Castamatic is a podcast client and appears to be heavily inspired by Overcast. However, there are some delightful touches that Castamatic has implemented that I am highlighting here.
Now Playing Screen
I understand the Overcast developer is working on a “now screen” redesign and I am eagerly looking forward to that.
Things I appreciate:
- Full-Screen show notes (2) on the now playing screen: swiping up (3) from the middle of the now playing screen shows episode notes in full screen. Unlike Overcast which uses only half the screen for show notes. Almost every other podcast client has the ability to see show notes in full screen from the now playing screen, except for Overcast 😔
- Old school levels: this is probably showing my age but it’s nice touch showing live levels (1). It’s hidden by default but clicking on the bottom left will show up the settings such as Gap Zapper which is inspired by Overcast’s smart speed.
- Full-Screen Chapter List: Again, Overcast utilises only half the screen and for episodes with lots of chapters, the user is left scrolling unnecessarily.
Skip Chapters with Advertising
This is a nifty little feature ( Castamatic Blogpost) where the app automatically skips chapters with specific keywords. For example, I can set it up to skip chapters with titles that include the word “sponsor”. I accept many podcasts still do not support chapters. However, some like ATP and Mac Geek Gab clearly label chapters that are sponsor messages that this app can skip. This is awesome 👍.
This feature has broad benefits. For example, the Connected Podcast has “follow-up” and “intro” which are labelled chapters. I can set up keywords such as “follow up” for the Connected podcast and Castamatic will skip that chapter. For the Mac Geek Gab podcast, I can set up a keyboard “outtro” which will skip that chapter. It is pretty neat that these can be set up at the podcast level rather than applied to all podcasts. Although, if you rather apply it to all podcasts, Castamatic also allows you to do that. Pretty flexible 💪
Castro, Overcast and Pocket Casts sell advertising slots as part of their business model. Selling advertising means there is at least some form of data that is provided to advertisers and in most cases, thankfully, it’s focused on privacy (at least for the apps specified above). Having said that, Castamatic has NO third-party advertising and as such is not selling advertising slots. The only adverts the user sees is the one prompting Castamatic Premium. I have not seen any other advertising throughout the app:
If I had a choice, I would prefer that my podcast client uses the Castamatic business model as opposed to having one that requires third-party advertisers. It’s not a deal-breaker but its nice to have.
Overcast in totality is a much better podcast client but every app has room for improvement. Castamatic has made some notable improvements here and the skip chapters with advertising is one that I have not seen in any other app.
Neither Overcast nor Castamatic is my preferred podcast client. In the last five years, I predominately have used Pocket Casts and Castro.