There’s a new version of Castro out, which switches the app to the now popular subscription model. Castro, as far as I am concerned, is the best podcasts app you can get. But also don’t take it from me because I so loathe podcasts.

One thing to note here is the additional features of the app: silence trimming and chapter support. These are both features you only get if you pay for the app.

Ryan Christoffel in his overview of the app for MacStories writes:

Eventually though, I became more selective about the portions of podcasts I listened to, and Castro’s lack of chapter support sent me elsewhere.

The line cracks me up, because you need to think about this in terms of what you are paying for with Castro. Listening to podcasts is free, it always has been. You are now paying, and not a small amount of money (but not much), a subscription fee so that you can make podcast listening better because the podcast producers themselves don’t. I know that sounds harsh, and like another slam from a guy who loathes podcasts, but think about it.

Podcasts are too long, but instead of podcaster doing the hard work to shorten them, listeners use hacks like trimming silence (ruining the tempo, not that there was any) and playing at faster than normal speed playback. Listeners (and this was literally news to me today) also use chapters to jump about in the podcasts to skip over the boring bits.

Isn’t the entire point of a podcast that the entire podcast is relevant and entertaining?

Why are people paying to get these “features” instead of demanding better content? This entire thing reads to me like people saying “that book is too long, where’s the Cliff’s Notes version of it?”

Posted by Ben Brooks