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  1. #1
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    Podcasts - Am I doing it wrong?

    Lately I have been wondering what is the best way to listen and manage podcasts on my squeezebox touch, and was hoping some of you have thoughts/advice on this.

    Untill now I have tried using the podcast app on mysb.com, but this seems lacking some functionality I would expect from a podcasting mechanism. Here is some things I am missing

    1) An easier way to add/remove podcasts. Going through mysb.com all the time seems quite bothersome. Also I even have problems adding certain podcast URLs through the interface.
    2) An indication of which podcasts I have already played and which are new.
    3) A way to bookmark my position in a podcast, so that if I am not able to listen to a whole podcast in one sitting I can go back to my previous position the next time I listen (ideally this should be done automatically).
    4) Ways of grouping podcasts. It could be simple like manually grouping all news-podcasts and all music-podcasts in different categories. Ideally though it would be smart like grouping all new un-played podcasts or something like that.

    I think these types of features are pretty standard for podcatchers/podcast-players, so I am little disappointed that the squeezebox simply presents a flat list of previous episodes for each podcast. Does anyone know if there is a way to get some of the mentioned features on the SBT? Maybe through some plugin or something I havent been able to find.

  2. #2
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Podcasts - Am I doing it wrong?

    > Untill now I have tried using the podcast app on mysb.com, but this
    > seems lacking some functionality I would expect from a podcasting
    > mechanism. Here is some things I am missing


    Agreed. I put some effort into 7.8 to improve the podcast experience.
    But it's still lacking, and not everything does work as expected
    unfortunately. I'll hopefully find time to iron out some of the bumps.

    > 1) An easier way to add/remove podcasts. Going through mysb.com all the
    > time seems quite bothersome. Also I even have problems adding certain
    > podcast URLs through the interface.


    I take it from this comment that you're using LMS? 7.8 would allow you
    to enter podcasts in LMS directly instead of mysb.com.

    > 2) An indication of which podcasts I have already played and which are
    > new.
    > 3) A way to bookmark my position in a podcast, so that if I am not able
    > to listen to a whole podcast in one sitting I can go back to my previous
    > position the next time I listen (ideally this should be done
    > automatically).


    That's two of the loose ends of the 7.8 implementation: I have added
    support for automated "bookmarking" and resuming where you left. But it
    doesn't work for all podcasts, as we not always have length information.

    > 4) Ways of grouping podcasts. It could be simple like manually grouping
    > all news-podcasts and all music-podcasts in different categories.
    > Ideally though it would be smart like grouping all new un-played
    > podcasts or something like that.


    That sounds interesting, but unlikely to happen. One reason why I put
    work on this on hold was the total lack of feedback from the community.
    Which made me assume there just isn't too much interest in podcast
    listening (which is a bit surprising to me).

    Do you usually add podcasts to your list, or do you just use the
    Internet Radio's shows as well? These provide easy access to many
    podcasts without the need to add them to the podcasts menu.

    --
    --

    Michael

  3. #3
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    I am using LMS. Actually I started using it recently, before I mostly just used mysb.com (I listen to spotify a lot and only recently found out how vastly superior the 3'rd party spotify plugin is). I just downloaded the LMS version currently available on mysb.com. I think that one is called 7.7."something". Where do I get 7.8? It sounds like I should get that .

    It seems very surprising to me that there is no interest in podcasts in the community. Personally I really love podcasts and subscribe to like 20-30 of them . However, one reason for lack of interest could be that the current support for podcast is so bad (sorry) that people just dont get into it. That is my personal experience at least; while I use podcasts a lot on almost every other platform I use, I never really got started with setting it up on the squeezebox. At one time I did sit down with mysb.com and entered the rss-url of every podcast I wanted to follow, but I never really started using it because it did not work very well.

    I have been using the internet radio shows to access podcasts as you suggest. This works reasonably well, however, going through the internet radio menus (or search) to find a podcast every time you want to listen to it can be pretty bothersome.

    I think the feature I miss the most is some system to indicate which podcasts have new episodes that I haven't heard yet. As I said above I listen to many different podcasts, and most of them are not updated on a regular basis, so having the system tell me when something new has arrived is extremely useful.
    Also it would be great if you could add podcasts based on searching some build in podcast directory (like the iTunes directory of podcasts). That way you would not have to manually type in an rss-url, and adding podcasts would be a lot easier. In fact I guess the internet radio shows IS already such a directory, so I guess this might be easy to implement ... Wait, could I add radio shows/podcasts to "favourites"? Because that would actually kind of solve this. If you can also make subfolders in favourites (which I am not sure you can) the grouping problem would also be solved.

    An other idea I have been thinking of was to install a good podcatcher (like gPodder or something like that) on the machine hosting the LMS server, and then have that handle the management of podcasts. LMS could then just monitor the folder where the podcatcher drops the podcasts. I think some podcatchers have features to produce playlists of all new podcasts, so that might solve a lot. However, this would still not be able to mark the podcasts as played, once I have heard them on the squeezebox ... I am starting to think maybe I should do a squeezebox plugin for that, but I really dont have any experience with that stuff . Do you think it would be tough to do?

    Btw. here is an other problem on the LMS version I am currently using that you might know how to fix: I tried to use just the podcast plugin on LMS instead of the one on mysb.com (I removed the one on mysb.com), to see if this would work better. This really didnt work well, now I can only see the podcast menu under "Extras" on the web-interface, but no longer on the touch/ipeng/squeezepad. So I guess using the mysb.com app is the only way to go? Or maybe this is better in 7.8?

