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

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.


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  1. Matt Wilson says:

    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.

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  2. David S. @seemsArtless says:

    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

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    • Kevin B. says:

      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.

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      • Bill McGonigle says:

        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.

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  3. Michael says:

    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.

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  4. Quinn says:

    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.

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  5. Nathan says:

    I use Downcast

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  6. kiki says:

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

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  7. Mike says:

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

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  8. Andy says:

    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.

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    • Ben says:

      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.

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