Wooden Brain Concepts

Agitprop marketing for our sensuous times™

Cast Away

Cast Away is $8 shareware
trial download
For Mac OS X only
screen shots
version history


Resigned for Gatekeeper v2/Yosemite


Work around other iTunes 11.1.x issues involving deleted cloud episodes.


iTunes U feature improved after Apple fixed iTunes bug.
iTunes 11.1.1+ or iTunes versions under 11 now requied due to another iTunes bug related to deleting cloud episodes.
Changed default time to wait for downloads to complete (when updating podcasts) to 15 minutes for new users. Previous users are encouraged to change this manually.


Removing undownloaded ("cloud") episodes is no longer supported by iTunes 11.x.
Added extra check to assure such cloud episodes are not counted against global caps.
Fixed other issues related to iTunes U caused by bug in iTunes 11.x.
Disallowed iTunes 11.0 due to said bug (use iTunes 11.1+ or older versions of iTunes).


Removal scheduling switched internally from cron to launchd on 10.7+, which should allow better compatibility with 10.8+
Fixed some issues related to iTunes U which may also have affected updating smart playlists


Now auto-starts iTunes if not open when Cast Away starts, rather than putting up a dialog.
This should allow better functioning with the resume after restart feature of Lion+.
Fixed episode plugin script. Note: parameters have been changed.
Code signed for Gatekeeper (10.8+)


bug fix: in rare case that Cast Away has to be force quit, it may have gotten stuck in testing mode next time. fixed.


Verified iTunes 10 (and 10.0.1) compatibility with no changes needed (except documentation wording).
Fixed unicode encoding for archive logs**, now compatible again with iGotta MP3 Collection (and properly encoded).
** Note that with this version, any archive log for this month only (2010-09) created by a prior version of CA will be overwritten! Please make a backup if you need it!
Archive logging strips returns & line feeds & tabs from comments fields for proper importing into databases (like iGotta MP3 collection).
Improved handling of time out situations when Cast Away can't communicate with iTunes at launch, usually because iTunes is showing a dialog window.
Made number value entry more strict, so it is no longer possible to delete values in number fields, etc., which could lead to errors.
Cleaned up interface.
Reworded "Log detailed results..." setting to "Keep Cast Away Open..." and moved it to the Schedule tab.
Changed some of the interface and documentation to refer to iPod, iPhone, and iPad rather than just iPod.
Changed some of the documentation to conform to wording used in iTunes 10.
Other performance enhancements.


Added command to remove iTunes Downloads folder to the Action menu.
Added command to abort removal to the Action menu.
Aborting from the button or the menu will attempt to force terminate the removal script after waiting a minute for it to abort.
Increased the overall timeout limit of the podcast remover script from 1 hour to 2 hours.
Introduced individual timeout limits for various stages of removal ranging from 5 to 30 minutes, so if one part gets stuck, removal will continue.
In normal cases these limits should never be reached, but introducing them will help with troubleshooting and eliminate most cases where removal might get stuck.
Added additional information & detail to debug logging.
Restored the distinction between counting podcasts as played only when fully played (all the way through, with a played count of 1 or more) versus partially played (no blue dot).
Fixed annoying spelling error in reports ("lastests" instead of "latests").
Updated menu info documentation.


In rare event Cast Away removal script cannot read preferences from main application, removal will not continue with default settings.


Fixed a rare undefined variable "naerr" error.


Fixed rare issue that would cause Cast Away to always abort the removal if removal was aborted previously and Cast Away wasn't properly quit (such as with a system crash, etc).


