Podcasts on Garmin CIQ – with RUNCASTS

If you are the proud owner of a new Garmin music-enabled sports watch then you probably bought it to listen to music. I have the Forerunner 945 but you might instead have the Forerunner 645M or the Forerunner 245M.

Those of you who have heard of Deezer and who have an account with them will probably use that. The rest of us will use Spotify and bemoan the lack of Google Play or Apple Music support, or maybe even use music from our personal music collection – aka CDs and, possibly, illegally downloaded stuff (you naughty people).

Yet there are a significant number of us who have listened to the occasional podcast and, perhaps, want to listen to some more running-focussed ones as we run.

Sure you can probably use Spotify to listen to podcasts but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a run-focussed Garmin CIQ podcast app?

You’ve guessed it.

Welcome to Runcasts. It’s not new and has already had over 16,000 downloads, so it sort-of mostly works. Unsurprisingly, you have to create an account, choose some podcasts, download and sync the CIQ app, and then sync the podcasts themselves. After you’ve used RUNCASTS a few times, you have to pay the monthly fee to get the features you probably really want. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First up you’ll notice the 3/5 ranking when you search for RUNCASTS on the CIQ app store. That 3/5 ranking is made up of a lot of 1/5 rankings as well as 5/5 rankings and there seems to be some issues with syncing (I didn’t find any) but also low rankings from people who want free stuff that they place a value on (because they invest their time in it) and yet don’t want to stump up to pay for the guy’s time who made the stuff which entertains them as they run. I freely admit to being one of those people sometimes but not all the time.

The paid-for features offer HD quality, auto-sync over WiFi and a larger queue of podcasts. I don’t think the high-quality feature is a particular issue as the sound quality was good enough for me, and you can manually get around the auto-sync requirement easily enough. But, from my perspective, it’s handy to have a larger queue. Would I pay $5/mo for that?…probably not.


Nevertheless, the free version fits happily enough into all the usual CIQ places and you will find it on your Garmin Express’s list of apps or, for the more enlightened amongst you, you will find it in the Connect IQ app store. Here you can see that there are no particular settings you make to the CIQ app itself as all PODCAST selections are made on the Runcasts’ online platform.



There are, perhaps surprisingly, a lot of running PODCASTS to chose from ranging from vendor podcasts through to those by elite athletes. You might even find the occasional running gadget podcast from your second-favourite sports gadgeteer (OK, I know what you’re going to say…it’s Monday…be nice to me).

Here you can see one of the podcasts showing in the online platform. As you choose new ones to listen to and add them to your queue, it’s a good idea to flag up the ones you don’t want to listen to any more by marking them as PLAYED/’already listened to’. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for that particular podcast and, I would assume, that new ones are automatically sync’s to your watch as they are created and published by the author in question.

I decided to download today’s post from your second favourite sports tech gadgeteer and the sync over my good WiFi connection took less than a minute.

My Jabra elite 65t active earbuds were whipped out of their charging case and everything was playing a few seconds later.

Time for a run with my Garmin Podcasts via Runcasts.

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13 thoughts on “Podcasts on Garmin CIQ – with RUNCASTS

  1. This whole side-loading horror show is exactly why I’m waiting for Apple Watch Series 5 (or whatever they call it this year). Everything will work. I’ll hopefully (if NZ gets eSim sorted in time, which they should on my provider) have streaming Apple Music, painless Apple Pay, the ability to run proper apps…all of it.

    The one thing I won’t likely have is IM or 100k ultra length battery life. I’ll keep my Spartan Ultra for some events, but my daily training is about to go Apple all the way. Even the Mighty + Spotify + Bose SoundSport Free combo is a pain in the backside when you just want to get out the door.

