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Podcatcher for Windows Phone

Too everyone for whom Podcatcher version 2.5.0.0 is crashing after updating: I do apologize for this inconvenience! I have tested upgrading Podcatcher from the previous version to version 2.5.0.0 before releasing it and also after it was released and once I started to get notices of issues. However, I have since been unable to duplicate this crash myself! I have also heard of people who have upgraded without issues. So while apologize to everyone who is facing issues with the upgrade, I cannot fix this issue at this moment as I am unable to replicate it myself.

The workaround to fix this issue is to uninstall Podcatcher and reinstall it again from the Marketplace. If you have a payed version of Podcatcher, you do not have to pay more than once for it!

Once again, my apologize to everyone suffering from this issue! I will try to fix it as soon as I have some ways of knowing what's going on and find a solution for it.

 

Podcast client comparison for Windows Phone on All About Windows Phone: "However, for podcast fans from other platforms (perhaps refugees from Symbian or Android), run, don't walk, and get Podcatcher.", Steve Litchfield, Podcatcher roundup: Podcatcher, Podcast Lounge, Podcast Bandit, and more...

"Heartily recommended, whichever mobile platform you're on. For Windows Phone, it's probably the leading application of its type.", Steve Litchfield, allaboutwindowsphone.com

"If you are in the market for a solid performer you should certainly give Podcatcher a spin, you might just like it.", Robert Brand, wpcentral.com

"The best podcast app for WP.", Deirdre 5/5

"Had been using Podcasts! But Podcatcher is far better. Works well with my Bluetooth car audio, in that it auto pauses and plays as the bluetooth disconnects and connects. Also has a much better user experience, presenting your subscription on startup then easily play what you want. Easily search and add podcasts, really great app!!!!", Andrew 5/5

Podcatcher is a podcast client for your Windows Phone smartphone. I've created a podcast client with the same name for the Nokia N9 smartphone. This is a complete rewrite of that application, but with the same goals in mind; to make consuming of podcasts as enjoyable and effortless as possible. To do this, Podcatcher for Windows Phone features some great functionality such as

  • Live tile support.
  • Subscriptions
    • Find podcasts using the built-in search
    • Subscribe to premium podcasts that require authentication
    • Import subscriptions from your gPodder.net account
    • Keep your subscriptions clean by specifying how many episodes to keep.
    • Find podcasts among the popular ones on gPodder.net
    • Export subscriptions in OPML format either via email or to SkyDrive
    • Import subscriptions in OPML format from a web location.
  • Built-in podcast player
    • Resume functionality that remember last player position
    • Continuous playback from one episode to the next.
    • Control the audio playback from the lock screen or Bluetooth headset.
    • Download and play episodes locally, or stream them immediately remotely
    • Play history
  • Intelligent maintenance and settings
    • Automatically download new episodes to subscriptions.
    • For automatic maintenance, set how many episodes to keep per subscription.
    • Delete automatically listened episodes
  • Download management
    • Background file transfer even if Podcatcher is not running.
    • Queue as many podcasts as you like for downloading.
    • Respects platform download policies to save battery.

 

Change log

Version 2.5.1.0

  • Optimize memory consumption by scaling down images. No more crashes due to out of memory errors.

Version 2.5.0.0

  • Add a "Browse" view to browse through categories of podcasts when you add a new podcast
  • Redo the layout for the "Add subscriptions" view.
  • Replace "Recent" list with "Latest" list showing latest episodes within all subscriptions.
  • Fix marking episodes as listened when tracks end. What a horrible kludge that is, so thank you Windows Phone 8.
  • Update the play position in player view immediately when the view opens and not after a second.
  • Launch performance improvements.
  • Make podcasts from wizards.com work. Their "pubDate" is faulty.
  • Fix: Don't add duplicate episodes even if the podcast stream says the pubDate has changed.
  • Fix: Improve updating partially and unplayed episodes at startup.
  • Relax on the required OPML file format: Don't require the "rss" attribute.

Version 2.4.3.0

  • Mark individual episodes as listened.
  • Don't refresh subscriptions if we don't have Internet connection or if we are in flight mode.
  • Fix bug: Crash if playing a video podcast.

Version 2.4.2.0

  • Bugs fixed:
    • Save podcast play position more reliably.
    • Reliably mark episodes as listened.
    • Delete episodes when they are marked as listened, if the setting is enabled.
  • Add episodes to play history when an episode is listened to in the background.
  • Show player UI when we start episodes from the play queue.
  • Show episodes as paused when restarting Podcatcher.
  • Update play position to play history view also when episode is paused.
  • Fix crash in player when asking for the current position.

