The Future of uPod is safe!

Written by sven. Posted in announcement

By the end of Jan­u­ary I’ve post­ed an announce­ment that uPod is about to become open source. As the res­o­nance was very restrained it quick­ly became clear, that ful­fill­ing that plan would effec­tive­ly kill uPod, as there would be no devel­op­ers to main­tain and fur­ther devel­op it. But as some of you and I myself still love uPod killing it wasn’t real­ly an option. That’s the rea­son why I decid­ed to go on devel­op­ing uPod — even if my free time is rare. Sor­ry for all the con­fu­sion.

Since the begin­ning of Feb­ru­ary I am now work­ing on uPod 4. Its main goal is to reduce the serv­er costs, so that it is no more essen­tial for me to sell a spe­cif­ic num­ber of licens­es per month just to get the servers paid. This is solved by mov­ing most of the pod­cast pars­ing and sync­ing log­ic from the serv­er into the client.

Mak­ing the serv­er usage an option­al fea­ture will make it pos­si­ble to pub­lish uPod 4 as a »freemi­um« app: The free ver­sion will no longer be a tri­al but a full fea­tured free pod­cast play­er! The paid pre­mi­um license will add some enhanced fea­tures like e.g. the cur­rent cross device sync, chrome­cast sup­port and the auto­mat­ic down­load. Your cur­rent uPod license will be auto­mat­i­cal­ly migrat­ed to uPod pre­mi­um — so if you’ve already paid for it you wont be charged again. Mak­ing uPod free should also help to increase its vis­i­bil­i­ty.

I hope you like these news. More infor­ma­tion will be pub­lished as soon as uPod 4 goes into beta test.

uPod is going Open Source

Written by sven. Posted in announcement

Today I have excit­ing news — bad ones and good ones. I am more the let-me-know-the-shit-at-first-guy, so lets start with the bad news: I no longer have the time to main­tain and sup­port uPod. The num­ber of sup­port requests and ques­tions I receive per day and the num­ber of pod­casts which cause trou­ble are too large to process and fix them on my own. Or to say it in anoth­er way: I need more time off. Sounds like the end of uPod, right? But it may turn out to the exact oppo­site, because here are the good news: uPod will become open source!

OK, what exact­ly does this mean? If we (as a com­mu­ni­ty) find some peo­ple who are will­ing to invest a lit­tle bit of their time, uPod has the chance to become the major pod­cast play­er for the Android plat­form. This is sim­ply because it already has all of the fea­tures a full-fledged pod­cast play­er needs and one of the best and most beau­ti­ful user inter­faces avail­able on Android. This is con­junc­tion with a free of charge avail­abil­i­ty may roll up the pod­cast play­er mar­ket for Android where most of the more use­ful apps are cur­rent­ly payed.

What do we (as a com­mu­ni­ty) need for this? Well, there are a few roles which need to be cast­ed:

  • Devel­op­ers who are will­ing to fix and enhance the uPod app (keep in mind that it is writ­ten in Scala)
  • Devel­op­ers who are will­ing to fix and enhance the uPod serv­er (REST ser­vice writ­ten in Scala based on Play 2 [#playframe­work])
  • Sup­port peo­ple who han­dle sup­port requests post­ed by users
  • Authors who cre­ate and main­tain an online doc­u­men­ta­tion
  • Pub­lic rela­tions peo­ple who com­mu­ni­cate the lat­est changes and ensure that uPod is vis­i­ble at Google play!
  • And Spon­sors! Spon­sors! Spon­sors! That’s sim­ply because uPod is a serv­er based appli­ca­tion and some­one has to pay the serv­er bills!

That’s what has come to my mind for now, but I am sure I’ve missed some­thing. So if you are inter­est­ed to par­tic­i­pate or know some­one who is, please let me know (sven at upod.mobi).

What’s next? Most impor­tant I need peo­ple who are will­ing to par­tic­i­pate as men­tioned above. I plan to release the source codes in Feb­ru­ary in my already cre­at­ed repos­i­to­ry at GitHub. In par­al­lel I will con­tact some of the ser­vices uPod is cur­rent­ly using (e.g. heroku, Super­fee­dr, user­voice) to clar­i­fy whether one ore more of them are will­ing to sup­port us by pro­vid­ing their ser­vice for free or at a reduced cost.

Let me know what you think about this and share this infor­ma­tion with all your friends and lets make uPod the best pod­cast play­er for Android!