Comments, Code and Qt. Some words about the wonderful world of software engineering

11Aug/1126

Introducing Podcatcher for Nokia N9

Your intelligent podcast client.

Get it now!

Podcatcher for N9 is available from Nokia Store now! There is a free, lite, version that is limited to three subscriptions only. If you like Podcatcher for N9, I hope you will purchase the full version that has unlimited subscriptions. Links to Nokia Store are below. Source code for Podcatcher for N9 is available online too at http://projects.developer.nokia.com/hpodcatcher.

So what is it...?

Podcatcher for Nokia N9 is a new podcast client that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. Because I am an active podcast listener, I found the lack of a podcast client somewhat of a loss when I received my Nokia N950 developer device. There are great podcast client out there that will definitely hit the Nokia N9 via Nokia Store sooner or later, but I wanted to create a client that would fit my podcast subscription and listening needs and that would run great on the Nokia N9. I took some inspiration from previous podcast clients that I've used on Android handsets and I now want to present the results. Finally, I wanted to make the performance of my podcast client as good as possible. The backend of Podcatcher for Nokia N9 is written in C++. The UI utilizes native widget thanks to Qt Components and Qt Quick, while the data is cached into a local SQLite database. This all ads up to some great performance. Please have a look at the screenshots and the video below. I hope you like them!

Simple to use

I want my podcast client to be simple to use. It does not need to have many views and I want the UI to be clean. But it has to provide all the necessary functionality. The first screen presents all the podcasts that you have subscribed to and a direct way to add more subscriptions. From here you can access all the subscriptions and their content.
Subscription list in Podcatcher for Harmattan

Subscription list in Podcatcher for Nokia N9

The podcast subscription page presents you with the podcast's information and the latest episodes as you would expect. From here you can listen to downloaded episodes, download more episodes, refresh the subscription and watch individual episode's information by tapping on a episode in the list. Please also note how downloads are being queued if you want to download more episodes at once and that you can cancel a download and queuing of an episode at any time.

Podcast subscription with episodes. Downloading in progress.

Intelligent subscriptions

Why I like the subscription episodes page so much is the fact that you will always have the latest episode available for listening. If there's a new episode available from the podcast subscription, it will be automatically downloaded to your device where it will wait for you when you arrive to the podcast subscription page. But Podcatcher for Nokia N9 will also take care of your data plan  - it will only download episodes automatically if you are connected to a WiFi network. Upon launch all podcast subscriptions are automatically refreshed and new episodes downloaded. This is how I like it - I subscribe to some podcasts, but I don't want to do any manual operations to have the latest episodes available. They are there waiting for me. Naturally you can also download older episodes manually. Podcatcher for Nokia N9 places all downloads in a queue and download them in the background one by one. If you don't like some episode, just cancel the download or the queuing.

Easy discoverability

Something I wanted especially to be easy to do is to add new podcast subscriptions. Thanks to gPodder.net, you can easily subscribe to their most popular podcasts. You can also search from their service for additional podcasts and subscribe to them right from the search result list. Or if some podcasts happens to be missing from gPodder, you can give the podcast feed URL manually as well.

Discover and subscribe to the most popular podcasts from gPodder.net

Search for and subscribe to more podcasts from gPodder.net

 

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  • Pingback: Video: Podcatcher for Nokia N9 and Nokia N950 MeeGo-Harmattan #gPodder : My Nokia Blog()

  • Anonymous

    Any chance this making its way to Symbian too? Podcatcher for Symbian works well most of the time, but has some annoying bugs and the development has slowed down to an almost halt.

    • Currently I don’t have plans to bring this to Symbian. But it is written with Qt, C++ and Qt Components. So if Qt Components works well enough on Symbian and especially if SQLite is available, it might not be a big effort to have it running on Symbian too. And it will be open sourced, so someone with more interest in Symbian could give it a shot 🙂 

      • Anonymous

        Ok, I think Qt components are already there for Symbian. But it seems that when coding for Symbian nothing is straightforward 🙂

  • As an update I can say that I’ve already made some visible additions and changed to the UI not shown in these screenshots or the video. I hope you like them too! More about updates in a later blog post…

  • Anonymous

    So this why you havent updated the S^3 version, been busy.

    • I have not written the Podcatcher for Symbian. 

      • Anonymous

        Oh sorry, my mistake. Using the same name i assumed you would be the same developer. In that case, one hopes you find the resources to develop a version for Symbian.

        • I have a Nokia C7 available, but not right now – I could give it a shot and just see what happens when I try to compile this version on the Nokia C7. But I would not be interested in fighting with Symbian 🙂

        • Anonymous

          Thanks, i have a C7 too if you need help testing.

  • Pingback: Introducing Podcatcher For Nokia N9()

  • Anonymous

    Is there an option to not auto download.

    Or a view that shows all new episodes from all podcasts

    Here is one developed by another great developer – teknologskip,   its for S^3 and lower, its open source also so you guys could learn alot from each other

    https://projects.developer.nokia.com/podcatcher

    • Thanks! 

