capsule review

BeyondPod Podcast Manager

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder BeyondPod Podcast Manager

    PCWorld Rating

    BeyondPod is a good mobile podcast manager.

The first thing I noted about BeyondPod (apart from the name being similar to iPod) is that the app is more than just a podcast directory. BeyondPod is closer to Google Reader than it is to Listen, as you can import, view, and manage almost any type of RSS feed.

BeyondPod integrates quite nicely with Reader, allowing you to import existing subscriptions onto your Android device for your mobile enjoyment. Should you happen upon a new set of feeds you'd like to follow, you can also export subscriptions back to your desktop.

When you first open BeyondPod, you see a quick-start screen that gives you the basics of how the application works. I accidentally hit the "Home" button on my phone while reading some of these tutorials. When I got back into the application, the quick-start guide did not open up again--instead, I was greeted by a list of preloaded subscriptions. It took me a while to figure out how to get back to the guide.

Navigating menus in the app can be tricky at times, and sometimes swiping the screen does not register properly. It also takes a bit longer than it should to add a new subscription. However, I find that BeyondPod has an astounding RSS Feed search.

BeyondPod can handle video, audio, and text feeds. Streaming a video podcast with full 3G chugs along with only one or two minor pauses. You have the option to download videos, which I highly recommend if you don't have 3G coverage everywhere you go. Strangely enough, the "YouTube Top Rated Videos" feed opens up as text with a link to the video that can be opened in either the browser or the stock YouTube application.

Audio podcasts work the same way as videos; you have the option to either stream or download, and the playback screen is reminiscent of the native music application. The preloaded Dilbert daily comic strip is formatted perfectly to fit the screen, and is an enjoyable read.

If you are addicted to your Google Reader and are looking for a mobile option, then BeyondPod is your best bet. I highly recommend picking up the unlock key ($6.99) to keep enjoying all the features of the application--it reverts to a "lite" version after seven days.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    BeyondPod is a good mobile podcast manager.

    Pros

    • Can import or export RSS subscriptions from Google Reader.
    • Can import, view, and manage almost any type of RSS feed.

    Cons

    • Has a sometimes-awkward user interface.
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