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Overcast – A powerful yet simple iPhone podcast player (overcast.fm)
201 points by haraball on July 16, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 121 comments

Managing your podcasts can be a complicated thing.

Shows and episodes can exist in different states and use cases. Do I listen to every episode of this show? Most episodes? Just dip in and out every once in a while? How can a UI accommodate this?

Do I download? Stream? Per episode? Per show? Sometimes one, sometimes the other? What about tools to manage my download queue? Maybe I have lots of bandwidth at the office, but I have 1mpbs at home. I've yet use a podcast app (I think I've used them all) that has a playlist setting to exclude certain shows. I've been unable to to create a playlist that has the "All Shows" feed from popular networks, doesn't make other playlists (based on episode state) unmaintainable.

Settings at the global level. Settings at the playlist level. Settings at the show level. Settings at the current playing episode level...

Downcast, with it's Windows-like feature set and UI, has given me the most power. I have complaints with it (Bloated UI; I want PocketCasts's playback speed slider and "skip first X seconds" feature), but every other app seems to go in the "less is more... until it's not enough and I go back to downcast" direction.

Overcast has some smart features. (What about an "alert me of any appearance of my favorite guest, whatever the show" feature)? I hope it convinces people that there is still room to grow.

I've also found that Downcast has given me the most control over my podcasts.

One thing I haven't found yet, though, is a client that offers a playlist or podcast level setting where I can say I want to download the oldest unplaced episode for a show. iTunes has such a sync setting for TV shows, for example, and it would be very handy for podcasts where I'm working my way through an archive.

There is probably a limited audience for such a feature, however, so I'll probably have to keep waiting.

Agree with your comments on Downcast except its Mac version. It's somethings that is unusable for me - high CPU usage, sync problems (iOS version has them too), app freezing, etc.

Hope Overcast will make other clients better. I'm going to migrate to Overcast for the time being.

Why doesn't everything just stream as with music and video? I hate the "subscribe" concept. I just want to browse around an listen stuff here and ther. Maybe bookmark some favorites.

I really love the no-nonsense FAQ: https://overcast.fm/skeptics_faq

I wish everyone would write such clear and concise FAQ. I especially love the answer to question 'Why is the app free?'

I loved the Instapaper app and will definitely buy this app. The current podcasts app on iOS platform are terrible. The only app I am able to tolerate is 'Downcast'.

I think PocketCasts is pretty awesome. So far Overcast isn't doing that much more for me than PocketCasts.

Is the iOS version of PocketCasts as bad as the Android version? The Android version does fundamentally work, but isn't robust. For example it will randomly stop playing mid podcast for no reason, forget that it is playing a sequence of podcasts, play two hours after pressing the play button, forget play position and revert to an earlier one, not sync play status between devices reliably and the list goes on. None of these are a big deal if you have the app in your pocket but are awful if you are driving since they require interaction to fix.

Weird. I use Pocket Casts on both an ipad and an Android phone every day with 50 subscribed podcasts and haven't had any of those things happen. Literally not a single one of those things. Several of those sound like a dodgy headphone connection though.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it's getting a bit unresponsive on the ipad 2 when you switch back to the app - takes a few seconds to respond to buttons.

I always connect via bluetooth to my car or to a jambox. The most recent time it randomly stopped playing was yesterday afternoon while driving - right in the middle of an episode on a long straight on the highway. For the record I have never had Google Music randomly stop playing using the same device(s) to the same car and jambox.

The position loss usually occurs with Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast where each episode is 3 - 5 hours long. I listen to about 30 minutes each time on the same device and sometimes it just resumes from a previous stop point rather then the most recent.

To demonstrate it forgetting about playing a list of items, start playing from an episode filter choosing Play All. Stop playing and then come back later. The lock screen will show that current playing episode as does the bottom of the UI. Press play in that. It will then play till the end of that episode and then stop - ie it forgets you were doing a Play All.

AFAIK it's a different codebase, and I've never had any problems.

PocketCasts has those weird popup windows that feel very cross-platform.

