Thought I’d give a quick update on something I’ve been spending a ton of time with in quarantine life. I’ve been a heavy podcast listener for a long time now – I can remember listening to podcasts even before it was part of the iTunes Store, using apps to side load mp3s into the app. My list of favorites has ebbed and flowed over the years, and being stuck at home has given me more time to listen than ever.
I’ve used a ton of apps over the years as well, but lately I’ve started using Pocket Casts more instead of Overcast. The reasons are varied but ultimately despite the fact that I like the way that Pocket Casts looks and “feels”. Overcast works extremely well, is built by an indie developer (Marco Arment) who I love to support, and he’s been on the forefront of a lot of the best features in podcast players over the last few years. He nailed voice boosting, silence trimming and sharing way before the competition caught up (Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher etc haven’t even tried yet).
However, despite the fact that Pocket Casts is a little more fiddly than Overcast is, I love the little details like the way the UI subtly changes to match the podcast artwork, the way you can modify the up next queue, and the multiple of ways you can listen. Pocket Casts supports Chromecast, Sonos, has a web app, a desktop app, and is on nearly any platform under the sun. They’re also owned by NPR and a few other radio stations, so it’s not like it’s some evil company like Luminary or Stitcher.
I’m not 100% sure that I’ll switch away from Overcast full time as it’s familiar and more “set it and forget it”, but I am growing weary of the app’s design, lack of multi-platform strategy and slower pace of development.
One of the neat things about Pocket Casts is that sharing what you’re listening to is pretty simple. There’s a built in interface that allows you to share some or all of the shows you listen to, which is a nice middle ground between the single-episode sharing in Overcast and some overly-aggressive sharing of everything you listen to.
I’ve been listening to mostly the same group of podcasts for years now. However, with additional downtime at home and more time doing things like yardwork, I’ve picked up a few new shows to augment my old favorites. I’m not a completionist by any stretch – I tend to look at the show notes and aggressively remove shows I’m not interested in.
You can find the full list here.