Tuesday, March 29, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Overcast 2022.2

Marco Arment (tweet):

Overcast’s latest update (2022.2) brings the largest redesign in its nearly-eight-year history, plus many of the most frequently requested features and lots of under-the-hood improvements.

[…]

Each playlist has a customizable color, and a custom icon can be selected from over 3,000 SF Symbols to match modern iOS design and the other icons within Overcast.

[…]

Recently played and newly published episodes can now be displayed on the home screen for quick access, much like the widget and CarPlay experience.

[…]

Podcasts can now be pinned to the top of the home-screen list.

I really like this update so far, especially the Recent section, for quickly getting back to what I was just listening to, the In Progress playlist, and the ability to pin podcasts.

The biggest issue that I have with Overcast right now is that its design doesn’t really match my situation of having some podcasts where I’m a completionist and others where I want to pick and choose certain episodes to listen to.

The problem with the second group is that it’s a lot more work to delete the episodes I don’t want than to pick the ones that I do. I can either subscribe to everything and do a lot of deletions or not subscribe, but then I need to manually check for new episodes to “pick.” I have been doing the latter because otherwise episodes pile up and I run out of space. The feature to keep the most recent n episodes is not that helpful because the ones that I want to keep are probably not the most recent. I can “retain” them by starting to play them, but then they show up as In Progress even though they really aren’t.

What I’d like to be able to do is look at a playlist and add certain episodes to my queue, then have a button to delete everything in that podcast that’s not queued or in progress. Or simply have episodes that are not “retained” by a (manual) playlist eventually go away (if they were downloaded before the last time I reviewed that podcast).

Overcast:

“+” means you don’t currently follow that podcast, and won’t automatically get any more episodes from it. Tapping it follows the podcast.

(“Follow” is the new word for “Subscribe” to match Apple’s terminology, since they’re the biggest podcast app, so that’s what people expect.)

Tim Hardwick (tweet):

Top of the much-requested features category is a new Mark as Played checkmark button on episode rows, which is also a left-side swipe action. There is also now a way to view all starred episodes, with special playlist options for Starred, Downloaded, and In Progress.

John Voorhees:

Overcast uses color to allow users to know if there’s anything in their playlists. If a playlist is empty, it’s gray. If the playlist has at least one episode in it, the playlist’s button turns a bright color.

[…]

I also added a Queue playlist because, in recent years, I’ve found that I listen to every episode of fewer shows than I used to. Having a Queue playlist where I can drop episodes that look interesting has been a handy way to organize my listening.

[…]

The combination of Recent episodes and my Queue playlist has become the way I manage most of the shows I listen to. If I want to start an episode now, I just tap its artwork in the Recent section. Otherwise, I long-press the artwork and send the episode to my Queue.

[…]

Overcast’s inactive list combines shows that haven’t published an episode recently with those that you no longer follow and where you manually deleted all episodes from your library[…]

Previously:

6 Comments

>The problem with the second group is that it’s a lot more work to delete the episodes I don’t want than to pick the ones that I do. I can either subscribe to everything and do a lot of deletions or not subscribe, but then I need to manually check for new episodes to “pick.” I have been doing the latter because otherwise episodes pile up and I run out of space.

What about following (née subscribing to) those shows, but setting them to "stream when played"? They'll show up, but not take up space until you specifically download them.

@Sören That doesn’t really work for me because I may not have a signal (and don’t want to use cell data, in any case). Also, I want to triage the episodes in bulk so that when I do want to play I have lots of options ready to go, and then not have to see the ones I’ve already decided to ignore.

It sound’s like Castro’s triage model may work better for you. You can autoqueue episodes of completionist podcasts, but the bulk of episodes land in an Inbox. From there I queue the few episodes I want to listen manually and then clear the inbox with the Clear All button. In theory you could replicate such an Inbox with Overcast’s playlists but in practice I found that more complicated than having dedicated UI.

Also there is a configurable playtime limit of nn hours of playtime for the Queue; over that Castro doesn’t download. Easier than managing that yourself.

What Castro itself misses are special purpose playlists. I find my queue is overflowing with some podcasts which I don’t want to listen in the normal queue flow; a place to store them would be great. The perfect podcast player for me doesn’t seem to exist yet; in my imagination it would be a Castro/Overcast mixture but the UI would seem rather more complicated.

How is it that Marco can make a crazily complex app in such a small file size, yet so many other apps that are seemingly much less complex take up 200-500MB? So many apps on my phone keep taking up more and more space as the years go by, but they barely do anything.

Wes Campaigne

@Ben G: He doesn’t use third-party frameworks, and his image assets are simple vector stuff (and increasingly just system-provided SFSymbols).

Compiled code is pretty small when you just directly use the system frameworks and don’t reinvent the wheel and/or add a bunch of layers of abstraction.

I just can't get over the loss of the original font late last year. Bring that back, and the app could be beautiful again.

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