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2005-01-28

iPodder 2.0beta1

I've been trying the new iPodder 2.0 beta for a few days now, and while I'm in rant mode I decided to rant a little bit about this here as well.

I never know whether to start rants like this with the stuff that I think is good or to end with the good stuff, but today I decided to start with the positive feedback:

    Positive advances in iPodder Lemon 2.0 beta


  • The visuals - the new look of the lemon app is wonderful! I love it! The icons, the buttons, it's a very distinctive look and it's great!
  • Cleanup function - I haven't used it yet, but if it works as advertised (or at least as expected) it'll be a great help!
  • The directory tree - good way of navigating, and much better implemented that in previous versions - love the visual interface
  • The downloads tab - I really like being able to see what I've downloaded, and to be able to control each download individually - although much of this doesn't seem to work yet.
  • the feed properties function - much nicer to be able to change the url of a selected feed than to have to delete an old one and add a new one.
  • the listing out of the downloads available from a selected feed. This is really nice.

    Disappointments


  • Download multiple selected feeds at once. I mean come on people, I can't be the only person who subscribes to more podcasts than I listen to on a daily basis. I need to be able to select multiple feeds and have iPodder check them simultaneously, not one at a time. I don't have the disk space (even with the nice clean-up function) to hold a bunch of stuff that I'm not going to listen to, which is what happens if I download every feed every time. This was the one thing I was desparately hoping would be in this release.
  • On a related note, where the frelling OPML support? I want to be able to organize my feeds into groups, and OPML is ther perfect way to do this; feeds could be grouped under outlines to the nth level, be expandable to whatever level you wanted to look at, and in concert with the function above, only a certain branch of the tree could be downloaded, either with or without its children. iPodder has opml parsing built in (reference the directory tab), so from a development standpoint it should be relatively easy to implement that here... Sometime in 2010 when I get around to learning enough python to do this I'll do it myself.... And why doesn't iPodder store its favorites in OPML natively?
  • the promise of the per download control is unrealized - this is the one thing that I think is a bug, and I need to check the bug list to make sure that's true, but telling iPodder that I want to stop a download doesn't seem to stop it. Further, I think you should be able to stop all downloads. In a context menu, or from the pop-up you get from the taskbar icon, or certainly a button. I mean it's not unimaginable at all that someone would click a button that sent iPodder off to faithfully do their bidding only to realize it was a mistake.
  • the cleanup tab doesn't refresh automatically to show you the current status of your last activity. You have to refresh it manually and then reselect the feed you were working on. Grr.
  • proxy support. I know that Garth has indicated that he's working on this, but it's a real buzz-kill with iPodder. It basically means that I can't use iPodder to manage my podcast content from the gate, because I have to manually download episodes from the site when at work. Bummer.

    Additional Features suggested by this version


  • On another OPML-related note, why can't I add my own directories to the directory list?
  • The individual download lists should have better operations for handling them. Something as simple as "Select All" and "Select None" like in the cleanup tab would be helpful.
  • clean-up tools could be better realized - the ability on a feed-by-feed basis to set clean up options based on download age or folder size for the feed. The of course to automatically generate a list of items to be cleaned up to present to the user, who can then deselect items they want to keep.
  • date on the dowloads tab - it shows me the date I downloaded it, but not the date of the actual RSS item. Both would be helpful.


I guess that's all the ranting I can come up with for now. I hope the iPodder dev team doesn't take this the wrong way, either. I think this version's made some great advances, just not the exact ones I was hoping for. I really appreciate the work these guys put into this product and wish for the best for them and for iPodder and I know they're working hard at it for no pay and not much recognition. It really is appreciated!

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