It also uses a lot of private apis from ios6. (I found out running the ios8 beta and looking at stack traces)

So I've had to revert to Downcast. I have bought every podcast app on ios anyway to get away from the godawful native podcast app. Whats one more app amongst friends.

>> It also uses a lot of private apis from ios6. (I found out running the ios8 beta and looking at stack traces)

Good to know. It completely stopped launching for me on iOS 8 beta 3. Shows the default.png and the freezes and crashes after a few seconds. I'd downgraded to the Apple Podcasts app (which I hate). Tried Overcast this afternoon and I like it. The only probably for me is there is unlikely to ever be an Android app and I occasionally use an Android device so PocketCasts syncing between devices was great.

I can't find an app the works on beta 3. I switch away from pocket cast to Apple podcasts. That worked for a day and then wouldn't play. Tried castro and it also worked for a while and now I can go to the episode view. Trying overcast now but the auto downloading is annoying and there no all downloaded view.

Downcasts runs on beta3, as does overcast but pocket casts is a crash happy maniac on it.

Yeah, given how much time I listen to podcasts, I don't mind spending a few bucks twice a year to try new clients.

On the Android side I used PocketCasts as well. I certainly can't call it awesome - more like limited and unstable, but still better than the alternatives.

Castro is a great podcast app.

Be sure to check the FAQ[1] and the Privacy Policy[2], which clearly explain the design of the app, the reason for the data that's collected as well as how the data will be used. I'll be buying the full license right away just to reward the good behavior. Thanks Marco!

[1] https://overcast.fm/skeptics_faq [2] https://overcast.fm/privacy

Smart Speed - here is what I thought it was, or what I wished it was: The app knows how long your commute will be and it attempts to shorten or lengthen the podcast in an unnoticeable way so that you can fit whole episode(s) into a single drive/bus ride. I have an annoying habit of sitting in my driveway waiting for a natural break in the podcast so that I can turn it off with a clear conscience.

Great idea. To start, why not have the app find episodes that match the user's commute time? For other episodes, an app like Overcast could first apply SmartSpeed and then speed up the entire episode (ie 1.1x) to match the commute time. I'm finding myself looking for good (financial) news podcasts that are < 20 mins per episode.

Just bought the app.


That's the only word I can use to describe the experience. Creating an account and adding my favorite podcast was accomplished in less than a minute. It is unbelievably polished for version 1. A must buy if you enjoy podcasts.

I wouldn't say unbelievably polished....

In my first 5 minutes of use it: - Complained no podcasts could be played. - Crashed on opening the second time. - Once I could start playing then (post crash?) complained that there was no space left on the device when there was.

Glad to see this is out, it looks nice. If you look at Federico's review/interview [1] you can find clips of the voice enhancer and gap shortener, they sound quite good. I know a few people who will probably jump on this.

I fight with the Podcasts app (and podcasts in iTunes) on a weekly basis. I would love to replace it with something by a developer with a good track record like Marco, but I do about 80% of my podcast listening on my Mac and I don't think the annoyance factor is high enough for me to switch to using only my iPhone yet.

At the end of Federico's interview Marco says he's considering an iPad or maybe Mac app in the future, I can only hope.

[1] http://www.macstories.net/reviews/overcast-review/

In the FAQ it mentions a 'basic web app'. I haven't looked into it but you may be able to play on your desktop through that.


I saw that, but I'm not sure it will fit my needs. More than anything else, I want to be able to use the "play/pause" key on my keyboard to pause the podcast. I also really like the idea of the voice booster and I'm guessing that the web site won't get that (being 'basic' and all).

Don't expect the web app to become any serious Mac app competitor anytime soon. Based on Instapaper's website, Marco dislikes working on them. It will keep basic functionality but his main focus will be on iOS for the foreseeable future.

I was looking at his twitter earlier and he was asking about Web Audio API's so maybe he does have plans to improve it.


I don't expect it to (and I agree with him, I'd rather have a REAL app), but my needs are modest.

The lack of streaming is a bummer. I subscribe to quite a few podcasts and pick-and-choose which episodes to listen to by streaming them on-demand instead of downloading everything.

