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Podcast app "Castro" updated to version 3.0 this week, introducing a collection of notable additions like a rebuilt player engine, cleaner layout, Apple Watch app, and more.

Developer Supertop Software says that Castro 3 is "much faster" when users start streaming a podcast and the app's controls are more responsive thanks to a simpler layout on the player screen. Users can now star the current episode they're listening to from the player by double tapping the artwork, and in this screen there are also newly accessible AirPlay controls for streaming podcasts to other devices with fewer steps.

castro-podcasts-update.jpg

Additionally, Supertop has rolled out an Apple Watch app for podcast playback, letting users control their podcasts and choose new episodes from their queue to play.

Castro is a free app to download [Direct Link], and the app supports in-app purchases for Castro Plus at $8.99 per year or $2.99 per quarter. Castro Plus offers advanced features like mono-mix, chapter skipping and selection, trim silence and enhanced voices for an improved listening experience, and more.

Many users have grown frustrated with Apple's own dedicated Podcasts app, despite an update last year that Apple said was aimed at introducing a "richer" user experience. As more and more companies begin looking into the podcast market, Apple has been making moves that should beef up its own app, including the acquisition of podcast search startup Pop Up Archive last December.

Article Link: Castro Podcasts Updates With Quicker AirPlay Controls, Cleaner Layout, Apple Watch App, and More
 

Ludatyk

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2012
3,244
1,987
Texas
Definitely like the new update.. but it's missing an iPad app, unfortunately without that.. can't move away from PocketCast.
 
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tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
I’ll give Castro a shot. $3 for three months seems like a reasonable trial fee.

I’m subscribed to around 15-20 podcasts at any one time, and PocketCasts has been my go-to podcast player for years, whether on iPhone or Android. PocketCasts checks all the boxes. But I like to change things up and try something new.

Apple’s Podcast app is pretty and easy to use, but no silence-skipping is a non-starter at this point. Skipping all those small silences really adds up over time.

I paid $10 upfront for an annual subscription to Overcast, and then a couple of months ago it stopped working COMPLETELY. It crashes upon opening every time. The developer refuses to respond to multiple emails, and App Store reviews show I’m not the only one for whom the app has become unusable. I’m out $10 on Overcast, but as the developer says, “That’s life, thanks for understanding.”

I’m heading over to the App Store now to give Castro a try.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 68000
Jan 10, 2005
1,568
1,524
I’ll give Castro a shot. $3 for three months seems like a reasonable trial fee.

I’m subscribed to around 15-20 podcasts at any one time, and PocketCasts has been my go-to podcast player for years, whether on iPhone or Android. PocketCasts checks all the boxes. But I like to change things up and try something new.

Apple’s Podcast app is pretty and easy to use, but no silence-skipping is a non-starter at this point. Skipping all those small silences really adds up over time.

I paid $10 upfront for an annual subscription to Overcast, and then a couple of months ago it stopped working COMPLETELY. It crashes upon opening every time. The developer refuses to respond to multiple emails, and App Store reviews show I’m not the only one for whom the app has become unusable. I’m out $10 on Overcast, but as the developer says, “That’s life, thanks for understanding.”

I’m heading over to the App Store now to give Castro a try.

Genuinely curious... Overcast is likely THE biggest 3rd party Podcast app, one I have used for years. Marco can be pretty darn abrasive sometimes, but I just don't see him not fixing a major crashing bug, nor have I heard or seen a crashing bug "opening every time." I don't doubt you a bit, just wondering what device / configuration you are using that causes this as I have never seen such an issue with a product I frankly love.
 

tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
Genuinely curious... Overcast is likely THE biggest 3rd party Podcast app, one I have used for years. Marco can be pretty darn abrasive sometimes, but I just don't see him not fixing a major crashing bug, nor have I heard or seen a crashing bug "opening every time." I don't doubt you a bit, just wondering what device / configuration you are using that causes this as I have never seen such an issue with a product I frankly love.
The App Store reviews for Overcast are generally very positive, but when you sort reviews by most recent, there are others like me who experience immediate freezing and crashing upon opening. I have no doubt that we’re a small percentage, but I’m a paying (or paid) customer who has a nonfunctional app. $10 down the drain.

I’ve been playing with Castro for the last 15 minutes, and although there’s a bit of a learning curve, and it’s not super-intuitive, the interface is really pretty. Also, the sleep timer options are comprehensive, which I like.

