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Guut_Boy
2014-01-07, 09:40
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.

mherger
2014-01-08, 00:29
> 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

Guut_Boy
2014-01-08, 02:15
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?

mherger
2014-01-08, 02:44
> 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

pippin
2014-01-08, 02:59
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

mherger
2014-01-08, 03:08
> 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

Guut_Boy
2014-01-08, 04:54
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.

bpa
2014-01-08, 05:34
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.

aubuti
2014-01-08, 08:12
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.

Guut_Boy
2014-01-08, 08:35
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 :).

bomboloni
2014-01-10, 18:21
...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 ...

I think there's something to that assessment. I originally purchased the SB to handle my music collection. I never thought I would use it for podcasts, but I now follow 25 or so podcasts that I listen to regularly. Your suggestions are excellent, but I guess I've accepted the limited functionality since podcast listening is a secondary function for me. That said, the improvements in 7.8 are very welcome, and it is worth the effort to upgrade.

Guut_Boy
2014-01-24, 04:37
I been have thinking a about the option of setting up an "external" podcatcher and have it play nice with LMS. I.e. use some other program to manage downloads and subscriptions (I'm thinking mashpodder), and then just have them be displayed nicely on the squeezebox. What I am going for is simply a way to show podcast-episodes as either played or unplayed.

Setting up the podcatcher to download the podcast I subscribe to is really no problem. What I am thinking is I could run a script as a cron job every hour or so to check if any of the downloaded episodes have been played via LMS. Then script should move anything that has been played to a special directory like "Old_Episodes". Using the folder view I would get something slightly closer to what I would like.

Only problem is: how do I tell what has been played in LMS? I was thinking maybe I can use the trackstat plugin? I mean that is supposed to keep statistics on which files have been played among other things right? Is there a way for me to get that information out using a bash script or something like that?

nchall
2014-03-23, 09:02
Have you thought about trying to integrate with the Pocket Casts API?

andynormancx
2014-03-29, 11:38
Have you thought about trying to integrate with the Pocket Casts API?

There is no pocket casts API unfortunately, and no plans to provide one :(

https://twitter.com/pocketcasts/status/429038023842357248

ButC
2014-04-05, 00:08
On my Windows 8 machine installing the Podcast plugin works well but on the Windows 7 machine it just says that it couldn't be installed; it moved from Inactive plugins to Active plugins, though. I had 7.8.0 on Windows 8 and 7.8.1 on Windows 7; however, uppdating to 7.8.1 on my Windows 8 machine didn't break the plugin. Any ideas?

Cadrach
2014-06-20, 11:08
I upgraded from a previous version of LMS to 7.8.0 today, and I noticed in the release notes that Podcast support is supposed to be improved. That's great. Thanks, Michael! I use my Squeezeboxen to listen to podcasts all the time, so this could really improve my experience.

Specifically, I saw that LMS now "Allow[s] resuming a podcast you partially listened to before." I can't figure out how this is supposed to work, but it's a feature that I would love. I'm often in the middle of a two or three hour podcast but then want to listen to something else, or perhaps my girlfriend would like to listen to something, and then later I'd like to start my podcast back up from where it ended. I can't figure out how it's supposed to work, though.

I assume that this only works when using the My Apps->Podcasts feature? Ideally I could trigger it arbitrarily, because I often like to actually download podcasts and then just play them locally. I can't figure out how it works at all, though. In case it matters, I have not associated my LMS server with mysqueezebox.com. Do I need to have done that?

I've just created an account on the forum, but I've been running a Squeezebox setup for about a year. Right now, it consists of 1 boom, 2 UE Smart Radios "downgraded" to Squeezebox, and several instances of Squeezelite running on x86 Windows, x86 Linux, and ARM Linux. My LMS server is x86 Linux (gentoo). I wish the product line wasn't being discontinued; my PogoPlug E02s work great, but I'd certainly buy more real Squeezebox devices if any were being sold. Oh well.

mherger
2014-06-22, 21:23
> Specifically, I saw that LMS now "-Allow[s] resuming a podcast you
> partially listened to before-." I can't figure out how this is supposed
> to work, but it's a feature that I would love. I'm often in the middle
> of a two or three hour podcast but then want to listen to something
> else, or perhaps my girlfriend would like to listen to something, and
> then later I'd like to start my podcast back up from where it ended. I
> can't figure out how it's supposed to work, though.

You shouldn't need to do anything. When you're listening to a podcast
LMS tries to keep track of your listening position. And next time you'd
select that podcast it would ask if you wanted to continue where you
left or start from scratch.

Unfortunately this doesn't always work, as some podcasts don't have
duration information. Therefore we can't jump inside them. What specific
podcast have you been testing with?

