Since I picked up my Google Nexus One a few months ago, I’ve tried a number of different tools for downloading and listening to podcasts.

Google Listen is a free podcast manager from Google which makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and listen to podcasts. But I find that it’s a bit unpredictable when it comes to actually downloading the podcasts. When I fire up the app, I usually have to manually start downloading an episode before I can listen to it. And I’m amazed how often Listen will start to download a podcast only to stop after a few megabytes — something I usually don’t notice until I’m about 10 minutes into a podcast and suddenly the audio stops.

I’ve also tried configuring my PC and Android phone to automatically sync podcasts from iTunes to the Nexus One. This works reasonably well, but it requires you to connect your phone to your PC regularly.

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BeyondPod is a full featured podcast manager for Android that does pretty much everything you need on the phone itself — no PC needed. You can search for and subscribe to podcasts or import feeds from an OPML feed or from Google Reader.

You can also configure BeyondPod to automatically update all of your feeds on a regular basis so that episodes are ready for you to listen to as soon as you hit the play button. I’ve been testing BeyondPod for the past week, and it’s set up to automatically check for new episodes while I sleep so that most mornings I have something new to listen to.

BeyondPod is available as a free download from the Android Market, but in order to use all the features (such as scheduling downloads), you’ll want to purchase the BeyondPod Unlock Key which costs $6.99. The free version of the software comes with a 7 day trial so you can use all of the pro features for a week before deciding whether to pony up $7.

The app gives you a lot of control over your podcast subscriptions. For instance, you can sort feeds into categories, set the maximum number of episodes you want to keep on your SD card, or set a time limit so that all podcasts older than 30 days (or 360 days, or whatever number you like) will be deleted.

There’s also an integrated feed reader, so you can read the show notes for episodes before downloading them.

BeyondPod also creates a detailed log file every time it connects to the server to download episodes, so you can quickly see if there were any problems retrieving files.

The Settings menu gives you a ton of options over how BeyondPod downloads and plays media. You can configure a SmartPlay feature to create playlists based on your listening preferences, set the length of time you want to be able to skip ahead or back in a podcast using the forward and backward skip buttons, and enable support for media buttons on a phone headset.

BeyondPod can also handle video podcasts, and you can choose to use either your default video player or BeyondPod for video playback.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the range of features BeyondPod offers. It’s basically the podcast manager I had hoped Google Listen would be… even it the full version is $7 more expensive.

BeyondPod is available for download from the Android Market, or you can just scan the barcode to the right.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

4 replies on “BeyondPod podcast manager for Google Android”

  1. OK, review. I guess we still need a reiview of DoubleTwist side by side with BeyondPod.
    I have been looking for a way to get weaned from my iPod Touch which I use daily to watch financial TV shows while commuting.
    After playing with it for a day now, I am noticing a series if issues such as
    1) No options to direct it to use WIRELESS IF AVAILABLE for downloads and streaming
    2) Despite the Limit of what is to be downloaded, CNBC’s Fast Money shows EVERY PODCAST since 2009!! Despite setting it to only keep the two most recent pod casts and to erase all which are marked as viewed (I marked them ALL as viewed) they are stuck there. . .
    3) Options settings are hard to find.
    4) No “auto restart” if download is interrupted or fails.

    Now if it could only scan and pick up the Video Podcasts which I have in iTunes on my PC!

    Gene

  2. OK, review. I guess we still need a reiview of DoubleTwist side by side with BeyondPod.
    I have been looking for a way to get weaned from my iPod Touch which I use daily to watch financial TV shows while commuting.
    After playing with it for a day now, I am noticing a series if issues such as
    1) No options to direct it to use WIRELESS IF AVAILABLE for downloads and streaming
    2) Despite the Limit of what is to be downloaded, CNBC's Fast Money shows EVERY PODCAST since 2009!! Despite setting it to only keep the two most recent pod casts and to erase all which are marked as viewed (I marked them ALL as viewed) they are stuck there. . .
    3) Options settings are hard to find.
    4) No “auto restart” if download is interrupted or fails.

    Now if it could only scan and pick up the Video Podcasts which I have in iTunes on my PC!

    Gene

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