This week's sponsor

Timing

Stop worrying about time and focus on doing your best work instead.


Marco Arment Releases Forecast Public Beta, a Podcast Encoder That Embeds Chapter Markers and Other Metadata

Marco Arment, the creator of the Overcast podcast player, has released a public beta of a tool for podcast producers called Forecast. The macOS utility handles encoding of podcasts as MP3 audio files and embedding of chapter markers and other metadata.

The final steps of putting together a podcast episode are tedious. Encoding can take a long time for longer shows and then, artwork, a title, description, and chapter markers have to be embedded. There are other little annoyances like manually entering an episode’s duration and file size into a show’s CMS too.

To speed the process up, Forecast uses a custom integration of the LAME MP3 encoder that spreads the encoding work across all of a Mac’s CPU cores, reducing encoding times substantially. Chapter markers are automatically generated in Forecast if created as markers in an audio editing app like Logic and exported as a WAV file. Forecast will even autofill artwork and other information if audio files are named consistently. There are also quick-copy shortcuts for grabbing an episode’s duration and file size.

Forecast is a beta, which comes with the usual caveats, but there is comfort in knowing that it has already been used in production by Arment and other podcasters for two years. I began using Forecast about a month ago as part of the AppStories production workflow, and it’s been stable and a big time saver.

Perhaps best of all, Forecast is free. Arment only requests that users that find Forecast useful consider mentioning Overcast on their podcasts or buying an ad for their podcast.

The Forecast public beta is available on Overcast.fm.

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it's also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus, it's made in Italy.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available. Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.