That's good to hear. Thanks for pointing it out. I wonder if streaming will be a "free" feature or a "premium" feature? For now, it's back to Pocket Casts.

Some feedback. I'm a heavy Downcast user.

1) Didn't import all of my subscriptions. Specifically The Patch from Roosterteeth. Considering the opml file contains the URL, I don't see why this happened.

2) At least one or two podcasts I deleted a long time ago got imported. I haven't examined the opml file but Downcast doesn't show them anymore. So either Downcast is doing something wrong or the import is.

3) I read the Skeptics FAQ. That's really helpful.

4) Despite the FAQ I still don't see why the account is needed. I very nearly didn't create an account. If not for knowing who Marco is I never would have. I feel very strongly about this with apps. Unless there is a clear and compelling reason to need to signup for a service then I don't.

The design is nice. But there's nothing compellingly different about this app compared to Downcast. It also has voice speed. It has lots of fiddly bits if you want to tinker with individual settings. Pay a couple dollars and get Downcast and you don't need an account.

> 2) At least one or two podcasts I deleted a long time ago got imported. I haven't examined the opml file but Downcast doesn't show them anymore. So either Downcast is doing something wrong or the import is.

Would you care to hazard a guess as to how Overcast could be getting that data if it's not in the Downcast export :p

I can't even guess without looking at the OPML file.

Seems pretty obvious that it must be in the OPML file. Bet you $100 it's in there.

Bet you $200!

I believe the account is so that Overcast's servers can look for new episodes and push background updates so new episodes are there when you open it.

PocketCasts has the same feature without an account. The app can auto-generate a server account using the device's uuid.

Take it from someone who has gone down that path, it's a support nightmare, especially when you want to allow cross-device sync. Much easier to just require the account up-front.

It may be easier from the engineering perspective, but its a major turn off for the user. Building good user experiences is often harder than the engineering part.

Overcast has a web client, too. If Overcast used the UUID, it wouldn't be able to give you the web client side of things easily.

You can't get a device UUID anymore I don't think.

There is also a web view/player I think.

There is now `[UIDevice identifierForVendor]`.


Re old podcasts - I found something similar with Instacast. It imported things where I just had a single episode imported but also a few things I just have no subscription to at all.

Feels like more like a glitch in Instacast and what it's sending to the OPML rather than Overcast though.

Normalization! FINALLY

The amount of times I have to touch volume buttons on non normalized podcasts is nuts.

As long as this works decently or close to downcast in overall use I'll throw the $5 at this easy.

Hmm. Normalization means you don't have the change the volume between podcasts, but better than that would be dynamic range compression. A podcast with both loud music/effects/screaming and quiet/normal dialogue would be "evened out". You wouldn't have to adjust volume even within a podcast. I don't know of any audio player (desktop or mobile) that has this feature. It would be perfect for podcasts/audiobooks.

I'm just more happy that the quiet people and loud mean I don't need to have my ears blown out as much.

It’s a really nice app and I bought it instantly. The App Sore’s podcasting landscape is filling out nicely, with a diverse selection of high-quality apps for many different tastes. I wish there were as good a selection of apps for many other purposes.

There are Instacast, Downcast and Pocket Casts with tons of features, though all with slightly different approaches to UI and graphic design. A nice selection for anyone who wants every feature and everyone who has a very particular and personal way of listening and organising podcasts that doesn’t fit with the way simpler apps organise the podcasts. For me their design (both UI and graphic design which in many cases is just awful) is a bit too noisy and loud and while they do have customisability the developers don’t seem to have put as much effort into making the experience map well to typical listening scenarios right out of the box, making you do all the work. For me personally they are a bit to complex and confusing, but for people who need the features they are great.

On the other end of the scale is Castro with its simplicity (and excellent graphic design) that makes it very streamlined to use – if your approach to listening to podcasts fits with what they designers had in mind. For me it just fits perfectly. (I really need nothing besides a list of podcasts and a list of unplayed episodes. That’s perfect for me.) Plus, background downloads work very well, even if they do consume a bit more battery. I can understand going with a server component, but it wouldn’t have been an absolute necessity.

