Instacast HD is the Way Podcasts Were Meant to Be Enjoyed [Review and Giveaway]

By , Nov 24, 2011

Every now and then an app comes out that just makes sense. Most apps have their quirks, but few are able to, in the words of Steve Jobs, “just work.”

We told you about Instacast when it originally launched on the iPhone, and Instacast HD has just been released for the iPad. If you like to listen to podcasts, Instacast is the app you’ve been waiting for.

Any podcast fan knows the pain of managing and syncing shows in iTunes. In the world of iCloud and wireless syncing, it seems antiquated to have to move episodes back and forth between devices manually.

That’s where Instacast comes in.

Instacast not only streams your podcasts, but it syncs them between the iPhone and iPad, all thanks to iCloud integration. Instead of having to worry about what device your podcasts are on and where you last left off on another device, Instacast handles everything for you.

Instacast HD is the evolution of a fantastic iPhone app that was begging for an iPad brother. You can now listen to all of your shows, cache episodes for offline listening, read show notes, and web browse on the iPad’s 10″ screen. Intuitive gestures, a beautiful interface, iCloud syncing, and push notifications are all icing on the cake.

30,000+ of the best podcasts out there (both audio, enhanced, and video) are collected in a popup pane when you first open Instacast HD. When you subscribe to a show, episodes are automatically delivered into the app’s left sidebar for streaming or downloading. Each show gets its own album cover in the vertical slider, and you can scroll through and swipe over each cover for playback info and more details.

New shows can be added by tapping the “+” button at the very top left of the app. Instacast HD borrows several interface elements from popular apps like Reeder and Twitter for iPad, so you’ll probably feel right at home when you first open the app.

Once you enable iCloud sync, episodes and playback statuses are automatically synced back and forth between the iPhone and iPad app. Instacast HD’s Download Manager lets you cache certain episodes for offline listening. Downloads can be managed and rearranged to have priority in the manager — a perfect feature for the frequent flyer.

While Instacast on the iPhone is perfect for listening to podcasts on the go, the iPad experience is optimized for sitting back and relaxing with a nice drink. An episode’s show notes are front and center in Instacast HD, and you can browse through links in the app’s wonderful browser. You can send links to services like Instapaper and Read It Later, and even tweet links in-app to your friends.

When you’re playing an audio show, you have access to a handy “Now Playing” window with playback controls anywhere in the app. You can star certain shows for quick reference and pull in podcasts from iTunes, RSS, or your iOS 5 Music app.

Video podcasts in Instacast HD work marvelously, and there’s AirPlay integration to send what you’re watching to your Apple TV.

Instacast is the future of listening to podcasts, and my only complaint is that there isn’t a Mac version yet. You can download Instacast HD for iPad in the App Store for $4.99. The iPhone version is also available for $1.99.

The developer of Instacast, Martin Hering, has been kind enough to give away three copies of Instacast HD to lucky iDB readers!

How do you win? It’s easy: simply leave a comment below telling us why want Instacast HD. Creativity is always a plus!

Update: Winners have been contacted via email.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000016324983 Tomas Hendriks

    I love to have it! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrik.bernhardsson Patrik Bernhardsson

    It would be perfect for me. I listen to podcasts in instacast on the bus on My way to work. At work i could then use My iPad to continue listening. And finally on the way home it would have synced the listening position to My iPhone. :)

  • Anonymous

    Nice app! I’d like it because I just bought a new iPad 2 and would like some great apps on it.

  • http://twitter.com/turbineseaplane Buck

    I’d like to dump iCatcher!! That’s why I would like Instacast!! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626317998 Mark Jeacoma

    I want to listen to no agenda all day

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000016324983 Tomas Hendriks

    I’m a huge fan of Music so this app will be awsome!!

  • http://twitter.com/iMax0r Max

    I would love Instacast HD as to counter my battery wasting ways of TWO devices on my way to do things on the bus. Instead of using an iPhone with headphones and playing games/browsing on iPad, I could do it all on one HUGE battery. This would be great, it would make my life incredibly easier. Also, I’ve stuck with Instacast because it has the most simple, sexy interface. As apposed to Pocket Casts. Hope im considered to win ☺

  • http://www.facebook.com/pax0707 Miroslav Stankic

    I have it on my iPhone and this would be perfect for video podcasts (read TWiT) on my iPad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donnie-Goins/630008580 Donnie Goins

    I want it because I have 18 podcast that I try to keep synced with my iPad, iPhone, Touch and Nano. I have Instacast on my Touch and it would be awesome to have it on my iPad. It is a real pain keeping the. Synced.

