Frequently Asked Questions
Feed updates and Downloads (15)
Some feeds include invalid characters or are in an improper form. This can sometimes cause the feed parser to fail.
You can verify that your feed is in the proper form here - Feed Validator
If you are unable to resolve the issue, please post in the support forum. Please include the RSS URL and a detailed description of what you are experiencing.
Feed update failures and download failure usually have different causes but you can use the same approach to do some general diagnosis on either.
You can also see all failures by pressing on 'Application Log' in the menu on the feeds screen. This will list all of the successes and failures for feed updates and downloads. Pressing on a row in the list will display the details of the failure.
Alternatively, you can press on the 'details' link on the feed (if it's a feed update problem) or on the item (if it's a download problem).
In the details, there are two parts to pay attention to:
1 - Details - this is the error message and will usually give a good indication of what the problem is
2 - Cause - this is DoggCatcher's guess at what the error was caused by based on past errors.
Common error messages
Illegal character in hostname at index...
The feed or media files are stored on a server with a hostname that is not allowed by the Android networking software.
Some users have reported that task killers are killing DC and causing updates/downloads to fail.
If you are unable to resolve the issue, please post in the support forum. Please include the RSS URL and a detailed description of what you are experiencing.
DoggCatcher will only auto-download the media for new items. So DoggCatcher thinks that the item is new.
Sometimes, feed publishers change the title of the items. By default, DoggCatcher uses the item title to determine uniqueness for an item. So if an item changes its title, DoggCatcher will remove the old item (deleting the media) and add the new item. In this case the media will be downloaded again.
You can tell this is happening if you have items that are marked as done and then after a feed update, they then re-appear new.
Most often this can be fixed by changing the 'item identifier' feed option for the feed to one of the other values. The GUID option is the best choice to start with, but the one that works depends on the feed.
Yes, DoggCatcher supports feeds that require authentication. The feed must support standard http authentication (most do).
Identify the feed URL for the feed in question and paste the feed URL into a browser. This URL is what DoggCatcher will load to display the feed.
You should see a description of the feed at the top.
Number of items
If you expect to see a particular item in DoggCatcher but it is missing, verify that it is in the feed. Some feeds only publish items going back so far while some feeds only publish one item.
There should be links to audio files next to each item.
If what you see looks like a normal web page without the structure that is described above, it's probably not an RSS URL, but you may be able to locate the RSS URL on that page or close by.
DoggCatcher supports feeds in RSS format, which is the most common format used for podcasts.
There are more details here is the RSS url section about how to obtain a feed URL which is how you tell DoggCatcher the 'address' of the podcast.
DoggCatcher does not support Atom or ITunes format, although Atom support will be added in the future.
Some feeds publish items out of order. For these feeds, enabling the 'Full fetch' feed option resolves this problem.
You may also need to set the item sort order feed option to date (newest first).
Try running the feed diagnostics in the context menu for a feed. It will display a message if this type of feed is detected.
Some feeds only keep a certain number of items published.
The first thing to do is to check what items are available in the feed by pasting the feed URL into a browser. Try to find the item that you are looking for.
If it's not there, then the publisher has removed that item from the feed.
If it is there but it is not available in DoggCatcher, let me know and I'll look into it.
During normal usage, one would usually want to listen to older items first. DoggCatcher will download the oldest items that are flagged as 'New', up to the number configured in the 'Auto Download' feed option.
When creating new feeds, all items but the most recent are flagged as old so that the most recent will be the first available.
You can flag any items as 'Done' that you don't want to have downloaded.
This happens when you update a feed, then later when another update occurs, the newly fetched feed is older than the original.
This has happened for me when I update a feed on wifi, then later update over the cell network. Sometimes data is cached (my theory at least) on the carriers proxy servers so you don't get the new version of the feed. You can confirm this is happening to you by opening the feed in the Android browser and you'll probably be seeing the old version of the feed.
