I love doing two things at once, like playing video games and listening to podcasts. And the Xbox One has become an ideal console for doing just that.
Microsoft updated the Xbox One this summer with a huge patch that introduced two important additions: background music, and Universal Windows Platform app support. The first now plays any tune during a game using programs like Microsoft’s Groove radio. UWP support, meanwhile, enables developers to release an app that works across Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. One developer has taken advantage of both of those capabilities so that podcasts play in the background on Xbox One.
To listen to podcasts on Xbox One, you need to ensure your console is up to date. Then follow these steps:
- Go to the Store on Xbox One.
- Search for “Cast” to find the Cast app.
- If you don’t see the app, make sure you have the drop-down menu set to “Apps” and not “Games.”
- Download Cast.
- Search for the podcasts you want, and start listening.
- You may have to manually turn down the volume of your game in its settings to get the balance you want.
Here’s a look at podcasts in action on Xbox One:
This feature is a killer app for me. I can now still get my game audio while listening to The Exploding Barrel, The Adventure Zone, and Still Buffering. But, of course, the experience isn’t perfect yet. It stinks that you can’t turn down the volume of the game and turn up the volume of the background app. Most games have a “Master volume” control these days, but I’d still prefer it if the Xbox One took control of that on a OS level.
While the system doesn’t have the robust volume mixing that I would prefer, you can double-click the Xbox button at any time to pause, mute, and skip to the next episode whenever you want. Wisely, the Xbox One defaults to the audio controls when you bring up that quick menu whenever you have something playing in the background.
It’s awesome that this works. I always thought podcasts would never come to the consoles, but here it is. The Cast app isn’t the best, but it has enough of the features that most people will want. You can subscribe to your favorite shows, you can add episodes to a playlist for marathon sessions, and you can pause and pick up from where you left off later. Hell, you can even pick up on the PC from where you left on the console because Cast syncs everything in the cloud for your Microsoft account.
So go out and game while listening to podcasts — just don’t let Marc Maron’s attitude bring down your Overwatch game.