Downcast - Podcatcher app for iOS devices

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by ptackbar, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. ptackbar, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

    ptackbar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #1
    I'm the developer of a new podcatcher application for iOS devices. With Downcast you can download and listen to your favorite podcasts directly from your iOS device without the need to sync with iTunes. Downcast is a complete podcatcher for iOS devices with the following features:

    - Search, subscribe to and download audio and video podcasts of any size
    - Manually subscribe to podcasts via URL
    - Play audio in the background (multitasking)
    - Control audio with Bluetooth or other headphone remote controls
    - Create and edit "smart" playlists
    - View podcast details and episode show notes
    - Auto-update podcasts
    - Download podcasts automatically (including resuming downloads)
    - Download podcasts in the background (multitasking)
    - Browse and download older podcast episodes
    - Settings for auto-download and episode retention (globally and per-podcast)
    - View embedded images in podcast episodes
    - Backup and import podcast feeds via OMPL
    - Support for password-protected feeds

    Check out [app]Downcast[/app] on the App Store

    Official site: DowncastApp.com

    Check the Code Sharing and Software Promos forum for promo codes!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Cloudbase999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    #2
    Great app. It would really be nice to be able to schedule podcasts to download at specific times. My service provider has a 2GB bandwidth limit for any download between 12 pm and 5 am. It would be great to schedule Downcast to wake-up, refresh and download new podcasts between midnight and 5am every day.
     
  3. ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #3
    Because of the limits imposed by iOS this is not possible right now. The best we could do is add a feature to check every X hours on a timer but you'd have to leave Downcast open for this to work.
     
  4. chrishomer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #4
    This is a 5-star app; I love it. Well done, man!
     
  5. Pgohlke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    Centerville, Ohio
  6. ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #6
    Yes, Downcast supports video podcasts! (I'm the developer). A new version has been submitted to Apple with lots of requested features as well as even better support for continuous play of video podcasts in playlists. Follow @downcastapp on Twitter for information about new releases and to suggest features.
     
  7. ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for the kind words!
     
  8. j o s h macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #8
    Just downloaded (mostly based on the gesture controls which will be great in the car), but I like what I see so far. I'm coming from using iTunes for podcasts so I have three suggestions that would make life easier for folks like me:
    1. include instructions on how to export to an opml from iTunes (I had to g**gle to figure out how to transfer) and a way to get that opml onto the device
    2. ability to play podcast files already on my device
    3. progress sync across devices
     
  9. ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #9
    There should be instructions about iTunes podcast subscription exporting (Help section on the "More" view) and iCloud sync is being worked on for the next update. Importing podcasts from your device is a possibility in the future. In the meantime I recommend trying Huffduffer (http://huffduffer.com) to create a personal feed where you can include your exiting media files.
     
  10. sjinsjca, Nov 18, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

    sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #10
    Congratulations! This is a fabulous application. I just discovered it a couple weeks ago and bought it out of frustration with the need-to-sync-to-iTunes approach which Apple has sadly chosen not to update. That's good news for you, though, as your app satisfies the unfilled need brilliantly.

    I travel a lot, sometimes without a lot of notice, and like to listen to podcasts on planes and when driving long distances. The old iTunes way of updating and syncing podcasts has always been an annoyance. One must remember to start iTunes, suck the content down, then sync. There's not always time for that, and it's not always easy to remember in the heat of preparing for a trip. (At least now, with WiFi syncing, you aren't of luck if you forgot your sync cable.) So, too often I'd find myself on a twelve-hour flight with nothing but stale podcasts to listen to.

    I have fewer excuses now! Downcast downloads automatically in the background (it must of course the resident in your iDevice's memory). It can even do so over 3G if you set it to. Its default is to use WiFi out of respect to your limited data plan.

    Playback quality (both audio and video) is excellent, with lots of tweakability including speed change-ups. Podcasts can play with the display sleeping, or you can prevent the display from sleeping using one of the settings.

    The user interface is brilliant-- love those swipe-to-skip gestures! It's one of those rare just-works sort of things, a more "Apple" solution than Apple's. And I've been mostly using it on my iPhone but have just recently discovered how lovely it is on the iPad. Glorious work!