You can add a YouTube many different types of feed from YouTube. To add a YouTube feed, add a feed as RSS URL. You can learn about how to create YouTube urls here.
There are a few different things that can cause mobile traffic with this setting.
-Limiting downloads to "wifi only" will prevent downloads from *starting* until your device is connected to a wifi network. If a download is started on Wifi, and then your device is disconnected from the Wifi network, the download will continue on the mobile network.
-If you Stream on one of the episodes while on mobile, it will use mobile data.
-When browsing news in the app, DoggCatcher will load images in the news content over the mobile network.
On some networks, users need to authenticate from a browser on their device to allow the device to connect to the internet. If DoggCatcher tries to download a media file prior to the authentication and the authentication proxy does not return a proper response code indicating that it was unable to provide the file, DoggCatcher will save whatever the proxy responds with. In this case, there really isn't any way for DoggCatcher to easily distinguish between a real media file and a bogus HTML response.
There are some ideas in this post that we'll probably work into DoggCatcher to work around the problem.
This can be cause by ad blocker software.
See this post - http://www.doggcatcher.com/node/1067#comment-4950
Some feeds have dates for the items that are not in the proper format so they can be parsed. You can tell this is happening by pressing on the feed. You should see a date on each item. If there is no date displayed, then the date is not in the proper format required.
Most audio files are supported by Android, however occasionally there are factors that can cause an audio file to fail to play.
A problem with the audio file
The easiest way to determine if there is a problem with the audio file is to long press on the media file and 'launch in external player'. This will load the media file and the Android music player. If it fails to play, then the audio file will not play in DoggCatcher because DoggCatcher uses an embedded Android music player for media playback.
In the past, audio failure have been caused by:
-Invalid audio encoding parameters - In this case it has been useful to contact the publisher and let them know. They will often try to correct the problem.
-Corrupt SD cards.
-Failing Android media player (or sound drivers). Rebooting the devices fixes this.
If you are using the Presto variable speed library, you can determine if the problem is related to Presto by temporarily disabling variable speed. If the problem only occurs with variable speed enabled, then you can contact the Presto developer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Android media player dies
Occasionally the Android media player dies in a way that can only be resolved by rebooting the device. If you get errors trying to play a variety of different audio files of which you are confident should work properly, try rebooting your device. Rebooting normally resolves this problem.
Prior to Android 2.2
With these earlier versions of Android, it's a bit like the wild west. Each application fights to respond to the button events. Determining which application responds to the events is based on the priority declared by each application and can vary by device.
Starting with Android 2.2, developer API's were created to make it possible for applications to share the buttons events.
How it should work
The last application that was used to play audio, should be the one to receive and respond to button events. You can see this demonstrated by following these steps:
-Start DoggCatcher and press play in the DoggCatcher UI
-Press a headset button (wired or BT) a few times, DoggCatcher will responds to the button presses
-Start the Android music app and press play in the music app UI
-Press a headset button (wired or BT) a few times, the music app will responds to the button presses
We've followed the development guidelines and reproduced the intended behavior, and also the behavior of the Android music player.
In order to get DoggCatcher to bind to the buttons, you should connect your headset, start DoggCatcher, and press the play button in the application UI. From that point on DoggCatcher will become the 'preferred' application and will respond to the button presses.
To get another application to bind to the buttons, start the other application and press play in the application's UI.
How it should not work
If you play an audio file in the Android music app, and then press a headset button, and an app besides the Android media player responds to the button, then that app isn't following the developer guidelines properly. In this case, it's going to be difficult to get multiple audio apps to share the button events.
There are some apps in the Google Market that acquire exclusive binding to the media buttons (as of this post). While those apps are installed, no other apps will be able to receive buttons events. If your buttons stopped working around the time you installed a media application, it's likely to be the cause.
Headset button developer guidelines
The coding details can be found here - http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/06/allowing-applications-to-...
Yes, with the purchase of a third party library in the Market called Presto.
