When you’re on your phone, listening to podcasts is a breeze. There are tons of apps to choose from and you will often even have the choice to listen to podcasts in your favorite music apps. On your smart speaker, it’s a little trickier. At least, it was until now. Pocket Casts, a favorite podcast app, is now available to use on Alexa. You just have to download the Pocket Casts skill from the Alexa Skills Store to get started streaming your favorite shows on your home speakers.
Once you’ve installed the Pocket Casts skill (fire up your Alexa app and open the “Skills and Games” menu to accomplish this task), you will need to connect your Pocket Casts account to your Amazon account. Just log in when prompted and you will be set. From there, you will be able to queue up your favorite podcasts by talking directly to Alexa.
Use the command “Alexa, open Pocket Casts” to get into the app. Alexa will let you know what is waiting to be played in your queue and what subscriptions you have with new podcasts available. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to browse through podcast choices with Alexa — you still have to do all of that from your phone.
With Pocket Casts set up, Alexa should be able to recognize your podcast-related commands and play episodes on command. Say “Alexa, play the latest episode of” and the name of a show and the A.I. assistant should be able to find what you’re looking for and start playing. It’s not a perfect solution, though. Alexa will always play the newest available podcast whenever given the chance. That might be great for timely shows but it’s less useful for narrative stories that you want to listen to in order.
The other downside to the Pocket Casts skill is that you need to Pocket Casts app, which isn’t free. Whether you’re on iOS or Android, getting Pocket Casts will set you back $4. It’s still one of the best podcast catchers available, and if you’ve experienced the inconsistencies and issues with some of the alternatives, you will know it’s worth it to spend the couple bucks — especailly with the new support for Alexa devices.
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