I've been a huge fan of podcasts since the day they were invented back in 2004-2005. It was the first time my niche interests were met with informational content created by people who knew what they were talking about, in English.
Living in a country were ANY kind of show regarding computers or the internet was simply nonexistent, podcasts gave me a window of entertainment and fresh information coming from people who created the tools and services that made a difference in my daily life.
I looked around for any actively developed solutions and Podgrab came up as a simple and intuitive one. I did stumble upon full-fledged media streamers like airsonic-advanced and various others but as usual I chose the tool that did just the job I was looking for, besides I'm already running Jellyfin so why even bother.
There is a docker container available so that meant that I was in business with a simple docker-compose that needed a couple of directories and a port mapping.
I exported an OPML file from Pocket Casts on my phone and used the add podcast page to upload that to Podgrab and voilà! All my favorite shows were instantly imported and the latest episode of each one started downloading. I made the choice of a single episode download, when a new podcast is added, on the settings page since the default of 5 was too many for me.
The first thing I checked was the ability to continue playback from the last known position, and I was glad that worked as expected.
Now, to make things clear, Podgrab is a bare-bones podcast manager when compared to Pocket Casts but the fact that it is always on and not getting killed by the phone's battery manager was a plus. The killer feature, being a server app, is the central management and availability to all my machines, something that the Pocket Casts service offers with a subscription.
One neat feature that Podgrab has is its own RSS feed that you can subscribe to with your favorite feed reader or podcast player. This gives you access to the latest episodes in chronological order along with the ability to play them. Unfortunately Pocket Casts didn't accept this, so my dreams of a unified system didn't work out, but I do still get a notification when new episodes are released, and I can play them with a provided player snippet on my reader.
Podgrab is, as of this writing, a fresh project, so you might encounter some bugs that you might consider reporting, or even fixing them with a pull request on GitHub. I'll be testing it out over the next few days to see how it actually fits into my listening habits, and I'll be reporting anything worth mentioning in this space.