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
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