Castro goes free with version 1.5, welcomes patrons

Supertop today released Castro 1.5, a significant update to the popular iOS podcast client. The update brings a number of new features tailored to those using iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s but the news likely to garner the most attention is the company's move to a patronage-based business model for the app. 

Castro, previously $3.99, is now entirely free. You can download the app and use all of its features for zero dollars. Instead of charging up front for the app, Supertop is hoping loyal Castro users will voluntarily contribute towards the app's continued development with an optional patronage of $1/month. From the Supertop blog

Yesterday, Supertop needed an endless stream of thousands of new customers to sustain our business. From today, we can be successful with a far smaller number of much happier customers. We can offer better support. We can add new features more often, instead of holding them back for splashy major releases. In other words, we can do the things that indies do best.

It's obviously not the first time we've seen patronage appear in the podcasting space, with Marco Arment pioneering same business model for his Overcast podcast client last month. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, and other services have also proven the viability of crowdfunding in recent years. I'm confident Supertop with its extremely well-polished Castro offering and solid fanbase can achieve success with patronage. 

Version 1.5 of Castro, available today, features 3D Touch home screen shortcuts and Peek and Pop capabilities throughout the app, as well as support for Spotlight search and Safari View Controller. Castro patronage options, purchased in-app, come in 3, 6 and 12 month bundles that do not auto-renew. 

Source: Supertop

Overcast's Smart Speed vs. Real Time

Speaking of podcasts, an interesting piece from Evan Pederson on Medium takes look at the Smart Speed feature of popular podcast client Overcast

On a recent episode of Upgrade, Jason Snell and Myke Hurley were discussing how much time Smart Speed, a feature in the Overcast app, had saved them. For those unfamiliar with Smart Speed, it removes silences from an episode without distortion or distraction. The app also tells you how much time it has saved you (mine clocks in at 20 hours).

It's fascinating to see just how much time Smart Speed can save you per episode, as Evan demonstrates with a side-by-side audio comparison of Smart Speed and real time for the same podcast episode.

Smart Speed is the main reason why I love the app and use it for listening to all of my podcasts. For those interested, I've saved 17 hours (which I've no doubt used to listen to more shows). 

Source: Medium via Marco.org