Question about Overcast and other podcast platforms

iOS & iPadOS

Hi everyone,

Is there any way to search for podcasts/episodes in your library, in the Overcast iOS app? I'm not talking about searching for new shows to subscribe to, I want to be able to quickly pull up a show so I can listen to past shows that I may have missed etc. I'm subscribed to around 300 podcasts and I can't see any way of quickly pulling up a specific show. It seems extremely impractical to just have a massive list of every show that you have to flick through; there is not even a table index to help quickly move through the list. I have been wanting to move away from using the official iOS podcast app, plus iTunes on my Windows machine, but from what I'm seeing Overcast is not going to work for me. Does anyone have any pointers or suggestions for other platforms I could try? Whatever I use it needs to be able to sink my library across my iPhone and Windows computer, because I listen on both devices. FYI, this might get long, but I'll list the main issues I have run into with a number of the podcast platforms I have looked into.

Pocket cast
Pocket cast seems to be the option that might have the most potential to fit my needs, so I’m especially interested to hear from anyone who uses it. The main issue I have with Pocket Cast is with its web app, which is how the service would be accessed on Windows. I created an account, which is supposed to give you a free trial with the web app, however, I was not able to get a podcast to play with it. I was able to browse through some podcasts, pick an episode and read it’s show notes, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to make an episode play. From this experience, it seems like there are accessibility issues with the pocket cast web player, but if you have had better luck with it please let me know; I have not even looked at the iOS app yet, because I’m not interested in the service if I can’t use it on Windows, but I would be more then happy to pay for everything if it worked. Also, it looks like Pocket cast has a new app for windows in Beta, however, my free trial does not allow me to use this app, so I have no idea if it is more accessible then the web app.
Overcast is the closest option I have tried, and it is almost usable enough for me. Like Pocket Cast, Overcast has a web app, and unlike Pocket cast, this web app has worked well for me. However, my issue with Overcast is with the iOS app. From what I can tell, there is no way to search for a podcast or an episode, in your library, with the iOS app. This seems like such an irredeemable oversight, to me, that I would not be surprised if I am wrong about this, and if someone knows how I can search Overcast on my phone to quickly pull up one of the podcast I am subscribed to please let me know. As it stands, Overcast on my phone simply offers me a giant screen with all 300 of my podcasts and there is not even a table index or similar tool that would allow me to at least quickly scroll through this massive list.
Google Play music
I have been using Google’s service for my music and it does a passable job; however, I can’t use it for podcasts because Google’s library is missing many of the podcasts that I am subscribed to and Google does not offer a way to add the RSS feed of a show that is not already in it’s data base. Also, there would be no way of listening to podcasts through Google on my iPhone.
Stitcher will not work for me because of the method it uses to in port your subscriptions from your previous library. The way that most podcast platforms do this is through an .OPML file. You can export an .OPML file from iTunes, which documents all of your subscriptions, and then in port the file into apps such as Overcast, Pocket cast and Downcast; this way you don’t have to subscribe to all 300 podcasts over again when first moving away from iTunes. However, Stitcher uses a novel method for importing your subscriptions, which consists of scanning your official iOS podcast app and subscribing to all of the podcasts that have downloaded episodes. There are a few problems with this method, but the main issue for me is that I do not download podcasts, I only stream them. Even if I was to try and download episodes for all of my shows just to allow Stitcher to in port my subscriptions, I would not be able to fit all of the downloads on my phone, my library is too big.
Downcast, like many other options, only has a Mac app, there is no Windows player.
I believe I have tried a few more options that I can’t remember right now, but these were the highlights and this post is already far far too long. I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m complaining, I just thought it might save people some time if they could already read why some options probably won’t work for me. Surely, I can’t be the only person who listens to podcasts on Windows and iOS, needs a search function, and wants to try something other than iTunes. I’m open to hearing any suggestions or thoughts at this point.




Submitted by Chris Smart on Sunday, June 10, 2018

Also curious to see what people suggest, as it would be nice to search titles, extended descriptions etc.

Submitted by Tree on Sunday, June 10, 2018

I'm glad you agree. I mean it seems like lots of people love Overcast, but I would think search would be like one of the most basic features you would include in a media library app. I can't imagine a music app an E book app or Netflix not having search functions. Even the Bard iOS app allows you to search your downloaded library I believe, and I have only been able to fit 2 or 3 books on my phone at any point in time.

Submitted by DPinWI on Monday, June 11, 2018

I do not believe iCather will fit your bill because i don't think it has a Windows player. However, and just for the record, it does allow for searching of episodes in the on phone library. So, this is possible, and for those not needing a cross platform solution, may be just the ticket.

Submitted by splyt on Monday, June 11, 2018

Well ask overcast dev for this feature. It will probably be incluiuded in some release because overcast dev is a podcast listenning fan and is worried with its users experiences.