Not so very long ago, I used an iPad for a lot of things. One of those things was listen to podcasts. Now, the Apple podcast app came out about that time, and it was a train wreck. Nothing started, there was no way to manage a playlist, and half the time it would just quit. So I moved to Downcast and was a happy camper.

When I started to use my Android phone more, I looked for a podcast app that could match my favorite feature of Downcast: a priority playlist. After trying Pocket Casts, DoggCatcher, and Podkicker, I finally tried BeyondPod. And it nailed it!

For regular podcast listeners who don’t know what a priority playlist is, boy are you missing out. I’ll use my own example to illustrate what a beautiful thing this can be. Here goes:

The beauty of a smart playlist

I listen to 4 podcasts: (1) Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, (2) Car Talk, (3) Freakonomics, and (4) Stuff You Should Know. The first three come out with one episode per week. Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) has an archive of about 500 episodes, and I’ve listened to about 100 of them. I’m slowly working my way through the list. So my ideal listening scenario is to listen to new episodes from (1), (2), and (3), and then fill in the rest of my time with SYSK.

A smart playlist in BeyondPod will let me set this up automagically. When a new episode of any of my first three podcasts shows up, it is automatically downloaded and put at the top of the playlist. Once played, the episdode is removed from the playlist and deleted. For SYSK, I can tell BeyondPod that I want to listen to the 10 oldest, un”read” episodes. Each night, BP goes out and downloads enough episodes to fill my playlist.

It is truly a beautiful thing. I can configure the podcast playlist to automatically be created just how I want it. I haven’t actually opened the app in weeks because all of these things are taken care of by magic.

The best part is that the app comes with a free one week trial of the fully-functioning application. If you decide it doesn’t work for you, no loss. But if you do try it, I highly recommend you take the time to configure SmartPlay to fit your needs. You may, as I did, find that BeyondPod is perfect.