Overcast fits somewhere between the Instacast-Castro complexity spectrum (with some cool extra features no one else has), filling that gap.

Sadly, Marco Arment doesn’t have the graphic design prowess of the people who made Castro, and since my demands are very simple I will stick with Castro for the time being. But I’m always up to switching it up and I can imagine it being a great app for many people.

(Those boxes I put those apps into aren’t hermetically sealed. In some respects Overcast actually is simpler than Castro in very thoughtful way, for example. But in general those categories work well for me.)

I can see why some people would say Castro's design is better, but to me Castro is "over-designed". The visual slickness gets in the way of actually using it. I'd say Overcast is actually better designed, because it is more usable.

I don’t think it does get in the way and I wouldn’t see how …

But point taken. It uses less standard controls, certainly. I have nothing against standard controls, my issue with Overcast is more with alignment and layout (especially the alignment and layout of the podcast images, up there in a corner).

In the end my willingness to trade usability for graphic design might be slightly higher than that of many other people (at least those who care).

As an example (I'm not the guy who you responded to), I've been frustrated in Castro a number of times while looking at an episode in show's feed because the native swipe-back gesture takes you back to the list of shows rather than than that show's feed, and it gets especially annoying considering the lengths of the transitions involved. It's obnoxious, and something one would get used to, but I seem to keep forgetting it. It's one of a few elements of navel-gazing "over"-design… of course the user would follow the steps, they're the steps! They're right there in the design.

Ha, of course! That’s an issue I also have run into. Luckily it’s not often that I browse my podcasts that way, but if you do, that clearly sucks.

Agreed -- I grabbed Castro thinking it was gorgeous, but using it was super unwieldy. I went back to Downcast after about a day because it's much more useable, despite being far less easy on the eyes.

Love the Onboarding screen https://i.imgur.com/VcBZ4rD.png

I've been looking forward to this and was planning on a day one purchase, so I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that there's even more here than I expected. Things like Smart Speed and Voice Boost are features I haven't seen anywhere else, and if they work as advertised, are major innovations.

They're also bred of listening to a lot of podcasts. Marco seems like he's scratching his own itch with these features, which is always great.

Just as a FYI, RSSRadio has had both silence removal and voice boosting for some time (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/rssradio-podcast-downloader/...)

Easily the best user on-boarding experience of any podcast app I've used.

I was afraid I was going to have to manually subscribe to all my feeds again, but they were imported smoothly. Creating an account couldn't have been easier either.

I also really like that there is a "Delete Account" option front and center, letting me know I won't have to jump through hoops to get rid of my account.

I feel a bit bad being so superficial, as the app has real merits, but the design is really painful. The app icon is just awful and, unfortunately, it is only a hint of what's to come upon launching the app. I hope it's successful enough to allow Marco some funds to hire a designer.

Each to their own, of course, but I find the design pretty good on the whole. The app icon was designed by Pacific Helm, so he did hire a designer (and a pretty well-respected one); I'm not sure what the argument against it is. (Other than the subjective one, obviously.) And most of the interior is just typography, in a style that, at least to my eye, is pretty reminiscent of the UI for The Magazine. (Surprise.)

I suppose if you hate orange, you're going to find the whole thing pretty hideous. (But if you hate orange how can you bear Hacker News?)

I just bought the in-app upgrade. Overall I really like the app, and how easy the search for shows is. It deserves to be on my homepage and replace Swell (the current app I use). Having said that, I do wanted to make the same comment (at the expense of sounding superficial too): the icon needs a facelift, it's plain ugly, and i want to have a 'good looking' homepage.

I suspect the app design is the way it is because Marco wanted it this way, and not because he lacked access to a designer

Huh, I like the icon.

Awesome that there's a category called "Turns Out" in the Add Podcast list.

Made me laugh. IIRC that's Merlin Mann's characterisation of material based on surprising factoids and "everything you think you know about x is wrong" type stuff.

BTW you should all strongly consider listening to the Roderick on the Line podcast. The latest episode is a good one.

