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.

How to save any audio file to iPhone without a Mac

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We can do better than this.
We can do better than this.
Photo: Guillaume Flament/Flickr CC

Did you ever download an audio file to your iPhone, and then wonder just how you are supposed to listen to it? Maybe you have a few recorded lectures you want to listen to on a plane, or you have some audiobooks you’d like to listen to on the beach. The bad news is a that you can’t add music or any other audio to your Music app library without a Mac or a PC.

Since iOS 11, you’ve been able to download and save audio files in the Files app, but good luck listening to them. It’s like listening to audio in the Finder on your Mac, with no way to save your place, or really control the playback much at all.

But there’s a better way. The Overcast podcast app, which is pretty excellent in general, also lets you upload your own audio files, and then it treats them as regular podcast episodes. We also have a more complex method that takes a bit of setup, but can be used with any podcast app, including Apple’s own. Here’s how to use them.

Newton, Bias Amp 2, Overcast privacy, and other amazing apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week we look at the amazing new Bias Amp 2 for guitarists, which looks just awful on the big-screen iPad Pro, we see how the Newton email app has banished the “sent” mail folder, we check out the new privacy features in the Overcast podcast app, and find out how to duplicate our entire Instagram history on our own microblog.

This microcasting app is the easiest way to podcast on iPhone

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podcast on iPhone with microcast wavelength app
Microcasting is the new mouth-tweeting. Or something.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever fancy making a podcast, but as soon as you considered the logistics, your eyes crossed, and you felt suddenly sleepy? But what if creating and publishing a podcast was as easy as squeezing out a Tweet? That’s where Wavelength comes in. Wavelength is a brand new app that lets you record, edit, and publish your short podcast — or microcast — in record time. It can even add your podcast feed to the Apple Podcast Directory, so anyone can easily find and subscribe to your microcast. Here’s how to podcast on iPhone.

This mic boom doesn’t care if you shake the room

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Blue Designs compass mic boom
Imagine how professional you'll look with this on your desk.
Photo: Blue Designs

Podcasters, musicians, and haters of annoying noises rejoice. Blue Designs has come up with the Compass, a microphone boom that keeps your mic fixed right over your desk, your computer, your countertop, or even your ghetto ironing-board podcasting desk. Paired with Blue’s Radius shock mount, you need never worry about mic noise ever again.