Apple snaps up startup that makes finding podcasts more like listening to radio

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iPhone FM radio chips
Why can't finding the right podcast be more like this?
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr CC

Apple quietly snapped up podcasting app Scout FM, which tries to make podcasting sound more like tuning into radio stations, for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

Scout FM worked by letting users choose particular topics, then automatically customizing a radio station-like podcasting listening experience for them. It was intended as a way to cut through the findability clutter of hundreds of thousands of available podcasts.

Delete downloaded podcasts to free up storage space on iPhone

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How to delete Podcasts from iPhone
Don't let Podcasts eat up all your storage.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

For most podcast listeners, there comes a time when you have way too many unplayed shows, taking up way too much space on your iPhone or iPad. Fortunately, this is a problem with an easy fix.

Take back precious storage space by deleting episodes you don’t need to have saved locally, and prevent the Podcasts app from hoarding content in the future. We’ll show you how.

Apple News Today is an Apple News+ promo disguised as a peppy news podcast [Review]

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Apple News Today review: A daily news podcast with zero partisan rage.
Apple News Today is a news podcast with zero partisan rage.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple News Today, the breezy new podcast showcasing the day’s top news stories, sounds perfectly peppy and polished. Maybe too perfectly polished, in fact — you won’t find a single rough edge on this slickly produced daily news report, which Apple unleashed last week with iOS 13.6. You will endure no energized, partisan rants, either. These straight-down-the-middle reports won’t get your blood boiling while you make your morning coffee or tea. If you’re tired of partisanship, this is the antidote.

What you will find in the weekday audio show is steady promotion of the Apple News app, and of Apple News+, the company’s reportedly struggling subscription news service. This upbeat and earnest free daily news briefing basically functions as a Trojan horse for getting in the ears of potential Apple News+ subscribers.

How to sort podcast episodes so they play in the right order

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How to sort podcast episodes
You don't always want to hear the most recent episode first.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’re starting a new podcast that you want to listen to from the very beginning, you’ll need to change some settings to ensure that the Podcasts app doesn’t automatically play the latest episode first.

It’s a simple tweak that takes just a minute, and we’ll walk you through it in this step-by-step guide.

Take your mind off COVID-19 with Relic Radio vintage radio podcasts [What We’re Into]

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Relic Radio vintage radio podcasts take my mind off the coronavirus pandemic.
Vintage radio podcasts are perfect for taking your mind off the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

What We're Into bug The nonstop onslaught of coronavirus news is making me a little crazy. Headlines asides, COVID-19-related content even infects the stream of shows in my Podcasts app. To ease my coronapanic, lately I’ve been binging on something a lot more relaxing: vintage radio podcasts from Relic Radio.

Served up through a variety of free podcasts, these old-time radio dramas really help take my mind off the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 horror show.

How to make private, at-home podcasts for family and friends

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home podcasts
You don't need any fancy gear to record and publish a podcast.
Photo: Jonathan Farber/Unsplash

You’re stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and maybe you’re spending lots of time keeping up with family and friends. But here’s an idea: Why not make a podcast? Not that you should stop actually talking to the people you like and love, but as a home project, making a podcast is a lot of fun.

And if you’re a musician, or you have kids, you can do a lot more than just monologuing into your iPhone’s mic. You can talk, add music, interview other family members, and anything else you can think of. Then, your friends and family will have a cool show to look forward to every day, or however often you publish.

Google Podcasts bags a brand-new look and key features on iOS

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Google-Podcasts-iPhone
It's finally a real podcasts app.
Photo: Google

Google in recent days began rolling out a brand-new look for its Podcasts app on iOS for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. The overhaul integrates a number of new features into a cleaner user interface that’s split into just three tabs.

The changes are designed to make using Google Podcasts easier and more enjoyable — and to bring it up to speed with rivals.

ConnectionOpen is like Skype for musicians

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ConnectionOpen Marshall amp and guitar player
ConnectionOpen lets musicians collaborate over the internet.
Photo: Daniel Chekalov/Unsplash

If you sit in front of an iPad typing up Apple-related how-tos all day long, then working from home is no problem. In fact, it’s simply the next step up from “working from bed.” But for some professions, like musicians, working from home is difficult if not impossible. You might have a home studio, but you still need to get the band together to record them.

Or do you? ConnectionOpen is an app that lets musicians play together over the internet. The wild thing is, it’s a standard plugin for Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools and other audio-editing apps. And now, it’s also available for the iPad.