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