This feature is currently in beta testing. Given that the library is developed by a third party, we can make no guarantees regarding future support for the feature. But we will make all reasonable attempts to keep the feature functioning properly.
This seems to happen sometimes with the Android Media Player in Android 2.2. Starting and stopping the audio file has been reported to correct it.
Yes, DoggCatcher can stream audio. The media player engine was changed in Android 2.2, so there are subtle differences in behavior. The differences are outlined below.
|up to 2.1||2.2 and later|
|See buffer||Yes||Yes - 0 for a while, then the actual buffer|
|Seek forward||Yes (only as far as buffered)||Yes (after a while)|
|Seek backward||Yes (resets buffer)||Yes (after a while)|
This problem has been reported on the Galaxy S3 and can be resolved by doing the following:
-Disable the "auto haptic" setting in the sounds settings in ICS.
-Turn auto haptic back on, go deeper into the auto haptic setting, and ticked DoggCatcher and presto
This happens on some devices. I've researched quite a few users that have experienced this and each time, it has been the case that DoggCatcher has given a command to the android media player to seek to the correct position in the audio file but the media player does not seek, but starts the audio file from the beginning.
I have also tried a few different approaches to detect when this happens and retry the seek but I haven't been able to come up with anything that reliably works around the problem.
Android design guidelines indicate that ongoing system notifications are intended for processes that are actively running in the background, like audio playback. Displaying a notification with a pause button would go against these guidelines.
If we were to against the guidelines it would still result in an awkward experience because a notification with a play button would either need to always be there (you couldn't remove it) or appear there until you manually removed it.
Audio Focus is something that is managed by Android to allow only one app to play audio at a time. When an audio app (such as DoggCatcher) plays audio, it first requests audio focus.
The notification is displayed when another app has requested audio focus and Android revokes the audio focus from DoggCatcher. At this point, DoggCatcher must stop audio playback.
Audio apps should only do this when they are responding to user input, like pressing on a media button in the app. But sometimes apps do this at other times, some seeming completely random.
The easiest way to figure out which app is responsible is to send a debug log to yourself. You can do this in the DoggCatcher menu - send log to developer, but put your own email address in the TO field. You'll receive a debug log.
Look for this in the log that is attached to the email - "AudioPauser::Pausing due to lost audio focus:". This is DoggCatcher responding to losing the focus. Just prior in the log you should see some log entries for other apps. Look for something that relates to audio and you've probably found the culprit.
Here are a list of apps that I have confirmed to do this. If you are the developer of one of these apps, and this has been corrected, please let me know and I'll get it removed from this list immediately.
Ford sync devices occasionally (I haven't figure out the pattern) sends a bluetooth play event to android, which DoggCatcher responds to by playing the currently loaded media file.
This FAQ is meant to address the situation where audio becomes silent for a short period of time, so you miss some of the audio. It is not intended for the case where audio pauses and resumes (no audio is missed).
I have experienced it on an LG G2X (Gingerbread only) but it could occur on other devices as well. This is an Android problem that causes the audio to temporarily drop out and is limited to bluetooth. In the case of my G2X, the problem only occurs when WIFI is enabled. Turning off the WIFI resolves the issue.
DoggCatcher uses an embedded Android media player for streaming audio.
When a streams fail because of a network connection problem, it will stop playing and the media player will sometimes send an erroneous message from the indicating that the audio file has completed.
Unfortunately, there isn't any way to distinguish between the 'false' completions and real completions, so DoggCatcher treats it as a completed audio file and move on to the next item in the playlist.
It possible for other applications to bind to the headset events and block other apps from receiving them.
While I haven't confirmed this personally, I have had users who have resolved this uninstalling Winamp and Overdrive.
Create a virtual feed in the 'add feed' menu and drop all your music in the directory that DoggCatcher creates for the virtual feed. In the future DoggCatcher will allow you to point a virtual feed at an existing directory that already contains your music
Sometimes the Android media player, which DoggCatcher uses, fails when starting or during play of an audio file.
