XKCD is the only web comic I’ve managed to be continually challenged and delighted by every single time I read it. Today’s is no exception.


When you’re finished reading, hold your mouse over the screen and wait for the alt text to appear. It adds to the comic.

Read the Alt Text.

Josh Ginter’s reviews are like tasty roast chicken for the eyes. The photography is beautiful and the writing thoughtful. His latest review of Overcast is one such experience. His views on Overcast mirror my own. I’ve used it since it was released and haven’t looked back. The Smart Speed and Voice Boost features are as indispensable as they are seamless.

Overcast 1

Smart Speed analyzes the downloaded episode and shortens areas of downtime or pauses in speech to speed up listening time. This is handled brilliantly. Conversations sound smoother and less robotic than a generic speed boost option. There is even an indicator in the settings menu to indicate how much time you have saved by using Smart Speed. I would wager Smart Speed alone is worth the in-app purchase.

Voice Boost is equally impressive. Voice Boost also analyzes the downloaded file and boosts areas where speech is quieter. This eliminates the need to manually up the volume when a quiet speaker takes the mic and, generally speaking, makes the whole listening experience easier on the ears.

These two hallmark features are what sell Overcast for me. They are so well executed and act so invisibly that I usually forget I have them turned on.

Overcast 2

Another feature I love is the Twitter-based recommendations.

y recommending a show, Overcast can use your Twitter account to send your recommendations to your followers. Overcast doesn’t tweet on your behalf, but rather reads the recommendations of the people you follow and shoots the results into the “Recommendations from Twitter” section in the podcast directory.

I’ve found some great new podcasts I’d never heard of based on the recommendations from Twitter. I love this app and you’d be nuts not to read Josh’s review. If podcasts aren’t your thing, he takes equal care with the same spectacular photos on his reviews of pens like the TWSBI Diamond 580AL and paper like the Field Notes: Night Sky edition.

So That’s It Then

I was turning right onto James, from Broadway, in Seattle. And I said it, as if I felt like I just pulled off some great heist as I mumbled under my breath: “So, that’s it?”

I struggled with what to say about this piece. Just go read it. It’s a beautiful story.