Version 2.4

  • Introduce a play queue.
    • All items from the subscription's downloaded view can be added to the play queue.
    • Add single episode to play queue by long pressing on the episode.
    • Add setting that gives the possibility to add all downloaded episodes automatically to the play queue.
    • Sort the play queue with newest or oldest episode first.
  • Change the layout of the episode listing to better utilize the whole screen.
  • Change how the lock screen buttons work.
    • If play queue is not empty, pressing next will take user to next episode.
    • If  play queue is empty, pressing next / prev will skip 30s forward/backwards.
  • Remove Continuous playback option from the subscriptions settings.
    • Play queue replaces that functionality.
  • Added progress bar to recent items in the "Recents" view.
  • Show downloading and queued episodes also in the "Downloaded" view of episode listing.
  • Tap on the playing episode in episode listing to open the player.
  • Improve memory management and caching of podcast logos.
  • Fix/Change: Mark all episodes as listened to, even if they haven't yet been listened to at all.
  • Fix many things in the podcast player.
  • Fix marking of listened episodes really as listened.
  • Refactoring of the podcast player code and other bug fixes.

Version 2.3

  • Continuous playback from one episode to the next one in a subscription.
  • Skip to next episode in subscription from the lock screen (if continuous playback is enabled).
  • Continue playback from saved position for streamed episodes.

Version 2.2

  • Cleanup options per subscription to keep just a number of podcast episodes in a subscription.
  • Pin subscriptions to main view and show the number of new episodes in the live tile.
  • Clean the main view listing to only show relevant information of the subscriptions.
  • Show the cover art of the playing podcast in the Podcatcher live tile.
  • Show usage information for downloaded episodes in the Settings view.
  • Possibility to delete all downloaded episodes at once for a subscription.
  • Possibility to delete all downloaded episodes for all subscriptions.
  • Possibility to mark all podcast episodes as listened for a subscription.
  • Improve the storing of playback position for playing episodes.
  • Add a setting to specify how much of a podcast is listened after which it is considered to be 'listened'.
  • Import podcasts from OPML file.

Version 2.1

  • Export feed information in OPML format.
  • Fix icons and texts for light background color.
  • Multiple fixes for crashes.
  • Handle podcast icons better.

Version 2.0

  • Overall UI polish
  • Import your subscriptions from gPodder.net.
  • Subscribe to podcasts that require authentication.
  • Improve player navigation UX so that back stepping history is not lost.
  • Replace player pivot view with play history view for current and recent episodes.
  • Tap now playing item to open player
  • Tap recent item to open the subscription.
  • Replace one action button in episodes with two separate buttons for play/stream and download.
  • Do not lose download queue after restart.
  • Make podcast episode list view more Windows Phone styles.
  • Add pivot view to the subscritpion view to show all downloaded episodes.
  • Show episode state next to the episode.
  • Show download progress in the episode listings view.
  • Improve audio handling when switching between Windows Phone apps.
  • Compensate for lacking timestamp in feed; supported format is now also "Tue, 18 Dec 2012 06:34"
  • Fix: Don't lose bookmark when starting audio playback in some other app.
  • Fix: Handle properly downloads that have been finished in the background.
  • Fix: Support ESPN podcast episodes.

Version 1.3.0.1

  • Podcast episode description view with download button.
  • Settings for:
    • Auto-continue playback from last saved position.
    • Automatically clean old played episodes.
    • Try downloading using cellular data
  • Add one-time popups to notify user about Windows Phone download policy when downloading (larger) episodes.
  • If podcast feed announced wrong file size and D/L fails because of that, user can try again with TransferPreferences.None
  • Windows Phone 8 crash fix: stop timer and screen update when the player is not visible.
  • Change main view pivot headers to match Windows Phone style (so people understand it can be swiped).
  • Bug fixes

Version 1.2.2.0

  • Add indication of play progress to episode listing.
  • Hide toolbar for other than the first page.
  • Fix Bluetooth audio handling.
  • Fix handling of pause event when headphones are removed.
  • Fix many crashes

Version 1.2.1.0

  • Improve overall stability
  • Use default podcast icon if subscription's icon cannot be used
  • Fix main view layout

Version 1.2.0.0

  • Fix a crash
  • Improve on memory usage

Version 1.1.0.2

  • Audio and video podcast streaming.
  • Support for video podcast download och playback.
  • Podcast description in search results when tapping on one.
  • Indicator for when podcasts are being refreshed.
  • New icon.

The complete change log can be found here.

Availability

Podcatcher for Windows Phone is available in Windows Phone Marketplace!

