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Overcast app takes podcasts to the next level

Overcast is the newest incarnation of the podcast family of apps. I have been a Downcast and Podcasts users — that is until now. Marco Arment just released Overcast, a podcast app with great looks and amazing features. It’s free to download and use, but with a $4.99 in-app purchase, it becomes so much more than your average podcast app.

What normally bothers me the most with podcasts is the sheer amount of time it takes to listen to them, and this is the first podcast app which actually has a feature to fix that:

Smart Speed shortens silences. Playing at faster speeds has always helped people make time to hear more podcasts, but it usually came at the expense of sound quality and intelligibility. Smart Speed is like getting another speed increment for free: it saves time without sounding weird.

This combined with a slightly faster listening speed makes me breeze though my podcasts in no time!

The other great feature is voice boost:

Voice Boost is a combination of dynamic compression and equalization that can make many shows more listenable and normalize volume across all shows. This makes amateur-produced podcasts (including many of my favorites) more listenable in loud environments, like cars, where you’d otherwise need to crank the volume so loudly to hear the quiet parts that you’d blow your ears out when the loudest person spoke.

When using the normal Apple EarPods on the subway, I usually have difficulties hearing the audio properly due to some of the subway carts being over 40 years old. No more though, this feature takes care of the leveling issues without any problems.