If this can only be resolved by rebooting the device, then it's very like to be a problem with the Android OS or a device driver.
There are two causes for this.
When headsets start to flake out from wear, they start to send bogus signals to the device that makes it think that buttons are being pressed. If you have a headset plugged in and you are seeing audio files skip forward or backwards within the file or skipping to the next, it's possible your headset is near the end of its life. The distinguishing factor here is that the audio is still following the playlist in its natural order and it just seems like someone is pressing buttons
Faulty SD card
This one can be a little trickier to characterize but generally audio will play and seemingly jump to another audio file, then maybe back to the same audio file. The distinguishing factor is that the pattern does not follow the playlist but seems to randomly jump around to different audio files.
This is more common than you might think and I've had quite a few users that spend lots of time trying to diagnose this. A test with a backup SD card can be a big help.
DoggCatcher is able to play video files in the formats that are supported by your Android version and/or device.
The first step in troubleshooting is to determine if the video can be played by your device. Try launching the video in the Android video player. You can do this by temporarily setting your video player DoggCatcher preference to external and then try to play the video again. If it still fails, then the video isn't able to be played on your device.
Feed publishers sometimes change encoding parameters that cause the video to fail to play on Android. In the past, users have contacted the publishers and they have corrected the encoding to make the videos compatible with Android.
If the video can be played in the Android player but fails to play in the DoggCatcher integrated player, please post in the support forum and I'll check it out.
Common error messages
Cannot play video - Sorry, but this video cannot be played
If you see this message, then the video you are trying to play is not supported by your version of Android and/or device.
Google Market / Amazon Store (6)
Unfortunately developers do not have access to any billing related functions in the Amazon store. You will need to contact Amazon directly. Here is the contact information - http://www.doggcatcher.com/node/3201
Google Play Store Support
You can contact Google Play Store support at this site - http://support.google.com/androidmarket/bin/request.py?contact_type=cont...
They have feature called "Talk to a specialist" fill in the fields with your name, phone number, product (Apps) & the issue you're having with your account or app you've purchased.
Amazon customer service
You can contact Amazon customer service at this site - https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/contact-us/ref=hp_supp_forum_cu?...
Please choose a different order, select my order is not shown, then enter your receipt number, select more order issues, select phone, enter your phone number, select call me now or in 5 minutes, then explain the problem you're experiencing.
This can happen in the following circumstances:
Order authorization has failed
Please login to your Google checkout account and verify that the credit authorization has been accepted.
Order is in 'Customer review in progress' status
It seems that the order is getting flagged for investigation as potentially fraudulent order. Here's Google's description of this issue - Fraud protection. This document states that this is normally resolved in 4-6 hrs so I would suggest trying to re-download again after that period or contacting Google to get the order processed.
Mystery reason - lots of google posts for the following stuck positions
One user has reported this post as resolving the installing stuck position - http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Android+Market/thread?tid=47f4f0c5...
If you have purchased the app and are having this problem, you can create an account here and email me the username. I can give you access to download the app from this site.
Developers don't have the ability to manage Google accounts (or move licenses from one account to another).
I would suggest placing a new order and emailing both the old and new order number indicating which one is which. I will cancel the older order.
Please include your full name and the general timeframe when the purchase was made.
Don't forget to do a backup in the DoggCatcher menu so you can restore all your feeds and configuration.
Developers don't have the ability to manage Google accounts. I would suggest contacting Google or your carrier to see if they can help. If they are unable to assist, place a new order and email both the old and new order number indicating which one is which. I will cancel the older order.
This is an issue with the market application that happens for some users. Strange as it may be, sometimes a reboot fixes it and sometimes waiting fixes it. In every case I have heard of, it does resolve itself. If you have purchased the app and are having this problem, you can create an account here and email me the username. I can give you access to download the app from this site.
Device specific issues (3)
Many users have reported that their Nexus 7 performance has degraded over time. In this article, there is a suggestion to boot into recovery mode and clear the cache. This solution has resolved the problem for several people.
