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

Want to stay informed? Follow me.