Find and Subscribe to Podcasts on Windows Phone

July 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the most effective ways to spend your time on a train or airplane is to listen to music. But if you’re a fan of the spoken word, you might prefer a podcast!

There are many thousands of podcasts published online every day, often available via iTunes and other services, but more often than not the publishers also make their podcasts available via an RSS feed. This enables anyone who doesn’t use iTunes to subscribe to the program and have it automatically downloaded to their computer to be synced with a phone or MP3 device.

Windows Phone 7 offers this functionality via the Zune desktop client, software that can be described as Microsoft’s answer to iTunes.

Find and subscribe to podcasts in Windows Phone 7

Using the Zune Client

If you haven’t already installed the Zune desktop client on your Windows computer, head to and download the latest version. Once you have installed it, connect your Window Phone via USB and wait for the Zune client to detect your handset and display the device name and other information to confirm connection.

The Zune client is provided as a means of manually synchronizing data between your phone and computer, as well as making it simple to purchase apps, music and games; various other tools are also provided.

When you first open Zune, you will see that there is a menu across the top-left of the window; when your phone is connected, this menu will be added to with Phone, under which you will find a Summary, Music, Videos, Pictures, and Podcasts.

We will return to this option later on – the Podcasts view displays a list of podcasts that have been synced to your phone – but in the meantime click Collection > Podcasts to begin the process of adding a new podcast.

Subscribing to a Podcast in Windows Phone

On the Podcasts screen, click the Add a Podcast button in the lower left corner of the screen. This will launch a text entry box into which you should paste the URL of the RSS feed for the podcast that you wish to subscribe to.

After your podcasts have been subscribed to, you might wish to limit the number of files that are synchronized to your device at any one time, or manage some other details such as playback order or setting syncing rules. These can be adjusted via the Series Settings button in the lower right corner of the Podcast window, just below the Unsubscribe button which will prevent any further podcasts from being downloaded.

To sync the podcasts from your computer to your phone, simply connect the device for a few minutes via USB cable!

Finally, if you’re out or away from your computer for any length of time but want to get hold of a podcast, there is an app in the Marketplace called Podcasts! which will allow you to download any podcast you can find directly to your phone via Wi-Fi or a 3G wireless connection.

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