The Best Podcast Players for Chromebook

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The Best Podcast Players for Chromebook

Podcasts have transformed how we consume audio-based material. They originally became popular in the mid-2000s, and there are currently an estimated 250,000 separate programs available on the iTunes store.

In reality, some of the statistics are astounding: there are now over one billion podcast subscribers on Apple’s main service, more than one-third of Americans listen to at least one episode, and the world’s most popular podcast (Serial) has been downloaded over 5 million times. These statistics considerably outnumber even the most popular radio stations on the planet.

Assuming you’re reading this because you a) like podcasts and b) own a Chromebook, let’s dig in and see which players you should be using on Google’s laptops:

SmarterPod is Chromebooks’ sole proper podcasting addon (and Chrome in general).

It’s still in its early stages, but the early signals are promising, and it runs well.

The most significant advantage of having a native extension is that you may listen to podcasts in the background of your browser without having to have a site open.

Feed management, metadata retrieval, syncing between multiple devices (meaning you can pause a podcast on your Chromebook and resume from the same point on another machine later), the ability to play files at twice the speed, and feed updates/downloads every 15 minutes are all features of the extension. It also has the advantage of being built on Angular.js rather than Flash, which means that there is no heavy-duty processing going on in the background.

The main disadvantage is that you currently cannot visit any podcast directories to add your favorite programmes. Instead, utilize the RSS feed’s URL – however a quick Google search should disclose the right address for most popular programs.

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Custom feed retrieval, directory browsing, and further feed management tools are apparently in the works.

Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict is a tremendously popular Android podcasting software that is also accessible on the Chrome Web Store as of late 2014.

It was released as part of Google’s (though sluggish) distribution of Android applications for the Chrome OS.

This is the exact same software that you receive on your smartphone or tablet, which means you get all of the same wonderful features. They offer podcast management, directory searching in their own unique database as well as Apple’s iTunes database, and importable and exportable OPML files (for moving to/from a different player). Of course, you’ll benefit from cross-device synchronization as well.

Surprisingly, the program does more than just play podcasts; it also manages YouTube channels and RSS news feeds. This means it may easily serve as an all-around entertainment centre, keeping you entertained throughout the day.

Finally, since this is an app, it will run offline as well as happily reside on your Chromebook’s shelf rather than being a glorified website.

A Word of Caution

Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that the rest of the options in this post are Chrome Web Store links to legitimate web players.

These may, of course, be made to behave like ordinary applications by right-clicking on the program in the Chromebook’s App Launcher and then choosing Open as window – but they are not Chromebook-specific apps.

Despite lacking the name familiarity of some of its more well-known competitors, Cloud Caster is an excellent option for a web-based player.

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It clearly syncs episodes and subscriptions across all of your devices, but it also offers directory searching, a method to discover what’s presently popular with other Cloud Caster listeners, and rewind/fast-forward functionality.

Lastly, it also supports both audio and video podcasts.

Airing Pods, like Cloud Caster, will sync and be available across all of your devices and PCs due to its cloud-based nature.

Its search and discovery tool is fairly sophisticated, categorizing items it believes you would be interested in based on popularity, genre classifications, and frequency of updates.

It also has a clean and well-planned user interface that is simple to use and easy on the eyes.


Stitcher was one of the first radio-on-demand services, and it is still active today.

Unlike Cloud Caster and Airing Pods, it features both an Android and an iOS app. This implies that your experience will be tailored to the device from which you access the service, resulting in a simpler and more pleasurable user experience.

Listen to over 20,000 radio broadcasts, sync across platforms, “Smart Discovery” of new programming based on your listening habits, customised radio stations, and a Facebook interface that allows you to see what your friends are listening to.


Another famous Android app that has made the transition to the Chrome Web Store is Podbay.

It is undoubtedly the most gorgeous app on our list, but their concentration on aesthetics has the unintended consequence of making the homepage fairly feature-light.

They say that you can locate and start playing a program in under four seconds (albeit this is probably dependent on your connection speed! ), and that you can manage favorites and rapidly discover new shows.

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Make Your Own App

Remember that if your preferred player lacks a link in the Chrome Web Store but still has a web player, you may create your own “app.”

Simply go to the appropriate website, then select Menu > More Tools > Add to shelf…, and you’ll have a permanently-docked link ready to go!

What App Do You Use?

Have we included your favorite app in this list? If not, on what service do you rely?

As usual, we welcome your feedback. Please share your ideas, opinions, and recommendations in the space below.

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