  • mehrzad m.m

    I really need it because i’m not american and i listen to podcasts in order to improve my englisj
    Thanks IDB

  • http://twitter.com/LadtheiPad Lad the iPad

    Actually, I am a PODCAST and I would love a new home, as shiny and fantastic as Instacast.

  • niels oggel

    Shitty apple store. We need the revolution. I believe this is that revolution!

  • http://twitter.com/mjperljam Michael Perlman

    I have been waiting for Instacast to come out on the iPad. The iCloud sync is a perfect addition. I will wait to get it to see if iDB will give me a Christmas present…

  • http://twitter.com/rftechguy Patrick Richardson

    I have yet to see anything better than ‘Podcaster.’ Would like to see if this is better.

  • B. Boogie

    Creative? That means haiku, right? Well, heck, I’m always game for free-stuff-winning-with-haiku cretivitude! Lemme just have a moment to put my special 5-7-5 boxers on… Okey-dokey, here we go:

    Sweet new podcast app?
    I hope it likes my fancy
    haiku underpants.

  • RB McKinney

    I wont it cuz I can’t spell and have no money. Also I have no arms.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to have this.. I use it on my iphone regularly..It keeps me from syncing with itunes to grab the latest.

    3G ipad would enjoy downloading new podcasts too! Share the love!

  • http://twitter.com/MaiaFW Maia Faith Wilson

    I would really like Instacast. Cause I broke my arm and now I’m wearing a “cast” on my arm. Its an “Instacast” :-)

  • Anonymous

    I have Instacast for iPhone but using something else on the iPad since it is not native. Now I can get Instacast HD that has a very nice interface and improved functionality plus able to sync with the iPhone version so I can pick up where the other left off! Thanks for giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!

  • http://twitter.com/costee Nagy Konstantin

    I’m gonna buy an iPad 2 or 3 soon and I’m already collecting the apps for it. This app looks useful, so I hope I’ll win it :)

  • http://www.iphonetuga.net Nuno Quina

    I already use instacast on the train, while i’m on my way to work. The problem is that i use it on the iPhone, witch as…let’s call “some battery issues”! So, if only I could use the iPad instead, it would be awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/zwolfinger Zak Wolfinger

    Who wouldn’t want Instacats HD? I’ve always been looking for a way to get cats instantly. And HD cats? Forget about it! And podcasting HD cats? Shut up! So now how does this Instacats thing work? Do I just add water? Or is it inflatable or what? With an iPad, an iPhone, and a 45 minute commute each day, now I’ll be able to get my fill of podcasting HD cats just like I’ve always wanted. Wait, InstaCAST? What?

  • http://twitter.com/jge162 Jeremy Geovanni

    If I had that app my life would be complete. Please complete me idb. Hoot rah.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emilvasile Emil Vasile

    I have the Iphone instacast and would love to sync with my ipad that I use on my truck dashboard when driving, the would compete my listening to podcast while commuting needs. I can really use this, thank you

  • http://twitter.com/coffee_rv Rafa Verduzco

    I am a huge fan of podcasts. I literally wake up and immediately start listening to podcasts every morning and throughout all day (as activities of grad school permit, of course), and go to sleep listening to one. TWiT, 5by5, Nature, Science Magazine, you name it! =)
    I agree that syncing with iTunes for medium or heavy use is simply not an option. Currently I’m using Podcaster on the iPad. It does the job, but being an iPhone app… it obviously doesn’t take advantage of the iPad capabilities. Given the feature set of Instacast HD, I would love to use it.
    What about showing some love to us LatinAmerica iOS users? =)

  • http://twitter.com/lic_jcalderonp Javier Calderon

    I like to be up to date on information, I’m not always close to my computer but with my iphone and iPad on the road I can be informed. I would like to have the app so i can sync thrue iCloud between my devices

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.fedorko Richard Fedorko

    Because the UI is clear, minimalist and because the content is the king in this app.

    R.

  • http://twitter.com/sunnykins sunnykins

    Instacast is the only reason I can survive the long drives out to the Washington coast. It helps prep me for family time by allowing me to revel in other people’s awkward stories first. I’d LOVE to have it on my iPad too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jparkerweb Justin Parker

    iCatcher!