My podcatcher of choice has been Overcast, a simple, iOS-only app. I have tried Apple’s Podcast app a few times, but it just doesn’t work for me.
Maybe these are small things, but in combination, they are frustrating enough to turn me off from Apple Podcasts (AP):
- AP uses the word “Station” instead of “Playlist”. Maybe this shouldn’t matter, but Apple Music uses “Stations” for algorithmically-generated lists, and “Playlists” for user-defined lists. When I see “Stations” in Podcasts, I immediately think “I don’t want to listen to what you think I want to listen to, I want to listen to my own dang podcats, thank you very much.”
- Just look at this popup. What is the difference between “Add To Library” and “Save Episode”? And why is there a “Remove Download” option? Why did you download it if I haven’t saved it or added it to my Library?
- So. Much. Clicking. I guess, to see older episodes it’s the same amount of clicks, but AP uses text links in the middle of the screen, while Overcast uses headers at the top.
- The “Play at One and a Quarter Speed” option in AP doesn’t sound very good.
There are two key things that really make Overcast shine:
- The sound is great. I default to using Smart Speed, Voice Boost and running at 1.33 speed, and all the shows are still very understandable.
- Being able to set “Priority Pdocasts” in a playlist is wonderful. I have a single playlist (titled ‘Casts’), that includes everything. I have 20 Priority Podcasts (ten X-Wing, six news, two science and two miscellaneous) that will jump to the top of the queue as soon as they come in.
If you are an avid Podcast listener on an iPhone or iPad, you should give Overcast a try. Originally it was $4.99, but went to freemium / ads a few years ago. You can kill ads for $10/year. I know, it an era of free that seems like a ridiculous amount to pay. But Overcast — the app, the back-end — it is all managed by one person. Paying Marco $10 a year for an app that doesn’t track you and has a clean interface, that’s a bargain to me.
Blogging. How … quaint? For a while now I have been wanting to share some thoughts and ideas, and I think a blog fits me best. Here’s a summary of how I got here, again.
Vacation starts … now! Well, nearly so. I’ve turned off all the work-related apps on my phone and powered down the laptop. Tomorrow will be chores and packing the van. Sunday, we’ll make the five-hour drive for a week at the beach. We normally vacation in early July, but that’s not the dice we rolled this year. It’s been a hectic year and summer for us all, so we’re looking forward to a week of fewer commitments.
Here we are, 43ish days from the release of X-Wing Second Edition. Excited doesn’t begin to describe what’s going on in my head. My son and I have been playing X-Wing for about 18 months now at Huzzah Hobbies. Even though we routinely lose, we do have a lot of fun along the way. My son has a lot of fun building lists, and we both have fun playing games at the store and at home.
Last night, took a new squad down to Huzzah for the monthly tournament: