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Show HN: Echo Podcasts – Goodreads for podcasts (echopodcasts.com)
116 points by dannylmathews 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments

Hey, I am the founder and developer behind this app.

Aside from joining the app because you love podcasts, it may interest you because it has some cool tech behind it. ie) Echo is not a podcast player, but we connect to your podcast player. We give every user their own unique podcast feed, generated with a list of every episode that they want to listen to. This feed can be added to your podcast player just like any other podcast feed. When a user finds an episode on Echo, they just have to tap a button and it will be ready in their podcast player from them to listen to it. Try it out, it's pretty slick in my opinion.

Similar solutions have been built, for instance, Patreon generates custom feeds for podcasts which include episodes available only to paid users. However, this is the first time users have the ability to generate a custom podcast feed, for themselves.

Are you associated with Amazon? Because you're using two of their trademarks (Echo + Goodreads)

i think dannylmathews must be a Amazon affiliative otherwise his product would most likely be illegal name-wise


You can not trademark echo for different areas. And podcast is different.

This way of reasoning makes me speachless.

P.s. goodreads might be a case though.

Hey, I am not affiliated with Amazon. Fair point on using Goodreads. I'm just using that name so people quickly get an idea of the product ex) how people pitch their ideas as Uber for X

Amazon won't see it that way. If not now, then when you get big.

Your legal knowledge has left me speachless.

Amazon has very generic trademarks on the word echo. Podcasts are a recorded format meant for playback that provides commentary on different categories. Amazon definitely holds trademarks on these types of areas. That said, I'm not a lawyer so I can't speak to how much issue the overlap would cause but regardless Amazon has billions of dollars and could walk all over anyone they want so I'm pretty sure if this got bigger and they took issue with the use of the name Echo they could cause a lot of hell.

There is a world beside US. Bigger actually.

In fact amazon can't have (generic 'echo' word trademark) and does not have it in any sane part of world. All sane states do not allow generic trademark on common word.

My speechless was (and still is) about how much brainwashed must we be to consider it fine, normal and to actually defend such practice. Yuck.

Nobody said it was fine or normal. The law is the law regardless of how depraved it may be, and you don't get immunity by being appalled.

By the way, Apple Computer (now just Apple) was sued by Apple Corps and had to pay $80k, and that was in England, not in the US.

Sure you can sue as you'd like, but in this case: * Apple never lost over trademark in court with Apple Corps and did not had to pay. * When Apple Corps tried to finally sue breach of trademark agreement (the one for 80k), they ultimately lost in front of court: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer#c...

Apple Computer was not infringement of the agreement, but they had to pay $80k to get that agreement, because they may have infringed on the trademark. It's true that we don't known if they would have lost initially, but if it was clearly frivolous, they wouldn't have paid $80k to settle.

Hey, Intel has a trademark on the lower=case letter 'i'

Hey I tried to export my OPML file from Pocketcasts but Echo doesn't show up in the 'share to' app list or in the More... list. Any tips?

Got the same problem. I'm exporting from Downcast and there's no listing for Echo for open with.

Hey guys, working on a fix atm. I think it has something to do with me not recognizing the file as a proper XML. Will fix and push an update.

Cool thanks. I have a the same problem with Overcast

Fixed! Please update to the latest version to see the fix.

I can confirm that.

Fixed! Please update to the latest version to see the fix.

Fixed! Please update to the latest version to see the fix.

Fixed! Please update to the latest version to see the fix.

I'm receiving an XML parsing error when trying to import OPML generated by the Windows app Grover Pro. Please see if you can identify what should be modified/added in the OPML file for a successful import, or if it's something on your app's side.

Cool project! Since this seems like something you've created yourself, can you share what stack you used to support both iOS and Android?

hey, I actually have been an iOS dev for ~5 years and this is my first native Android app. I totally get if you are a web dev and want to do a React Native app, but I believe it was quicker for me to do both natively. My server is in Node, and I used GraphQL and loved using it, I believe it made me ~30% faster than building a traditional REST API.

I'll check this out! I've been interested in creating an app that helps in discovery of streaming media around the web.

Could not import OPML from Casts so I couldn’t try out the app. Bummer because I was looking forward to it.

Almost upvoted this, but then it seemed to be an App not a website. I'm probably a minority in this preference.

Thanks, good to know. I can definitely add a frontend web app as an option as well. The reason I started with an app is because it was makes it easier (from the user's perspective) to import your podcast subscription from your existing podcast app ie) one or two button clicks vs having to save the file on your device and import into the web app.

I say using it like a "staging" area would be awesome. A lot of stuff just isn't fun to manage from a phone it would be awesome if I could go to the site, do the things that I need to do to manage everything and find stuff, then move to my phone.

Well, I don't have an iphone and I went to the site hoping to find details and reviews of podcasts. I left disappointed.

Yeah there's absolutely no way I'm going to use something like this if it doesn't have a web interface.

Nope. Came to say this. Could easily be a PWA, I just don't like installing apps anymore. Shame, it looks like something I'd be interested in.

You're not alone I was totally disappointed that there was no website component as well. I also am confused with the usage of Echo. This has nothing to do with the Amazon Echo and there are a lot of words to choose from so why not pick something that is unique? Especially since it's handling a typically audio format that the Echo would be entirely capable of playing.

I also prefer a website - I closed the tab when I noticed it was app only.

Can I ask why? I’m a little baffled, maybe I’m just brainwashed that everyone loves apps because they use mobile devices more often. Especially for listening.

I'm not the parent, but I can answer why I feel the same way. It's a lot easier to manage some things on a website, especially if you have dozens of podcasts as I do.

GoodReads has a website and it's perfectly usable for doing everything they provide as a service. Also, this is not a listening app, by the way, according to the author, so there goes that point.

Ah okay, I assumed that it would link to the podcasts.

I'd think twice about whether "Echo" is a wise thing to call a new app right now. When I read this I immediately thought it was some sort of podcast integration for Amazon Echo, which might tend to suggest Amazon will have a problem with it. Without getting into the merits of any such dispute, I would think that unnecessary litigation with Amazon would probably be something you'd want to avoid!

Ditto, the more so because Amazon's Goodreads was mentioned.


the title of the post and the subtitle of the website

Oh, I was confused because I was not aware that Amazon owned Goodreads. Their homepage makes no mention of Amazon.

The is a concept SORELY needed.

There is another app called "Breaker" which I think is similar which I have tried. Breaker is a bit buggy and there isn't enough of a network yet to up-vote episodes and make the discovery valuable.

Whoever can get a big network of users and some solid auto-suggestion intelligence included will win this space.

Also Podchaser

Just installed. Everything seems to be stable enough. A few little niggles, on Android, the OPML export is a bit finnicky. I was using Pocket Casts and it pops up a Share menu for you to export so I had to export to my file manager first before then selecting it. The app's interface is functional but could do with some polishing, for example, you can't rearrange your set of favorite podcasts.

Biggest annoyance for me thus far is loading speed. It always takes at least a second or so to load up a page. Seems like a small thing but it has an impact overall.

I'll go ahead and second this. I'm going through and echoing my all time favorites which is painfully slow without caching. On a related point that others have already mentioned, a PWA would likely not suffer from this performance issue.

hey zukken, are you using Android as well? just looking to confirm it is an android only issue. Also saw your other comment, just tried emailing myself using my second email and it worked. (just to confirm it's dan@echopodcasts.com)

Thanks for the info, I will be working on caching in the next version to speed up page loading.

I'm excited to try.

I started something similar, almost a "Book Club for Podcasts" that stemmed off this Twitter thread (https://twitter.com/daveambrose/status/918124906092597248). We organize discussions in a Google Group but this looks like it's much more automatic than the manual curation piece we use.

hey Dave, send me a link to the group or email it to me dan@echopodcasts.com

Email is bouncing from that address.

If it's an app, it's not like Goodreads.


It's pretty difficult to search for this. What exactly do I type in google to find it? `Echo Podcasts` will give me results with the Amazon Echo. It's a great idea, when I saw it, it seemed like a no brainer. If you can rebrand this and release a web app I would be all over it. (If you need help with the web app reach out to me)

Am I the only one that's extremely disappointed there's no Web site to use and only an app?

I would have given the site a spin. Maybe it makes a good impression, maybe not; that'd influence whether I then sign-up. I'm not downloading an app just to see if it's any good.

You are not alone, friend. I too was disappointed. I was excited for something like this because I frequently have trouble finding worthwhile podcasts but it'd be much more convenient if I could use it from a browser to "stage" things for my phone.

