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 More with Club MacStories
Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.
In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.
The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.
Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:
- Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
- Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
- Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.