Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Castro May Be Dying

Jason Snell:

The cloud database that backs the service is broken and needs to be replaced. As a result, the app has broken. (You can’t even export subscriptions out of it, because even that function apparently relies on the cloud database.) “The team is in the progress of setting up a database replacement, which might take some time. We aim to have this completed ASAP,” said an Xtweet from @CastroPodcasts.

What’s worse, according to former Castro team member Mohit Mamoria, “Castro is being shut down over the next two months.”


The truth is, between Apple’s solid upgrades to the Podcast app and the rise of Spotify as a podcast-playing competitor, the squeeze has really been put on most podcast apps.

John Gruber:

As a publisher, Castro was the 4th or 5th most popular client for The Talk Show for a while, but in recent years has slipped. Right now it’s 10th — but in a logarithmic curve. Overcast remains 1st; Apple Podcasts 2nd. The truth is, if not for Overcast, Castro would likely be in that top position, not shutting down. But Overcast does exist, and it’s the app where most people with exquisite taste in UI are listening to podcasts.

It’s a shame because, though I like Overcast, I would like to have multiple good options, especially when they tend to be opinionated. I like all the indie podcast apps I’ve tried better than Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Stephen Hackett:

As a podcast network owner, I’ve had a front-row seat to Castro’s entire history. It’s never accounted for a large number of downloads when it comes to shows on Relay, but I know users who love Castro really love it, despite the lack of an iPad app and other oddities.


While it is true that we have experienced departures within our company, we want to assure you that we are actively working with a lean dedicated team to address these challenges. We apologize for any unnecessary panic that may have arisen from these conversations.

We believe in transparency with our community and want to share with you that we are actively seeking a new home for Castro with new owners.


Update (2024-01-09): Ben Lovejoy:

The popular podcasting app Castro appears to have ceased functioning, and the website has gone. The latter appears to be because the domain is no more, as emails also bounce.


We are having issues with our DNS on Digital Ocean. We have been working over the weekend to fix it. We will be back shortly.

It seems to be back for now.

Via Stephen Hackett:

“Working over the weekend” should have included updating paying customers as to what was going on. Instead, the company was silent — yet again — as people wondered about the future of the app.

I hate it to say it, but I have very little confidence that Tiny knows what it’s doing with Castro, or even cares that much about it.

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Castro started working again for me yesterday. Still, it feels very much like this commitment is temporary.

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