Until you’ve actually done it, it might not be entirely obvious that your Nokia Lumia has a fully-functional, built-in podcast player that does a great job of playing episodes, keeping your podcasts up-to-date and also getting rid of content that’s out-of-date.
You’ll find your podcasts under the ‘Music + Videos’ tile. But of course, you’ll have to subscribe to some before you can join the fun.
Podcasts using Zune
The key to using it on a Windows PC is Microsoft Zune. You may already have set up Zune to synchronise a playlist of your favourite tunes. What you may not have realised is that you set up podcasts separately from regular playlists.
When you go to the podcast section in Zune, you can see what you’re already subscribed to, and also add a new subscription. To do, this you will need the feed address of the podcast, also described as its RSS. Click ‘add a new podcast’ at the bottom of the screen and enter the address in the box that appears.
For each podcast, you can determine how many episodes you want to keep in your collection. For a daily news bulletin, there’s not much point keeping more than one or two episodes. However, for ‘feature content’ such as Melvyn Bragg’s In our time, you may want to keep everything until you have the luxury of a long train journey in order to catch up.
More than PC-based
Got a Mac rather than a PC? The same function can also be performed using the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Here you can set your device to synchronise whatever podcasts you subscribe to in iTunes, or just a selection, and once again choose how many or only to transfer unlistened items in your library.
No Windows PC or Mac, or don’t want to have to synchronise regularly?
You’ll need an app, then. A good start here would be SimpliRSS, a free app that can download and play podcasts directly on your Lumia phone. All you’ll need is the address of the RSS feed for the podcast.
If you’re prepared to invest a small amount of money into getting a dedicated podcast app, then BringCast will fit the bill, offering an audio-dedicated interface and a directory of popular content to get you started.
Lastly, for a more limited, but extremely easy-to-use and attractive podcast player, we recommend the BBC Podcast Lounge app. Obviously, you only get the BBC’s audio output, but with more than 350 varied and professionally produced programmes to choose from, that’s not so limited at all.
If you’re going down the apps route, then be safe rather than sorry. Make sure you aren’t burning up your 3G data allowance with podcast downloads – only download content when you’re on WiFi.