FAQ

  • Please update with full WP 8 features. Add a SD-card support, re-sizable tile, support for larger resolution and more.
    • Upcoming releases of Podcatcher will be WP8 specific. Thus, Windows Phone 8 features are now coming to Podcatcher.
  • Podcatcher doesn't always remember the last played position, although it says it should. Why?
    • In some cases Windows Phone doesn't provide the necessary information to Podcatcher for it to be able to save the position properly. This happens especially if some other audio source starts to play before a podcast is paused or stopped. It's something Podcatcher cannot help.
    • Solution: Pause or stop playback before starting to listen to some other audio.
  • Why do I get "Unsupported file type" when opening a subscription?
    • Each podcast item declares its file type (with a MIME type). I add support for MIME types that I first verify on the device that they work. If you get this error it means I have not yet checked that that particular file type is support, or that in fact it is not supported. Please let me know the podcast feed that you are having problems with and I will check this for you.
  • My episodes don't show up correctly / some episodes are missing / all my episodes are missing. Why?
    • I will take a closer look at the feed if you send me the URL of the podcast feed. But most likely the time stamp format in the feed is invalid. For some reason, some podcast publishers invent their own way of displaying when the episode has been published instead of following the podcast time stamp standard that exists. When this happens, naturally Podcatcher can't guess what format the publisher is using and either parses the time wrong or simply ignores the episode. You should first contact the published to fix the time stamp. Or get back to me and wait for an update so I can compensate for their flawed feed in the client.
  • Podcasts are not downloaded in the background although Podcatcher claims to download in the background.
    • Downloading is done in the background for the current download that you initiated in Podcatcher before exiting it. It is not possible for 3rd party developers to start new downloads in the background as this has explicitly been prevented by Microsoft. Rest of your downloads are queued and will start downloading once you resume to Podcatcher.
  • Podcatcher crashed! Help me, fix this!
    • Sure, I will do that! Please send me the URLs to the podcasts that you are having problems with, and I will take a look. Contact information can be found below.

Bugs

Please submit bugs that you find in Podcatcher here: https://github.com/kypeli/Podcatcher/issues

When you submit the bug, please include the following information:

  • Version of Podcatcher that you are using when experiencing the issue.
  • Model of the phone that you are using.
  • Exact steps how to reproduce the issue. The more detailed you can be, the better. If I cannot reproduce the issue, the issue will not be fixed.
  • Mention the expected outcome of the action and the actual outcome that you get.

Follow the development

If you like, you can follow the development plans, known bugs and ongoing tasks from my Podcatcher Trello board here: https://trello.com/b/kyGXaYZz/podcatcher-task-backlog

Source code

Podcatcher for Windows Phone is open source software and licensed under the GPLv2 license. Source code is available at https://github.com/kypeli/Podcatcher/tree/master/wp7.

 Contact me

If you have any questions about Podcatcher or if you've found a bug or a podcast that doesn't work with Podcatcher, feel free to contact me at johan@paul.fi or on Twitter at @kypeli. For updates regarding the app, you can follow the Twitter account @PodcatcherWP.

 

  • Hugues Cordier

    Hi,
    I just purchased Podcatcher but it’s don’t work. When I add some RSS feeds, It crashed. By example, after adding http://thebroclash.fr/flux/flux-itunes.xml , the app crash et don’t want to restart.

    An idea ?


    Hugues

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Hugues,

      I’ve today learned that there is an issue with certain feeds that causes Podcatcher to crash. I have fixed this and have already sent an updated version to Marketplace Q&A. It’s now in processing certification -status. Unfortunately I cannot impact how fast the update will proceed through Microsoft’s Q&A.

      But I hope this update will soon be available for you and fix this issue for you. I did test the feed you mentioned above with the fixed version, and it seems to work fine so it looks promising.

      • Hugues Cordier

        Thanks !


        Hugues

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Version 1.0.1.0 is now available, which should fix the crash for you. Is it any better?

  • GrizlyDog

    l have added the ‘All about windows phone’ podcast. The icon does not show, The latest podcast is not showing and the volume is very low compared with the same podcast downloaded with Zune. I have the ‘subscribe’ and ‘auto update’ switched on.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi,

      Is this the feed you have? http://rss.allaboutwindowsphone.com/media-feed.xml

      What is the latest episode you see in Podcatcher? When I add that feed, I get as the latest episode AAWP Insight #40 from 6th of October, which is the same episode that the feed shows as the latest one.

      When I am now listening to that latest podcast episode, the audio level is just fine. I have it now on 18/30 and it seems to play just fine from the audio speaker.

      • GrizlyDog

        Hi Johan, The Podcast has just updated #41 13th Oct one day after its release, and the volume is ok, I have the Lumia 710. I am used to the loud volume from the Nokia N8. So all is well. Still no icon in the subscriptions but that’s not really a problem. Great App I like it. Thanks for reply. How often does it look for updates?

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Good that it sorted itself out! The missing icon could be a download issue while you added the feed. If you can’t see the app after restart, then you can try deleting the feed and adding it again. At least for it shows the icon now.

          The subscriptions are updated every time you restart the app. In the next version, there will be an indicator so it’s easily seen when the feeds are updated.

        • GrizlyDog

          Have got the icon by adding the RSS manualy and not using the search method.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.muchow.3 John Muchow

    Hi Johan! I love your implementation of a podcaster… I prefer it to all others I have used on iOS, Droid or WP.! However, there is a bug that I hope can be fixed. After listening to a subscribed feed and switch to another, the program crashes and won’t restart (crashes immediately). If I restart the phone, it works perfectly again until I switch from one feed to another again. I’m running WP8 on a Lumia 920. I hope this can be fixed as I love your app!

