Best podcast apps for Mac in 2021

Best podcast apps for Mac

The Podcast industry is booming. Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service, aggressively pushes into Podcast experience with three acquisitions and exclusive partnerships with high-profile guests. Apple, too is taking notes and has developed a dedicated Podcast app for iPhone and Mac. Speaking of Mac, if you are a fan of listening to podcasts like the team at iGeeksBlog, you should try the apps below for the best podcast experience on macOS.

I’m someone who often listens to tech podcasts when I’m working on my MacBook. At first, I relied on web players to get things done, and when my usage grew, I started looking for a capable podcast app for Mac. Among them, I have identified the 5 best podcast apps for Mac. Let’s get started with Apple’s official solution.

1. Apple Podcasts – Default app

Apple Podcasts app for Mac

Apple finally gave in and broke down the bloated iTunes app on Mac into separate apps – Music, TV, and Podcasts. True to Apple’s other apps and services, the default Podcast app on Mac is basic but serves the purpose for those trying out podcasts for the first time. 

The UI is simple, but to my eyes, it doesn’t go well with other elements of the OS due to a lack of translucent effect on the sidebar. 

The default home takes you to the Listen Now section that displays the current podcast episode in a big banner. I don’t particularly appreciate how Apple has placed the player controls at the top instead of the bottom. The Browse section is also limited compared to rivals. You will have a hard time finding new interesting podcast channels on Apple Podcasts.

As for the listening experience, you can download the podcast for offline use, bookmark it, or even share it using the default macOS share menu. However, there is no sleep timer or 10 seconds forward/backward options on the Mac.

Price: Free

2. Spotify

Spotify podcast app for Mac

As I mentioned above, Spotify is gripping the podcast industry with various acquisitions. The company has added a dedicated Podcast section in the macOS app. 

Open the Spotify app and go to the Podcast section in the sidebar. The problem is, it only showcases the subscribed podcast channels. You need to to the Browse section to find new podcast channels. That isn’t good UX in my books. 

The Browse section is nicely categorized. While listening, you can speed up the podcast audio by 3x or use the default 10 seconds button to forward or backward the audio. 

My biggest gripe with Spotify’s Mac app is that it’s not a native app and instead uses the Electron platform. You will notice shutter lags while scrolling in the Spotify app. 

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $9.99)

Download

3. Mame Cast – a Podcast playe‪r‬

Mame Cast podcast app for Mac

Mame Casts has the best user interface for any podcast app on the Mac. It’s smooth, works fine, and follows macOS guidelines with a side navigation bar.

By default, you can add podcast channels from OPML, web URL, or use the iTunes search. Sadly, there is no direct browse section in the app. The app is a joy to use once you import podcasts from these sources.

In terms of features, you can download episodes, create a playlist, add it as a favorite, and share the episode.

Mame Casts killer add-on is a transcription mode that utilizes macOS internal speech recognition system to generate subtitles for your podcast. 

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $9.99)

Download

4. Mimir – Powerful Podcasts

Mimir powerful podcast app for Mac

Mimir feels like a Mac app that’s stuck between past and future. For instance, the app offers big advertising banner upfront when you open the home page. I appreciate the player placement on the right sidebar. It’s much better than the simple top or bottom place. 

Move to the bottom and use the + icon to add podcast channels. The default search function also works fine. I like how users can simply drag and drop the podcast episodes in the queue. I prefer compared to making a playlist using 3-4 steps. 

Mimir has also added automatic silence snip, which none of the above apps offer. 

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $1.49)

Download

5. Castbox

Castbox podcast app for Mac

If you want an all-in-one podcast experience, look no further and go with Castbox. First of all, the cross-platform availability beats any other rival by a mile. The service is accessible on Android, iOS, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple Carplay. As for desktop OS like Windows and Mac, you can simply visit Castbox on the web and install the app as a PWA (Progressive Web App)

Castbox is ideally suited for both listeners and creators. The default home is feature-packed with various categories to choose from. While listening to a podcast, you also get to enjoy Sleep timer, speed playback, and more. Everything is neatly arranged in the bottom player. 

Scroll to the bottom and you can change the region. As for creators, Castbox allows you free audio upload, comments section to engage with fans, and feature-rich podcasting analytics so that you can calculate your subscribers, streams, and downloads.

Price: Free

Visit Castbox

The podcast industry is gaining traction. The audio-only format is handy when you drive or listen to your favorite creator on the go. When working from the desk, you can always use the apps above and stay connected with your favorite podcast channel.

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