Lately, I have really started to get into listening to podcasts, especially tech and productivity ones. They are great for my long commutes to and from work, and a good break from the constant negativity that is out there on talk radio.
I also find that I am also listening to my podcasts at home as well and soon realized that it was starting to take up a lot of space on my iPhone. That is when I stumbled upon a web app called Flapcast. The easiest way to sum it up is that it is basically cloud storage for your podcasts. Let me show you what I am talking about.
No Account Needed
When you first go to Flapcast, you will notice that you can start using the app right away, without having to even create an account. On the front page you will see the top podcasts, and you can also search for a specific podcast that you want to play and start playing it, right there in your web browser.
But, if you want a better experience and really use Flapcast for what it was made for, then you are going to want to create an account. The nice thing is that they make it so easy for you to do this. All you have to do is enter in a user name and a password, just like you would if you were logging in, and you are ready to go. I truly appreciate that Flapcast makes it so simple to sign up and get started right away with the least amount of friction possible.
The first thing you are going to want to do is add some podcasts to Flapcast. There are a variety of ways that you can get quality podcasts. You can search for individual podcasts by name, and you can also see what the top episodes and podcasts are on Flapcast. I liked that you could import your podcasts straight from iTunes and also add them by their URL. Personally, I found that just searching for them by name was easy enough and every podcast that I usually subscribe to was already on Flapcast.
Listening and Interacting With Your Podcasts
When you are ready to listen to your podcasts, they are all in a list ready to be played. You can choose to see all of them at once or by certain podcast and either by date or alphabetical list. Listening to my podcasts on Flapcast was very easy to do and the sound was actually pretty clear. I was afraid that streaming podcasts over the web would cause them to lose some sound quality, but I honestly couldn’t tell any difference.
Flapcast doesn’t stop there, when it comes to your podcasts. Not only can you listen to them but you can also interact with others around them. They have made the app social in that you can tweet or “+1″ a specific episode. You can also comment on the episode as well and see other people’s comments too. If you want to share it with others so they can listen to it, you are given a permalink that you can give out for that specific episode.
Will This Catch On?
As far as I know, Flapcast is one of the first web apps to let you have your podcasts in the cloud. I definitely like the concept of being able to do this and think it is a great idea. But, I get nervous that this may not catch on for most people. The reason why I say that is that, in my opinion, most people like to listen to their podcasts on their mobile devices, not at their computers. I know for me, the majority of the times I am listening to my podcasts are in my car or when I am working out and I am using my iPhone.
Flapcast is practically brand new and in its early stages. I liked what I saw and the app worked well for the most part. The UI was simple and easy to use and I liked to social features. I really don’t have any complaints about the app, other than I would have liked to see a better way to organize my podcasts. I tend to listen to a lot of them and it would have been nice to have a better way to organize them. Overall, it works as advertised and it does a good job.
Like I mentioned before, my only reservation is that you can only use this on web enabled computer. I tried to use it in Safari on my iPad and iPhone and although it worked, not all the features were there and it was not a good experience. It would be very cool to see them make a polished web app for the iPhone or iPad, so my podcasts could live in the cloud and not take up space on my mobile devices.
The app itself is free to use so feel free to go and check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below. Do you think you would use something like this on a regular basis?