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi John!

      Thank you for your kind words, it’s very nice to hear that you like Podcatcher! :)

      Of course, this kind of feedback is very important to me. Unfortunately I don’t have (unfortunately) a Lumia 920 nor even a WP8 device, so I really can’t test this myself in the same environment. And I haven’t been able to reproduce this kind of behavior on WP7 :-/

      But I have done recently some changes to the player, which should hopefully make eliminate this kind of behavior. Which version of Podcatcher are you running? If you have an older version of it, it could be that this is fixed in a later version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.faccin Mark Faccin

    Hi Johan, using your app on an HTC 8x WP8 phone. Works well, I have a stuttering audio issue right now but it seems to be a one-time thing(one particular podcast, others from the same feed play normally). I’d like to make a couple feature requests, is this the best place to post them?

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Mark! Nice to hear that you like Podcatcher! I would love to get your feedback. You can send them by email to the email address found on the About page in the app.

  • Duncan

    Hi Johan,

    I was trying to use the trial of Podcatcher, and I seem to be missing the ‘Download’ and ‘Play’ buttons for my subscribed feeds. If I go into the episode there is a ‘Download Episode’ button, but I have no idea how I can play it afterwards.

    I may be doing something completely wrong, but I have no idea what.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Duncan,

      Thanks for writing to me about this! Let me explain what’s going on: There’s a check to see if Windows Phone is able to handle the file format that is being downloaded. In the case of ESPN, they use Quicktime as their media format. For obvious reasons I didn’t think that would be supported by Windows Phone. But as I was approached by another gentleman who also had troubles with ESPN podcasts, I’ve already checked out and it turns out Windows Phone is able to handle the file format ESPN has.

      So I apologize for the inconvenience, but in the next update you should see a download button! You can already try playing those episodes via streaming (press and hold on an episode to see the option).

      I should also probably make it more obvious why the download button is missing for episodes that are not recognizes as being supported.

      • Duncan

        Thanks Johan!

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Just wanted to give you an update about this. Version 2.0 has just been released to Marketplace and ESPN episodes should now show up.

        • Andrew

          Hi Johan,

          I have a similar problem with the Which podcasts (http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/podcasts/itunes/money.xml) whereby the download and play buttons are unavailable. I notice there is a message saying ‘unsupported file format’.

          A quick look in the XML file appears to suggest they just use mp3 files so not sure if that’s a red herring?

          Thanks

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Hi Andrew,

          I took a look at the feed and it appears if they have not included the information that the file included is actually of type “MP3″. But if this information is missing from the feed, then I should probably default to that content is playable – just to be sure.

          But of course, then Podcatcher is not responsible for the error if the file is actually a text file, or something ;)

          I try to have this fixed in the next update.

        • Andrew

          Thanks Johan – sounds like it’s a fault on their part but glad you will include a workaround in the future!

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          No problem :) I can confirm that this works now, so fix is on it’s way.

        • Andrew

          Hi Johan

          I wondered whether you included a fix in v2.1 for this? I have just installed the new version but still seeing the same problem with certain feeds. If you haven’t, no problem – just interested to know!

          Cheers

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Hi,

          Do you mean this podcast: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/podcasts/itunes/money.xml ?

          I did test that feed with v2.1 and it seems to work.

          If you have some other feed that complains about invalid format, in that case I would need to verify that the media content in that feeds works and add the type, if it’s not yet supported. If this is the case, what’s the feed?

        • Andrew

          Hi,

          Yes, that is one of the feeds complaining about invalid file format. I have just removed the feed and re-added it and it now looks OK.

          Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pjankala Petri Jänkälä

    Hi Johan.

    just wanted to give you a heads up on a graphical bug I noticed. When using a white background the text under the podcast title that says how many episodes there are in the feed doesn’t show up. Only the text that indicates the number of new episodes shows up(in my case, in red, though that depends on the tile colour you have selected) so it’s like if the rest of the text is white like the background. I’m on the Lumia 920 just so you know if the bug does not show up in WP7/7.5.
    Keep up the great work.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Petri,

      Thanks for letting me know! Yep – that’s an issue in the current version of Podcatcher, but I have some good news for your. This issue with the white background has already been fixed and an updated version of Podcatcher should be available next week.

  • http://twitter.com/voyagecast voyagecast

    Cool on my Nokia Lumia 920, tank’s for the job !

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Happy to hear that you like it! :) Watch out for the update later this week. Should fix a couple of things.

  • Gary P

    Really fast bug fix on the gpodder download issue. If you can get two way syncing with gpodder.net working that would be great.