> I assume that this only works when using the -My Apps-->-Podcasts-
> feature? Ideally I could trigger it arbitrarily, because I often like
> to actually download podcasts and then just play them locally. I can't
> figure out how it works at all, though. In case it matters, I have
> -not- associated my LMS server with mysqueezebox.com. Do I need to have
> done that?

No, it's implemented in LMS only.

--

Michael

Cadrach
2014-06-23, 19:24
Ah, I figured out several things.

First, I apparently listen to a lot of podcasts that don't seem to be trackable with the system. I did a little bit of debugging (I'm a programmer, but I have never used Perl) and to me it looks like podcasts that provide downloads through redirects aren't tracked. You can still use the Podcast feature to select the tracks and they play just fine, but they don't get recognized as podcasts and don't have the "play from last position" behavior.

Some examples of Podcasts that exhibit this:
http://www.marketplace.org/shows/85/podcast.xml
http://kuow.org/podcasts/19654/rss.xml
http://feeds.wnyc.org/onthemedia

I tracked this down to (at least) the regex boolean test at Slim/Plugin/Podcast/Parser.pm:140. I think in general the $url regex tests are prone to failure with podcasts that use redirection (especially with volatile query string parameters in the URLs). I made some changes that involved stripping the regex test down to just the filename (e.g. ... =~ basename(URI->new($url)->path()); ), but that could be a little fragile. I looked at this for about an hour today and I think that's the most I've ever used Perl in my life, so I have little confidence in my ability to make changes that would be worth sending to the community, at least without guidance.

The other source of confusion for me was that I expected that podcast resumption would somehow trigger when picking tracks within a playlist, but it seems to trigger only when re-adding a track from the Podcast app to a playlist. I'm not complaining about this (after all, it's open source and I can change things if I'm sufficiently motivated), but it was a point of confusion for me.

Thanks again for all of your hard work, Michael. If you feel moved to look into this, I'd be happy to beta test any changes you make.

Oh, one final thing. What I would really love would be an option to arbitrarily store positions for seeking to within any track in my library. A per-track bookmark, essentially, which could be stored and triggered either through buttons on the web interface or through context menu items on the squeezeboxes themselves. Would the architecture of LMS prevent this from being added without a ton of work? If this is a thing that sounds doable I'd be happy to spend some time hacking away at it, but I don't really know where to start. I saw that there used to be a Bookmark plugin (that broke around the time the Radios were released), but I don't know if it would make sense to base a new plugin on it, or whether things have changed enough since then to make that impractical.

rpress
2014-07-27, 15:13
Oh, one final thing. What I would really love would be an option to arbitrarily store positions for seeking to within any track in my library. A per-track bookmark, essentially, which could be stored and triggered either through buttons on the web interface or through context menu items on the squeezeboxes themselves. Would the architecture of LMS prevent this from being added without a ton of work? If this is a thing that sounds doable I'd be happy to spend some time hacking away at it, but I don't really know where to start. I saw that there used to be a Bookmark plugin (that broke around the time the Radios were released), but I don't know if it would make sense to base a new plugin on it, or whether things have changed enough since then to make that impractical.

I would love something like this too! I like to listen to Podcasts, but I don't always have internet access. So I download them but then sometimes I lose position and it's frustrating.

sternenjaeger
2014-08-04, 03:38
I would love something like this too! I like to listen to Podcasts, but I don't always have internet access. So I download them but then sometimes I lose position and it's frustrating.

I second that. That's the only frustrating issue i have with my squeezeserver setup at home. I listen a lot to radio dramas - some of these have dozens of episodes each an hour or so long. Finding the right track and the correct position in a track where you last stopped listening is annoying.

Having a feature where you could define a set of genres where the server remembers track and position in track of albums and asks you "Play from start or resume?" when you play it would be really great.

My perl skills are way to limited to create a plugin like that myself. I searched a lot through thist forum and never found something useful. But there must be a few people who could use this - not only for audio dramas/radio dramas, but even more audiobooks.

I wrote a crude python script which uses the CLI to store track/position after i stop playing an album in a pickle database. If i start it again and pause it after a couple of seconds it sets the play position to these values. This works somehow. But a plugin or even an integrated feature in the server would of course be the way better solution.

hephepphepp
2017-05-16, 12:29
There is no pocket casts API unfortunately, and no plans to provide one :(

https://twitter.com/pocketcasts/status/429038023842357248

I would also like to see pocketcasts integration with LMS. While there is no official API, it is easy to integrate with the play.pocketcasts.com web-ui.
A Python API implementation is here: https://github.com/sirl1on/python-pocketcasts