Load any audio file into Castro by dropping it into an iCloud folder

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Podcasting is like radio, only way better castro
Podcasting is like radio, only way better.
Photo: Tom Page/Flickr

Castro, one of our favorite podcast apps, just added two really great new features that aren’t yet available elsewhere. The first is the ability to load any audio file into the app, just by dropping it into a folder in your iCloud Drive. The second lets you preselect the podcast chapters you want to listen to.

Sideloading podcasts

Castro isn’t the first podcasting app to let you add your own audio files and listen to them. Overcast has done that for a while. But Castro’s method is much easier. Instead of having to set up an account, and then use the browser to upload the file, you just drop your files into the Castro folder in your iCloud drive. They will be automatically imported into the app’s inbox.

This is a great feature. You can drop anything in there, from DRM-free audiobooks to downloaded lectures, recordings you’ve made yourself, or even much tracks you’re currently working on.

How to use Castro Chapter Pre-Selection

The other new feature in Castro 3.1 is Chapter Pre-Selection. Many longer podcasts are split into chapters, making it easy to skip sections that don’t interest you. With Chapter Pre-Selection, Castro lets you tap chapters to flag the ones you want to hear (or ignore).

This will likely be used by listeners to avoid hearing advertisements. That could in turn lead podcast creators to stop separating ad spots into their own chapters. But for now, this is another very clever feature.

This is a great time for podcast listeners, as there are some excellent apps for us to use. Apple’s own Podcasts app is a good all-rounder, with more features than most people will need. Overcast focuses on making the listening experience as good as possible, stripping out silence, and enhancing the audio. And Castro is based on triaging new episodes and queuing them. These new Castro features fit right into that design goal.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Castro from the App Store (iOS)