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Now Playing in Castro 3.2: Audiobooks, Extracted Audio, and more

Posted by Padraig on Nov 12, 2018

Sideloading is a Castro-exclusive feature that makes it possible to easily add any audio file to your listening queue — even when they’re not part of a podcast feed.

Now, with Castro 3.2 we’ve made it even easier: The new action extension in the iOS share sheet lets you add any audio file you find online straight to Castro with just a couple of taps. Castro will even extract the audio from video files you sideload.

Castro 3.2 with Sideloading hero image

Easily add any audio file from the Web to your podcast queue

Sideloads open up Castro’s advanced player features and queuing system to play any audio — not just files that happen to be available in podcast RSS feeds.

It’s common to discover, or be recommended, single episodes of shows. Sideloading makes it really easy to add those podcast episodes to your listening queue without having to subscribe to another full feed and seek out episodes individually.

Podcasting aside, there’s a lot more audio on the internet than just the subset available in podcast form. Sideloading gives podcast fans easier access to a large part of the audio ecosystem that was previously unavailable, and opens up a whole new world of spoken word audio. It’s perfect for listening to:

  • Audiobooks
  • Lectures
  • Patreon subscriber content
  • Kickstarter bonus episodes
  • Individual podcast episodes (sometimes you don’t want to subscribe to the whole feed)
  • Audio extracted from videos around the web
  • And any other audio you find online

When we first added Sideloads to Castro, users needed to manually save audio files to iCloud Drive. Castro 3.2’s new Action Extension makes it easy to grab audio straight from Safari on iOS using the system Share Sheet.

How to Sideload any audio file

Sideloading is available as part of a Castro Plus subscription. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can start a 7-day free trial today tapping the settings cog in the app, then the big green Castro Plus banner

To get set up, you just need to add the Sideload action to your iPhone’s Share Sheet (If you haven’t configured it before, check out iMore’s excellent guide).

Castro 3.2 with Sideloading hero image

Once it’s set up, sideloading an episode is as easy as tapping the share button and choosing the “Sideload to Castro” action.

Tips for Sideloaders

  • The action extension works best if you’ve opened up an audio file in Safari or if you tap and hold on a link to an audio file.
  • Some news websites load embedded audio files only after you tap them the first time, so if you have any problems, try that.
  • We’re working on sideloading from video too — YouTube works, but expect an update soon that’ll save the audio track from any video you find.
  • Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud on your phone, so that Sideloads can access your iCloud Drive folder.

We’re building Castro for you

We released Castro 3 earlier this year with trim silence, chapter support and a redesigned player screen (among many other features). We added Sideloading and Chapter Pre-Selection in August and now Castro 3.2 to double down on Sideloading. Castro can now be used to play almost any audio on the internet.

We’re proud to be delivering something something truly unique and valuable to our subscribers. If you’re a Castro Plus subscriber, thank you for your continued support — if you’re not yet, we offer a 7-day trial.

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