It’s easy to export/import subscriptions between podcast players via OPML files (except for Apple’s Podcast app, of course), so giving new podcast players a try is pretty easy.

Also, I discovered that Castro’s subscription via the App Store offers a 7-day free trial, so what the heck, it’s worth giving it a run.

Edit: One tip is that once you’re on the player page, swipe down to get back to the main menu...

Also, now that I’ve figured out the difference between the inbox and the queue, it makes a lot more sense. Again, not intuitive, but it looks like a little persistence and playing around is going to be worth it. Castro is growing on me.
 
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siddavis

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
297
727
Can Apple please just allow developers to make a podcast app that can stream or at least download to the Apple Watch? I listen to podcasts when I run and I think it’s stupid that with a 4th gen Watch with cellular that I have to carry my phone too. Simply ridiculous.
 

tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
Have you tried deleting and reinstalling it?

Dozens and dozens of times.

I tried every variable I could think of. Streaming, downloading, deleting individual podcasts... No go Joe.

A simple reply from the developer saying he’s looking into the problem would have been nice. Any reply at all would have been nice.

PocketCasts is pretty much bulletproof, but Castro, after some familiarization, is looking really good.

The big test will be about battery drain. PocketCasts will once in a while go crazy on the battery drain if I’m in a poor signal area. Overcast would do the same once in a while back when it was usable. If Castro doesn’t kill my battery, it’s visual appeal may win me over. I’m a sucker for thick, smooth fonts and buttons.
 

RoobyRoobyRoo

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2016
61
360
Dozens and dozens of times.

I tried every variable I could think of. Streaming, downloading, deleting individual podcasts... No go Joe.

A simple reply from the developer saying he’s looking into the problem would have been nice. Any reply at all would have been nice.

I've been using Overcast daily for years with no issues, but it's a little disheartening to hear that you're having this show-stopping bug without any response at all from the developer. If it is an issue with the app itself, I hope it's resolved quickly.
 

tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
I've been using Overcast daily for years with no issues, but it's a little disheartening to hear that you're having this show-stopping bug without any response at all from the developer. If it is an issue with the app itself, I hope it's resolved quickly.

Well, aside from wishing I could get my $10 back, I've given up on Overcast. Pocket Casts is great, and Castro 3 is looking really good too.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 68000
Jan 10, 2005
1,568
1,524
Can Apple please just allow developers to make a podcast app that can stream or at least download to the Apple Watch? I listen to podcasts when I run and I think it’s stupid that with a 4th gen Watch with cellular that I have to carry my phone too. Simply ridiculous.

I think it is almost 100% likely that they will have their own Podcast app for the Apple Watch for watchOS 5.0 that will be announced on June 4th at WWDC. I'm sure it will stream over LTE for Series 3 and beyond too. Now if they add APIs that Overcast, Castro etc. can use to do the same is a much bigger question...
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,558
1,663
Colorado Springs, CO
The big test will be about battery drain. PocketCasts will once in a while go crazy on the battery drain if I’m in a poor signal area. Overcast would do the same once in a while back when it was usable. If Castro doesn’t kill my battery, it’s visual appeal may win me over. I’m a sucker for thick, smooth fonts and buttons.
That’s an iOS issue I’m afraid. Even with no apps running it’ll kill the battery trying to get a signal. I just put it in airplane mode when heading out to remote areas. In the city I’m not usually in a bad signal spot for long enough for it to matter.
 
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tom5304

macrumors regular
May 7, 2005
211
110
That’s an iOS issue I’m afraid. Even with no apps running it’ll kill the battery trying to get a signal. I just put it in airplane mode when heading out to remote areas. In the city I’m not usually in a bad signal spot for long enough for it to matter.
Yes, definitely an iOS issue. And I use airplane mode to counter the battery drain. But when I check the battery stats in settings, it’s only the podcast apps that use a crazy amount of data when I’m in a really bad signal area.

The thing that perplexed me is that 90% of the time my podcast apps just run the battery down a little bit when there’s low signal, and sometimes I can lose 20-40% battery in a few hours. Very random behavior.

But I love podcasts, like I loved radio as a kid in the 70s, so I’ll pay whatever price in battery drain. By far my most used apps are for podcasts and audiobooks. What are you gonna do?
 
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