Snow Leopard support.
Built as 32/64 bit universal in XCode 3.2.
iTunes 9 support
Now requires iTunes 8.1 or higher.
Removal of legacy iTunes support makes podcast removal dramatically faster.
Podcast file metadata is no longer checked, relying on iTunes release date only.
Removed options to parse Podcast titles and check modification dates (no longer necessary).
Added option to treat iTunes U as a podcast playlist.
Added feature to edit the comment of playing track in iTunes, useful for archive logging.
Now always purges main list of playlists of any playlist that no longer exists and the special kinds of library playlists (such as Audiobooks, TV Shows, etc.)
(Those were added unintentially due to bugs in iTunes 8.2.x)
Podcast episode names now shown in status window while removing podcasts.
Improved debug logging.
Debug state is now persistant across launches until toggled on or off.
Improved abort feature.
iTunes version checking now anticipates and handles future versions greater than 9.
Worked around compiler bugs involving containers and genres that affected intel Macs running Leopard.
Panther no longer supported, use version 2.8.2.


Works around iTunes 8.2 bug involving identifying user playlists that affected refreshing smart playlists.
Stopped refreshing Genius playlist with other smart playlists.


Obtains podcast release date directly from iTunes (version 8.1+ only), making Cast Away significantly faster.
Updated related documentation and tool tips to correspond to above change.


No longer forgets archive folder location if archive folder's volume can't be found.
In above case, those episodes will be skipped during removal.
Can now generate log of archived podcasts in a tab-separated values (TSV) unicode iTunes playlist format.
Generated logs can be imported into iTunes or into a database such as WBC's iGotta MP3 Collection (FileMaker).
Fixed tool tips that said "mixed".
Updated and clarified some of the documentation on the Info tab.


Added per-podcast feature to enable podcast episode shuffling. This allows podcasts to play without interruption on iPods and in general be treated like other music.
Work around major problem with Tiger introduced with 2.5.3 due to an Apple bug in Leopard.
Above problem prevented Cast Away from working on Tiger if Growl is not installed.
Fixed problem checking global caps if any playlist other than “Podcasts” was selected.
Broke up documentation into several screens.
Revised documentation.
Updated links for new WBC web site.
Note: please backup ~/Library/Prefrences/com.wbc.castaway.plist as Podcast settings will be upgraded and cannot be downgraded.

2.6.1 public beta

Download 2.6.1 public beta here.

Important Note: please backup ~/Library/Prefrences/com.wbc.castaway.plist as Podcast settings will be upgraded and cannot be downgraded.

public beta 1:

Added per-podcast feature to enable podcast episode shuffling. This allows podcasts to play without interruption on iPods and in general be treated like other music.
Work around major problem with Tiger introduced with 2.5.3 due to an Apple bug in Leopard.
Above problem prevented Cast Away from working on Tiger if Growl is not installed.
Fixed problem checking global caps if any playlist other than “Podcasts” was selected.
Broke up documentation into several screens.
Revised documentation.
Updated links for new WBC web site.


Fixed checking for currently downloading podcasts with iTunes 7.7 (if "wait this many minutes for downloads to complete" > 0).
More reliable aborting when checking for currently downloading podcasts.
Built on Leopard.


If ignore genre setting is not checked (default), list of podcast for settings is restricted to podcast genre also.
Above change limits very rare iTunes library corruption issues where "podcasts" point to non-podcast media files.
Debug mode can be toggled from menu.


Added option to always ignore 5 star rated episodes.
Added option to consider episodes unplayed if either partially or fully played.
Improved missing archive location folder handling.
Divided auto-playback settings and other global settings into two tabs.
Other interface clean-up and re-organization.
Documentation revised.
Added incompatibility warning for iTunes 7.6 (higher or lower versions of iTunes work).


Internal changes to initialization timing that had caused launch errors on very fast computers, and related fixes.
Fixed updating some very old and/or corrupt preference files.
Minor Leopard tweaks


New huge Leopard icon
Tested OK for Leopard with minor changes
Interface clean-up


Fixed an interface bug involving digital clock at the hour twelve caught by Keith!


Remove podcasts every X hours while Cast Away is open option was not working; fixed.
Added an Abort button during podcast removal scans.
Removed certain debug console logging.
Changed "Pay Shareware" button to go to PayPal because Kagi's commissions are outrageous for low-priced software.
Podcast removal scheduler and auto-player for iTunes.