I've never seen the tab bar put in the navigation bar before, and I really dig it. I'm actually in the process of designing an education app that plays audio, and have been debating how to avoid a hamburger/basement menu or gestures since the main audience for the app is older, and assumably less tech savvy. Putting the tab bar on top is a clever, and in hindsight incredibly obvious, compromise, since it provides for a now playing status bar on the bottom of the screen without hiding menu options. Nice.

>> "I've never seen the tab bar put in the navigation bar before"

I don't think it's a tab bar in the navigation bar. It just seems to be four buttons on a UIToolbar equally spaced.

Edit: Strange that this was down voted...care to explain why? It's almost certainly not a tab bar. A tab bar switches view controllers. The buttons on this bar present new ones modally leaving the current view controller in place.

My guess: because you used "just", which has the linguistic effect of belittling this four-button-toolbar innovation. I guess you didn't mean to do that, but you did anyway. I didn't down vote you BTW.

Not my downvote, so no data on that, but I suspect someone considered the distinction pedantic. Sure, it's not technically a tab bar, but it's functionally (from a user's point of view) the same thing.

At first glance, it doesn't look like it currently supports video podcasts. This is a bummer. Hopefully shows up in future versions or IAP

I'm surprised anyone still distributes their own video podcast, rather than just putting it up in a channel on YouTube. The bandwidth bill seems like it would kill you.

Agreed mostly, but then you're at YouTube's mercy. YouTube pulls TWiT videos all the time due to takedown notices over content that is played in-show as part of the discussion. i.e. let's play this new interesting advert from Company X, or a clip of last week's TV Show Y. Oops, your entire show is now gone.

YouTube has been apparently awful at having humans being contactable to sort this stuff out. Guys From Queens have related the same experiences.

Own your content. Yes, it's expensive, and a cost of doing business, but TWiT's got some revenue.

Some of the videos I subscribe to are produced my large media companies (Cable News). So I could see how content ownership would be important.

I'm surprised any large media companies are distributing any video content for free these days. Everything seems to be locked up onto proprietary video platforms, or sold piecemeal in stores like iTunes.

Most of the major news outlet in the US (NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, FOX) offer many of their programs for free. It's nice to get morning news when I wake up or drive to/from work.

Looks great.

I've actually been looking forward to this after hearing about it on ATP for months now. I was wondering what could be done to differentiate and I'm pleasantly surprised - smart speed and voice boost are killer features if they work as described.

Perhaps in a few years there will be an Android port I can buy and use to listen to Marco talk about how no one buys Android apps.

Ok, the live levels display is adorable. And it displays even when you go back to the list. I am delighted, dammit.

Being able to import from the ios Podcasts app would be useful. Who knows the RSS urls for podcasts any more?

Really liking the smart speed and voice boost features. Feels like a huge improvement on my favorite podcast (Gear Geeks Live) which typically has audio quality issues.

Don't like getting hit up for an email address right off the bat, but Marco has a pretty solid track record.

Yes it would be nice to avoid this until you are sold.

It would also be nice to have an explanation as to why it's needed (web client etc).

From the faq [1]:

> Why an email address instead of a username?

> Password resets.

> I tried usernames with Instapaper at first, but people forgot their passwords and got locked out of their accounts all the time. It was by far the top support problem. Email addresses fix that. (Nothing’s stopping you from entering a fake address, but if you forget your password, I won’t be able to help.)

[1]: https://overcast.fm/skeptics_faq

I really like this. Can you please add the ability to stream a podcast (play while downloading). That would sell me on this completely.

Maybe a little off-topic but which podcasts do you guys listen to? Any good tips on entrepreneurship / hacking podcasts?

"About" screen is a very nice touch. I don't think I saw another up doing it this way.

I can't believe it lacks streaming support. The download model is far outdated.

Why? My client automatically downloads all new podcasts when I'm at home using WiFi. Later I walk or drive through areas where the cell phone reception is not really reliable, steaming podcasts would stop all time. The download model is still the best by far.

The feature list make this purchase a no-brainer. Excellent App.

Anyone know if it does episode bookmarking/favourites?

