Overcast is the best podcast app out there — but I’m using Downcast anyway

I’ve been using Overcast since it first came out many, many months ago.  It’s a great app, really.  Design-wise, it’s the perfect mix of “feature-rich” and “easy-to-use.”  I love using.

But I’m switching back to Downcast.

Why?  There’s one little tiny bug with Overcast that seems to only affect me.  The app has a nasty habit of resetting the customized order of the podcasts in my playlist.

I tried deleting the app and reinstalling it fresh.  It still has the bug.

This has been going on for a few months.

I love Overcast, and I want to give it another chance, but the reason I chose Overcast in the first place is because I loved the simplicity — and the functionality — of it’s unified playlist.  (The app I had been using used a combination of filters and playlists that didn’t suit me well.)

Now that my customized-playlist-order is basically useless, I need a new podcast app.  So I’m going to try Downcast for a while.  When I previously wrote about Downcast, my chief gripe was that it was too feature-rich.  Downcast offers every possible feature you could imagine for a podcast app (and some you couldn’t), and the interface wasn’t very user-friendly or intuitive.  But if you take the time to go into the dense forest of settings and customize things the way you want it, the customizable playlists do work well.  So I’ve done that.  And even if I don’t like the interface, at least I know I don’t have to go into the settings much at all from this point forward.  The app basically runs itself.

I’ll give Overcast a chance again, but for now I’m a Downcast kinda guy.

Why I switched from Canon to Sony

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About two years ago, I decided to take my interest in photography up a notch. Several notches actually. I’d been using an interchangeable lens camera since 2008, but it wasn’t a very good one. So in early 2013, with a baby on the way, I made the plunge into the Canon ecosystem. Deep into the Canon ecosystem. I didn’t just a buy a Rebel. No, I’d already been using a cropped sensor, and just getting another (albeit newer) one wasn’t a big enough upgrade. I had to go full frame or bust. I got a Canon 5D Mark III.

The 5D was not my first choice actually. I had my eye on the 6D, which is widely considered a “lesser” full-frame of the two. (And also much cheaper.) But I was able to get my hands on refurbished 5D Mark III through a private transaction (i.e. no sales tax) for not much more than the 6D — the offer was too good to pass up.

The Canon 5D Mark III is an amazing camera. There’s a reason why Canon gear is a go-to brand for professional photographers.  I took some amazing images I know I never would’ve gotten with a smaller sensor or a less capable auto-focus.

But there were even more pictures I never took at all, because I didn’t have the camera with me.

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While You’re Deleting that Uber App…

Uber’s been under fire lately for their shady practices, and rightly so.  (Well, they’ve actually been under fire for a while, but this week was the tipping point for many people.)  There’s a new movement afoot by Uber users — like John Hodgman — to delete the app from their phones.  I say, while you’re doing that, here’s some other apps to get rid of:

Every two weeks? Really? That's a "better" experience?!

Every two weeks? Really? That’s a “better” experience?!

Facebook.  Forget the fact that they’re selling out user privacy like it’s their business (actually, that IS their business), they just offer a crappy app.  It uses way more data and battery power than it should, making you wonder what else is going on under the hood.  They also intend to update the app, in full, every two weeks.  Sorry, but mobile operating systems don’t change that quickly, necessitating such constant adjustments.  Something’s fishy here.  Get rid of it.  If you must use Facebook, check it from the web.

LinkedIn.  Is the app as buggy and battery draining as Facebook?  No.  In fact, it seems pretty well designed.  I just say delete because it’s LinkedIn and I’m still mad about that time they spammed everyone in my address book.  Stupid, Linkedin.

Crazy Eye.  Yes, this was one of the very first apps you bought in 2008, to impress your nephew so that he’d think you’re the cool uncle.  But it hasn’t been updated since, looks terrible on new phones, and your nephew is now in college. Also, it didn’t work.  Steve is still the cool uncle. Sorry!

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Crazy Eye needs to be deleted ASAP. (Crazy Mouth, though, is still good to keep using. Especially on JDates. Jewish girls love it!)

Kill A Random Person.  Not sure how this even got approved by Apple.  You push a button and a random person someone across the globe dies.  I’d delete it.

The Phone Dialpad.  I’ve had an iPhone since they came out in 2007 and I still have no idea what this app should be used for.

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If anyone knows what this is for, let me know.

A little something I wrote for Digital Trends…

It looks like I now have a weekly column at Digital Trends, and my first post is all about the (unspoken) connection between cable channel bundling and show quality. The more click-baity headline would be something like “How à la carte cable is going to destroy the golden age of television,” so I’m very happy they went with something far less incendiary.

If you have any ideas for media-related topics I can address in the future, let me know!