Resume in action

I hadn’t acutally seen this before, so here’s a clip from my log:

2008-04-26 12:44:20 http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.m4v?http://download.gamevideos.com/Podcasts/042508.m4v: The operation timed out 2078720
2008-04-26 12:45:21 Resume http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.m4v?http://download.gamevideos.com/Podcasts/042508.m4v from 2088960

The first line shows the download failing at about the 2MiB point. The second line shows PodBreeze resuming the download where it left off, a minute later. The reason for having a minute delay is to avoid having endless retries on servers that simply don’t answer.

Mainly minor tweaks this time – v2.0 rc4 released

A few very minor tweaks

  • The initial settings after a new install were set to move downloaded files to an MP3 player at B:\. Now move is disabled until you turn it on.
  • The test podcast was no longer being added to new installs, since I forgot to add that code when moving to SQLite
  • PodBreeze now asks you whether you wish to force the program to close despite it being busy downloading or checking feeds. This may cause errors and should be used with caution
  • A few texts were not translated into swedish

Failed downloads causing some trouble
Nothing major here either. I got reports, which I later confirmed, that failed downloads weren’t being treated as regular downloads, i.e. they don’t show in the global CPS rate. What was worse was that this also meant that if a regular feed check occurred while a failed and then restarted download was running, the file would start downloading from there too, so you’d have two downloads of the same file running at the same time. Fixed.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your USB MP3 player
  • Accessible version with basic menus for screen readers and braille
  • Update version for existing users

Another minor (or major, if it happened to you) bug fixed – v2.0 rc3 released

This had probably been broken a long time, because you don’t usually go around changing the properties for your podcasts all the time. If you did, the program hung, basically. Fixed thanks to Tom finding this.

Download links

  • Normal version for installation on your hard disk
  • USB version for installation on your MP3 player
  • Update version for existing users
  • Accessible version for use with screen readers or braille

Severe error fixed and new database engine – version 2.0 rc2 released

Bug fix for failed downloads
Well, let’s just say that I botched the last release. I’d tested the new error correcting feature heavily, and it worked. But of course I had to make ‘just one last change’. And after that I didn’t get any failed downloads, in which case I would’ve seen that it no longer worked. This issue is solved for good.

New database engine
PodBreeze now uses the SQLite database engine from http://www.sqlite.org, courtesy of a Delphi port of the library by Tim Anderson (http://www.itwriting.com/sqlitesimple.php).

This obviates the need for the /dbviewer switch, and that functionality has now been removed. There’s plenty of SQLite tools out there if you wish to peek inside the database – the need for /dbviewer was caused by me using a little-known engine.

It also pushes the program that much closer to v2.0 – changing the database engine was a major thing, which had needed doing for some time, but had been postponed a little too long.

Accessible version pre-compiled
I’ve decided to make a special version for the blind community, see the download links below. The only change is that this version includes the setting that activates basic menus from the start.

Download links:

Screenshots from the statistics system of v2.0 rc 1

New downloading method and statistics – version 2.0 release candidate 1 released

Long time no see, as expected. I’ve received almost nothing but praise for the program since the last beta.

Changed downloads to use wininet
Our lousy connectivity at work finally prompted me to revise the way PodBreeze downloads media and feed files. As it was, PodBreeze had its own internal downloader, which didn’t support resume. With video podcasts like “The 1Up Show” weighing in at close to half a gig, no resume and unreliable connectivity resulted in too much frustration – I once downloaded somewhere close to 4 gigs to get an episode.

All downloads in PodBreeze have now been rewritten from scratch. It now uses wininet, which also means that it’ll automatically use the proxy settings you’ve established in Internet Explorer. So all proxy settings have been removed from the user interface of PodBreeze. If you don’t use IE but need a proxy, please set it in IE before trying to use PodBreeze.

Another benefit of using this standard method of downloading files are more accurate error messages – no longer will you have to sit and wonder why PodBreeze can’t download podcasts from a feed – visit the log (for issues relating to the downloading of the feed itself) or the downloads tab, and the reason will be apparent.

Statistics
Another change gives you some insight in your podcast downloads. A new statistics system with its own menu item (Tools/Statistics) can give you some fun information! I was shocked to realize that I download close to 500MiB/day worth of podcasts – those videos sure add up.

Shareware
The program is now shareware, but you deicde the price – and anything goes, $1 is fine if you think that’s what the program is worth. Just read the help file to determine how to register.
For this and any (I hope few) future release candidates, up to version 2.0 final, you can contact me at podbreeze@gmail.com to get a free key – it’ll work for all future versions too, of course.

Beta status
This program no longer merits the beta status. This is the first release candidate for version 2.0. As such, it is now much safer to use, the likelihood of it blowing up in your face is low. But wait for the full 2.0 release if you’re one of those belt-and-suspenders guys 🙂

Accessibility notice
I’ve received some negative comments on my use of a non-standard menu in the program from the blind community, so I decided to do something about that. I’m not willing to lose the prettier menu, but do understand that it causes problems for some screen readers and/or Braille systems. What I decided to do was adding a switch to the command line, /bm will cause PodBreeze to use basic menus. I’ve also added a setting to the settings file (not present in the settings form). You only need to use one of the methods below to get basic menus, no need to do both.

Method 1: Change the command line
a) Locate the PodBreeze icon in the Start menu or on your desktop
b) Right click and select Properties from the menu
c) Add a space and /bm to the end of the first text box (might be labeled Target)
d) Click OK

Method 2: Add the setting to the settings file
a) Make sure that your Explorer or other file manager is set to display hidden files, and to show extensions for all files – or you won’t be able to go through these steps
b) Open the directory c:\Documents and Settings\<yourusername>\Local Settings\Application Data\Silver Bullet Software\PodBreeze 1.0\ in Explorer or other file manager. Vista users will have to substitute this with something else, who knows what?
c) Right click on the settings.xml file and select Edit
d) Locate the line that says <Settings>
e) Below that line, insert this on a separate line: <BasicMenus>-1</BasicMenus>

Translation tool now available
I have now released a bare bones tool for translating PodBreeze into another language. If you’re fluent in english and one other language, I’d very much appreciate help with translating the program into your language. Just download the tool from here, and start translating. My excuses in advance for the program – it’s not meant to be pretty.

If you do translate PodBreeze and send me the translated PodBreeze.BTF file, you’ll receive a free key to PodBreeze and a mention in the help file of the next version.

Download links

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