No, it doesn't seem to. EDIT: actually it does seem to have some kind of "star" feature but hitting the star asks me to sign in to Twitter.

You can recommend episodes via the share icon. Recommended podcasts from those you follow on twitter show up in the directory.

Also while playing, scroll down on the podcast artwork to get the show notes. The fav star is there too.

Overcast's settings page encourages you to try Marco's competitors if you don't like his app, right above the export option. Ballsy and classy. (http://i.imgur.com/xO09x8d.png)

It's a shame his two tentpole features (Smart Speed, Voice Boost) are locked behind the paywall, though. I'd have liked to try them out before dropping a sawbuck. Not sure if that's part of Apple's "no time-limited demos" policy, a business decision, or both.

edit: apparently I should have tried the effects menu before posting; they are apparently available for 5 minutes at a time without paying. (I say apparently because I already unlocked the app and can't easily verify the replies below.)

I don't know if you are from USA or not but 4.99 is a very reasonable price to pay. I spend that much money for apps where I have no clue if it will be worth it.

Considering this app is by Marco, I would say that go ahead and buy it. It's highly unlikely that it won't work as advertised.


I happily paid $2.99 for my favorite Podcast app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snoggdoggl...

Edit: Missed a decimal there...

You mean $2,99. Kinda scared me for a second there.

I hope you missed a decimal place there.

You can try them out in the effects tab for 5 minutes at a time without paying.

You can test the 2 features for 5 minutes at a time in the free app.

FYI: a sawbuck is an X shaped structure used to hold wood while cutting it. It also refers to a ten dollar bill because X = 10 in Roman Numerals. This app is half that price.

Could sworn it was a fiver because a sawhorse looks like an upside-down V. Guess I got my etymologies confused. Thanks.

His primary competitors, Downcast and Pocket Casts, cost $2.99 and $3.99 up front, respectively. Calling it a "paywall" seems disingenuous.

I dunno, if those features work as advertised, they seem like a pretty huge innovation. Definitely worth the money.

There are quick little clips in the MacStories.net review:


Cool features although not "new". RSSRadio for iOS has had both silence removal and voice boost features for a long time.

Ballsy and classy.

It's also perhaps a bit manipulative. I'm not in any way saying this in a critical or dismissive fashion, but rather given that many here are learning from software like this, and I do think there is a lesson to be drawn from that.

Persuasion and social norms are powerful forces. Giving direct links to your competitors not only demonstrates confidence in your product (e.g. it must be better given that it confidently points you at alternatives), it can also diffuse criticism, ala "if you aren't happy, here are other options that might make you happy".

Recall that reviled Comcast phone call the other day -- the agent was using a tactic as old as time which is to make the caller feel unreasonable and unfair about cancelling (e.g. "until you've given me a good reason", and then a list of why they're better). Such a competitor link list may achieve the same goal for negative reviews/sentiments.

App looks great.

EDIT: Pretty extraordinary how literally (and simplistically) people take the Comcast comparison. I was describing persuasive techniques (of which our society is filled), not saying that Marco is equal to Comcast. It is deeply unfortunate that this needs to be spelled out.

It is also shocking how people are both going forth to fight any notion that this is anything but a purely selfless move wrought by good intentions, but because of such a selfless move wrought with good intentions isn't Marco a great guy (and so "ballsy and classy") and isn't it worthwhile to spend $4.99. I am not sure if the reality is lost, or the fan club has flocked in.


You're comparing this "tactic" to that Comcast fiasco? If you listen to any of Marco's podcasts, he feels really strongly about independent developers and even his independent competitors, who he compliments often (esp. the Pocket Casts and Downcast people).

Yes, I'm comparing persuasive tactics. Is there some reason I shouldn't?

The notion that anyone would read my comment and think they have to defend Marco or silence an obvious, factual comment is rather sad.

Your comment is not factual. It's a cynical opinion.

Does Marco hope that this will make you feel good about him and his app? That seems likely. Does he also want to support independent developers? That seems likely too.

Not everything can be simply boiled down to 'persuasive tactics'.

