I love Overcast

An upgrade for podcast listeners


It’s easy to write about things that you don’t like. I’m writing about things I love.

Between my commute and walking at lunch, I listen to a lot of podcasts. And when you love podcasts as much as I do, you need a first-rate podcast player. When I first started listening to podcasts, I downloaded everything to iTunes and then transferred the files over to the iPod. (The iPhone didn’t exist yet.) The default apps worked well for a while, but there was room for improvement.

Now, my podcast player of choice is Overcast, available for iOS. Overcast’s interface is intuitive, allowing me to built customized playlists. The directory makes discovering and subscribing to new podcasts easy.

  • Saving time. Smart Speed is a feature that magically shortens silences and pauses from your podcasts. Just by shortening silences, Overcast has saved me more than 160 hours over the last few years. (The bottom of the preferences screen has a running total.)

  • Better interruptions. I listen to podcasts mostly in the car, often with navigation running. Every time the phone interrupts to give me directions, Overcast pauses the podcast, and when playback resumes, it rewinds the podcast slightly. This gives you just a little bit of context and makes it easier to pick back up where you left off. It’s a tiny detail that makes a big difference.

  • Continuous improvement. Overcast developer Marco Arment is also a podcaster and he’s always improving the app and adding features. One of the best things about Overcast is that it just keeps getting better. He recently added a new feature that makes it possible to easily share clips of podcasts on social media and improved the recommendation engine.

If you love podcasts and use iOS, I think you’ll love Overcast. Give it a shot.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, researcher, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. Follow Bob on Instagram.