Thursday, August 18, 2016

Castro 2


Triage allows you to scan new episodes and decide whether you’re interested or not.

Newly published episodes arrive in the Inbox tab. From here, you can review the descriptions, queue the best ones and archive the rest. The Queue tab is a single central playlist. Queued episodes are automatically downloaded, and can be re-ordered or archived any time.

You can set your favourite shows to queue automatically and use the inbox to triage the rest.

Jason Snell:

This is especially important in an era where there are a whole lot of podcasts to wade through. In a few moments I was able to get through a half-dozen new podcast episodes in my Inbox, marking some of them for immediate listening, tacking others on to the bottom of my queue, and bypassing less interesting episodes entirely.

The inbox idea doesn’t really appeal to me, but I’ve often wanted a play queue in Overcast, i.e. a reorderable history of episodes that have been started. Otherwise, it’s hard to get back to an episode that was interrupted, especially since the In Progress playlist was removed. This, combined with something like iTunes’s Up Next, would be ideal for me.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to switch podcast apps, preserving episode state, even if I wanted to.

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What I've done when I've changed is to copy over the subscriptions, mark everything as read in the new client, turn off automatic refreshing/updates in the old one and use multiple podcast clients until the old one is "empty" of podcasts.

I'm still mostly an Instacast holdout, but I don't like its UI for add podcasts to its queue ("Up Next"). Tap-hold the podcast in the list (no way to do it from a detail view), tap Add to Up Next, then an editable queue pops up, only for you to dismiss it immediately in most cases. Both the new Pocket Casts and Castro seem to have a much better solution. The Up Next support in Pocket Casts 6 is rather neat: it gives you a "peek" at the next item in the queue in the play bar at the bottom of the screen, and if you swipe across to it, episode play buttons turn into Up Next toggles and you can drag icons to reorder or delete (in addition to the more traditional list view of Up Next).

Castro still doesn't have chapter support, so it's out for me on that basis alone. Overcast does have chapters, but this and many other aspects of its UI are just not to my aesthetic taste to the point I find the app hard to look at. Downcast, while quite featureful, is even more homely. Someday I hope to write a good comparative review; I haven't seen one that captures the essential differences between apps.

Overcast actually had this as part of its playlist criteria in the initial version, but it was pulled a couple of updates in to its run - I assume as part of an effort to simplify the playlist feature in general.

I had a playlist that I'd titled "Partially Played" that included all episodes that were started but not finished, and it could be manually prioritized. It was my go to place to start in Overcast most days.

I've asked periodically about bringing it back - maybe another voice could help?

@Steve Yes, that’s what I meant by “In Progress.” I was remembering the playlist I had created, forgetting that the feature was actually part of the criteria. I did request that it be brought back.

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