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One of the best podcast apps for iOS isn't a podcast app

There are a ton of good podcast apps for iPhone: Downcast and Overcast are the ones I use and enjoy. There are many more podcast apps for Apple devices (including Castro, Instacast, Pocket Casts, and more). But my "favourite podcast app" is the app I created: Soccer Aloud.

Soccer Aloud is not a podcast app, but it does let you listen to great spoken content.

Podcatchers (as podcast apps are sometimes known) let you listen to a wealth of audio content. Soccer Aloud also lets you listen to a huge selection of football news, analysis, and opinion. But Soccer Aloud works in a very different way to podcast apps.

Podcast apps download and let you listen to podcasts — audio that has been recorded using microphones.

Soccer Aloud downloads and lets you listen to web pages — articles that have been written using text editors and word processors.

Both kinds of app allow you to listen to the downloaded content. Podcast apps let you listen to existing audio files, but Soccer Aloud lets you take written content produced for one sense (sight) and experience it with another (hearing). Soccer Aloud lets you listen to text. The end result is not unlike a podcast. You plug in your headphones, choose what you want to hear, and listen to the stuff that interests you.

But Soccer Aloud has some advantages over podcast apps.

First, Soccer Aloud gives you access to high quality content from writers and publications you already know, but in a new form. Whether you like the erudite style of the UK broadsheets, the familiar tone of the Mail, the straight ahead descriptions of the US TV and sports sites, or the passion and enthusiasm of the footy magazines and fan blogs, you know that you're going to get the style and content that best appeals to you. Highly-edited professional content or more informal writing - it's all available for your listening pleasure with Soccer Aloud.

Second, because you have access to both text and audio, you can switch between them at any point or use both at once.

Finally, with Soccer Aloud you can save bandwidth and storage compared to podcasts. You can download or store around 200 articles in Soccer Aloud in the same space as a single episode of a podcast. A typical hour-long podcast weighs in at 30MB. The average web page with a decent length article is a comparitively slender 150KB. That's significant. Very useful if your device doesn't have much storage, you've hit a bandwidth cap, or you're going on a trip where you might not have network access for a while.

Currently using a podcast app on your commute? Check out the top 6 reasons to use Soccer Aloud if you're a commuter.

Soccer Aloud is a great complement to the podcast app you're currently using. I still enjoy podcasts, particularly those that are familiar and personal. But more and more I'm turning to Soccer Aloud to catch up on news. When there's something I really want to read, but I'm too tired or my hands are occupied, I turn to Soccer Aloud. If you listen to podcasts currently, I heartily recommend Soccer Aloud. Try it out. See how it can add to your audio options.

In summary:

  • Soccer Aloud is like a podcast app — it lets you listen to great content

  • Podcast apps download and play audio files

  • Soccer Aloud downloads and speaks web pages

  • Soccer Aloud lets you listen to stuff you already know and love — short articles or long; highly-edited professional sites or informal and enthusiastic fan blogs

  • Soccer Aloud gives you access to both audio and text

  • Soccer Aloud can save you bandwidth and storage space. 200 articles use the same space as just 1 episode of a podcast

Learn more about Soccer Aloud's benefits >

Learn more about Soccer Aloud's 3 Freedoms >

Learn more about how Soccer Aloud is great for commuters >