You can try out my project, a podcast search engine: https://www.listennotes.com/

First impressions are this is fast and awesome! Thank you!

Reminds me of the Hacker News but for podcasts from last year: https://podcastrank.co

Thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11509835

This is clever idea. From my first look it appears to be an Instagram-like social network, but with no user generated content. While social graphs themselves have value, I think we have hit an inflection point with users getting tired of sharing their personal content. Personally, I am much more interested in what other people like and have to say about mass media content rather than their selfies or wedding pictures, frankly I just don't give a damn about user generated content and I think I'm not the only one. We need more platforms like this for other types of content such as movies, TV, music and vetted news publishers. Just curious, is the news feed 100% reverse chronological? Do you have any ranking/recommendation algorithm for the discover tab?

Yes the news feed is 100% reverse chronological except for one row which suggests podcasts to you based on a friend that has a podcast in the same iTunes genre as one of your podcasts. I do want to do a smarter ranking/recommendation system but it pretty simple recommendations for now.

Negative aspects:

- Twitter auth requests the ability to send posts, an easy no

- signing up with email, you require an avatar picture. just use a placeholder

- can't test drive anonymously

I want an IMDB of podcasts.

More specifically, I want to:

1. Enter (or click on) a person’s name, and see every associated podcast episode,

2. For any podcast, and podcast episode, see every associated person, including their role (host, guest, producer),

3. Search a speech-to-text corpus of the conversations,

4. List of sponsors for every episode.

Hey, I have plans for some of those, but you might also be interested in podchaser.com, their tag line is the IMBD of podcasts so check them out as well.

Oh I hadn’t seen podchaser. Thanks.

Unfortunately, the value is in the execution. I don’t want to bash podchaser, which is clearly labeled as being in beta, but:

1. I don’t like its emphasis on the user community — interacting with other podcast listeners feels like a dud

2. Its search results are poor, IMHO.

I hope you make good progress!!

Good job OP, looks slick. The idea of using a custom feed for integration is nice.

Unfortunately I can't install it right now (my Android version is too old, eh), but when I finally upgrade I'll definitively try it.

Are you using Android 4.X or lower? I believe it should be compatible with Android 5.X and higher but haven't checked it on a 5.X

The About screen says 6.0, maybe some other incompatibility?

That pesky RSS 0.92 is frustrating for digital entrepreneurs, isn't it? There is a reason the number one paid podcast on Patreon has an anti-capitalist theme. Podcasts are one of the last pieces of media that have not been fallen to algorithms and data collection, but the clock is ticking.

There is a reason the number one paid podcast on Patreon has an anti-capitalist theme.

That means nothing, capitalists are happy to take your money by selling you propaganda against themselves. Those shirts with the Che made some people very rich. It's what makes it so resilient, compared to other systems, and why it won world dominance.

I don't need or want this to be an app

very constructive

Love this idea!

Echo doesn’t appear as a share option when I export from Pocket Casts, anything I can do about that?

Hey sampl, I'm working on a fix atm. Will post an update asap.

Thanks Danny, can’t wait!

Fixed! Please update to the latest version to see the fix.

The description on iTunes says "Top Epidodes" which you might want to fix. I like the concept a lot, but you should probably explain it a little more clearly in the description and documentation on your own site.

hey, thanks for pointing that out! Will update the screenshots.

Play store says that to FYI. App looks interesting, thanks!

Thanks, will fix as well

Allowing duplicate podcast episode in the list. Looks like bug.

I just want to point to http://gpodder.net (opensource with api)

So far I only see # of echos. I am not interested in finding the most popular podcast or episodes, but rather the highest quality podcast/episodes.

Want to use other sql languages (like oracle) to access MYSQL? You may need this : www.github.com/oun111/zas

There is also a new out of beta podchaser.com but it's web only. Somewhat active.

whats a good podcast player for an underpowered android device?

I use my old Galaxy SIII just for listening to podcasts, I use Pocket Casts, works fine.

Podcast Addict is by far the most popular. AtennaPod and Podcast Republic has good reviews as well.

Apparently these searches expire... Sorry.

Hey, could you send me a email of what terms you were searching for zodPod? Curious to see them. dannyl.mathews@gmail.com

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