Tighter Songbird integration – build 7.1128 released

PodBreeze now has as much integration with Songbird as I think is possible. It now adds its media to Songbird by Javascript, and will start playing automatically if this is allowed. I don’t know enough about Songbird to say whether more is possible – if it is, please get back to me!

The only other thing that has changed is that the tray popup menu now looks more modern, with icons and a gradient.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Update version for existing users
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Flood protection revisited – build 7.1114 released

The flood protection, was more badly broken than expected. But now it works as you’d expect.

The installer also didn’t properly reflect your selection about maintaining the ownership of protocols. Also fixed.

For those of you who don’t realize how huge this flood protection is, I’d like to tell my own tale of woes. Approxamitely once a month, one or more of my 50+ subscribed podcasts decides that all its content is new, and according to the rules PodBreeze is to download it all.

So far there’ve been one thing holding back these floods, namely the per feed property <b>Only download episodes whose published date/time is later than the last one downloaded</b>. I haven’t activated this for any of my feeds yet, since it might make me miss podcast episodes – simply a faulty time on the publishers machine could cause this.

With the new flood protection feature, no special logic is needed – no need to check for published timestamps anymore. Just activate the flood protection, and decide for yourself what to do with the “new” episodes.

This will save your bacon over and over 🙂 There’s nothing worse than discovering that PodBreeze has downloaded all episodes of a video podcast all over again, dragging all over activity on the (shared) broadband to a halt, and possibly even making you go above the download limit placed on you by your ISP.

I’d gotten reports of, and spotted myself, that PodBreeze created a temporary file in its home directory. I’m currently investigating why this is happening, but in the meantime the temp file(s) are deleted automatically at shutdown.

I’ve also modified the program to avoid problems with date/time formats reported by a user. All settings regarding time are now stored as integers, which in one case is more readable and in one less so.

The help file has been changed, splitting the settings page into one page per tab in the program.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Update version for existing users

Flood protections misfires for podcasts with small feeds

Podcasts who limit the content of their feed to very few items may cause problems with the new flood protection in build 7.1111.

I’m subscribed to From Our Own Correspondent from BBC, and that podcast limits its feed to the last episode only – every time they release something, the flood protection goes into action.

This is obviously not right, neither is it a disaster. Look forward to a new build fixing this in the near future.

Finishing touches – build 7.1111 released

I’m feeling that the program is nearing completion. The last major piece that needed work was the one click subscription protocols, allowing users to subscribe to podcasts from web sites with ease.

One of the first users of the program reported problems with the installation when telling PodBreeze to associate itself with pcast:// links from websites, so that functionality has been disabled by default ever since. The problem was a conflict with iTunes, which made a solution necessary – incompatibilities with iTunes aren’t good, that program’s everywhere.

I’ve now rebuilt the entire protocol registration process, and hope that the new version will be compatible with iTunes. I know for sure that it won’t break anything – it errs on the side of caution, aborting protocol registration at the slightest hint of a problem.

So, iTunes users out there – please install this version, and get back to me with reports about how it works with iTunes regarding the one click subscription links! I’m depending on your feedback, since none of the computers I tried the first version on had any problem with iTunes.

This version also has made the uninstaller less zealous – in the past, uninstall meant really that, everything went, inclduing your subscriptions, history etc. The new uninstaller asks you whether to delete everything, and the default is No. The installer also doesn’t overwrite an existing settings file.

I’ve received some requests for being able to limit the amount of checking and downloading that takes place at the same time, so that’s been added to the settings form. Please note that changing this requires a restart of PodBreeze to take effect! The default values are as before, max 5 podcasts are checked at the same time, and max 10 downloads are initiated at the same time.

Finally there’s now a way to see which file PodBreeze is moving to your player, as well as the progress of the operation.

This is the final version of PodBreeze released before moving from the beta stage into general distribution. Unless something major comes up, that should happen fairly soon. No new features will be added to the program, only fixes and minor improvements will be made.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • Portable version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Update version for existing users

A quick fix for the fix – build 7.1106 released

I made some kind of mistake when implementing the episodes view for the directories page, so the episodes view in the main form (under the feeds) was broken, along with everything associated with it. Trying to view episodes, re-download or view shownotes only resulted in a log entry of an access violation. Fixed.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Update version for existing (and patient) users

Some bug fixes and a couple of enhancements – build 7.1104 released

Long time no see, mainly due to the absence of major bugs, and to me being busy at work.

I’m still struggling with the issue where the downloads display sometimes doesn’t update completely. I’ve made some changes that I think fixes it, but please report any oddities you encounter!

PodBreeze has now got an internal web server. Surf to http://localhost:8080/, and you’ll see a list of all podcasts and episodes. Click the one that you want to listen to. Maybe this interface can be used for integration with Songbird? Try it and get back to me!

The web server is turned off by default, so you’ll have to visit the settings section of the program to turn it on or change what port it listens on.

PodBreeeze uses a standard method to communicate with your Windows firewall, in order to be able to open the port for the web server. If this doesn’t work, you might have to manually give PodBreeze permission to open this port.

The directory viewer has another nice feature. Discovering and subscribing to a new podcast that sounds great is not fun when you discover that it hasn’t released anything new the last decade, right? So now there’s a list of all episodes in the feed under the information display, which also shows the publication date of each episode – great for getting a feel of the regularity or lack thereof.

You can now view the shownotes of an episode that’s already been downloaded, or are currently being downloaded. Just right click the episode in the downloads list and choose View shownotes from the popup menu. This will only work for episodes that are still in the feed they were downloaded from.

There are now two new command line switches, that you can use:
/dbviewer launches a viewer into the database used by the program. Not for the faint of heart, but might be useful for some of you
/cleanflagged empties the database table that’s used to keep track of items that are flagged to either be downloaded or never to be downloaded.

The help file has been tweaked slightly, adding descriptions for most, if not all, the new features and correcting some typos.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Update version for existing users