I’m back on the horse thanks to Overcast. It’s a wonderful app with a smart take on playlists and audio processing. One feature, Smart Speed, compresses long moments of silence, which can shave minutes off of a show (the app tells me I’ve saved over an hour of time just by enabling Smart Speed). And the speed adjuster lets me listen at 1.5x normal speed without mangling the audio or making the speakers sound like chipmunks. All of this allows me to listen to more shows in less time. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Work is starting to slow down—things got pretty frenetic for about a month—and I’ve been making more time to listen to episodes of my favorite shows, too. I’m still catching up on the backlog of a couple of shows, but I’m making progress. Overcast’s discovery features have helped me find a couple of new shows to listen to, too.
Since my last Podcast post, The Prompt, Bionic, and all of Myke Hurley’s shows on 5by5 have gone off the air, which is sad, but he promises to return. I’m really looking forward to whatever he does next.
If you’ve been thinking of giving podcasts a shot, or if you’re already an avid listener, definitely give Overcast a look. It’s free on the App Store with a $5 in-app purchase to unlock the power features (which are totally worth the cost).
I deleted PocketCasts from my iPhone today with no intention of replacing it with another podcast client. I used to be an avid listener of a handful of shows. Back to Work, Roderick on the Line, Build and Analyze, Hypercritical, Accidental Tech Podcast, Bionic, The Prompt, Ruby Rogues, the list goes on and on.
It’s not that I’ve stopped enjoying the shows. They’re still providing great content. I just can’t find enough hours in the day to listen. When I had a normal job, this wasn’t a problem. I had headphones on all day, the work was uncomplicated—it was the perfect environment.
But these days, I’m working from home, and Mir and I are either constantly collaborating on stuff or sharing child care duties. The work is more challenging, and because I have such short periods of time in which to work each day, I have to give the work my undivided attention. Occasionally I’ll have a few minutes to myself where I can throw on headphones, but I end up listening to music, as it’s less distracting.
I miss the days when people just had blogs. Content was much easier to keep up with. I’ve ended up feeling guilty for not keeping up with the podcasts I subscribe to, which is a needless source of stress. And the continuity between episodes means you can’t easily mark-all-as-read and try again next week like you can with RSS.
I’m sad to let them go. Some of the shows I listened to were gathering points for like-minded nerds, and I’ve made some in-real-life friends from places like the 5by5 chat rooms. They provided a sense of community, which is something that’s getting harder to find on the Internet every day.