Player FM Android App

We are launching Player FM’s Android app today.

While the website has been mobile since Day One, a native app allows us to get the best out of the mobile form factor and Android platform. For a podcast app, this means more than the usual look-and-feel factor, as important as that is. It means syncing episodes for offline listening, playing in the background [1], and controlling playback via interactive widgets and notifications.

Update: GigaOM review

Play A Topic, Any Topic

No more hunting through catalogues to find a decent show. A unique feature of Player FM is the way it aggregates by topic. Instead of just playing a single show, you can play an entire topic, and there are 300+ to choose from. Here’s how the Android topic looks in series mode, where you can jump into any series:

… and in episode mode:

You’ll find the same playable topic on the Player FM website. Starring it there will cause it to be starred in the Player FM app.

Getting Started

We’ve taken the app through several months of private beta testing to ensure it’s easy to get started, even for people who haven’t tried podcasting before. It’s possible to try the app without signup, and signup is possible via the new Google+ Login as well as conventional username/password. After signup, there’s an onboarding process to choose favorite topics:

First-time users will also see a convenient suggestions tool to help them build their subscriptions channel.

All this is sync’d with the website. Website users can just log in to find their favorites waiting for them.

Detailed views

It’s not all topics. You can still drill down to an individual series to see shownotes, stats, and all episodes in their feed:

Like a traditional podcast app, users can subscribe to a series by adding it to their channel, and syncing happens fast because the server already knows the state of each feed.

You can also view an individual episode, with shownotes:

Offline use

The user’s own channel is available for offline use. By default, the most recent 10 episodes are auto-downloaded and users can tweak this limit, as well as other download settings.

More to come

I’m excited to be getting out this 1.0 release, but there’s much more to come, so stay tuned and let me know what you’d like to see. Just submit a suggestion or mail

Special thanks to Martin and Geng for their development and design efforts, respectively. And thanks also to the beta testers who have made this a much different product.

Android app on Google Play

Please note we are not affiliated with any of the podcasts shown in these screenshots. Most days we’re lucky if we can string a sentence together and we’re sticking to our day job. And when it comes to the Android Robot, let’s just say “The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.”

1. While Android browser, and now Android Chrome, play in the background, there’s no way to tell the operating system “hey this is important, don’t shut me down to free up memory.