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Couple of general thoughts after a few days of use

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dan1son
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Last seen: 12 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/12/2008 - 11:29
Couple of general thoughts after a few days of use

I am a developer and was actually just about to download the SDK and get working on a podcatching application for android. Needless to say I was very excited to see someone beat me to it :).

I have a few thoughts on the application now that I've gotten around to attempting to use it for a few days. I say attempting to use because there are a couple of things making this app impossible for me to use for podcatching, not hard to fix though.

** I apologize that most of these things are mentioned in the features request section, I just felt an overall look would be helpful.

The lack of a proper fast forward and remembering where the specific podcast was on last play make this app impossible to use. Podcasts are usually long audio files that I can never listen to in one sitting, so if I start another one or leave the app for a while I will have to start back at the beginning (after leaving the app for a while it will crash when started again). Using the current implementation of the fast-forward button to get an hour into the podcast is useless. Get a fix for this in there ASAP... it's required. App would be quite useful even in the current state with this in there.

I also noticed downloading in the background doesn't work once the phone goes to sleep. It seems as though the 3g connection goes off after a couple of minutes and the app tries to retry the download, but it fails since there is no more connection.

The current implementation of updating could be improved. If there are a lot of podcasts, some of which are updated daily and some weekly, updating all at once everyday can take a long time. A selection mechanism and the ability to update just selected or one at a time would be useful.

To add to the selection mechanism, the ability to select some podcasts and "download latest" would be useful as well. That way you don't have to go into each one just to grab the newly updated podcasts for each. Another thing is adding the ability to mark things as listened to (and auto mark them) so you can tell immediately if you have new podcasts or not to download and listen to.

Not sure why the buttons are there... seem to just make it harder to click on things.

I do like the overall layout. Having the player at the bottom makes it pretty handy to download and add other podcasts while playing one. The info and image support is very nice, gives the information you'd expect where you'd expect it.

Keep up the good work. Let me know if you want some development help... I've been wanting to dig into android development for a little while and just haven't found something too interesting except a podcast app. I have a lot of experience writing Windows Mobile (C# .net) and some blackberry (Java) mobile applications. I write enterprise level java server/client applications for a living, but have done some mobile development here when needed.

eric
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Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Those are good comments

FF/Slider - I agree completely. This bit me this morning when I pushed the stop button by accident...it took a too much effort to find my place again.

Background downloading - I haven't run across this which is a surprise. Thanks for pointing it out and I'll try to see if I can reproduce the problem.

Selection mechanism - I may not be understanding you correctly but I think you can achieve what you want by editing a podcast and changing the number of max enclosures (I know the phrase is weird) to something other than 0...then refreshing will get that many most recent episodes. I also like the idea of refreshing individual podcasts.

Marking as listened - I agree, we'll add to the future feature list

Buttons - They were put there when we had more than one action to do for a podcast, such as view the website associated with podcast. That feature isn't yet stable, so the button is hidden. Touching on the row works when you have only one action to perform. The ideal solution would be to have a row touch take you to the episodes and also have buttons perform other functions but that turns out to be harder than it would seem. We're still working on that.

Thanks for the offer to help...we seem to be getting some decent traction with this. Depending on the demand we experience, it's likely we are going to need some more help.

I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences...that's just we what need right now.

eric
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Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Background download failures

Thanks to you and another user describing the same scenario, we were able to reproduce this. It's exactly as you describe, phone sleeps, then the download aborts.

It's not so surprising anymore how this one got by us. It's not common during development to just leave the phone alone while we're testing downloads. We are always clicking on other things, which prevents the phone from suspending.

We've got a fix in the works...you should see it in the next couple of days.

Thanks once again for bringing it to our attention, hope it wasn't too much inconvenience.

eric
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Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Not in this release

We didn't get this fix into today's release, but we'll do our best to get it into the next.

dan1son
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Last seen: 12 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/12/2008 - 11:29
I just wanted to bounce back

I just wanted to bounce back in here and let you know how much the changes are appreciated. The slider, remembering placement, background downloading and notification, and even the buttons being gone all work as expected now and make the app very nice and usable. I've been using it as my only podcast listener for the last couple of weeks and it's been great.

I have had a couple of other issues I'll mention in the other sections of the forum... just random bugs, nothing major.

Again... Thank you,
Dan

eric
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Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Glad you're liking the changes

We're paying close attention to the feedback we are getting here in the forums. Your comments are what guide us to focus attention in the right areas.