Auto-playback timing now finally works as it should.
Even yet still more error trapping during removal scans.
Other optimization.


New menu command to add selected podcasts to podcast stack
Adding to podcast stack starts stack more quickly or immediately
Playback timing further improved, especially after a podcast stops
No longer fades in at wake-up if iTunes is already playing at wake-up time
Plug-in script architecture for each episode during removal, begin removal, and complete removal
Optionally updates all podcasts first during scan, regardless of whether update individually is selected
Optionally waits up to 120 minutes for downloads to complete before proceeding when updating podcasts
After removal is complete if iTunes is already playing, no longer resumes the last track playing before a removal scan, even if Cast Away paused the last track according to settings
Optionally ignores genre when removing
Main window now opens if it had been closed in response to appropriate menu options


Fixed problem introducing default settings for upgrading and new users which reported error on launch: "Can't get item 2 of {}".


Better compatibility with iTunes 7
Greatly improved podcasts play black suite
New menu commands to add unplayed podcasts to play stack
New option to auto-play podcast episodes starting at a set position (offset)
New method to poll iTunes during podcast auto-playback that is less taxing on the system
New feature to copy settings from one podcast to others (on Podcasts tab and Advanced tab)
New editable default settings template
New option to consider podcast modification dates
New, faster, and less intrusive method to force iTunes to stop expiring unplayed podcasts
New option to force refresh iTunes smart playlists
New option to update all connected iPods
New option to make Cast Away activate on launch
New option to control whether to pause iTunes during scans
New menu command to reset podcast played counts
New Growl support
Better support of unicode file names
Improved interface elements
Expanded tool tips (help tips)
Updated info tab documentation
New color-coded columns on advanced tab
New mini status window which can float
Now saves application window sizes, positions, and closed states
Fixed, Remove dead podcasts from iTunes library
Removes expired podcasts with invalid (0) durations
Remove expired undownloaded takes priority over keep unplayed
Undownloaded episodes are the first to be removed if there is an "always keep" critereon
Undownloaded episodes are properly recognized as such with iTunes 7
Now uses unplayed flag (blue dot) rather than played count in iTunes 7.1+
More bug fixes & error trapping & under-the-hood tweaks


Fixed: Cast Away was not showing report when finished if log results option set
Removed a misplaced shareware nag that still was shown if paid.
Updated WBC links


Idle time periodic remove now works properly
Removal script properly saves its debug log
Various under-the-hood tweaks and minor bugfixes


Now removes any duplicates from Podcasts lists on launch or after refreshing playlists.
Podcast removal settings for podcasts which no longer exist in iTunes are no longer automatically removed. Therefore, if you resubscribe the settings are not lost.
Podcast settings entries can now be deleted manually on the podcast tab for that podcast.
All settings for outdated podcasts can be purged with the "Purge settings for all obsolete podcasts" command in the Action menu.
Now properly removes undownloaded podcast episodes according to the settings for that podcast (fixed).
Changed internal sorting routines, which should make scanning size caps faster for those with a very large number of podcasts.
Writes settings a little more frequently.
Some info and other interface clean-up.


Major improvements to parsing dates in podcast titles.
Cast Away will now launch iTunes if it is not open and quit itself if iTunes has been quit while Cast Away is open.
Allowed selection of smart playlists on main playlists list.
Now possible to control whether to remove undownloaded podcast episodes or not after they expire.
Added hidden feature to remove all undownloaded podcast episodes (hold down control key while selecting the Action menu.)
More improvements to handling last played track before removal scan.
More adjustments to the digital clock. Minutes stepper now moves in one minute increments.
Moved "copy debug info to clipboard" command to Help menu.


Digital (non-analog) clock should now work properly, and schedule properly.
More consistently remembers last track before a removal scan.
Estimated hourly wage for developing Cast Away (payments * cost / est. hours) = 9 cents.
Estimated hourly wage if all users paid ((downloads/est. # of released versions * cost) / est. hours) = $5.42.


