How I use Castro I’ve always liked Castro’s Queue metaphor: Subscribe to your favorite podcasts, and they automatically download to your Queue playlist (Queue Next). Reorder the Queue as necessary, and podcasts play in order (top to bottom). I prefer this model because I arrange the Queue before a workout or chores and listen to my podcasts as a continuous stream. The next podcast episode starts playing as soon as the current podcast episode ends. Castro doesn’t have playlists (just Queue and Inbox), and I rarely checked the Inbox (podcasts you subscribed to but didn’t automatically download).
I’ve grown disillusioned with Castro and wanted to give Overcast another try. Overcast never fit my mental model. Overcast seemed more podcast-focused like books and not episode-focused like email with Castro. I originally used Castro because it had less friction and just worked like I thought a podcast player should work. This time I sat down with Overcast to see if it could fit my mental model. The following covers almost all my use cases of Castro and how I get the same functionality from Overcast.
- Import Moving podcast meta data was seemless. Castro > Gear > User Data > Export Subscriptions > Overcast
- Setup Create a playlist in Overcast and include all your Castro “queue next” episodes
- Sort “Newest to Oldest” (this pertains to newly added podcasts). If you change this setting, your existing playlist order will be rearranged.
- Arrangement You are free to rearrange podcasts as needed. Simply long-press and drag.
- Migration As I verified new podcasts downloaded in Overcast, I went back to Castro and switched podcasts from “Queue Next” to “Add to Inbox”; then deleted the podcast episode since I was going to listen to it in Overcast.
- Detection Neither Castro nor Overcast has great detection of new podcasts. But I’m willing to live with it at the moment.
- Chapters When you expand a podcast (^ icon) in the player, swipe through the cards to get to the chapters.
- History in Castro was a list of your listened-to podcasts in the order they were listened to. This was helpful in reviewing show notes for information I wanted to follow up on later. In Overcast, turn on Gear > Delete > After 24 Hours, and the podcasts will remain in place in the playlist for 24 hours. Not ideal, but it will do; I preferred Castro’s History area of every podcast you’ve listened to in the order they were listened to.
- Play Order Podcasts episodes in Overcast play down. For example, I’m going to finish listening to Ugrade+ later. It’s in position 1. I played the podcast in position 2, and Upgrade+ stayed at position 1. When the podcast in position 2 finished playing, it remained in place because I had “delete after 24 hours” turned on, and the podcast in position 3 started playing.
- Skip Intros In the per-podcast settings page, you can set Skip Intro and Skip Outro. From the main Overcast screen, scroll to the Unplayed | Active | Archive area (depending on your current selection) and select the podcast you want to work with.
- Anomaly On a couple of occasions, I saw Overcast not download a podcast that had been imported and was in my Castro Queue. It was in my list of podcasts in Overcast but hadn’t been Followed. This feels like a bug, but it hasn’t happened again for me to document what I saw thoroughly. Keep an eye out for this issue as you migrate.
- Overcast Tip Long press on a podcast and select “Add to _playlist-name_” to quickly get one-off podcasts into your playlist of choice.
A couple of weeks into the switch, and I’m sufficiently happy with my progress that I will stick with Overcast for the moment.