A Music App Shouldn't Be a Podcast App

Many popular music apps handle not only music, but podcasts. The thinking goes that since both are comprised of MP3s (or other audio files), that they should be handled in the same app.

Music screenshot

The elementary Music app

The mental models between a music app and a podcast app are vastly different, though. I don’t go, “Hmm, I want to listen to one or more MP3s. Do I want that to be a series of songs, or a podcast?”

I go, “Hmm, I want to listen to some music,” or, “I want to listen to a podcast.”

Just because one underlying piece of technology is the same doesn’t mean it needs to be the same app. Especially when you start to consider the unique aspects of podcasts like subscribing, downloading, streaming, video, etc. It’s just a whole different monster.

Vocal screenshot

Vocal, an upcoming podcast app

This is why I’m excited to see the third-party app Vocal being developed. It’s a podcast app through and through. The elementary Music app can stay dedicated to organizing and playing music, while Vocal can take all of those podcast duties and rock at them.


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