Both Sony and Microsoft consoles now support playing podcasts in the background while you’re in games or other apps — although the PlayStation 4 requires you to jump through a few extra hoops to get this working.
You can listen to podcasts through the Spotify app on the PlayStation 4 while you are playing games on the system. This works just like the service’s music offerings, which means you do not need a Spotify Premium subscription. You can tune into podcasts like Still Buffering, Radiolab, and WTF with Marc Maron while you nail a header off your bumper in Rocket League. This support means that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can now play podcasts and games simultaneously.
But unlike my recent experience with podcasts on Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 solution is rough.
You can’t search for podcasts through the Spotify app on the PS4. If you do, you won’t get any show results. And you can’t use a laptop since podcasts are not on the desktop or web-based versions of the service. This means you need to keep your smartphone next to you so that you can subscribe to shows.
It took me several minutes to figure out why I couldn’t find any podcasts after punching in a bunch of popular shows with my DualShock 4 gamepad. Those fruitless searches left me frustrated, and I bet other people will feel the same way.
Even when I figured out that I had to use my phone to get started with podcasts on PS4, I quickly discovered that Spotify has some major holes in its lineup.
Do you like The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Giant Bombcast, or Pardon The Interruption? Hell, do you listen to any ESPN podcast? Too bad. Spotify doesn’t have those, and that means your PS4 doesn’t have them, either.
For comparison, I had no trouble finding those podcasts on the Cast app I use on Xbox One. Unfortunately, you can’t add podcasts to your Spotify library using RSS feeds, which is a standard feature with most other podcatchers.
This does have some good points. Spotify Connect means you can find and control your podcasts on your PS4 from your smartphone. When you are logged into both, you can instantly start playing an episode on your gaming console with the press of a button on your iPhone or android. As long as you have your phone with you, this is even more convenient than the PS4’s new Quick Menu options.
But Spotify’s podcast implementation is too limited to recommend without reservation. I want to say that this is better than nothing, but it isn’t if the service is missing your favorite show. It is a good sign, however, and now we just have to wait and see if more shows end up on the streaming-music company’s app.