Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Awesome App: Icepodder

I have started listening to a lot of podcasts lately. I started with just the Linux Action Show. Then it spread, like an addiction. Now I keep up with 6-15 a week, some even in video! I find they are a great way to fill my morning walk to work with new information about all the latest releases, vulnerabilities, and just general linux/open source/tech stuff. In addition, they are, on the whole, far more amusing than tech news sites.

General praise for podcasts aside: The only issue really is how to track them, get the latest episodes, etc. I started with iTunes, but this very very quickly became an annoyance, since I did not want to have to boot into Windows daily, just for podcasts. So I looked around for a Linux podcast client. And, what a surprise, I quickly found a great open source alternative: Icepodder.

Icepodder is:
[...] a podcatcher (RSS client) for Linux conceived as a replacement for CastPodder. IcePodder is written in python, and requires python 2.4 or later, and pyGTK. The goal of this project is to provide Linux users with a dedicated client to download podcasts, with an emphasis on reliability and stability.
That sums it up nicely. There was a .deb, so install was a breeze. I started it, it looked nice, all was well. Then for the fun. I opened my handy dandy list of Linux podcasts, clicked Add New podcast in Icepodder, and dragged in the RSS URL of the feed I wanted. In a flash, it had all the information about the show and all the latest episodes, with the very latest selected to be downloaded. Much faster feed loading than iTunes. Of course, downloading can still be slow, but that is limited by your connection speed and the remote server.

Icepodder has some other neat features as well. It can keep running and checking for content in the background. You can configure it to keep or delete content based on its age. The list of features goes on. Check it out.

[EDIT, Thu, Apr 19, 2007 03:19:09]: I found after a while that Icepodder was indeed great for doing all sorts of things with podcasts, but that it has no facility for copying/syncing them to my iPod itself, which was the real goal for me. Perhaps a different integrated app would be better for this.


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