You say my comment is not factual, only then you describe his motivations being precisely what I described (rather than "ballsy and classy"). Not sure if you're being ironic or just shockingly naive.

The facts, gress, are persuasive techniques, not Marco's intentions which neither of us can measure. I made this abundantly clear in my OP, however the desperate, sad dogpile of waylaid Arment defenders ("OMG! HE SAID THAT ARMENT IS LITERALY COMCAST!") made that a little too difficult for some of you to read.

There is nothing dishonest in my edits. I have clarified my point (which has remained exactly the same, regardless of your comprehension issues) without providing yet another post for Arment cheerleaders to pummel down in their confusion about what is being discussed. Hacker News is not conducive to conversations when a side (even when "a side" is as bizarre and perplexing as "refutes basic persuasion techniques") is passionate, as evidenced by the fact that the same boorish people feel some perverse need to arrow up/arrow down through an entire already-transparent conversation, force-multiplying their input. It is HN's greatest weakness.

Are you claiming your comment is factual or not?

I'm stating an opinion. Not facts. You seem to claim some kind of higher authority, and I'm calling you out for that.

[edit: I see that rather than replying, you have dishonestly edited your comment to distort your position and make this followup look out of place. I guess this is not a conversation.]

While I think, in general, a move like this can be seen as manipulative, I think this particular case is an exception.

Specifically, the line "Support independent developers, such as:", endears me to the publisher's genuine intentions. "Support" is the operative word here, and I think the comparison between this and the Comcast ordeal is different because I can't imagine Comcast using those words to describe their competitors.

I don't think what the publisher is doing diffuses criticism. I think it anticipates it and wraps it under a notion of "I know I can't give you everything you could want in a podcast app, so try these ones instead if you want". To me that's very different from, "This is the best podcast app, these other competitors can't possibly give you what I give you."

While i agree on your edit about comcast, you chose a really poor company to relate it to, given all the FCC stuff as of late.

You appear to have been mentioned in the show Marco co-hosts. ATP episode 74 at the 1hr 30min mark.

Ballsy and classy.

To me it feels a little haughty. Basically, "if you think anything in this app is wrong, you are incorrect, and should go elsewhere"

Don't get me wrong, it's Marco so he has earned the right to dictate how an app is. It strikes me as more funny than anything else, but I wouldn't want people to see this and think they can replicate it without having a big name to back it up.

> Basically, "if you think anything in this app is wrong, you are incorrect, and should go elsewhere"

To be honest, that isn't a terrible approach to take with this sort of app. Sure, there'll be some problems that he'll want to fix, but it's the sort of thing where people have differing personal preferences, and you're never going to please everyone.

EDIT: Also, I think I remember him talking before about how he implemented things due to user demand on Instapaper that ultimately didn't really fit, and which he regretted. Was on a podcast, unfortunately, so no link.

A year or so ago I would have agreed to you, but I'm on the fence now. Some criticism or requests are not necessarily wrong but take the product in a direction you don't want it to go.

Keep in mind that this is not the same thing as ignoring or disdaining criticism, it's just deciding to put it to use selectively.

No product can be, neither should it be, everything for everyone. Quite a few people thing google docs is fine, but some think it's lacking in features. They are both correct, in their own way.

Whether you choose to cater to everyone, which is a fool's errand in my opinion, is ultimately a business decision. If you think the product as you envision it will have buyers, then why not?

So the dichotomy of correct / incorrect is not as clear as you say.

I think that makes it sound more arrogant than it probably is.

You can take feedback and suggestions (and remember, feedback is in the menu above the links to other apps) but as a software developer it's unlikely your app is ever going to be all things to all people. This feels like a simple acceptance of that and a chance to recommend apps / developers he likes if what he's doing isn't for you.

This is probably closer to the truth than either the "ballsy" or "manipulative" arguments. Though, I think this is overly cynical. He just doesn't think it's worth doing support. He has stated numerous times that, if he could, he would rather just refund people'e money than provide any support.

I clicked the page, scrolled up and down, did not see visually what this was and left.

A powerful yet simple iPhone podcast player?

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