Castro: Podcast Player
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The New York Times named Castro one of the Best Apps of 2016!
Castro is the first app that is designed to help you track a broad range of shows and pick out the episodes that appeal to you. To do this, we introduce a concept that is new to podcast apps: episode triage.
Triage allows you to scan new episodes and decide whether you’re interested or not.
- Inbox: Newly published episodes land here. Review the descriptions, queue the best ones and archive the rest.
- Queue: A central playlist to plan your listening in advance. 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.
This allows you to expand your listening habits without overwhelming your play queue. Subscribing to a podcast doesn't have to be 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 specific episodes. Tapping a Castro link will open the episode in the app, where you can queue it right away without subscribing to the entire podcast. If your friends don't have Castro yet, a beautiful web interface lets them play the episode from a browser.
The Castro iMessage App on iOS 10 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.
ALL THESE EXTRA FEATURES
- 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.
- Castro can notify you as soon as episodes are published.
- 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 2.2.1
FIXED IN 2.2.1
- Fixes a crash that could happen when downloading large artwork in the Widget.
NEW IN 2.2
This release focusses on providing convenient access to your podcasts from new places, for those times when you want to quickly start listening with minimal effort.
- CarPlay: You've already queued the episodes you're interested in, so it's one tap to start playing one. 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.
- iOS 10 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. Add the widget to the Search screen by swiping to the right on the Home screen or the Lock screen, and tap "Edit". If you have an iPhone with 3d Touch, you can tap and hold on the app icon to reveal the widget.
- Quick Actions also allow 3d touch users to Start a sleep timer, Search for a podcast using the clipboard, open the inbox or the queue, by force pressing on the app icon.
- When sharing, you can now add a timestamp to share urls using the activity in the share sheet that pops off (you might need to scroll it onscreen)
- Handoff includes a timestamp so you can easily continue playing in safari on your Mac
- Subscribe to Castro using a URL scheme from: castro://subscribe/example.com/feed.rss will open castro to the discover screen with that podcast loaded.
- Fixes a crash that could happen when Castro is refreshing in the background
- Fixes crashes that could happen when archiving/queueing an episode or when tapping on an episode cell
- Changing skip duration would fail to update now playing info until I play/pause again
- Deselecting a cell can no longer cause it to scroll out of view
- If app is in night mode, messages app no longer uses dark cells.
- Fix an issue where Castro could occasionally fail to automatically download episodes in the background.
- Fix for issue where new episodes would not arrive in the inbox if you had restored from a backup.
- Fixed podcasts that were returning error 5009.
- Discover screen no longer gets stuck with search results and errors on top of each other.
- Fixes a crash during background completion of downloads on older devices.
If you like what we're doing with Castro, please leave a review and tell a friend about it! There's a shortcut from settings in Castro to get to the app store review page.
Excellent podcast app
I switched from Overcast to Castro. Overcast is a good app with a robust feature set, but I've never liked it's user interface, and found parts of it unintuitive. Castro lacks many features, but it handles podcast management very well. For instance, a new podcast enters the inbox where one can opt to play it right away, place it at the top or bottom of the queue, or archive it. I find this useful because I subscribe to enough podcasts that it makes sense to prioritize them. I don't necessarily want to listen to every episode of a certain podcast and it's nice to be able to just archive that episode without worrying about it taking up space. Also, I like that Castro handles streaming and downloading of podcasts very efficiently to the point where I don't have to think about it. If I'm on wifi, the podcast is downloaded; if not, the podcast won't download on cellular data unless I enable it. I use Castro every day, and I recommend it for people that appreciate a well designed, thoughtful app.
Get's the most important thing right
I'm giving Castro five stars, not because it's perfect, but because it solves my biggest podcast problem better than anything else. Castro pretty much replicates the podcast workflow I was performing manually, but with far fewer taps on the screen. I'll mention a few features that might not be apparent before or even after using it. The Archive functions as your list of subscribed podcasts, where you can find old episodes and configure each podcast to be delivered to the inbox, queue or archive. The Archive also has a History button, and you can go in there to star any recently played podcasts that you want to remember. Finally, my car stereo back and forward buttons implemented the rewind/forward feature. I think this skipped between podcasts on another app, so I was taken aback at first, but then realized that I have far more reason to use rewind/forward than skip.
Close to perfect but missing features
Castro has done what most the other podcast apps haven't been able to, and that is make the management of your podcast queue easy and fun. That alone gives it high marks. Recent additions of easy switchable dark mode and a handy widget makes it even better. Unfortunately it's still missing a few features that almost all other good podcast apps have and those are:
1.) Smart speed to eliminate long pauses
2.) individual podcast settings
3.) Artwork that shows on now playing screen, phone lock screen, and control center window
Also it would be nice if the podcast list, rather than one long, scrolling list, could also be shown in grid form, ala Pocketcasts. I really want to have one go-to podcast app but none of them have quite managed to have all of these features. Either Castro adds these missing ones, or other apps take a page from Castro and make queue management better. Whoever does it first gets my vote!