App: PODCASTS!
Category: Music & Video
Publisher: Melting Bot Software
Supported platforms: Windows 8 (x86), Windows 8 (x64), Windows RT (ARM)
Price: FREE

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, Paul. What the heck. You’ve only recommended a handful of Metro-style apps since Windows 8 launched, and you just recommended a podcast app—SlapDash Podcasts—less than two weeks ago. Now you’re recommending another podcast app?!

Yes. Yes I am.

But bear with me. If you are interested in podcasts, and are bemoaning the lack of a native Microsoft podcast app, or support for podcasts in Xbox Music perhaps, especially if you’re a Windows RT user and can’t even use legacy solutions like the Zune PC software or the Windows Phone desktop application/iTunes link-up I controversially recommended previously … well. You need to know about this.

Melting Bot Software, which doesn’t yet have a web site, makes a Metro-style app called PODCASTS!. Podcast fan? You want this app.

(PODCASTS! is also available on Windows Phone, along with a paid version that kills the ads, so this is a great pick for Windows Phone users, too, especially if you live outside of the US—where the native, on-device podcast support is not present—or simply want a single, unified podcast experience across Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone.)

Here’s why.

PODCASTS! is written by a couple of people who work on Windows Phone at Microsoft, in their spare time. It uses the private Microsoft Zune APIs, same as the Zune PC software, to deliver its podcasts library. So it is, for all intents and purposes, an unofficial, Metro-style version of the Zune PC software, at least from a podcast perspective. No other podcast app on Windows 8/RT (or Windows Phone) can or does offer this functionality.

Beyond this hidden benefit, PODCASTS! works as expected. It provides podcast downloads, and streaming, like other apps. But it also lets you subscribe to podcasts so you can automatically download episodes as they arrive, just like the Podcasts experience on Windows Phone (for US users only), which also uses the same Zune back-end, and unlike the SlapDash Podcasts app I previously recommended.

Just check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

And I promise my next pick won’t be a podcast app. :)