Pocket Cast Open Sources its Mobile Apps

Posted on October 23, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, iOS, Android, Music + Videos with 6 Comments

Pocket Cast announced that it has open sourced the mobile versions of its popular podcast apps using the Mozilla Public License.

“We’ve been eager to take this step since we joined Automattic last year,” the Pocket Casts team writes in the announcement post. “After all, the company’s creed includes the phrase ‘I know that open source is the most powerful idea of our generation.’ We believe that podcasting can not and should not be controlled by Apple and Spotify, and instead support a diverse ecosystem of third-party clients.”

Automattic cofounder and CEO Matt Mullenweg, arguably one of the most decent people in upper leadership in Big Tech is an outspoken proponent of open source, so this change is perhaps not surprising. As to what they expect to get out of it, Pocket Casts says that open sourcing its code should lead to bug reports, feature requests, and outside contributors helping them fix issues. Pocket Casts plans to continue adding new features, fixing bugs, and expanding its paid Plus membership as well.

After a rough few years, Pocket Casts seems to have found a good home at Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. A consortium of public radio companies that included NPR purchased Pocket Casts in 2018, and it was subsequently sold to Automattic a year later. I stopped using Pocket Casts after its disastrous version 7 upgrade in early 2019—I moved temporarily to Castbox—but returned a year or so later after all the user experience mistakes it had made were corrected. I still use (and recommend) Pocket Casts today.

You can learn more about Pocket Casts on the company’s website.

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