  4. #4
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Podcasts - Am I doing it wrong?

    > I am using LMS. Actually I started using it recently, before I mostly
    > just used mysb.com (I listen to spotify a lot and only recently found
    > out how vastly superior the 3'rd party spotify plugin is). I just
    > downloaded the LMS version currently available on mysb.com. I think that
    > one is called 7.7."something". Where do I get 7.8? It sounds like I
    > should get that .


    http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.8

    > I think the feature I miss the most is some system to indicate which
    > podcasts have new episodes that I haven't heard yet. As I said above I
    > listen to many different podcasts, and most of them are not updated on a
    > regular basis, so having the system tell me when something new has
    > arrived is extremely useful.


    Good idea.

    > An other idea I have been thinking of was to install a good podcatcher
    > (like gPodder or something like that) on the machine hosting the LMS
    > server, and then have that handle the management of podcasts. LMS could


    Yep, I looked into this a bit. But that's a bigger task I don't have the
    time to do.

    > Btw. here is an other problem on the LMS version I am currently using
    > that you might know how to fix: I tried to use just the podcast plugin
    > on LMS instead of the one on mysb.com (I removed the one on mysb.com),
    > to see if this would work better. This really didnt work well, now I can
    > only see the podcast menu under "Extras" on the web-interface, but no
    > longer on the touch/ipeng/squeezepad. So I guess using the mysb.com app
    > is the only way to go? Or maybe this is better in 7.8?


    That was one of the biggest pain-points in the old implementation. The
    plugin in 7.8 should serve all players without the need for mysb.com

    --
    --

    Michael

  5. #5
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Podcasts - Am I doing it wrong?

    Even the old one should work with iPeng, though. I specifically test for that menu. It shows up under "Radios", though, I believe.

    At least in the old iPeng, iPeng 7 might only work with the new version, a limitation of the configurable main menu
    Last edited by pippin; 2014-01-08 at 03:02.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  6. #6
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Podcasts - Am I doing it wrong?

    > Even the old one should work with iPeng, though. I specifically test for
    > that menu. It shows up under "Radios", though, I believe.


    The situation is _very_ confusing: the LSM plugin would only work with
    old (ip3k) players and the web UI. The mysb.com based solution iirc
    should work on all UIs.

    And then there might even be a Podcasts item in the Radio menu, which is
    totally independent...

    --

    Michael

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    Even the old one should work with iPeng, though. I specifically test for that menu. It shows up under "Radios", though, I believe.

    At least in the old iPeng, iPeng 7 might only work with the new version, a limitation of the configurable main menu
    That might be so. When I was using mysb.com the podcast plugin showed up under "Programs", but after switching to the LMS version nothing was shown there. I only found the menu on the web-interface (under "Extras") by accident, and I might not have thought of looking under "Radios" when testing on iPeng.

  8. #8
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    IIRC if you enable the legacy Podcast plugin - a menu will appear under Extras but it used to cause conflict with the newer MySB.com based app which appears under My Apps (i.e. you need to install Podcast App not plugin)

    If you are using 7.7.* or earlier, I suggest disable the Podcast plugin in Settings/Plugins as it is a cause of problems.

  9. #9
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guut_Boy View Post
    It seems very surprising to me that there is no interest in podcasts in the community. Personally I really love podcasts and subscribe to like 20-30 of them . However, one reason for lack of interest could be that the current support for podcast is so bad (sorry) that people just dont get into it.
    This won't help solve your issues, but I don't agree with your hypothesis here. I don't listen to very many podcasts, maybe 5 or 6 at most, and only one of those regularly. I usually listen on either my SB system or on my iPod touch (not connected to LMS), and I find no big differences across the two very different platforms in terms of difficulty of subscribing to podcasts or listening to them. On the SB I *think* I'm using the podcast menu item under "My Apps", but I don't remember for certain. It could be the item under "Extras." I'll check when I'm home later today. Anyway, in my case at least, my limited interest in podcasts cannot be attributed to how good or bad the SB implementation is.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aubuti View Post
    This won't help solve your issues, but I don't agree with your hypothesis here. I don't listen to very many podcasts, maybe 5 or 6 at most, and only one of those regularly. I usually listen on either my SB system or on my iPod touch (not connected to LMS), and I find no big differences across the two very different platforms in terms of difficulty of subscribing to podcasts or listening to them. On the SB I *think* I'm using the podcast menu item under "My Apps", but I don't remember for certain. It could be the item under "Extras." I'll check when I'm home later today. Anyway, in my case at least, my limited interest in podcasts cannot be attributed to how good or bad the SB implementation is.
    Sure I could definitely be wrong. If you are only listening to very few podcasts (and maybe also rarely subscribe/unsubscribe to new podcasts) then I can easily imagine that the current support would be fine. As you say the statement was just a hypothesis, and mainly based on my own experience. Personally I found that managing many podcasts was quite difficult. I quickly got tired of it and decided squeezebox was just not well suited for podcasting. If many people had this experience it might appear that the community had no interest in better podcast support, not because they were not interested, but simply because they gave up on podcasts on squeezebox out of frustration.

    Edit: just to be clear what I was trying to say is not that the implementation of podcasting in SB makes people less interested in podcasts. Just saying that those who _would_ be interested may not voice their interest in the community, simply because they do not expect much of SB in terms of podcasting ... and now lets not talk about that anymore, it was just a quick not-very-thought-through remark .
    Last edited by Guut_Boy; 2014-01-08 at 09:22.

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