Written by sven. Posted in features

Start­ing with the next release (which is com­ing very soon) uPod will only sup­port Eng­lish and Ger­man lan­guage — the two trans­la­tions I can main­tain on my own. It wasn’t an easy desci­sion to dis­miss the Pol­ish and Rus­sion trans­la­tion espe­cial­ly because the two main­tain­ers of these lan­guages have invest­ed quite some time and have done a great job, but from my point of view it was nec­es­sary. These are the rea­sons:

  1. The sev­er­al lan­guages made me slow as I need­ed to wait for the trans­la­tions to be fin­ished before being able to pub­lish a new release. Both trans­la­tors were quite fast, but this still meant one to five days delay.
  2. Pro­vid­ing sup­port for Russ­ian and Pol­ish users wasn’t always easy, as they used the Russ­ian and Pol­ish action names in their requests which I couldn’t map to any­thing I know.
  3. The trans­la­tion ser­vice I’ve used (Crowdin) is too expen­sive for such small projects like uPod and has recent­ly fur­ther increased it’s price. I need­ed to sell a lot of licens­es each month just to get this ser­vice paid. And then I need to sell much more to get the serv­er bills paid. At the moment uPod costs me quite some mon­ey and I want­ed to reduce the costs.

I am real­ly sor­ry for those of you how invest­ed time into the trans­la­tions and for those of you who got used to them. But I am hap­py to be more agile again :-)

Android Wear

Written by sven. Posted in android, features

Android Wear

Announced on this years Google I/O, Android wear is Google’s lat­est clou. Two already avail­able smart watch­es from LG and Sam­sung are bring­ing Android to your wrist and the announced Moto 360 will be the first round Android wear device and looks real­ly hot.

If you are an ear­ly adapter you will be hap­py to hear that uPod ful­ly sup­ports Android wear: The cur­rent­ly play­ing episode is dis­played with cov­er­art on your watch. You can eas­i­ly tog­gle between play and pause right from your wrist. Swip­ing to the left pro­vides you a big skip but­ton. So hap­py lis­ten­ing is guar­an­teed even if your smart­phone is stuck in the depths of your pock­et.

Share your thoughts about Android wear and the uPod sup­port on Google+ or Twit­ter.

Better Media Control from your Bluetooth Headset

Written by sven. Posted in features, releases

Most blue­tooth head­sets pro­vide a pause/play but­ton and a skip and a back but­ton to move between music tracks. Often hold­ing down these but­tons per­forms a fast forward/rewind. For pod­casts jump­ing back and forth a defined time peri­od (e.g. 30 sec­onds) with­in the cur­rent episode is the most impor­tant use case using the head­set con­trols (besides tog­gling play and pause). This is why uPod pro­vides since its first ver­sion an option to swap the mean­ing of head­set con­trol but­tons, so that the skip and back but­tons do a fixed time back/forth jump with­in the episode. You can con­fig­ure this in uPod’s play­back set­tings.

In old­er ver­sions of android it was then pos­si­ble to tap and hold your headset’s skip but­ton to skip the episode in uPod. Unfor­tu­nate­ly this isn’t work­ing in new­er ver­sions any­more (don’t have clue why — if you find out please let me know). So the pos­si­bil­i­ty to skip to the next episode was effec­tive­ly lost.

That’s why the new uPod ver­sion 2.1 brings a new play­back set­ting: If you con­fig­ured your skip but­ton to do a fast for­ward instead and you enable the new dou­ble click option, then dou­ble click­ing your headset’s skip but­ton will bring you to the next episode on the playlist. Unfor­tu­nate­ly even this isn’t com­plete­ly flaw­less: If you make the dou­ble click to fast the sec­ond but­ton event will be fil­tered out by android or the head­set. Try it out and let me know whether you like it.

uPod 2.0 brings Chromecast Support

Written by sven. Posted in features, releases

The lat­est and hottest release brings two major changes: Sup­port for chrome­cast and the a new tri­al mod­el. Lets focus on Chrome­cast sup­port as I’ve already report­ed about the new tri­al mod­el a few days ago.

Chrome­cast is a top sell­er and ama­zon — a tiny lit­tle HDMI stick for just about 40 bucks which you plug into your TV’s or AV receiver’s HDMI input port. In con­junc­tion with uPod you can now bring your favorite pod­casts to the big screen or to your music sys­tem. Once con­nect­ed to a chrome­cast stick, you can start and con­trol play­back from with­in uPod. All the great fea­tures like stor­ing the play­back posi­tion still work. So you can start your favorite pod­cast show on your mobile dis­play in the train and con­tin­ue play­back on your TV at home.

uPod 2.0 also brings some addi­tion­al tiny nifty fea­tures:

  • Option to use »Add to playlist« action as pri­ma­ry action for not down­loaded episodes
  • Pre­view image in video play­back view
  • Bet­ter play­back error han­dling
  • Lots of bug fix­es (includ­ing huge fixed mem­o­ry leak)

New Trial Model

Written by sven. Posted in features

Start­ing with uPod 2 — which is about to come soon — uPod’s tri­al mod­el will change: You will then be able to check out all the great fea­tures with­out any restric­tions for sev­en days. After­wards you will need to pur­chase the license to con­tin­ue using uPod. Already have a license? Great, then noth­ing will change for you!

