Sonos and Overcast (podcast app)

  • 22 December 2014
  • 42 replies
  • 21489 views

Userlevel 2
I am just about ready to pull the trigger on buying some Sonos products for my home (either a pair of Play: 1 or a Play: 5) but it appears that they won't work with Overcast, the app I use to listen to podcasts? I prefer the features of Overcast over the Apple app, and have my subscriptions, play lists, etc. all set up in the app. So I don't want to have to change my podcast set-up just to work with Sonos. Do I have to move on and consider some other products, or am I missing a solution?

42 replies

Userlevel 4
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If you get a PLAY:5 you can use line-in and just use Overcast. (It's even possible to use the line-in on PLAY:5 on the go). If you decide to go for the PLAY:1 instead then the only option for now is to download the podcasts and then add them to the music library in Sonos. (In case you're using an Android device, see this FAQ).
I understand there are technical limitations with SONOS, such as requiring the files to be in your music directory (thus the Podcasts app requirement), and I love the Overcast app on my phone, but I think the heart of what needs to be address is remembering track position. 

Overcast is great because it will remember my track position across devices. This should be a feature within SONOS in general, for those really long music tracks (a symphony?), but I think the best example is either an audio book or podcast. One reason I love SONOS is because I can be connected to my home wirelessly. It would be great to walk in the house, and pick up where you left off with your podcast/audiobook that you're listening to on the phone. 

A weird (not recommended) solution could even be offline mode for the SONOS controller. If I used the controller to listen to things while on-the-go, then all I have to do is connect to WIFI at home, hit play, and I wouldn't miss a beat. 

My recommendation and preference would be to integrate with cloud services specific to the content your customers are listening to. That means working with Amazon and Audible to connect to the Audible cloud (as I see has been requested by dozens of people already). For podcasts, that could also mean syncing with iCloud, or other popular services such as Overcast.fm that keep track of listening history. 

Lastly, if you guys need an Interaction Designer, let me know. Seems like you can use the help 😉
Userlevel 2
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I also love overcast, and just wanted to cast my vote for a way to play podcasts from alternative podcast apps such as overcast, downcast, and pocket casts. I would love to be able to listen to podcasts on my sonos.
Userlevel 1
I should have researched this more. I'm disappointed at all the limitations of Sonos. Can't use overcast (or any podcast or audio app), can't use audible. Should have just purchased a BT or AirPlay setup. Too bad. Sonos should be the leader in this field.
Have you tried Spreakr?  http://www.connectedly.com/sonos-adds-podcasts-its-streaming-lineup-spreaker
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I'm started to get really frustrated with how difficult it is to get Sonos to sync with my podcasts.
Is there any news about this? Would love to get an Overcast service added to Sonos.
Userlevel 3
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For a small service like this that is only available on iOS devices, this isn't worth Sonos' own resources to implement. If you want Overcast on Sonos, you need to convince the creator of Overcast to use Sonos' developer API to implement their own Sonos audio service. And if you read the Overcast FAQ on the website, the developer (which the way the FAQ is written sounds like it's just one guy) comes off as a devout Apple fanboi with no interest in developing for any other platforms.
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Have you tried Spreakr?  http://www.connectedly.com/sonos-adds-podcasts-its-streaming-lineup-spreaker

Popular podcasts and spreakr do not mix too well. Spreakr is more like a youtube for podcasts. For example, you won't find the latest Nerdist episode, but you will find a lot of user generated podcasts talking about the latest Nerdist episode. Hope this helps. Spreakr is not a podcast player, it is a standalone podcast ecosystem.

Radio by Tunein is really the only *decent* podcast app on Sonos that I have found so far.
Userlevel 2
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I use PocketCasts on my Android Phone - and although the experience is not perfect, I can stream the downloaded podcasts to my Sonos system ... you just need to ensure that they are downloaded to the correct folder on your phone, and then you can find them through the Sonos app.
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Greenl - Can PocketCasts play at 2x or 3x speed? That is the killer functionality that BeyondPod provides. I am not opposed to paying for PocketCasts, but if it doesn't have listening at super speed, it is a non-starter.

