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Castro is sooo good, but it could be better
2 min read

Castro is sooo good, but it could be better

Let me be clear: Castro is the best podcast app for iOS, and I absolutely adore it. I’ve tried every remotely competitive podcast client there is, and there’s no question that Castro is the best one for power users, and in my opinion, it’s not even close.

That said, there’s still some friction in parts and a few (easy-to-implement) features missing that I’d love to see added. (And yes, there are some Shortcuts available (look for the gallery in settings), but they aren’t integrated and in any event don’t cover most of what I outline below.)

More (or rather, any) sorting options

I’d love to be able to sort my queue by date released, started but not finished, and new or encore release (to the extent that can be gleaned from the title/description), but the main option I want is the ability to sort by length.

As with read-it-later services, sometimes you have a specific amount of time to read/listen to something, and you want to find saved articles/podcasts that you can knock out within that time frame. Or, you just want to blaze through as many as possible and so you jump straight to the shortest stuff.

Modify the queue positions

One of Castro’s best features (and still I think it’s the only podcast app that has it) is the “Inbox,” where every new episode shows up in time order. From the Inbox you have 4 options for each episode: play immediately, delete/remove (removes the episode from the Inbox and never places it in your queue), place at the top of the queue, or place at the bottom of the queue.

It’s brilliant, and allows you to easily and quickly triage every new episode that has come in since you last looked at the Inbox. If you follow a ton of podcasts it’s a legit lifesaver.

But, once you've made the top-of-queue or bottom-of-queue decision, it's locked in stone (unless you X it out and then find it again and re-add it, which can be a huge ask if you follow a lot of podcasts). Would be great if you could simply highlight the episode and push it to the top or bottom. (Yes, you can long-press an episode and slide it up or down the queue, but if your queue is insanely long, that isn't very helpful unless you're just looking to move it a few spots in either direction.)

Undo

Speaking of the Inbox, one issue I run into often when reviewing lots of new episodes is "accidentally" tapping the “Delete/Remove” option when trying to review them as quickly as possible. Unless you remember the name of the podcast whose episode you just threw away, there's really no way to track it down and re-review, and potentially undo your mistake.

Of course I could slow down, and should, but I can't seem to make myself do it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Metrics/data

I always want more information, about everything, but especially about how I spend my time each day.

All of the things I’d like to see in this regard seem very easy to track and surface to users:

  • How many podcasts I’m subscribed to
  • How many hours of podcasts I’ve listened to over the last week, month, year, and all-time
  • Which podcasts I skip the most new episodes of (maybe an indicator that I need to unsub)
  • Overall, which podcasts I’ve spent the most time listening to

I'm sure you can think of 10 more examples that might be useful and/or interesting.

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