Overcast - Castro dilemma

After 12 months of no updates while charging for a sub, and poor communication to its users, I don’t really care what they come out with - they’ve lost my trust and my money.

Sorry, didn’t mean to suggest you should use it. You’re still happy with Pocket Casts from a few weeks ago, right?

Oh I didn’t mean it to sound that way, sorry.

I love Castro but man - they dropped the ball. Pocket Casts is still working well :grinning:

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The watch app is great. I have mine set to automatically download my Up Next queue onto my watch. The sync can be slow, but a nice feature to have podcasts ready and available.

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I just carry my iPhone in my pocket like an animal.


Castro has a release coming very soon. It’s still my favorite, even though I subscribe to Overcast as well. Castro’s design and management makes more sense to me.

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As I was about to dump Castro after many dedicated years of use, they finally released an update today.

Downloading and will explore.

Not just erratic, but I kept having issues with Pocket Casts just straight-up forgetting where I’d left off on the same device. “Wait, didn’t I hear this already?” Sometimes I’d find myself skipping 20, 30, even 40 minutes ahead to get back where I was. Between that, spotty Watch sync of episodes, and the fact that it felt like Automattic acquired the app and then pulled resources from development, I begrudgingly switched to Overcast and haven’t looked back. I wish Overcast wasn’t quite so opinionated about things like ordering podcasts alphabetically and had a more compact interface, but it’s rock solid so…

You probably know, but in Overcast, the real power is in (smart) playlists. I have one called “everything” which has all episodes from oldest to newest for all podcasts, so I can work through them until I am up to date, either listening or simply swiping to delete the episode (you can always see all the published episodes in the “all episodes” list for the podcast so delete really means "remove from current episodes). It’s possible to set priority podcasts (where the episode will go to the top of the list) or exclude specific episodes too.

I almost never look at the default lists, so the alphabetical sort is as good as anything else.

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I’ll be curious what you think. The release notes are utterly confusing, and the screenshots in the app store aren’t much better.

I’m also curious for the same reasons.

Castro didn’t need any sweeping changes. It just needed its bugs fixed.

UI interface overhaul. Best way to understand the changes is to download the app. I will be testing (continuing to use) it over the next few weeks.

For me, Castro had CarPlay bugs. This release did not mention anything about CarPlay.

I’m finding some utility in the new queue filters, but they’re a little buggy and some are unoptimized (they take too long to switch to after tapping.) The core Castro experience is still there and works.

There’s a little muscle memory adjustment required since they’ve changed the sizes of headers. I didn’t realize I was queueing or rejecting the top episode blind so much until updating. :slight_smile:

They might have fixed a downloading/network continuity bug that annoyed me when driving away from wifi. I haven’t browsed the package yet to see what might’ve changed under the hood.

Overall: if you love Castro, it’s still Castro and you’ll probably end up using a couple of the new views. If you were nervous about using an abandoned app, you got a reassuring update. If you’d sworn off Castro, this isn’t going to bring you back.

Oh, here’s a nice one! There was a bug that would restart playing an episode after finishing if you unchecked the last chapter. Now it jumps to the next episode as it should.

After seeing the Castro the release, I will stick with Overcast. Castro communication has not really been stellar. I also see bugs which, frankly, Marco Arment would never let ship in Overcast…I think the quality control is lower priority with the current owners of Castro unfortunately.


I don’t get it.
They do a re-release and then nothing…

I’ve sent some bug reports but total radio silence.

What is it with these guys?

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I just asked them the same on Twitter and they say to email support@castro.fm.

Their marketing person (if one exists) is doing a really poor job lately.

Will have to give credit where due - they are quickly addressing bugs. But…I was on the recent beta, sent feedback and they shipped (good for them, I guess?), but this is one beta where it was half baked and shipped too soon. I like Castro a lot. Trying to really stick with it. Side loads are a proprietary thing I think, and I use those so often.

I’ve been contacting them through the support email link in the app and getting replies. Sometimes they ask for my backup file, which seems healthy. The latest 2023.3 patch did fix a bunch of bugs I’d noticed, but not everything, and I think it regressed in a couple areas.

Depending on how often you use sideloads, you might find Overcast + Downie effective.

That’s my workflow for sideloads: Download from the web using Downie, then upload to Overcast.fm. I do it from the Mac.

I’m not trying to evangelize here. If you’re happy with Castro, or think you might be happier with some other option, go for it!

I switch podcast apps every few months, but I think over the last 10 years I’ve spent more time on Overcast than any other. And Overcast has slowly added features that bring it closer to ideal for me.

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