Archive for April, 2015

Google Cast for audio

Written by sven. Posted in features

Google Cast for Audio

In Jan­u­ary Google announced Google Cast for audio. Togeth­er with uPod this audio spe­cif­ic ver­sion of Google Cast, which is also the tech­nol­o­gy behind Chrome­cast, lets you cast your favorite pod­casts from your mobile device to your speak­ers. Take a peek at the Google Cast for audio home­page to learn about devices sup­port­ing this new tech­nol­o­gy.

For all Sonos users like me I hope, that Sonos will also soon sup­port Google Cast for audio, so that I can hear my pod­casts eas­i­ly at home with­out need­ing to buy new equip­ment.

uPod 4 — A lot has changed

Written by sven. Posted in releases

Version 4 turns uPod upside down. It’s main change is the move from a serv­er based syn­chro­niza­tion to a local one. In the past the uPod serv­er was respon­si­ble for rec­og­niz­ing new episodes and trig­ger­ing all devices to sync. Star­ing with uPod 4 the devices do the sync on their own.

What does this mean for you as a user? Well, most of you even wont rec­og­nize it. On the down­side there is the fact that your device is now polling for pod­cast changes — be sure to adjust the new sync set­tings (fre­quen­cy, con­crete times of the day) to your needs. On the upside there are quite a few points:

  • Full con­trol when to sync — sim­ply swipe down in most views to start a sync.
  • Pod­cast spe­cif­ic sync — swipe down in a sin­gle podcast’s episode list to only check for updates of this pod­cast.
  • All meta data for all episodes of your pod­casts are now avail­able on your device. No more nasty load­ing from the serv­er when scrolling through large episode lists.
  • Pod­casts with sync errors are marked now as erro­neous and pro­vide tech­ni­cal error infor­ma­tion.

As a result the uPod serv­er is no longer involved in the sync­ing process (except for cross device syn­chro­niza­tion — see below) and a run­ning uPod instance does no longer cause me any costs. That’s why I am now able to pro­vide a free ver­sion of uPod and that’s exact­ly what I do: What was just a tri­al before is now a full fea­tured, free pod­cast play­er!

For the pow­er users a pre­mi­um license is avail­able which pro­vides some more enhanced fea­tures like:

  • Cross device sync of play­back posi­tions, playlist and episode states tied to your Google account
  • Chrome­cast sup­port
  • Auto­mat­ic down­load of the down­load queue (e.g. when con­nect­ed via Wi-FI)
  • Pod­cast spe­cif­ic set­tings (e.g. auto add to playlist, only keep x lat­est episodes)
  • Up to two spe­cif­ic sync times per day

Of course all of you who’ve bought uPod in the past will auto­mat­i­cal­ly be upgrad­ed to uPod Pre­mi­um.

Anoth­er impor­tant change made is the way uPod han­dles episodes: Now you no longer _delete_ episodes you don’t need any­more, instead you mark them as _finished_. uPod tracks the state for all episode, so that you now have a bet­ter overview of what you’ve already con­sumed.

Enough now. Here’s the full list of changes in uPod 4:

  • Full fea­tured free ver­sion (no longer only a tri­al)
  • Pre­mi­um ver­sion with addi­tion­al fea­tures (for all who’ve already paid)
  • Sync log­ic moved from serv­er to device
  • Pull to sync in most views
  • Pull in podcast’s episode view to update cur­rent pod­cast only
  • Mate­r­i­al design for play­back view (thanks to Marc Große for his sug­ges­tions and feed­back)
  • Mark episodes as fin­ished instead of delet­ing them
  • New »Mark all as fin­ished from here« action
  • Action to move single/multiple episodes to top/bottom of playlist
  • Imme­di­ate OPML import
  • Intro­duc­tion cards instead of start­up wiz­ard
  • Fixed can­cel­la­tion of down­loads
  • Con­fig­urable space lim­it on the stor­age to be kept free