    Gary

  • http://profiles.google.com/gerard.mcevoy08 Gerard McEvoy

    2.1 just about there now. Couple of minor suggestions. The ability to switch off auto refersh on start. Gets annoying when I’m on 2g and just opening the app to play a podcast. Unplayed notification in feeds list in theme colour (like new episodes). Finally a swipe left or right list to show all unplaced episodes. This would be a lot more use to me than the recentley played list.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Thanks for your feedback! I am in the process of thinking about what would be needed for improved discoverability of episodes, so I’ll see what I can do about it.

  • James Jafari

    Hi Johan,
    Love this app!! Just a couple of suggestions and issues.
    1) Can you set it so that maybe it keep the last 3 or 4 or 5 podcasts and deletes the rest automatically?
    2) Can you make a windows 8 live tile that refreshes with number of podcasts? Also in the same regard could we pin each podcast individually as a live tile
    3) I am still having some issues with downloading. There appears to be a glitch or bug where occasionally a podcast is continually in queue and stuck. I have to exit the program, clear downloads and playlists and restart
    Thanks again. Best podcast app and keep the updates coming!!!!
    EVERYONE SHOULD DOWNLOAD AND PAY FOR THIS!

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Thanks James for your kind words! Really makes my day, and gives a reason to continue the development! :)

      So, as said, development continues and I want to answer your questions from that angle.

      1) Yes. This has already been implemented for the next update. What I’ve set now is that the options of number of episodes to keep are: 5, 10, 25 and 50. I selected those numbers since some people want to keep more, some less episodes and podcast feeds have a variate of episodes in them. Maybe a continues slider to select these values would have been another option, but I think this option doesn’t necessarily need that kind of fine tuning :)

      2) Yes. Pinning of individual episodes to the start screen has also already been implemented for the next update. Unfortunately making the app’s tile live to update the number of all new episodes is a bit more tricky, and I think people want to notice new episodes for just a selected number of subscriptions.

      3) I have seen this, but very rarely, so it has been difficult to track down what’s actually going on. If you know or see this happening in some certain circumstances, I am more than happy to get input about this and try to get this fixed.

      And thanks again for your kind words! :) I hope you continue using Podcatcher and enjoy the upcoming updates!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pjankala Petri Jänkälä

    I’ve seem to have a problem with the app. It doesn’t star anymore. It crashes instantly when launched. I’d rather not delete and re-install it because I have a few feeds whit several unlisted episodes. I don’t believe there is anyway to fix it otherwise except perhaps updating it. When do you think the new version goes live? Or is it so far off that I should just man up and re-install it and accept that I might’ve missed some episodes?

    It should be mentioned that this is the first serious problem I’ve had with the app and have so far been well pleased with it. Just keep up the great work.

    I also have a small(well not really small) request. Could you make a audio book app with the ability to import from SkyDrive/Dropbox? Those on the marketplace right now are beyond shit and you have a good place to start with the Podcatcher app. i completely understand if you don’t have time to make one and that the market for audio book players is small. But I’ve learned one thing in my life and that’s that it never hurts to ask.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hello Petri!

      I am really sadden to see that you have this issue with Podcatcher, which to be honest, I’ve heard from others as well and it pains me to say that I haven’t been able to reproduce this. It seems to happen very randomly.

      The new version (version 2.2) was released last night, so you can try updating to it and see if it has some positive effect. But unfortunately I don’t have any other cure for you as I haven’t seen this myself – but I know this is a real issue that happens rarely, so I wish I could see this :-/

      Regarding your other question; that’s an interesting one, since I too have looked for audio book players in the past (but for Android, so I don’t know the situation on Windows Phone) and I know it can be really difficult to get the app right. But as you said, time is the issue, and right now all the little spare time that I have, I am currently putting into Podcatcher as I am a podcast listener myself and don’t have time to also listen to audio books ;) But it is an interesting correlation, so I’ll keep my thoughts on this one anyway.

      Just out of curiosity; have you tried Audible and is the app any good on WP?

      • http://www.facebook.com/pjankala Petri Jänkälä

        Well, that was fast :). And I’m happy to report that the app works again. I suspect that it might have something to do with WP8 or a cache issue. But I’m not a developer so that’s just a guess.
        I haven’t tested audible yet but I am planing on it since you get a free book when signing up through the WP app. But I have a bunch of books to go before I will get to it. I haven’t heard any complaints from people using it, but no praise either. I guess it just work.

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Good to hear that it works again! I did improve on the concurrent access to application settings, so could be that’s why it started to crash earlier (not sure why, but would explain this).

        • ananthj

          Similar Issue on Lumia 900. Before when it would happen it would correct itself after a reboot. The last time it happened that did not resolve the issue- leaving me with no option other than to reinstall :(

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          I am aware of the issues in the current release, which came as a bitter surprise to me. That is why I have pulled Podcatcher from the Marketplace until the issues are fixed. I am working hard to rewrite the DB access and the first beta version of a patch update is currently being tested.

