Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Things I'm Looking for in a Podcatcher

And so, it's April Fools Day. I haven't seen anything yet along the lines of square grapes or turning Table Mountain into a parking lot ... so what's happening this year? If you see any great April Fools leave me a link in the comments section, please :)

Public Service Announcement: The following is NOT an April Fools Joke.

Otherwise, what's news? I am struggling to find any Podcatcher software I'm happy with. I started out using Banshee (Linux) which was fine enough ... till the program started to crash on opening. Not ideal. So I switched to RhythmBox (also Linux), which I've never much liked but have tolerated :P I briefly installed iTunes at home (on Windows) which I can not bare to use anymore! Have now got GPodder (on Linux) which seemed ideal, but really is far from it. And Songbird at home ... which I have yet to actually use. So finger's crossed it's the winner!!

Here's the thing, I don't think I have extreme or even unreasonable requirements. All I want from my podcatcher is the ability to a) subscribe to podcast feeds b) choose which of these to download c) to be able to choose which of the downloaded podcasts to copy to my iPod d) to erase what is currently on my iPod and e) be able to play my podcasts one after the other automatically.

Sounds easy? As I said, Banshee worked fine ... when the app was still actually working. Perhaps I should try uninstallign and re-installing it? Then I started using RhythmBox because of lack of alternative. RhythmBox isn't too bad, but there's just something about it I don't like. I can't quite pin point it ... but right now I might end up going back to it :P iTunes sucks for *so* many reasons. I can't choose what to transfer to my iPod ... it has to do it's ridiculous "sync" thing. What if I just wanna delete the podcasts I've listened to, before putting on some new ones ... but leave the ones that are currently on there that I haven't listened to yet alone. No can do with iTunes, folks. Unfriendly. When I first installed GPodder I thought it was the answer. It's got a great looking interface for downloading current and historical episodes. Unfortunately it doesn't display your iPod ... so everytime I wanna clear my iPod before transfering new podcasts, I still have to open up RhythymBox to delete podcast-by-podcast. The other *annoying* thing I've discovered with GPodder is that it puts all my podcasts into a podcast genre. Which means they come up in a completely different section of my iPod and I can't just click "play" and it goes thru them all. Which is what I want when listening in my car ... now every time one ends I have to start clicking around trying to start the next one :P I can see how maybe this might be handy for people who keep songs & podcasts on the same iPod. I am not one of those people I have a music iPod, which I mostly use at work when trying to create a bubble, and a podcast iPod (it came with my car, okay ... I didn't buy it especially), which I use purely in my car, purely for podcasts ... it sure beats the radio ;) So that for me is the GIANT downside of GPodder ... which is hugely disappointing. Because as an interface, I love it :( And then there is Songbird ... which I have yet to try.

Any other suggestions on what to use? Naturally a free download is required.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, found it very useful! I hate that my Ipod won't play consecutive podcasts.

thp said...

Please submit the annoyances that you have with gPodder and how you like them to be fixed to so that the developers know what you are missing and have a chance fixing it :)

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