Apple Podcast vs Overcast: One more private than the other?

Hey there, I love podcasts and I’ve just recently been trying to make my digital life more private. One thing I’m struggling to figure out is if my current podcast app of choice, Apple Podcast, is really that private, and if I should consider switching to another option.
I found Overcast, which on the App Store tells you that no data is linked to you, but I’ve read that it uses Apple Podcast to fetch the podcast data, so is it worth it to use it if all it is is just a middle man of sorts? Thanks!

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When you are fetching podcasts from Apple they still know what you are listening to, so Overcast is the same or worse, privacy-wise.

Looking at Overcast it actually seems to be quite a bit worse since they are using quite a few hosting and service providers.


I’ve been using Podverse because they are open source and have a decent privacy policy.


I like iCatcher.
Their privacy policy states:

" Information we collect
We do not collect your data. Any data you enter in the app that needs to be stored is stored in the app on your device. If you use iCloud sync, then it will store necessary information in your iCloud storage that you control. That information is not shared with us."

anytime podcast player might be an alternative
its open-source and actively developed github + decent privacy policy + free

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This is a tricky topic, and I think one worth discussing further. Assuming one is using a VPN, I imagine you’re safe from hosting providers, so it seems to me most important to consider whether the app provider itself is appropriate.

In this, Overcast seems better in that it offers anonymous accounts. By contrast, Apple collects and stores your library and play position, and ties this to an account identifiable to you. Apple aren’t doing much nefarious with this, but it seems like a bigger risk than what Overcast offers.

Would be keen to hear the PG team’s thoughts on what to look for in a podcast client!

I’ll put my 2 cents in, slightly biased as I am a fan of Marco (Overcast dev).

I used overcast for years when I was on iOS, and it’s an app I miss from using iOS, Overcast to me by far is the most polished podcast client I’ve used, its written by someone who lives and breathes podcasts, he host many of his own (hes all over relay FM) and listens to even more, and it’s his main job / hobby.

I doubt very much Marco is selling any data, in 2021/22 he was actively trying to get away from having any data and trying to push it into Cloudkit, the reason is he didn’t want customer data, he has no interest in said data, the “user account” you use is random, again actively getting rid of old user accounts which had emails attached to them (Mostly used for people who need to bypass work restrictions along with the web player), it is only there for tracking play locations, your subs etc, however he does crawl Apple podcasts, purely because it’s the biggest there is.

Most of his infrastructure is hosted in Linode I believe, a lot of it is just databases and crawlers, plus some other proprietary code, his silence remover is proprietary for example and he refuses to release it as its something that sets his app apart from others.

Its not the “best” from a privacy perspective, but there are much worse, if you like Overcast, there is no reason not to use it, I personally trust Marco a lot, I wouldn’t use anything else on iOS