You can follow the normal steps for purchasing via PayPal - http://www.doggcatcher.com/HowToBuy
After you have downloaded the application and begin to install it, the Kindle Fire will require that you enable a setting to install applications from unknown sources.
If you need to manually change this, you can do so in the Kindle Fire - Settings / Device / Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources.
When applications ask a device for the location to the external storage (where we want to place the backup), some devices respond with the location of the internal storage. In this case, DoggCatcher will perform backups/restores from the internal storage. This is not useful when you want to migrate your configuration from one device to another.
Here are the steps to use DoggCatcher's backup/restore to migrate your configuration from one device to another using the SD card.
-In the DoggCatcher menu, press on Backup/Restore
-Press on the backup button, then press yes
-Notice the backup location displayed on the backup/restore screen.
-Use a file manager to move the Export folder from the backup location to your SD card.
-Move the SD card to the new device
-In the DoggCatcher menu, press on Backup/Restore
-Notice the backup location displayed on the backup/restore screen.
-Use a file manager to move the Export folder from your SD card to the location displayed.
-Do a restore
Yes, follow these steps:
- Backup your DoggCatcher configuration by doing a Backup in the DoggCatcher menu
- If you are changing phones, move the DoggCatcher directory from the old phone's sd card (in /sdcard) to the same location on the new phone.
- Re-download DoggCatcher from the Google Market app (in the downloads section)
- Restore your DoggCatcher configuration to the new phone by doing a Restore in the DoggCatcher menu
The ability to download the application from the Google Market is dependent on moving your google account from the old phone to the new phone.
Android sometimes tells applications running in the background to stop, when applications in the foreground require more resources. The intensity with which DoggCatcher will try to remain in memory can be configured with the keep-alive preference.
Some Podcast feeds include characters that are not supported by the XML parser built into Android. We replace those characters with "?".
DoggCatcher uses the external storage to store images and episodes. When your phone is mounted as a USB drive, DoggCatcher can't see the external storage.
Install the log collector application called 'aLogCat' from the Google Market and email the log file to support at doggcatcher.com.
Users have reported that rebooting the phone or re-installing the application fixes this.
If you have the Lite version, it is identical to the Paid version both during the trial period and after the Premium upgrade has been purchased. After the trial period has expired (and no premium upgrade has been purchased), the following features will be disabled:
-Automatic scheduled feed updates
-Updating all feeds at once
-Adding more than 10 feeds
Both versions are nearly always released with the same functionality at the same. The exception would be if there were some bugs in the trial related functionality that we were working on.
You can ignore these emails. The module that integrates our website with paypal sends out these bogus messages.
Android applications should not have the authority to cause the types of problems required to crash a device. At worst, the application can crash, but there shouldn't be any collateral damage to the operating system.
Operating system crashes can be by faulty network drivers (crash during download), audio drivers (crash during playback, or other hardware problems.
Yes, DoggCatcher is available in the Amazon AppStore
Out of memory errors usually are caused by one of the following:
1 - There are more feeds/items than can be stored in memory. The number of feeds you have and the number of items per feed in large part determines the amount of memory used by DoggCatcher. Try lowering the max items, especially if you have a large number set for the global preference for max items.
2 - A feed with a large feed thumbnail. Occasionally feed publishers will include a feed thumbnail that is larger than the amount of available memory for the application. DoggCatcher tries to protect against this, but it's not always possible.
This also varies a bit by device. The earlier Android devices made 16 MB available to each application. Newer devices made 24 MB available. I believe the Honeycomb tablets support even more.
Since DoggCatcher was first created over two years ago, it has always been compatible with every available version of Android. After some experimenting with Honeycomb (Android 3.0), I've learned that it won't be possible to enhance DoggCatcher to support tablet specific extensions while at the same time maintaining support for older versions of Android.
I'm sorry to say that I have had to drop support for Android 1.5/1.6/2.0.
