Relay FM Launches New iOS App, Overcast Goes Free and Adds Streaming Capabilities

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Apr 12, 2001
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Independent podcast network Relay FM today launched its first iOS app, giving Relay FM listeners a dedicated spot to listen to their favorite podcast shows. The app is designed to allow users to discover new podcasts to listen to and then subscribe to their favorites, with push notifications sent whenever a show is streaming live.

Relay FM's new app has a clean, vibrant look with eye-catching animated artwork. Relay FM lets users listen to podcasts live and catch up on recent episodes, but it's not a complete podcast client. As noted by TechCrunch, there's no way to subscribe to shows within the app or listen to past episodes.


Also new in the world of podcasting apps is an updated version of Marco Arment's popular Overcast app. Overcast 2 has gone free, with all of the app's features available at no cost, but there is an monthly patronage option for customers who want to support the app. Overcast 2 also includes streaming for a better listening experience.

Episodes can now be played immediately without waiting for them to download, and new episodes can be listened to through streaming instead of via download in order to save storage space. A built-in storage manager lets users see how much space downloaded podcasts are consuming and it includes options to delete downloads and stream episodes on demand.


According to Marco Arment, Overcast 2's streaming architecture has improved battery life and made all playback faster to start and more reliable. Features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost have been enhanced, with Smart Speed adapting dynamically to quieter voices.

There are also 3D Touch launch shortcuts, better search, improved communication with the Apple Watch app, and more. A full list of features is available on Marco.org.

Relay FM can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Overcast can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Relay FM Launches New iOS App, Overcast Goes Free and Adds Streaming Capabilities
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,717
3,157
Overcast 2.0 is amazing. My favorite feature, which received only a brief mention, is 3D Touch Quick Action. It shows a couple of latest episodes on different playlists, recommend current podcast, and most importantly pause/resume for current podcast. That last quick action is worth the upgrade alone (and Patron IAP as a thank you). Add streaming (which works the way it should work) and chapter stops, I think 2.0 is just about perfect.

If I were to nitpick, I was really hoping for ability to review "recommended" podcasts.

As for Relay FM, I love these guys, but I just don't see myself using it. At the very minimum, it needs IRC.
 

jblagden

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2013
1,156
640
Neat, but not ideal if you're on a cellular connection unless you have an unlimited data plan. A small radio receiver with a lighting plug would be great.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,305
809
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
It's a sad day when even Marco Arment can't make a living selling apps. Race to the bottom.
He did just have to refund thousands from his content blocker that he pulled.

Overcast has a sync backend. He could sell the whole thing tomorrow if he wanted to.

He probably did already make his investment back. There just isn’t much further it can go as a podcast app though. You have the segment of people who listen to lots and lots of podcasts, but then you have those who only bother with one or two and don’t really care about the features that a client like Overcast has. Plus, it was competing with the numerous other podcast players that have been in the market for years.

Adding to it, you have radio apps that also include podcast support.
 

dalcorn1

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
171
23
Is anyone having issues with the Overcast watch app? Mine is crashing on launch. Tried reinstalling, still not working.
 
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dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
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Did you read his blog post? He explains that he didn't like the subpar experience of the app with no IAP. This free thing is an experiment.
He didn't like that 80% of his users were getting the subpar free experience. It is unfortunate that so few people upgraded. He's betting that those who love the app will be willing to make a monthly donation to help subsidise those majority who will never pay.
 
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V.K.

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2007
598
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Toronto, Canada
He did just have to refund thousands from his content blocker that he pulled.

Overcast has a sync backend. He could sell the whole thing tomorrow if he wanted to.

He probably did already make his investment back. There just isn’t much further it can go as a podcast app though. You have the segment of people who listen to lots and lots of podcasts, but then you have those who only bother with one or two and don’t really care about the features that a client like Overcast has. Plus, it was competing with the numerous other podcast players that have been in the market for years.

Adding to it, you have radio apps that also include podcast support.
I only listen to a couple of podcasts but I find Overcast indispensable because of the smart speed feature. It really saves time. I haven't tried many other podcast apps but do any of them have something similar? I was very surprised to find out that 80% of Overcast users stick with the free version which doesn't have smart speed.
I understand Marco Arment's reasons but still, going completely donationware is a strange move. I doubt he'll make a lot of money this way on top of whatever he made already. I am surprised he didn't go for a free ad supported version with an option to pay to get rid of the ads.
 
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