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!