It only costs $5 to game Apple’s Podcast charts

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podcast
Making a "chart-topping" podcast isn't that hard.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Scoring a top spot on Apple’s podcast charts is a lot easier — and a lot cheaper — than most listeners probably realize.

Many podcast fans use Apple’s charts on iTunes and its iOS app to find new shows and gauge what’s popular right now. However, an intriguing new report reveals that some shows are paying for a place at the top and its shockingly inexpensive to game the charts.

How to turn any YouTube channel into a video podcast

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Turn any YouTube channel into a proper video podcast with PodSync.
Turn any YouTube channel into a proper video podcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever wish you could take your favorite YouTube channel and subscribe to it as a video podcast? Instead of having to go check in on the YouTube website over and over to see what’s new, you could just subscribe. Every time a new video became available, it would automatically download and show up in your favorite Podcast app, ready to watch offline. Better still, you could watch it in the native iOS video player, full-screen or Picture-in-Picture, without all that YouTube junk surrounding it.

If this sounds like a dream come true, then you’re in for a real treat today, because it’s super-duper easy with a service called PodSync.

Waze adds podcast controls to brighten up your commute

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The Waze Audio Player puts podcast controls right next to your driving directions.
The Waze Audio Player puts podcast controls right next to your driving directions.
Photo: Waze

Long trips and podcasts go well together, and Google’s Waze navigation software just added support for controlling some popular streaming audio services from right within the app.

The goal of the new Waze Audio Player feature is making it less dangerous to adjust what you’re listening to while driving.

Ferrite Recording Studio 2.0 is a podcaster’s dream

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Short of recording Skype, Ferrite does everything you need to make a podcast.
Short of recording Skype, Ferrite does everything you need to make a podcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you record podcasts, audio interviews, or anything else were you need to record and edit a bunch of people talking, then you may already know about Ferrite Recording Studio. It’s an app designed for the exact purpose, making it easy to gather your audio “footage,” edit it, and then post it to your outlet of choice.

Version 2.0 just launched, and it makes the app better than ever.

Spotify listeners in the U.K. can now access BBC’s vast back catalog

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Spotify
Some of the BBC's radio shows on the service date back to the 1950s.
Photo: Spotify

If you live in the UK and are a fan of the BBC, Spotify has some good news for you — since it’s just added “thousands of episodes” of BBC content to its app.

“The BBC is one of the largest content creators in the UK, and have worked with the biggest and best audio talent in the world,” said James Cator, Spotify’s Head of Podcast Partnerships, in a statement. “To have a comprehensive audio catalogue in the UK, the BBC are essential, so adding the BBC to our rapidly-expanding catalogue of podcasts was a natural partnership.”

Learn how to make that podcast idea a reality [Deals]

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Learn the equipment and skills it takes to create compelling podcast content.
Learn the equipment and skills it takes to create compelling podcast content.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Podcasts have exploded into one of the most vibrant and powerful media forms. It’s hard to think of a format that is as accessible for content creators and consumers alike. So if you’ve had an idea for a podcast, there’s no reason not to make it happen.

Apple removes InfoWars and Alex Jones podcasts

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Alex Jones
Alex Jones is a prominent online conspiracy theorist.
Photo: InfoWars

Apple has removed the entire back catalog for five of far-right conspiracy theory website InfoWars’ six podcasts on iTunes and its Podcasts app. One of these shows is the daily “War Room” show hosted by owner and radio host Alex Jones.

The podcasts were removed due to their breaking of Apple’s hate speech guidelines. It comes as part of a concerted effort by Silicon Valley to cut down on the spread of so-called “fake news” online.

Check out these hidden tips and tricks for Apple’s Podcasts app

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Apple's podcasts app is deeper than you might imagine.
Apple's podcasts app is deeper than you might imagine.
Photo: Incase/Flickr CC

Apple’s Podcasts app is now the equal of any third-party podcast, or “podcatcher,” app for iOS. I recently switched to using it as my default podcasts app, and I’ve found it does pretty much everything you could want it to.

In fact, it seems like some developers inside Apple are doing the same. The app really is well-designed and now offers some surprisingly deep “pro” features. And these pro features are what we’re going to look at today.

When did Apple’s built-in apps get so good?

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Who needs third-party apps anyway?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It used to be that the first-party iOS apps were only used by people who didn’t care enough to download something better. Mail, Notes, Contacts, the Calendar — all of these were immediately dumped into a junk folder by experienced users, to be replaced with a proper app. But something happened along the way to 2018. Now, Apple’s apps are every bit as good as third-party apps. (Well, mostly. The Contacts app is still awful.)

Today we’ll take a look at a few of Apple’s surprise hits.