          I am sorry for the inconvenience, but I hope I will soon have a solution for this!

        • ananthj

          Thanks. Let me know if you need a beta tester.

        • ananthj

          can you point to an earlier version of podcatcher as the current one does not work.

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Windows Phone Marketplace does not keep version history, so there’s no earlier version right now. An update is coming next week.

        • ananthj

          By far the best app for Podcast on WP given the platform constraints

  • Sam

    Great app Johan – finally I can have some functionality for podcasts that I lost when I left android. One feature I would like though would be to set a time (say 4am) every day for the app to look for updates to subscribed podcasts and download them. This was a feature in Beyond Pod I really liked.

    Otherwise, no complaints.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Nice to see that you are happy with Podcatcher! Unfortunately that kind of behavior is not very easy to make on Windows Phone as the apps are not running in the background. Now, I could make a background agent that would kick in every 30 minutes and check what time it is, but the other problem is that 3rd party developers are not allowed to initiate downloads in the background (this API call is explicitely disallowed from background agents).

      So I hope the auto-download feature is good enough to satisfy your use case.

  • someBrad

    Is there a way to force a subscription to check for new episodes?

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      No, but all subscriptions are checked during start of the app, so this should happen fairly often (because the apps are killed easily on Windows Phone if they are in the background).

      • someBrad

        That’s nice to know. Another question – is it possible to switch the order in which episodes play so that older ones play first?

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          I guess you mean how the episodes list for subscriptions? No, sorry, not yet at least. I have some ideas to do something with more dynamic episode listings, but that’s only in plans for now.

        • someBrad

          I’m thinking about once you have continuous playback — it’d be nice to be able to listen to episodes in either oldest-first or newest-first order. I prefer the orders remain listed as they are, with the newest first.

          Anyway, love the app and thanks for being so responsive.

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Yeah, continuous playback will be in the next update. But I’ve done incremental updates to Podcatcher in the past, and I will continue with that pattern also with regards to the continuous playback. I think 80% of the users will anyway want to listen to a podcast in the order of from newest to oldest, so that’s why I’ve done the continuous playback like this now. Continuous playback is also a framework or the ground for being able to play episodes in any order in the future – the mechanism is now in place. So adding other playback orders is more or less just a matter of UI.

        • drt

          Thanks for a great app, the best one out there I’ve found. Can I add my support for being able to switch the playback order to oldest to newest, some of my podcasts are stories which need to be listened to in the right order. Continuous playback is great as I listen to podcasts whilst on the move, but the order issue means I get the end before the beginning! Thanks!

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Hi! Thanks for the feedback. Yes – the current implementation of continuous payback was the first step towards a more general solution. Thinking here was that some people may have some value into this first approach as well, which was mandatory to be able to do any kind of continuous playback. Next step is to further give possibilities to users how to play the episodes.

          Stay tuned :)

        • drt

          Great news, thanks!

  • Johan Petersson

    Hello. Thanks for the best podcast app out there for WP8! I have some problems though.

    First, a lot of episodes are stuck on ‘Queued’ and ‘Downloading’, I have already listen to them and/or downloaded them and there is no function to remove this status. Maybe you could add a ‘Clear status’ function when long pressing them?

    Secondly I find it hard to get back to the player with the last or partially played episode. The play history doesn’t seem to work properly. The items in the history lacks some margins too.

    And… notifications. Please add a “New counter” to the live tile :)

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Johan!

      Thanks for the feedback and glad to hear that you like it!

      I am aware of some issues related to episode state that I try to address in the next update. Especially the “Queued” one. Being stuck in “Downloading” is new to me though; are you connected to WiFi when trying to download?

      You can try to reset the state of the subscription via two things; there’s the “Mark all episodes as listened” to in the subscription toolbar menu. Not sure if that’s helping you in this case though. The more hard way is to delete the subscription and re-subscribe to again. This just to have a workaround if you cannot download any new episodes in that subscription.

      You mean the history loses items that should be there? I tend to navigate via the subscriptions to the episodes, so I haven’t actually noticed this with the history list. Not saying there isn’t issues and if there are I should look into them.

      If you pin episodes to the main screen, the episodes’ new episode count will be update to their live tiles. But it’s surprisingly hard to be able to get all subscriptions new episodes to the main live tile – well, I could, but I thought’s it’s more meaningful to see new episodes for some particular subscription.

      • Johan Petersson

        Thanks for your quick reply.

        I’m always downloading episodes over wifi and listen to them offline. But when they get stuck and don’t get downloaded I just play them anyways, I guess they get’s streamed then.

        I’v tried ‘Mark all episodes as listened’, but with no luck. And how would I then know which one I haven’t played? :) That could work if there was a way to mark an episode as un-played again.

        Most of the time the native player remembers which one I’ve played and paused. But when it doesn’t you have to remember for yourself, if the history worked as it should it wouldn’t be a problem. So yes, the history seems to lose items.

