Episode number support in podcast apps
March 1, 2019 · By James Cridland · 2 minutes to read
If Apple wants episode numbers in a special tag - here’s our FAQ about that - the question is: how many podcast apps support the episode tag?
We checked with a variety of apps… and the answer is… oh. Two.
(Found any others? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.)
As you’d expect, Apple Podcasts does support episode numbers. Kind of. For a normal, episodic, podcast, the only place to see an episode number is in one screen. And in no others.
In order to see an episode number for an episodic podcast, you need to go to your library, then to hit the small “Details” link on your episode, and then you’ll see the episode number in small type at the top of this page.
You’ll not see it on any other page within the app (that we’ve found). Particularly, you can’t see it in the list of episodes, making the process of finding a podcast by episode number almost impossible.
However, if you tell iTunes that you have a 'serial’ podcast: like, you know, Serial, then it shows the episode number in the main list, split into seasons. In this case, it’s rather more useful.
Unlike Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts always displays episode numbers in the episode list. We tested Pocket Casts Android Beta; we’re told the iOS version works identically.
In our opinion, Pocket Casts is the only app which displays episode numbers in a meaningful way - in a list for you to find and select an episode.
Other podcast apps
On iOS, we tested Overcast, Podbean, Castbox, Castro, Entale, Breaker, Leela, Podcast App, Acast, and Himalaya. None supported podcast episode numbers.
In Android, we also tested Google Podcasts, which similarly did not support podcast episode numbers. You’ll see images from those below.
Of note: we tested almost all of these all at roughly the same time, about 25 minutes after publishing a new episode. Some hadn’t yet got it; one app showed an episode from two days ago; one hadn’t updated our feed for over four months.
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