Do You Use It? TidBITS Readers Prefer Overcast to Apple Podcasts

Originally published at: Do You Use It? TidBITS Readers Prefer Overcast to Apple Podcasts - TidBITS

The results of our poll asking which podcast apps TidBITS readers prefer reveal that Marco Arment’s Overcast is by far the most popular, well ahead of Apple Podcasts. No other podcast app broke double digits.

I recently (6m or so) switched to Castamatic (from Overcast) since Castamatic includes more “Podcasting 2.0” features like support for individual episode artwork; chapters; chapter art (i.e. changes to reflect the current topic on some of the podcasts I listen to); “value for value” payments to support podcast creators directly; strong Apple Watch & CarPlay support; and more. I highly recommend it.

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I haven’t heard of Castamatic before. That said, FWIW, Overcast has long supported chapters, discrete chapter art, and (IMO) has strong Apple Watch and CarPlay support. (I use it with both with some regularity.) And I’m not sure about individual episode artwork, but I think even that I’ve seen with Overcast. (I should say it’s not often I am looking at my phone while podcasts are playing, so this is not a requirement for me, but I understand wanting it.)

But I will take a look at Castamatic, thanks.

Also, Marco Arment has said on his ATP podcast that he is currently working to completely change the app. Most of what he is doing, I believe, is switching most of the code from Objective C to SwiftUI and Swift, but he’s also mentioned some UI/UX changes going forward.


I’ve tried several times to switch from Pocketcast to Overcast, but am always turned off by the latter’s favoritism for downloading over streaming. I don’t have a large storage phone, plus I choose content capriciously in the moment, so I don’t want perennial background downloading of new episodes.

Has this improved any? Anyone else out there prefer streaming, and doing ok with Overcast?

I want everything downloaded, but there is a Setting in the “Downloading” section that gives you the choice between “Stream When Played”, “Download on WiFi”, or “Download on WiFi or Cellular”, so I would think you could set it to stream everything.

Thanks. Yeah, that was there from the start. You can, literally, stream podcasts. But I found during everyday use that Marco obviously downloads, so streamer flow was rocky (in ways I can’t remember now). I should really just try again, maybe that’s been smoothed out.

I must admit that I couldn’t wait to find an alternative to Apple’s Podcast app when it was first introduced. I found it to be incredibly confusing to use, and I didn’t appreciate the emphasis on recommendations, etc. It was just confusing as hell for someone who just wanted to see a list of their subscribed podcasts and a list of episodes when clicked.

Overcast is awesome in this respect. And the web-based database of my podcasts makes it a great replacement for Apple’s Podcasts app. I used it for a few years.

But at some point Apple updated the Podcasts app and I gave it another try. I suddenly found it much easier to navigate and find what I wanted. And like most all of Apple’s apps, I really love the integration with the rest of the macOS/iOS universe.

I’ve fully switched back to Podcasts app, but I still appreciate Overcast for what it is… which is an outstanding option for listeners.

I very much enjoyed Overcast as a paid user for years. But recently I experienced major data loss on all platforms (all history including saved episode data gone).

I received no response to my support request asking if there is a way to try to recover the lost data. I’ve experienced such lack of support from the developer a few times before over the years.

Data loss is bad enough, but no support for a paid user, and apparently no way to recover the data, makes it hard for me to trust Overcast again, sadly.