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Instacast 5: Syncing doesn’t work Review

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Syncing doesn’t work
The app works OK if you only want to use it only on your iPad, iPhone or even on your Mac. Syncing between them is completely non-functional though despite what the developer promises.
AgentUtah on Oct 30, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Rewrite it all
For 4 years I've used Instacast. I used to think all the weird bug fixes was them progressing but they just keep coming. Something is right in this app and it's really deep. They keep patching it but at a certain point just cut your loses. Redo it all. As a user I don't trust it to work correctly anymore. Too many patches and apologies.
orangebluedevil on Oct 29, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Sync Issues Resolved
I had a sync issue as well, but had a great back and forth with the developer over several days that completely resolved my issue. I think there was a bigger issue than my problems, but I got goo attention, and sync is fine. That restores IC as the best Podcast system for iPhone, iPod and Mac. Start here, finish there, and the machine keeps track of it all. The layout is a bit complex at first, but it makes sense once you use it for a bit. This is a podcast power-app, and the cool bells and whistles may be too much for the weekly Prarie Home Companion news listener. (No offense.)
ToddPDX on Oct 28, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Each release is worst than the last
I really regret moving over to Instacast, both on iOS and the Mac. The latest annoyance is that settings to disable automatic downloads of subscriptions keeps getting reset to automatically download everything. Leave your iPhone sitting unplugged at 100% and less than two hours later the battery is down to 2% because Instacast has decided it knows better than you and has been downloading every episode across every subscription. What a total piece of garbage. I’ve heard that Overcast is coming later this year and I’m hoping it turns out to be a lot better than the other options out there. A blog post from the Overcast developer compares several of the options currently available and isn’t shy about pointing out all the horrible bugs each option has. This has been a total waste of $25 (iOS plus Mac version cost) Update: The latest update of the Podcasts app fixes a lot of the problems of the early releases and you can go back to creating playlists that will play in the Podcasts app in any order you wish. Once you’ve created a manual playlist and populate it, go to the podcasts tab in iTunes when your device is selected and change the selection to “selected podcasts”. This will expose the list of playlists you have that have podcasts in them. Then under My Stations on the Podcast app on iOS, you will find iTunes Playlists with your selected playlists. Finally we get back to the point we were with the music app a long time ago before they decided to remove podcasts from the music app with a half baked Podcast app solution.
WhiplashZamboniMan on Oct 25, 2013 for Instacast 5
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App crashes every time it starts up
Hope they get this fixed soon.
Walt Grayson on Oct 25, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Idiosyncratic Interface Doesn't Work for Me
The new interface in version 4, although visually appealing, simply doesn't work for me and I've had to switch to Pocket Casts. That's a shame because I loved the previous version and have invested in the Mac application. My normal use case, though, must simply be different from what the developer imagines. I listen to podcasts almost exclusively while driving on my commute. That environment places some significant constraints on the user interface, as the last thing I want to do is drive off the road or into another vehicle while I'm fiddling with a podcast app. An effective interface has a few simple requirements. 1. It must be possible to easily play an entire playlist. My primary podcast is the PBS News Hour, which is delivered daily in several small (about 5 minute) episodes. I need an app that will start playing the first episode and then continue playing remaining episodes. What I can't do is manually select each episode one after the other. That's too much time with eyes off the road, especially if the app times out and goes to lock screen, which can happen easily. What's not acceptable is having to unlock the screen, enter my passcode, find the next episode, play it, …, wreck car, etc. multiple times per drive. Instacast used to support this behavior quite nicely with it's continuous play mode, but it's been replaced in this version with an "up next" feature that's simply too complex and cumbersome to use, at least while driving. 2. I need big fat touch targets for common controls. In my case the common controls are skipping forward and back. With this version these controls are tiny, crammed together, and just simply too hard to tap reliably while driving. (Downcast has the same problem.) I don't have time to find a minuscule touch target while my eyes are off the road. 3. Although not nearly as important as 1 and 2, it would be nice to see the progress of an episode at a quick glance. With this version, though, the scrubber is so thin it's practically invisible at dashboard distance. I know it's an iOS thing, but that shouldn't trump usability (or, in my case, safety). Instacast has always had a bit of an quirky user interface, but in the past it was still functional. Sadly that is no longer true for me. In the interest of safety alone I've had to delete it from my iPhone.
StephenAT on Oct 24, 2013 for Instacast 5
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