    Highly, highly recommended. Buy it now. Seriously, why are you still sitting here reading this? Go buy this app. Now.



    Suggestions for future versions:

    o I'd love to have my feeds be shared between my iDevices. Currently, I can export my feeds as an OPML file (Downcast helpfully provides several export options, including email) and then import them by selecting Downcast in the "Open With..." pop-up. But, if I add a feed on my iPhone, I must manually add it to the list on my iPad. Perhaps, with the advent of iCloud, we might look forward to having our podcast list be shared across devices.

    o Some podcast servers are slow. So, simultaneous downloads would be a boon. Right now, all podcasts download in serial fashion.

    o Similarly, it'd be nice to have my content "appear" on all my iDevices when downloaded by one. With iOS 5, this is how downloads of actual apps can happen, though I haven't seen any app utilize that mechanism for content. Sure would be nice.

    o It's more of a kvetch against the podcast industry rather than Downcast, but being hearing impaired, I wish there were closed captions available.


    All in all, I must say this is about my favorite app right now. Recommendation: Get it!
     
  11. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #11
    Old thread that was just recently revived, but perfect timing! I'm looking for a podcast downloader/scheduler for both iPad and iPhone.

    99% of the time, I download directly to the device, so that means searching through the store, confirming current edition, etc., etc.

    I did a little research and Downcast seems to consistently be rating extremely high ... though the iCloud sync on one of the competing products was very tempting. I assume this is something that will make it's way to this product.

    Buying it right now :)
     
  12. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #12
    The developer's notes on iTunes say that an iCloud feature is coming in the next release of Downcast... cool!

    It's incredibly functional and quite the marvelous app. You'll enjoy it.
     
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #13
    Just to let you know it's completely possible as you can do that in a competing product. I won't name it out of respect for the work you've done.
     
  14. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #14
    See the note I just posted to D.T.-- this is an upcoming feature for Downcast, too, per the developer's current comments on the app's iTunes page.
     
  15. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #15
    I literally downloaded when I said, sub'ed to a few of my common podcasts using the "top podcast" browser (mostly 5by5.tv shows), and had the latest shows available (one running now) in just _minutes_.

    Love the UI so far, great use of screen real estate on the iPad (I'll add it to the iPhone when the wife gets home ... get my 4S in December :cool: )

    I've been on a buying rampage on iOS apps this week, all $0.99'ers, except for this, which I guess was kind of a splurge at $1.99 :D
     
  16. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #16
    The competing app I'm talking about doesn't use iCloud (although that would be excellent). It can pull local podcasts straight from the iDevice's music library. Usually it's a one time thing since using a dedicated podcast app makes one understand how limited the native podcast manager/player is.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Comment yesterday from the dev's Twitter account. Look like iCloud support is close.
     
  18. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #18
    Ooooh! That'll be sweet.
     
  19. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #19
    iCloud version now available (syncs playback, podcasts, playlists) plus dozens of new features that make an already excellent product that much better!
     
  20. ptackbar, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2011

    ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #20
    An overhaul to the refresh scheduling is planned but, unfortunately, when Downcast is in the background it cannot refresh feeds and download podcast episodes (except for the 10 minute grace period iOS allows apps to request when moving to the background).

    That, coupled with the fact that in iOS 5 even "foreground" apps are sent to the background when the screen locks, means that scheduled updates are tough, if not impossible to implement.

    I'll keep investigating this, though.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #21
    Nice update for sure.
     
  22. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Picked up the app yesterday -- really, really solid program.

    In fact, so solid that I'm now pining for something similar on Mac OS -- any chance of a Mac OS X version (that maintains sync, etc.)?
     
  23. ptackbar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #23
    I have not investigated it yet, but a Mac version is definitely a possibility!
     
  24. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #24
    Once podcasts are in your iCloud account, I'd think it'd be duck soup.
     
  25. racasey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    #25
    how to force a download

    The app successfully brings in the headers for each podcast, but does not want to download the podcast. My screen shows "stream".

    I want this app to allow me to "grab and go" not stream the podcast's

    Under setting I have toggled back and forth several time "Download most recent" and "Download all" .

    I have a very reliable wifi network.

    How to I force Downcast to download the show to my iPhone 4?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dick
     

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