Dandy Cat

A Quick Castro Update

On June 14, I wrote an entry that discussed several issues with my preferred podcast player app. It seems so long ago now; so many things have changed. We’ve all grown a little older and, I hope, a little wiser. To the second point, I’ve decided to cease an activity that’s proving itself to be a waste of my time.

I don’t want to bury the lede any further: I’ve stopped using Castro entirely and have returned to Overcast.

I’ve also canceled my long-held subscription with Castro because I no longer feel that my money is being used to support the development of this app. Instead, it appears that my money is being taken from me with nothing given in return.

Since writing the initial entry, I’ve followed up every subsequent month with a short update on Twitter. Normally, I wouldn’t care to use that place for anything, but it’s historically been where Castro’s developers have been most available. I figured that a mention there could make its way to their eyes. So far, I’ve been proven 100% wrong.

Not only has there been no communication with me, but there’s been no communication from them with anybody. By all appearances, the Castro podcast app has been abandoned. There’s been no official announcement about this, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, but the app hasn’t been updated in over half a year. Additionally, it’s been nearly two years since there was any mention of their iPad app and sync service. What else should I conclude from this behavior?

I acknowledged in my original entry that software development is an inherently time-consuming and difficult process. I would never demand that any developer finish large projects in an unreasonable amount of time; we all have personal lives to live. What irks me is the complete lack of communication from a company that provides a product to the public. Castro’s developers used to update and communicate regularly, and now they do not. I don’t find that acceptable when other people’s money is involved.

I’m saying goodbye to Castro and hello again to Overcast. Its developer, Marco Arment, has not only proven himself to be capable of regular app updates, but more importantly, he’s open to communication in several different places. I feel confident that if anything were to ever happen to Overcast, then he would tell everybody.

I see more commitment to and progress made on Overcast than I’ve seen on Castro in a long time. More importantly, I don’t feel like my subscription to his app is being taken advantage of.

This is a damn shame. Not because I don’t like Overcast—I do—but because I really liked what Castro did for listening to podcasts. The episode triage system worked especially well with my listening behavior and it was a well-made app. Unfortunately, it’s become riddled with bugs, the developers have fallen off the planet, and it’s completely missed the boat with the recent iOS 16 launch. Even if they came out with an update tomorrow and renewed their interest in communicating online, I wouldn’t use Castro again. What assurance would I have that they wouldn’t fall back into their bad behaviors sometime in the future?

There comes a time when a person should stop foolish endeavors and accept what’s already there for them. Expecting an untrustworthy company to completely change forever is like expecting chocolate chip cookies to not be delicious. It’s just not going to happen.1

I expect to be done with these entries forever unless a Castro update magically appears, and even then, don’t bet on it. In the meantime, I’ll be busy listening to podcasts on Overcast.

  1. I mean, look at these things! My mouth is watering already. ↩︎