        Quite often the native player forgets which episode was paused. But not as often as with Spotify. If you pause for 10 minutes the player forgets which Spotify song you were playing.

        I think I’m an average podcast listener and have about 5 subscriptions, so that wouldn’t be a problem to show how many new episodes there are on the live tile. And why would it be a problem if I had 20 subscriptions? I like to keep my start screen tidy and don’t want to pin each subscription. And it could be an opt-in to show the status on the tile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

    Hi Johan,

    The latest update has broken the lockscreen media controls. The <> buttons used to go back/forwards by 30 seconds (which was great for skipping ads), but now, these buttons do nothing.

    From the changelog, it looks like these buttons are used for the continuous playback feature if it’s turned on. But I haven’t turned it on.

    …unless it’s on by default? I can’t actually find any options in the app relating to ‘continuous playback’, so I don’t know.

    There’s actually another bug I’ve been experiencing lately. If I pause an episode part-way through, then play some music (in Zune), then come back to Podcatcher to continue with that episode, it won’t have stored my position correctly. Instead, the position will be right at the end of the episode (the progress bar will be 100% full). However, it won’t actually be properly finished. Trying to play the episode won’t work at all. It has to be deleted and re-downloaded to be played.

    Sorry for all the complaints, this is an otherwise wonderful app! *Hugs*

    Thanks,
    Dan

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Hi Dan,

      Sorry for the confusion in the latest update! I have a fix coming this week which will hopefully clear things a bit.

      So the continuous playback is enabled for subscriptions individually, so you’ll find an option for that in the subscription settings.

      The fast forward / rev buttons will seek forward/backwards if you hold them pressed. If you tap them they will skip forward if you have continuous playback enabled for the subscription that your are listening to. The next update will make the seeking better, but this is the basic idea.

      Regarding storing the position; this has been a constant issue and my conclusion so far is that Windows Phone simply doesn’t give me the events every time something else happens and I should store the position of the episode. So the best advice I can give you as of now is to go to Podcatcher player UI and press stop before launching Zune. Then the position should be stored properly.

      I do like that you anyway thing Podcatcher is good – I want to make it even better :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

        Thanks for the reply :)

        Could I make one suggestion though…
        A short tap on the <> buttons should surely be what triggers the 30 second jump back/forward; a long press could skip to the next episode.

        This would make sense as the shorter tap, which is easier to accidentally do, would have less of an impact. It’s also a more common scenario — you’d skip to the next episode no more than once per episode, but you might fast forward through ads about a dozen times in one episode. The more common scenario should be easier for users to do than something less common.

        Also, by keeping the short tap as the 30 second jump, the behaviour is consistent with what is always has been, so everyone who’s become accustomed to it can continue using the app as they always have.

        Hoping this convinces you :)
        Dan

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Hi Dan,

          First, I’d like to say that the latest update to version 1.3.1 is now available in Marketplace.

          I see your point – I have now changed the functionality of these buttons that it’s becoming embarrassing :) Let me know if you still feel the current way of working in version 1.3.1 is not good. At least to me it ‘s much better than in 1.3.0.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

          Hi Johan,

          I’ve tried the latest version. It’s now… *really* weird and unpredictable.

          So, a short tap on the lock screen buttons still does nothing (at least without changing any settings). However, a long press has some very odd behaviour. The first time I tried it, it jumped forward by about 20 minutes!

          I’m guessing the behaviour is supposed to be that the longer you press and hold, the longer it jumps forward. But this simply dosen’t work on the lockscreen. The time measurement is very broken (sometimes it jumps by a minute or two, sometimes 20 minutes), and even if it wasn’t, there’d still be no visual indication of what you’d done. This is the kind of thing you *could* do within the app where there’s some progress bar UI to support it, but not with the lockscreen controls.

          *Please* can I get the simple jump back/forward by 30 seconds behaviour back?

          Thanks :)
          Dan

        • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

          Now that it’s no longer possible to skip back/forward from the lockscreen and you now have to go back to the app’s ‘now playing’ screen to do it, I’ve encountered another issue.
          Sometimes, the app ‘forgets’ what’s now playing. Quite often, when I go back to the app, there is no ‘NOW’ section under play history. This means it’s *completely impossible* to get to any controls that skip back/forward by 30 seconds.
          *Please* fix the lockscreen controls. This app used to be so good and so nearly perfect.
          Thanks,
          Dan

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          Not sure about the issue with Now missing – I mean that shouldn’t be the case. But you can seek the position of the podcast from the lock screen by long pressing on the “next” / “prev” buttons. This is, after all, the default behavior of these buttons how Windows Phone actually defines them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

          Well maybe it’s just me but the seeking behaviour on the lockscreen really doesn’t work. If I hold <>, it’ll jump forward by some random amount of time — sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 30. It’s completely unpredictable.

