.