The popular streaming podcast application Stitcher made its official debut in the Android Market last week and we couldn’t wait to put the Android version through its paces. For those unfamiliar with Stitcher, it is a podcast streaming application that lets you queue up your favorite podcasts and play them back sequentially in a streaming radio style format. Unlike other podcast applications that download the audio content to your device’s internal storage, Stitcher streams the content over your active wireless connection. Streaming media over a cellular connection is a difficult task, so hit the jump to see how Stitcher fares.
Once you launch Stitcher, you begin by selecting podcasts to which you would like to listen. Stitcher has an extensive database of podcasts that are organized into pre-categorized, ready to stream stations for ease of selection, as shown below.
You can also browse individual podcasts that are organized alphabetically, or search for podcasts by name. Once you find content that you like, you can create your own personalized station by adding those individual podcasts to your “Favorites,” as shown below.
Unfortunately, you are limited to the podcasts in Stitcher’s database, so if your favorite podcast is not listed then you are out of luck until Stitcher adds it. Thankfully, Stitcher wants to know if they are missing content and you can submit a request to help get your podcast of choice into its database. Once you have selected the content that you want to play, the application will launch its player interface and all of the podcasts in that station will playback in a stream. Playback is limited to the most recent episode for each podcast, as back episodes are not available.
As shown above, the player interface is intuitive and the controls are responsive. Present in the player are like and dislike buttons which you can use to rate content and help Stitcher recommend new podcasts that you may enjoy. Also present is a a movable slider that allows you to move to any point within the podcast, a play/pause button, a next button, and a favorites button. If you want to check your email while listening to your podcast, no problem as the player streams in the background and resides in the notification menu so you can easily switch back to it.
We have taken a look at the user interface and now it is time to evaluate performance. We are happy to report that Stitcher does an excellent job at streaming podcasts over a cellular and/or Wi-Fi connection. It detects your connection speed prior to launch and will only run when your connection is fast enough to support streaming. We used Stitcher on a Verizon Wireless DROID and only ran into problems when our connection dropped to 1xRTT. The application was very stable and did not force close once in five days of extensive usage.
All is not a bed of roses as the Android version is still in its infancy compared to the versions for the other mobile platforms. Lacking in Android is the ability to share podcasts with social networks, bookmarking, and a location-based feature that serves up content relevant to your location. Despite its limitations, we are pleased with how the application performed and look forward to future improvements. For those that want to check it out, Stitcher is available for free in the Android Marketplace.
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Excellent review! Thanks for covering all aspects of the program not just the good ones. Personally I wold prefer an app that would allow me to add ANY podcast and not just ones listed in their database, but I understand why they must do what they do.
How is this better than Google Listen?
Finding podcasts, especially new ones, is easier in Stitcher than in Google Listen. I really like Stitcher’s categories,its alphabetical listing of podcasts and its recommendation engine (in theory as I have not used it long enough to build up a good preference history). I also prefer the tabbed interface of Stitcher’s main menu over Listen’s graphical list. Google Listen has some features, like the ability to listen to back podcasts, that i wish Stitcher had.
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New to Androids … I have a HTC Hero, and I can’t find the app there. So, when I see a review that an app is in the Android Marketplace, I can’t assume that’s true for me, just that it is available for *some* Android phones? Just trying to figure it out …
I have a Sprint Samsung Moment and I can’t find Stitcher in the Android Market either… Whats the delay??
I have the HTC DROID ERIS and it isn’t available in the Android Market for me either – did it get pulled?
The app is also unavailable in the marketplace via the Motorola Cliq from T-Mobile. Too bad, I was looking forward to trying it out after a colleague with Verizon’s Droid told me about it.
President, Sarai LLC
I bought a Droid a month ago. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on his website and it says now you can listen to Rush on Iphone. Download Stitch. So I clicked it and it said enter your phone number here and the app link will be sent to your phone. I entered my phone number, then went to my phone, opened it and it said download the stitcher app here. It took me to a link then to the apps market. hope this helps.
How do you add Rush Limbaugh, he was not under favorites and I am a member of Rush 24/7. How do you log in with our passwords for his insider show?
Your device will not work for you unless you send the dear leader of the Republican Party and defender of freedom, Rush, more money.
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I love it. I use a Garminfone and Stitcher loaded and runs with out a hitch. I found 5 podcasts right off. The only way I have found to listen to Daily Audio Bible when I am away from my computer. Supper job guys.
Sticther is by far the most used app it organizes al favorite podcasts and automatically updates them as well has a favorites section for live radio across the world it even noe interfaces with sonos home sound systems these guys are genius -best app by far!!!
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