          It’s probably not too surprising that ‘NOW’ disappears — I’d imagine it’s a system limitation where the system kills the app after not being used for a while, but it doesn’t forget about a (paused) podcast, so you can continue to listen to that via lockscreen controls.

          Btw, the system’s lockscreen controls for podcasts (playing natively, subscribed via Zune) is as follows:

          Short tap >>: 60 seconds forward
          Short tap <<: 10 seconds back

          Long pressing does do seeking, but it does so quite reliably and predictably.

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          I have to thank Windows Phone again for this great feature, which doesn’t seem to work. You see – it’s Windows Phone who implements when seeking starts after a long press, I tell the player to seek forward and that’s about it.

          Zune doesn’t seem then to be able to skip to next podcasts in a listening queue? Short tap on >> does this in Podcatcher, hence I had to change the lock screen behavior.

          I also got feedback that if I skip forward/backwards 30s after long press, that’s bad too because it’s not intuitive or something. So however I have implemented this, it seems to suck.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dan.jacobs.355 Dan Jacobs

          You’re correct that Zune doesn’t support skipping to the next episode from the lockscreen. In fact, it doesn’t even support the notion of a listening queue (at least for podcasts).

          I do understand it’s not your fault that a lot of this stuff doesn’t work — you’re stuck with the background audio service, and all the lagginess and bugs that entails.

          If people *really* want seeking on the lockscreen, I guess you could make this a setting.

          Having easy access to the +/-30 seconds controls is just *sooo* critical. As an interim solution, I’ve compiled my own version of the app from source code which changes these buttons back. But this isn’t a great solution in the long term, as keeping up with updates to the app will be a pain.

          Sorry to be a pain about this. But this app was *so* nearly perfect until this change happened.

          Thanks for an awesome app!

        • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

          I’ll change the lock screen button (once again :)) for the next release so that if you don’t have a play queue currently set, tapping the next/prev once will skip 30s as it did before. And if you have the queue, then it will be go to the next episode. In both cases holding the button pressed will seek forward/backwards as before.

          I guess this is a compromise and also a risk to confuse people even more as the buttons’ functionality changes. But I do agree that skipping 30s forward/backwards is nice.

  • Herb Stahl

    First experience: I have a private podcast published via WordPress. iTunes easily sees it and immediately plays the thing. Even the desktop windows phone 8 sync sees it and syncs it. It is 700Megs (pretty big). Your apps sees it, warns me that the file is over 100 megs and need to be on wifi and external power source… good. So I try to download, but got no real indications that download was actually working. Hit the play button, and the app crashed I think, as it exited me to the windows phone home screen. Any attempt to run podcatcher, sends podcatcher to my podcast then immeditely exits back to the windows home screen.

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Maybe telling me the podcast and the episode in question would help me fix the situation?

  • Andre

    Hi, 2.4 is going well, nice job, play queue is great, but how about being able to manually reorder the items?

  • Gatekeeper1999

    Hi Johan, I have the problem that since updating to 2.4 the app crashes immediately. I know you know about this but when will 2.4.1 be released?

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Sorry to hear about your crash! And you are right that I have submitted 2.4.1.0 to fix (most likely) this crash. I did mention to Marketplace Q&A that the update fixes a critical crash and asked for priority, but it’s all up to Marketplace Q&A when it’s available. All I can say is that if all goes as before, it will be available this week.

  • Brian

    Hi. Love the program and I use it daily. Is there anyway to transfer podcasts from the phone to my computer. For example, there’s a few episodes of BBC Comedy Friday which are on the phone but are no longer available online. Is there a way to transfer the files over?

  • Jiri

    Great app. But support for SD-cards is really needed. Please, drop support for WP7, if it is a blocker.

  • Gunther

    Probably the best podcast player on the Windows Phone platform. Unfortunately I am struggling with importing an opml file (previously generated from Poddi on Symbian) uploaded to my skydrive account. File got all access attributes, nevertheless Podcatcher on my Lumia 920 fails to fetch any of the podcasts. Any clue or hints? Known problem?
    Thanks!

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Thanks for the nice words :)

      Yes, I can help you with that. Or not really, but I can tell you why it doesn’t work. The reason being that if you open the URL that SkyDrive gives you to the file, it will not open the file, but it will present you with a web page where you can get the file from.

      Podcatcher does not parse a page to try to find the OPML file – instead it expect the URL that you give it to point directly to the OPML file that it can download and parse.

      There is no way – to my knowledge – to get a direct link to a file from SkyDrive. If you put the OPML file instead on Dropbox, it will give you a direct link to the file, which I’ve verified will work.

      Or you can put it anywhere on the web, as long as it’s accessible via HTTP that is…

  • Mike

    Hi,
    how can I delete subscriptions?

    • http://www.johanpaul.com/blog/ Johan Paul

      Long press on the subscription in the subscription listing – then select “Unsubscribe” option.