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Looking For A Casual Podcast App? Castro Is The One

December 12, 2013

Castro — High Fidelity Podcasts ($2.99) by Supertop is a dead simple podcast app, with design and simplicity being its main attractions. When Apple released iOS 7, apps like Instacast, Pocket Casts, Downcast, and Apple's own app were quick to be updated, but not without their quirks. We have even seen some interesting new additions like PodWrangler.

In the app, there are two main places to be. The “Podcasts” tab at the top will display the shows you have subscribed to, and the “Episodes” tab contains an ascending chronological list of episodes, regardless of the show, as well as whether or not you have downloaded them. Thankfully, new podcast episodes can download automatically in the background if you allow them to.

Tapping on a show from the Podcasts tab will bring up a beautiful list containing the show's info and its episodes. Here, the podcast art is blown up and blurred out in the background, which looks great. Settings can also be accessed for each individual show, which include automatic downloads, a “News Mode,” which only keeps the most recent episode, and the playback speed.

Interestingly, there is no “Now Playing” screen in Castro, since the small black bar at the bottom of the display is all you need. There is a pause and play button, arrows for jumping forward or back, and handles on the left and right side. To quickly scrub throughout an episode, drag the left handle to the right or the right handle to the left, and let go where you would like to stop. This process is very accurate, and the implementation of this scrubbing method is extremely well done.

Although some podcast freaks require advanced apps, Castro is the best option for those who only subscribe to a few shows and listen on occasion. The only thing keeping me from switching to Castro is its lack of a syncing mechanism, which is probably due to the fact that it is iPhone-only. Another drawback of this app is that there is no way to subscribe via RSS, although all of the shows I listen to can be found by searching for them. Even without syncing abilities or feed URL support, Castro still tempts me.

To give Castro — High Fidelity Podcasts a try for yourself, pick it up in the App Store on your iPhone for $2.99.

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