iOS iPhone News
Castro lets you track lots of podcasts at once without getting overwhelmed. Here’s how it works:
1) New episodes land in the INBOX. Read the descriptions, queue the good ones and archive the rest.
2) The QUEUE is a central playlist for organizing your next few hours of listening. Queued episodes are downloaded automatically.
3) Press Play. Castro plays your queue in order from top to bottom. Reorder or archive queued episodes anytime.
4) In the ARCHIVE you can find the back catalogue of all shows you subscribe to, browse your listening history, and easily access your starred episodes.
This flow lets you expand your listening habits without getting overwhelmed. With Castro, subscribing to a podcast doesn’t mean making a commitment to listen to every episode. You don’t have to choose a few shows and miss the rest.
* Drag and drop support helps you triage and reorder your queue.
* Castro sports an elegant dark mode (requires Castro Plus) and well-thought out sleep timer, offering the best in night time podcast listening.
* Our servers constantly scan for new episodes across every podcast, so your phone doesn’t have to, saving battery life and data usage.
* Queued episodes are automatically downloaded, so you can focus on deciding what you want to hear and let Castro manage the details.
* Beautifully rendered full screen show notes.
* Episode notifications include a short summary of the episode to help you decide if it interests you. You can play, queue or archive the episode directly from the notification without opening the app.
* CarPlay support.
* Watch app to control playback and select another episode from your queue.
* Full play history.
* Star episodes to easily find your favorite episodes later.
Castro Plus is an optional subscription to unlock a range of advanced features. There are quarterly and yearly payment options, and both include a one week trial.
+ Trim Silence — With this option on, the app will analyze audio as it plays to detect silent parts and accelerate those parts. Get through more episodes faster.
+ Enhance Voices improves the listening experience for many podcasts and makes it easier to hear in loud environments. Under the hood, Enhance Voices applies a dynamic compressor and a peak limiter to increase volume just where it’s needed.
* Sideloading allows import of audio files directly, just by dropping them in iCloud Drive.
+ Mono-Mix — Mixes a stereo podcast to mono, which makes it easier to hear podcasts that pan some guests on left/right channels.
+ Chapter Support: Skipping & Pre-selection.
+ Chapter and episode artwork.
+ Episode Limit lets users specify what number of episodes of each podcast to keep.
+ Set a start position for episodes of each podcast.
+ Customize settings per-podcast: Episode Limit, Trim Silence, Enhance Voices, Mono Mix, Skip Intros, Playback Speed.
Castro Plus costs $8.99 per year or $2.99 per quarter. Prices are in US dollars and may vary in countries other than the US.
Castro Plus is charged to your iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase. It will renew on the day before the current subscription period ends. You can cancel auto-renewal any time from the Castro settings screen.
You can switch between the two subscription periods after you pick one, but your trial period will end immediately if you do, so it's best to wait till your free week is over before changing.
Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period. Your account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period. Subscriptions may be managed by the user and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user's Account Settings after purchase. Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication, where applicable.
* Sideloads in formats other than `m4a` or `mp3` were failing to play, but now any audio file that iOS can play should work, including `wav` and `m4b`
* Fixes an issue where Castro could crash when restoring a backup.
* Reworks skipping pre-selected chapters to make it more precise.
* Fixes an issue where the play progress shown in the app could lag behind, which was leading to issues where chapter pre-selection could play the first few seconds of a skipped chapter.
* Sideloading readme file now renders properly on Windows (delete the iCloud sideload folder and restart Castro to recreate the file)
* Renaming a sideload file no longer confuses Castro.
* Chapter Pre-Selection toggles no longer work when you’re not a Castro Plus subscriber (the feature was still locked but you were able to tap them on/off)
* Fixes a bug where “Intro” chapters that we insert when the first podcast chapter starts after 00:00:00 were not playable for Castro Plus users.
* Fixes an issue where the “shake” to indicate that you’re already on that tab wouldn’t work in some circumstances.
* Fixed another issue that could cause Castro to appear to be playing but no audio would come out; specifically when connecting and reconnecting to CarPlay, but likely this would have affected AirPods too. This has been a tricky one to track down and there may be other causes. Get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) if it’s not fixed for you yet.
* Tapping the currently playing chapter no longer restarts the chapter.
* Fixes an issue where skipping near the beginning of a podcast with chapters could actually end up skipping forward to near the end of the last chapter.
* No longer sends cookies with download requests. This will make it harder for analytics companies to track you and target ads.
New Features in last weeks build 3.1
2. Chapter Pre-Selection
*** Sideloading ***
Import any audio to Castro! Drop audio files into your iCloud Drive/Castro/Sideloads folder on your Mac, or using the iOS Files app, and they’ll appear in your inbox (or queue, depending on how you set it up).
This lets you use Castro’s queueing and player features with any audio you have. It’s great for bonus episodes from kickstarters, DRM-free Audiobooks from the library, draft episodes of your own podcasts that you want to play through before releasing.
You can use the share sheet to “Copy to Castro” files from other locations in Castro and it’ll import them to that iCloud Drive folder then they’ll appear in Sideloads.
Sideloading is a Castro Plus feature. Thank you to our subscribers for supporting the continuing development of Castro — Not a subscriber yet? There’s a 7 day trial so you can experience Sideloading before committing.
*** Chapter Pre-Selection ***
You can now toggle on or off each chapter of an episode in the player — use this to have Castro play the parts you want and skip the rest.
Open the chapter skip screen by playing an episode with chapters and then tapping the chapter title bar in the player. Each chapter has a checkmark beside it that you can tap to toggle it off. As the episode plays, it’ll jump past unselected chapters.