Now really fixed episode checking on wake up so that queue always starts 1 hour before wakeup. (Doh!)
Debug log over a million characters long will be cleared to improve performance.
Estimated hourly wage for developing Cast Away (payments * cost / est. hours) = 9 cents.
Estimated hourly wage if all users paid ((downloads/est. # of released versions * cost) / est. hours) = $5.42.


Now always removes podcast episodes from library in addition to podcasts playlists.
Added action menu function to remove dead podcast episodes from library playlist.
Now correctly parses times from episode metadata, necessary now that removal times can be less than one day.
New episode checking begins one hour before wakeup, rather than since last check before sleep
If the last track played before podcast playing begins has been deleted, no longer constantly fades out volume.
Fixed likely hang during removal if a podcast contains undownloaded episodes. (Problem introduced with 1.7.7)
Expired undownloaded episodes now also removed.


Fixes for Panther compatibility (Panther users report problems, please!)
Reworked Info to reflect Panther fixes.
Even yet still more comprehensive debug info reporting.
Reduced normal idle activity thus reducing processor useage while checking episodes.
Other internal stability improvements.

Major enchancements since version 1.5:
Much greater flexibility in removal options
More intuitive interface.
Automatic episode checking and playing with per podcast volume controls.
Built-in Wake and Sleep timers (Tiger).


Last volume now only set for last non-podcast, ie music playing before new podcasts queue starts.
Fade up to last volume when resuming last play.
Adjustment to minimize end of new podcast episode cut-off while still being able to recognize when done.
When switching episode checking options, checking starts from time of switch.
Status message adjustments.


Added constant volume control for each podcast during episode play.
Days values (remove & uncheck) now can be specified to one decimal point, ie, 1.5 days = 1 day and 12 hours, 0.1 days = 2.4 hours.
Bug fix: properly removes episodes less than 1 min in length if they meet other set conditions.
Bug fix: Error when scanning with title parsing off. (Variable pd not defined) . Fixed.
Bug fix: Error when scanning podcasts including non-downloaded episodes. (Can't make missing value into type real). Fixed.
Other bug fixes.
Status message adjustments.


Fixed rare issue with improperly parsed title dates
Sorry for the recent update flurry all! Just a lot of enhancements in a short time frame introduced new bugs.
minor bug fixes related to wake/fade
minor interface glitch fixes
added Test iTunes Selection Only to menu by request


Another major update!
Cast Away is not for only podcast removal anymore!
Brand new episode checking feature!
Cast Away will now play new episodes of podcasts as they arrive, in a queue, with graceful fadeout and last track resume!
Can now play the newest episode of a podcast directly from the podcast tab.
Built-in wake up and sleep timers with fading.
Can now update podcasts more frequently than iTunes can.
Removal schedule by hours now possible with Cast Away open.
Further interface enhancements.
Suppressed cron (local Darwin) email output (by request). Remove schedule and then set it again to update.


Total interface rehaul, in response to the haters out there.
Setting podcast options now much more intuitive.
Older podcast tab renamed "advanced" for those who prefer to see all setting at once.
Many global settings moved to new Settings tab.
Global iTunes and iPod size cap introduced.


Greatly improved flexibility in handling podcasts.
Options per podcast went from 5 to 19.
Separate handling of short and long episodes of a podcast
Separate handling of over-rides for short / long podcasts and for removing / unchecking. (Making 4 groups of over-rides).
New over-rides: size cap in megabytes, keep latest X episodes, and keep unheard.
Detailed results reporting in plain language.
Test mode provides ability to test settings without removing or unchecking episodes.
Rewrote information tab and further improvements to tool tips.
Resizable interface.
Fixed an interface incompatibility with Panther introduced in last version.
Added ability to immediately remove files rather than trash to avoid empty trash problems.
Better internal debug info that can be copied and sent to developer.