I have loaded Stitcher as well. I am comparing the two.

Edit: It DOES have variable speed. I am going to have to check it out!
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bah, OK, I found why BeyondPod and PocketCasts don't show in Sonos. There is a file in the BeyondPod (or below) / Podcasts (or below) directory called ".nomedia" If this file is present in any directory under BeyondPod / Podcasts, Sonos cannot see the Podcasts.
I removed the .nomedia file from BeyondPod, and all new downloads are in Sonos.

The issue is that now I get my Podcasts in *all* players. So Google Music is littered with podcasts now. ugh.
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I would agree. Sonos sorely lacks support for podcasts. I don't know really anyone that uses the native Podcasts app from Apple. Support for one of the bigger apps would be great. Overcast, Downcast, etc.
Userlevel 2
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Adding my vote for Overcast support.
I listen to podcasts on my new gen 2 play 5. I have an android phone and use Podcast Addict for the podcasts. I then use Local cast to cast to the Sonos. Local Cast allows DNLA connections. I can stream the podcasts or listen to downloaded ones. It works brilliantly without a hitch.
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I listen to podcasts on my new gen 2 play 5. I have an android phone and use Podcast Addict for the podcasts. I then use Local cast to cast to the Sonos. Local Cast allows DNLA connections. I can stream the podcasts or listen to downloaded ones. It works brilliantly without a hitch.

Hello Dave,

Can you share how you do this ? Thanks.
Hi Greenl, I open the Podcast Addict app and press play on a podcast. It then comes up with a dialogue box saying"Complete action using" I then selct LocalCast and press the Just Once button. LocalCast opens and there is another dialogue box offering to add to queue or play. Iit then starts playing on the Play5. occasionally the last step has wanted me to select the room (I only have one room) . The IP address 192.168.1.57 also shows which I presume is the Play5s . I worked all of this by just trying different things. Local Cast is the key to I think. It seems to me that I am just casting to the sonos system. I also have a Cromecast and the process seems similar.
If you want to listen to podcasts and keep then in sync on your phone then you want a nice Bluetooth speaker, not a sonos. If you are willing to not have things in sync then do what I do, which is use TuneIn or Soundcloud on the sonos. I just make note of the time stamp and go to that point. Its not perfect, but it works. If sonos would allow AirPlay or include Bluetooth input, it would solve a lot of these issues. but that is another long and boring thread.
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I saw an offer in the Uk with a cheap Chromecast Audio device (only 15 GBP) - so I bought that and plugged it into one of my Connect Amps ... works a treat and I can cast from the PockeCasts app itself - so can play collections of podcasts without having to keep going back to my phone.... and they are autodeleted when I have finished.
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If you want to listen to podcasts and keep then in sync on your phone then you want a nice Bluetooth speaker, not a sonos. If you are willing to not have things in sync then do what I do, which is use TuneIn or Soundcloud on the sonos. I just make note of the time stamp and go to that point. Its not perfect, but it works. If sonos would allow AirPlay or include Bluetooth input, it would solve a lot of these issues. but that is another long and boring thread.

You must have missed this blog post where they talk about listening to the podcast Serial on Sonos... http://blog.sonos.com/news/serial-is-back-and-is-now-on-sonos
+1 for overcast integration!
Related to podcasts and radio:

I do not understand why Stitcher Sonos App does not reflect the folders one has set up on desktop or mobile apps in Sonos.

I do not understand why TuneIn Sonos App does not have login support (folders). I've asked both firms and nothing in the past 2 years.

Life's too busy to be looking for different apps and adding one's favorites just to be able to play them on one system, that's different than one's desktop and mobile. It seems as if Sonos marketing, biz dev and operations decision makers should have a more pro-active (push) relationship with their partner content providers.

Overcast seems to be really popular, let's hope that when there's an Overcast Sonos App it will reflect the experience that users are accustomed via mobile.

It's about features and benefits CONSISTENCE.
+1 for Overcast integration
+1 for Overcast integration.
+1 for Overcast!

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