Dis­miss­ing the free usage mod­el wasn’t an easy deci­sion. But unfor­tu­nate­ly the cur­rent »freemi­um« mod­el, which looked like a great idea in the begin­ning, turned out to be a bad one. For a serv­er backed app like uPod each addi­tion­al user caus­es addi­tion­al serv­er costs and the bad thing is, that these costs occur on a month­ly basis. So I rely on the license pay­ments to get the servers paid which isn’t pos­si­ble with the cur­rent ratio of non-pay­ing users.

Thanks for your under­stand­ing, loy­al­ty and sup­port!

Version 1.7

Written by sven. Posted in features, releases

This release comes packed with pro­duc­tiv­i­ty fea­tures. But first things first: Thanks to Dmit­ry Kyrov uPod is now avail­able in Russ­ian lan­guage!

The next big thing are the new fil­ter sec­tions in the nav­i­ga­tion draw­er: You can now eas­i­ly browse unfin­ished down­loaded episodes, audio episodes and video episodes. Not inter­est­ed in one of them? No prob­lem: Sim­ply hide it in the user inter­face set­tings.

Anoth­er set of new user inter­face options allows you to spec­i­fy which pri­ma­ry episode actions you pre­fer. The pri­ma­ry action is the one shown as a but­ton on the right of an episode list item. Until now you need­ed to live with what we decid­ed for you, now you can choose your pre­ferred action (for exam­ple »Stream« instead of the »Down­load« but­ton or »Down­load« instead of »Add« for new episodes). All actions are still avail­able in the list item’s over­flow menu (the three dots).

And even the tiny addi­tion­al fea­tures will make your life eas­i­er:

  • con­fir­ma­tion dia­log for clear­ing playback/download list
  • adding mul­ti­ple select­ed episodes to playlist adds them ordered ascend­ing by pub­lished date

And final­ly here is a screen­shot show­ing the new fil­ter sec­tions and the stream but­ton as pri­ma­ry action for not-down­loaded episodes:
New uPod filter sections

Version 1.6: Immediate Download Queue

Written by sven. Posted in features, releases

Immediate upload queue

As a loy­al uPod user you already know uPod’s down­load queue: You can eas­i­ly add episodes to it and uPod will auto­mat­i­cal­ly down­load all episodes as soon as a Wi-FI con­nec­tion is avail­able. In most cas­es all this hap­pens auto­mat­i­cal­ly, so that you nev­er need to care about down­loads.

But some­times you may want to lis­ten to the newest episode of your favorite pod­cast even when on the road. In this case you already have the choice of imme­di­ate­ly down­load­ing this episode or direct­ly stream­ing it. This works fine for just one episode, but if you want to down­load mul­ti­ple episodes imme­di­ate­ly things are get­ting unhandy.

This is were the new release jumps in which brings the new imme­di­ate down­load queue: Now you can sim­ply tap the down­load but­ton for mul­ti­ple episodes and uPod will down­load them one after anoth­er. You can find all queued imme­di­ate down­loads at the top of the »Down­load queue« sec­tion. You can see that an episode is queued for imme­di­ate down­load due to it’s ani­mat­ed progress bar. For exam­ple this post’s screen­shot shows one episode down­load­ing and two sched­uled for imme­di­ate down­load. For the oth­er episodes in the screen­shot the well known down­load queue rules apply. Sim­ply try it out — it’s sim­ple and intu­itive!

Addi­tion­al­ly this release allows you to request a res­can of a pod­cast for new episodes. Nor­mal­ly this isn’t nec­es­sary as uPod rec­og­nizes new episodes auto­mat­i­cal­ly, but in some rare cas­es uPod miss­es those updates for exam­ple due to faulty RSS. Please only use the new action if you know that new are episodes avail­able for a pod­cast which are not show­ing up in uPod.

Promotion: Free License for uPod Fans

Written by sven. Posted in promotion

Did you miss the east­er spe­cial for a dis­count­ed uPod license? No prob­lem. If you love uPod here is your chance to even get a license for free! All you need to do is give a five star rat­ing for uPod at Google play and tell oth­ers what you love about uPod.

Inter­est­ed? OK, so here are the details:

  1. write a five star review for uPod tri­al at Google play (for exam­ple tell oth­ers why you pre­fer uPod about oth­er pod­cast play­ers)
  2. fill out the request form
  3. enjoy unlim­it­ed play­back

If you make one of the first 50 valid sub­mis­sions and fill out the form until Sun­day (April 27), a free license will be issued for you. As I need to man­u­al­ly process the sub­mis­sions it may take some time until you receive an answer.

Of course you should only use this pro­mo­tion if you think uPod is worth the five stars!

Easter Special: 50% discount and doubled free Playback Contingent

Written by sven. Posted in promotion, releases

The East­er hol­i­days are right in front of us and this does also mean more time for listening/watching your favorite pod­casts. That’s why I’ve released ver­sion 1.5 which dou­bles the free play­back con­tin­gent to four hours per month. And if this still isn’t enough for you, then now is the time to go and get the uPod license: For a lim­it­ed time it’s avail­able for half the price — at only EUR 1.65.

BTW: Please don’t for­get to rate/review uPod if you haven’t done already. At the moment we need each pos­i­tive rat­ing.

Here is the full list of changes for ver­sion 1.5:

  • increased free month­ly play­back con­tin­gent of four hours
  • »My pod­casts« now also lists the episodes in your library
  • pod­cast search view keeps it’s scroll posi­tion
  • OPML import native­ly accepts XML MIME type
  • bet­ter episode list per­for­mance
  • tons of bug fix­es

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