Google Podcasts fixed 99% of show notes formatting

When I published my Google Podcasts in June 2018, I recognized a primary annoyance. Now it’s 99% fixed.

Google Podcasts is a quasi-native app on all Android devices since version 4.1. The current Android version 9 with security patch 5, so Google Podcasts is quasi-native on nearly all current Android devices. Without any need to download Google Podcasts’ optional and free icon, Google Podcasts’ core presence on virtually any working Android device allows even potential listeners who are completely oblivious to it to discover, play and subscribe to our on demand audio content (which we have appropriately syndicated as a podcast) after simply searching for general content from the factory-installed Google search app. I discovered from PodNews that Google Podcasts has finally cured 99% of my primary pet peeve, about 7 months after its birth and my first review. Ahead I’ll clarify what they fixed 99% in Google Podcasts, and the missing 1% they should still fix. I’ll also clarify why Google Podcasts still doesn’t replace a premium podcatcher app like Pocket Casts (my current favorite on Android), even though Google Podcasts now sirves its purpose better than ever for novices and oblivious potential listeners.

What they fixed


The below image is a screenshot, where the links are obviously not active:


Before a very recent update, Google Podcasts had been viciously stripping out all of our rich text and links in human text. Now, thankfully, it properly displays the words and names that we have in bold or italics. In addition, Google Podcasts properly shows links in blue and underlined. This is key, since our show notes really need to be displayed well, and have the links working, which they now are.


NOTE: If you currently have an online audio show syndicated as a podcast which does not offer bold, italics or human-style links, complain loudly to the company/platform/software that creates your RSS feed without this feature. Having bold, italics and human-style links is essential and has been for many years. Also, see my article Branded RSS in the era of platform expulsion.

What’s still missing

The below image is a screenshot, where the links are obviously not active:



Above, a screenshot of Google Podcasts show notes (on Android) where it sadly fails to display indentation in an unordered list with bullet points.

Sadly, ordered and unordered lists (with bullet points) are not yet displaying as they should. Specifically, they are lacking the indentation after the second line. Google Podcast team: Thank you for what you did! Now please add the proper indentation starting on the second line of items that are in ordered and unordered lists.

The below image is a screenshot, where the links are obviously not active:

Above, a screenshot of the show notes of the same episode in Pocket Casts (on Android). The same bullet points include proper indentation starting on the second line.

Google Podcasts vs a premium podcatcher app

Google Podcasts now does the basics. According to James Cridland of PodNews, automatic download of subscribed shows are also pending to be added to Google Podcasts.

However, my favorite premium podcatcher for Android currently offers many more features, including:

  • In addition to variable speed with pitch compensation (which is indeed available in the free Google Podcasts app), Pocket Casts remembers this setting for each particular show where you want to play slower or faster, and also offers to skip silence between words, which can save hours.
  • Synching with your computer via a web player and/or with the iOS version.
  • Choose between dark and light display themes.
  • Option to boost voice volume for poorly recorded shows, while decreasing background noises.
  • Option to play video podcasts too.
  • Sleep timer
  • Auto download of subscribed shows (if desired, only when connected to WiFI). According to PodNews, at least part of this is coming to Google Podcasts.
  • Skip playback: Skip episode intros, jump through episodes with custom skip intervals
  • When you manually start to play a particular episode of any particular show —without finishing listening to any other episode or any other show, when the new one you selected finishes, it automatically gives you a couple of seconds of silence, and then begins resuming the playback of the other one, where it left off although slightly rewound, so you can remember what was being discussed, and even ramps up the volume. This is such a subtle yet grand feature, since it allows us to finish digesting the active show and then gently reconnects to the other one.

NOTE: I recognize the the word rewound above is an anachronism. See my prior articles about anachronisms, here.

Save US$20 on Google Fi, my favorite mobile telephony and data service

Click here to save US$20 on Google Fi, which now works on iPhone and Android. With Google Fi (covered previously in several articles), there is no extra charge for data-only SIM cards on the same account, for up to 10 devices. You only pay for the total data, and data is free after 6 GB per month. So you could be using one Google FI SIM card on your primary phone, another in a tablet or secondary phone (or third, of fourth…).

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FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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