      1. Sadly, I think I’m in the same boat. What I really want is a native Audible app. I like to listen to audio books on long runs, or really any run. I need distraction from the fact I’m running. I’ve tried Runcast, and it does work. I’ve even cracked the DRM on Audible’s files, built a podcast server out of a Raspberry Pi, and used Runcast to subscribe so I could sync audiobooks to my Fenix 5x Plus. The main goal here is to be able to jump back 30 seconds at a time, which Runcast supports and Garmin’s built-in music player does not. But honestly, this is way to much work just to listen to an audio book. As much as I like my Garmin, I’m very tempted by an Apple Watch because it just works. But I do hate that battery life and the screen. I want the screen from my Garmin on the Apple Watch with a multi day battery and I’d be a very happy man. ***sigh***

  2. My 945 finally turned up today! Woohoo!
    Runcasts looks excellent. I mainly listen to podcasts and audiobooks when running, so having something simple like runcasts would be great. I’m not a spotify user, and pay for google play music and audible – hopefully we’ll see support there at some point.
    I am happy to pay for things where I value them. For example, I pay for ‘free’ podcasts through Patreon. I can chose what I pay, and I get regular new content. However – $5/month for Runcasts is too much. If it were $2 then I’d go for that, or even a $20 one off. However, that $5 will very quickly build up. Yes, I know thats the point of a license model, and I am sure there is work to be done to keep the platform running. Maybe I’m just a tight-ar$e ?! Spotify is £10/month I think for a huge amount of music and £15 for Google Play Music for my whole family. $5 for runcasts doesnt stack up compared.

      1. … but this isnt Zimbabwe! $5/month is silly. Its like the ‘tax relief for the rich’ argument – drop the cost and the overall revenues will go up. I would wager that if the cost was $1/month, or a $10-20 one off (or even per year), then the dev would attract more subs and cash overall.

      2. (I agree)
        10-20 as a one off sounds fair to me. but everyone likes a revenue stream if they hope to sell out in the future.
        would they increase subscribers by a factor of 5 if the price dropped by 80%…maybe. but certainly not initially.
        it’s currently on just under 20,000 downloads, i ownder how many subscribers there are? 5% as subscribers would give 1000 a year or $70k pa. sweet. I imagine it’s less.
        to get 100k pa at $1 pcm would need >8000 subscribers or 40% of current downloaders.
        hopefully the maths is right. developer Conrad has not put a deposit on his Tropical Island yet.
        are podcasts a big thing for runners? i dont really know.

      3. Unless you’re Mark Z or Mr Uber, I don’t think many people expect to make their fortune with an app. Limit that to Garmin, connect iq, music and then further still by specialising in podcasts, and you can only expect cost covering plus a bit of extra play money.
        Surely he’s shooting way above expectations of revenue, and by coming down a little he’ll do himself, and us, a favour.
        Best case is garmin buy him out and look at some sort of subs model too?? Or perhaps an additional strava summit option???

  3. Right… thats it.. I take all that back!
    I’ve just spent 2 hours with Garmin Express trying to link it with itunes in a way thats actually usable. Its a shocking state of affairs that I’m now a symlink expert in windows, having to create hard links to network folders in order to get Garmin to even see my itunes folder! I only use itunes for podcasts…. Its a nightmare to then update the podcasts in itunes, have Express refresh the music list and then select what I want to copy over having plugged the watch into the laptop.
    Maybe $5/month for runcasts isn’t so bad after all!!! 🙁
    Now if only google play music and garmin would buddy up… (I’ve never ‘got’ spotify, but may give it a go as for £10/month I’ll get music and all the podcasts….)

    1. if it’s any consolation I’m trying to get Windows 10 to see my device/Garmin/activity folder as a drive with the 945M. You probably had more success.

      1. The folder structure appeared fine on my laptop with the 945 in MTP mode…
        Music management is so badly thought out. Integration with iTunes would be nice – but it appears the library location is hard coded and doesn’t support music/podcasts on a NAS or network drive! The whole iTunes xml approach is even deprecated by Apple.
        Surely garmin must have had to *try* to do it so poorly? Or maybe they have an agreement with Spotify to screw iTunes integration?! 😂

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