Over­haul your pod­casts

Shove aside Ap­ple’s sub­par app in favour of a su­pe­rior pod­cast man­ager

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Alex Blake

Dis­cover a great re­place­ment for Ap­ple’s app

it will take

15 min­utes

you will learn

How to get a bet­ter pod­cast ex­pe­ri­ence with Over­cast.

You’ll need

iOS 9.0 or higher. Over­cast.

Let’s be com­pletely hon­est: the Pod­casts app is not ex­actly a pri­or­ity for Ap­ple.

Sure, it does the job, but we can’t help feel­ing that it could be so much bet­ter if Ap­ple only de­voted a lit­tle more time to it.

In the ab­sence of that, we’re go­ing to take a look at Over­cast. It’s a free app that of­fers a far su­pe­rior pod­cast ex­pe­ri­ence to Ap­ple’s own of­fer­ing, giv­ing you much more gran­u­lar con­trol over how episodes are played, sorted and or­gan­ised on your de­vice.

We par­tic­u­larly like the Nit­picky De­tails sec­tion of the app’s set­tings. Here, you can en­able re­mote episode skip, which lets you play, pause, fast for­ward and skip pod­casts sim­ply by us­ing your head­phone’s in­line re­mote or your car’s steer­ing wheel con­trol but­tons. There’s even an op­tion to show the num­ber of un­fin­ished episodes on the app’s iOS icon, “to add stress to your life”.

Some of Over­cast’s best fea­tures lie in its Ef­fects fly­out menu, ac­ces­si­ble when you’re play­ing an episode. There’s the stan­dard play speed ad­just­ment (as found in Ap­ple’s app) – use­ful if you want to cram in a few more episodes on your daily com­mute – but that’s where the sim­i­lar­i­ties end, as Over­cast has some clever ex­tras. First up is Smart Speed, which short­ens silent stretches so you’re left with less dead air and snap­pier pod­casts. The sec­ond one is Voice Boost, which strength­ens and equalises pod­cast­ers’ voices. That means qui­eter voices are brought up to the same level as louder ones, even in the same episode, which is a great fea­ture for noisy car jour­neys.

Shar­ing is car­ing

There are plenty more things – even just small touches – that make Over­cast an ex­cel­lent app. While view­ing show notes for pod­casts you’ve sub­scribed to is easy enough in Ap­ple’s app, it’s all but im­pos­si­ble for those you haven’t sub­scribed to. Not so in Over­cast, which makes it easy to find this info for any episode.

You get use­ful shar­ing op­tions in Over­cast, too. For in­stance, you can share an episode with friends and have it start play­ing at a spe­cific point. Also, you can link your Twit­ter ac­count to get rec­om­men­da­tions from peo­ple you fol­low and the Over­cast com­mu­nity.

Then there are smart playlists – one of Over­cast’s strong­est as­sets. We’ll de­scribe them in more de­tail op­po­site.

Over­cast gives more gran­u­lar con­trol over the play­back, sort­ing and or­gan­i­sa­tion of episodes

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