      It will not auto download if you are only connected to a 3G network, but if you are on the WiFi, new episodes are automatically downloaded. I might add in later versions application settings that gives the user more control of what is actually done and happening – but I think this is a fair compromise and how I originally designed that my podcast client would work 🙂 

      Right now there is no view for all new/listened/recently downloaded podcasts. Mainly – again – based on my podcast listening habits. But new views could be added once I come up where and how to show them in the UI. Maybe for version 1.1 🙂 

      • Anonymous

        I think you need to be mindful that most people using the N9N950 are restricted to 16GB if podcasts download automatically you will run out of space really quickly, so i think a manual download feature is a must have, i get CNET podcasts i just want the small ones but then it has the 1hr shows which are 150MB each x 5 so it would only last a few weeks before all storage is used

        I guess core features like manual download and delete all need to be addressed first before usability issues such as view all downloaded

        • I listen to mostly audio podcasts, one episode is about 50 megs (that’s a bit much too). I think one automated download of a new episode per channel is quite reasonable on a modern smartphone. This was the main reason for me to write my own podcast client. When a new episode is available, I want to have it right away on my device – that’s why I subscribe to the podcast 🙂 And you can cancel the download, delete old ones and re-download episodes with one tap. I will add settings in a next version. 

          Delete all downloads at once for a subscription will be there before the release. 

        • Anonymous

          id rather the option to turn off auto download, or an option to stream it too like on gPodder for N950

        • Happy to let you guys know that auto-download is now behind a setting so you can control it yourself!

  • Mario

    Google reader integration! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Another feature i would love is, if filesize over a limit say 100MB dont auto-download, but i guess this doesn’t work in all use cases if the file size is unknown.

    But manual downloading is a must for me before i consider this. Either do a global manual download option or when you add a feed have an option auto download new feeds, with a tick box

    • I agree, all of these features and settings would be nice to have and more or less important. But I need to restrict the set of features of the version 1.0 to something so I can get it done 🙂 

      But also, I experimented with the applications settings FW that Harmattan provides for the apps. And I am sad to say but it’s more braindead than I expected. So adding settings was not as straightforward as I anticipated. I still want to do settings (with the configurations you mentioned), but I need to figure out how. 

    • Maybe you’ve already seen, but the latest version of Podcatcher for N9 includes settings to controlling the automatic download. I’ve also added settings for some other cool stuff.

  • Tpietila

    To ability to listen podcasts at double speed would be highly appreciated. When this program can be downloaded?

    • Thanks for you comment!

      I am using the default player that ships with the N9 and to my great
      disappointment there is not much I can do to control that player. It’s
      pretty bad actually. I have been playing with the idea to include my own
      player, better suited for podcast listening – but let’s see 🙂
      I am happy to tell you that Podcatcher for N9 is now available in Nokia Store! Go get it from these locations:

      Podcatcher Lite, a free limited version – http://store.ovi.com/content/179409
      Podcatcher, full version – http://store.ovi.com/content/179410

      Don’t forget to give a review 😉

      • Jared

        Thanks I have just downloaded your player for N9 (I usually listen to my podcasts on the iPhone) and I have to agree that double speed is an essential feature that is missing. Also, compared to the free ‘Podcasts’ tool, there doesn’t seem to be much functionality your product offers, in fact some of the feeds I am used to using in iTunes, also work in the Podcasts application, but not in Podcatcher…really disappointing. Another thing I am missing is that it doesn’t remember your place when you reopen a podcast. I am going to delay writing a review and keep my fingers crossed that some of these things will get fixed in a future release.

        • Well – there isn’t much I can do for double speed, as I launch the default media player. The same for remember the place; I want to add that, but I cannot do it with the default media player as it only lets me launch the audio file from the beginning. I could, of course, make my own player for podcasts, but my original focus was an app that manages podcasts – not play them.

          Can you please send the feeds that do not work to me at podcatcher@d-pointer.com, thanks! I look into these as soon as I know a feed that doesn’t work but obviously I haven’t tested all of them. And for the record, so far the reason in most of the cases that the feed doesn’t work is that the feed is malformed. I try, of course, then to compensate for this in my parser.

        • I’ve now added some robustness to the podcast feed parsing. If you have the feeds (URLs or the name of the podcast) that do not work, I could verify that those work now. Or look into them if they still don’t work.

        • Just to be sure, I would like to let you know that I’ve submitted a new version of Podcatcher for N9 to Nokia Store and it should be available within a few days. This version should fix more issues with subscriptions. If not, can you please send me your feeds that do not work and I can make sure they work.

  • To anyone interested, I’ve added two requested features to Podcatcher for N9. Or actually just one to the N9 version: podcast streaming. Now you can simply long-press on a undownloaded episode and you can stream it and listen to it without downloading.

    The second requested thing is that Podcatcher has been ported to Symbian. It is on its way to Nokia Store and will be called Podmaster on the Symbian devices!