I apologize for any inconvenience this causes existing DoggCatcher users on earlier OS versions.
Users with devices on the discontinued android versions can still purchase the app on the site here and download the most recent version supported for their device.
1.5 - Version 1.2.2122
1.6/2.0 - Version 1.2.2681
In terms of the Google Market, what will happen (as I understand it) is that affected users that have the current version of DC installed just won't see any future updates in the market.
I've read that that once you purchase an app, it will always be available to you. I interpret this to mean that should you need to re-install the app, you would still have access in the google market to the most recent version that is supported by your device. If this turns out to not be the case, I'll figure out some way to get it to you if needed.
Once again, apologies for the inconvenience.
This is useful when you switch from a device that has no internal storage to a device with external storage (or a device with a different location configured as its external storage location.
When DoggCatcher does a backup, it place a directory called Export in the DoggCatcher directory on your SD card. The Export directory has all of the backup files except for media files.
1 - Use a file manager (like Astro free) to copy the Export directory from the old location to the new location. It should be placed into an existing directory called "DoggCatcher" that DoggCatcher created when it was installed.
2 - Start DoggCatcher and do a restore (in the menu)
3 - If that did not work then your device may have a different path to its SD card. If that is the case, configure the storage directory in the DoggCatcher preferences with the path to your SD card.
Devices 4.0 and later support this by enabling a preference (in the UI section).
For devices prior to Android 4.0, WidgetLocker does make this possible for DoggCatcher. Here's a related discussion in the forums - http://www.doggcatcher.com/node/1480
On some devices (like the Galaxy S3), the lock screen controls disappear and require disabling/enabling the lock screen PIN in order to get them to re-appear.
DoggCatcher currently works fine on Honeycomb.
I do have plans to take advantage of some of the new UI capabilities in Honeycomb. My initial thoughts are to display both the feeds (on the left) and the items for the selected feed (on the right) on the screen at the same time. This same idea could also apply to other screens as well.
Some of the permissions below are required only for optional features within the application. The Android framework does allow for conditionally requiring these permissions based on usage of features.
- BLUETOOTH - to detect when a bluetooth device is connected to start playing audio
- INTERNET - to update feeds and download media files from the internet
- WAKE_LOCK - to keep device awake when updating feeds or downloading media files
- ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE - to check if wifi is connected to enable download conditions
- READ_LOGS - to send debug logs to developer when user requests
- RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED - to start the application upon boot (if configured)
- VIBRATE - to vibrate the phone when the next button is pressed
- WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE - to save media files to the SD card
- GET_ACCOUNTS - to get a list of google accounts to select from when importing feeds
- GET_TASKS - some devices require this to launch DoggCatcher in response to headset connect events
- USE_CREDENTIALS - to authenticate to google reader to import feeds (you will be required to authorize the use of accounts the first time you try to import from them).
- CHECK_LICENSE - validates the license with the google market app
- READ_PHONE_STATE - detect when calls are being made so audio can be paused
No, Google outlines a list of features that are not compatible with installing applications to the SD card. DoggCatcher uses numerous features on this list (services/alarms/widgets/broadcast receivers).
Installing an app to the SD card moves only the application itself to the SD card, not the data and configuration. At the time of this post, that would save very little as DoggCatcher is about 1.5MB.
By default, Archos devices don't seem to respond to the command that DC sends to tell them to stay awake.
A user recommended the following article which offers a solution.
To backup the database, please follow these steps.
1 - In the DC menu, choose backup, then press the backup button
2 - Grab these files from the SD card and email them to me at support at doggcatcher.com
DoggCatcher is not able to download media files with the JIT enabled.
Android 2.2 does seem to work fine with a JIT, so it's likely that when your custom ROM becomes based on 2.2, downloads should work fine.
There are a few related posts on this topic here - http://www.snoggdoggler.com/node/732
On some devices, when an application is updated, the widget does not update it's graphics to match the new version of the application.
You can resolve this either by removing and re-adding the widget or by rebooting the phone.