One of the first things I wanted to do when I got my Android phone was get my podcasts available to me without having to sync with my computer (as was basically required on my iPod Touch). There are a number of choices for “podcatchers” on Android, but many of them don’t handle password-protected podcasts.
One of my favorite podcasts is the Bob and Tom podcast, which has a small subscription fee, and therefore requires authentication. Originally, the need to provide a password limited my choice in podcatchers. One of the most popular (and free) choices is Google Listen, which does not support authentication. Thankfully, I found a workaround.
Yahoo Pipes is a tool for manipulating RSS feeds and other web content. Since a podcast is basically just an RSS feed, Yahoo Pipes can solve this problem. All I did was create a new pipe and have it import the Bob and Tom feed. When I specified the feed URL for the original podcast, I put the username and password into the URL as follows:
Then, instead of pointing Google Listen at the original podcast feed URL, I pointed it at the feed for my new pipe. Since my Yahoo pipe isn’t password-protected, Google Listen has no problem with it. Note: don’t “publish” your pipe; keep it private. It has your username and password for the authenticated podcast associated with it.
Using this trick, basically any podcatcher available for Android should be able to handle a password-protected podcast. If this workaround is not your cup of tea, there are a few apps I’ve found that are capable of handling authenticated podcasts natively. Here, in brief, are the results of my tests.
- DoggCatcher – a very attractive app, but it’s having problems with redownloading episodes every day due to the way this podcast is structured. It will get the job done.
- ACast (free) – works just fine, but its interface is a bit confusing.
- BeyondPodpowerful but simple, and is working great so far. In the past I had problems with duplicate episodes being downloaded, but the problem hasn’t reoccurred. This one is currently my favorite.
Any other good choices? Let me know in the comments!