By Supertop Software
This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Castro lets you track lots of podcasts at once without getting overwhelmed. Here’s how it works:
1) Newly published episodes land in the INBOX. From here, you can read the descriptions, decide if you’re interested, queue the good ones and archive the rest.
2) The QUEUE is a central playlist to plan your listening in advance. Queued episodes are automatically downloaded.
3) Press Play. Castro plays your queue in order from top to bottom. Reorder or archive queued episodes anytime.
4) In the ARCHIVE you can find the back catalogue of all shows you subscribe to, browse your listening history, and easily access your starred episodes
We call this “Triage”. Triage lets you expand your listening habits without getting overwhelmed. With Castro, subscribing to a podcast doesn’t mean making a commitment to listen to every episode. You don’t have to choose a narrow few shows and miss out on the rest.
SHARING AND DISCOVERING NEW PODCASTS
Castro provides the top charts by genre so you can browse popular shows easily. Tap search to easily find shows you know or hear about.
Personal recommendations from friends are another great way to find new shows. Castro users can easily share direct links to episodes and podcasts. Tapping a Castro link will open the episode in the app, where you can queue it right away. If your friends don't have Castro yet, a beautiful web interface lets them play the episode from a browser.
The Castro iMessage App makes sharing even easier.
- Easily share recently played episodes with your friends and family
- When you receive a recommendation from someone else add it to your queue without leaving the Messages app
Castro maintains a chronological list of your played episodes in History. This makes it easy to find these episodes for sharing later.
If you hear an episode you love, you can star it. Your starred list becomes your personal podcast hall of fame, allowing you to easily share your favourite episodes next time someone asks you for a recommendation.
Castro’s notifications look great, and include a short summary of the episode to help you decide if it interests you. From the notification you can play, queue or archive the episode directly, without opening the app.
Enhanced Audio improves the listening experience for many podcasts and makes it easier to hear in loud environments. Under the hood, Enhanced Audio applies a dynamic compressor and a peak limiter to increase volume just where it’s needed.
CarPlay is better with Castro. You’ve already queued the episodes you’re interested in, so it’s one tap to start playing. Castro’s powerful queue and inbox system means that you don’t need to dig through collections of playlists to find the episode you’re looking for.
WIDGET & QUICK ACTIONS
Castro’s Widget reveals the next 4-12 episodes in your queue at a glance. Tap the podcast artwork to open Castro and start playing that episode.
Quick Actions also allow 3D Touch users to start a sleep timer, search for a podcast using the clipboard, and jump straight to the inbox or the queue, by force pressing on the app icon.
- Drag and drop support on iOS 11 to help you triage and reorder your queue.
- Castro sports an elegant dark mode and well-thought out sleep timer, offering the best in night time podcast listening.
- Our "Tentacles" backend server constantly scans for new episodes across every podcast, so your phone doesn’t have to, saving battery life and data usage.
- Download and Storage management: Queued episodes are automatically downloaded, so you can focus on deciding what you want to hear and let Castro manage the details.
- Fine scrubbing: drag the playhead to scan quickly, or drag the waveform for precision scrubbing.
- Beautifully rendered full screen show notes allow you to follow up and explore links of episodes that provide these details.
- Rotation support, and big playback controls on the player for easy use while driving.
What's New in Version 2.6
* Backup your Castro data to iCloud Drive
Castro will automatically back up your user data every 24 hours. This means that if anything else goes wrong that causes you to lose your data, you will be able to restore everything back the way it was at the time of the last backup. You can find the feature in Settings-Backup / Restore Castro. Tapping a backup cell will initiate a restore.
* You can now tap on a podcast’s description in search results to view the whole description.
* If Enhanced Audio is disabled you should be able to skip/change playback speeds without any issues. (See “Known Issues” below for more detail)
* Fixes issue where restored backups from iCloud could fail to resubscribe on the server, leading to missing inbox episodes.
* Performance boost when opening long lists of episodes.
* Fixes issue where CarPlay would show 0x for the play speed, and toggling play speed would fail.
* An issue preventing the playback speed toggle from working on the Apple Watch Now Playing screen is fixed.
* The iMessage Recently Played app no longer draws incorrectly if you’re using night mode in the main app. Also, it doesn’t crash anymore if you have no played episodes.
* A bug where the expanded player controls didn’t respect the rotation lock setting has been fixed.
* When Enhanced Audio is enabled you may encounter issues with skipping and changing playback speeds. For example, the play position might skip further than expected when you tap skip forward / back.
Still no trim silences?
UPDATE: Lowering my review to three stars. The fact that there's still not trim silences is kind of unbelievable. It feels at this point like the developers are just folding their arms and pouting and putting their feet down because they're tired of the requests, but I've listened to their podcasts and I know they understand that this is easily the biggest, most requested missing feature. It just baffles me that they would rather dedicate so much development time to other features than just buckle down and add this one that is absolutely standard in today's podcast player market.
ORIGINAL: I want to love Castro, but to me, trim silences should be considered a standard feature in a modern podcast app. I've tried to get into Castro so many times now because they add such cool stuff with their big updates and the general hook of treating podcasts like an email inbox, but it's been months and trim silences, a long-requested feature, is still nowhere to be seen. (As well, I want Castro to remember playback speed settings for each podcast.) So yet again, back to boring old Overcast for me.
Must-try for podcast fans!
This is an app with a strong philosophy, and if you are a major podcast fan, it’s worth trying to use it the way the developers intended—curating the queue and inbox using a combination of manual and automatic sorting—rather than trying to force it into your own usage pattern. It won’t be for everyone, but for many, it will work great. The small design flourishes are also delightful.
One big downside, worth docking “half a star” for, is the lack of iPad or desktop versions, which would be essential for people switching between devices often. (The Handoff feature works nicely, but it can’t fully replace a suite of fully synced clients.) Other minor complaints: there’s no way to select output from the play screen, the description of podcasts get cut off (update: this was fixed!), and the drag-and-drop mechanics on the queue is a little clumsy at times.
Of the popular iOS podcast players, Castro has the best UI by far (I also tried Overcast and Pocket Casts). Castro is unique and innovative in its approach to podcast and episode management. I love the inbox and the queue concepts. They work very well, especially for people like me who don’t listen to every single episode of every podcast they subscribe to. The Castro UI is quite polished and there are nice little touches sprinkled across the app (like the theme switch animation, and the easily accessible newest and oldest episodes when looking at a new podcast).
Compared to Castro, Pocket Casts’s UI is even more polished, but very basic and conservative. Overcast somehow manages to be both basic and clunky at the same time.
Castro does not have some of the advanced features from other players (chapter support, silence shortening), but I prefer a UI that actually makes listening more enjoyable.