Google was pretty late to the Podcast game, but when they showed up, they brought a pretty decent app and service with them. Google Podcasts is a simple, clean and functional podcast player that gets a lot right and then just gets out of the way.
In our recent travels, being able to download a few episodes for listening on the plane proved simple and elegant. All the content I was looking for was there as well.
I’m not really a heavy podcast listener, but I listen to a lot of music. These two activities are similar in lots of ways: namely, the way we actually consume the content.
In general, I have a few ways I listen to things. Headphones, personal speakers, or large room units like the Google Home Max. At the office, I tend to listen to things with the Google Home Max. I like that the room is full of music and I can hear the highs and lows even at reasonable volumes. When the time comes to really focus in, I move to my Bose QC35s to get in the zone. I don’t love being cut off from the world all day, so I generally only stay in this mode for small bursts. Other times, if lots of things are going on, I go to a smaller Bluetooth option on my desk as not to disturb others in the office.
In all these scenarios, I cast my music when I can. I like the fact that I can walk away from the speaker and not disturb the music. I like that I can control the playback from multiple devices on the network. And I really like the sound quality.
Moreover, I enjoy the ability to go from listening on a small, personal device to sharing with the room by simply switching the cast device. This has been a staple of my music listening experience for a few years, and I’m glad to see Google add support for casting to Google Podcasts.
Let’s look at an example. I’ve had scenarios where I’m about 3/4 through a podcast when I get home. I only need to listen to the final part at home, but I’d rather not slap on headphones when I walk in the door and shut myself off from my wife and kids. Instead, I can pause playback and start a simple cast session to any of my connected speakers once I’m in the house.
If I’m cooking, cleaning, getting the kids ready, or just moving through the house, I can also set up speaker groups throughout the house and cast my podcast to them for multi-room listening. This also means I am a simple “OK Google” away from changing volume and starting or stopping playback.
In general, I prefer casting audio any time I have the opportunity. It isn’t always an options, but when it is, I definitely prefer it over Bluetooth every time. With this simple addition to Google Podcasts, this app has become way more flexible in its use cases and further solidifies itself as my go-to podcast player.