Subscribe And Manage Podcasts Using gPodder

Subscribe To Podcasts Using gPodder
Subscribe To Podcasts Using gPodder.

Podcasts provide both a great source of entertainment as well as factual information.

gPodder is a lightweight Linux tool which lets you find and subscribe to a large number of podcasts. You can set each podcast to download automatically when a new episode is released or download them as and when you choose to do so.

This guide provides an overview of the features of gPodder.

How To Get gPodder

gPodder will be available in the repositories of most major Linux distributions and can be downloaded in the following way:

Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Debian users should use the apt-get command as follows:

sudo apt-get install gpodder

Fedora and CentOS users should use the following yum command:

sudo yum install gpodder

openSUSE users should use the following zypper command:

zypper -i gpodder

Arch users should use the following pacman command

 pacman -S gpodder

The User Interface

The gPodder user interface is fairly basic.

There are two panels. The left panel shows the list of podcasts that you subscribe to and the right pane shows the available episodes for the selected podcast.

At the bottom of the left panel is a button for checking for new episodes.

There is a menu at the top for managing podcasts.

How To Subscribe To Podcasts

The easiest way to find and subscribe to podcasts is to click the "Subscriptions" menu and choose "Discover"

A new window will appear which lets you find podcasts.

Again the window is split into two panels. The left panel has a list of categories and the right panel shows the values for those categories.

The categories are as follows:

The getting started section has a few sample podcasts.

The gpodder.net search option lets you enter a key term into a search box and a list of related podcasts will be returned.

For example searching for comedy returns the following results:

There are of course many more but this is just a sample.

If you are lacking inspiration then click on the gpodder.net top 50 shows a list of the top 50 subscribed podcasts.

I will discuss OPML files later on in the guide.

The soundcloud search lets you search Soundcloud for relevant podcasts. Again you can search on any term such as comedy and a list of related podcasts will be returned.

To select podcasts you can either check the boxes one by one or if you really want to go for it click the check all button.

Click the "Add" button to add the podcasts within gPodder.

A list of new episodes will appear for the podcasts that you have added and you can choose to download them all, select the ones you wish to download or mark them as old.

If you click cancel then the episodes won't be downloaded but they will be displayed within the gPodder interface when you select the particular podcasts.

How To Download Episodes

To download an episode of a particular podcast select the podcast in the left panel and then right click on the episode you wish to download.

Click "Download" to download the episode.

A progress tab will appear at the top and you can see how much of the podcast has downloaded thus far.

You can of course queue other podcasts for download by right-clicking on them and clicking download.

You can select multiple items at the same time and right click to download them.

A counter will appear next to the podcast showing how many downloaded episodes there are to listen to or watch.

How To Play An Episode Of A Podcast

To play a downloaded podcast right click on the episode and click the play button.

When you click on an episode a description will appear usually showing the running time, the date it was first created and what the episode is about.

The podcast will start to play in your default media player.

How To Clear Old Episodes

When you first subscribe to a podcast you will probably see lots of old episodes of that podcast.

Click on the podcast you wish to delete old episodes of and select the individual episodes you wish to remove.

Right-click and choose delete.

The Podcasts Menu

The podcasts menu has the following options:

  • check for new episodes
  • download new episodes
  • delete episodes
  • preferences
  • quit

The check for new episodes will search for new episodes of all the podcasts.

The download new episodes will start a download of all new episodes.

Delete episodes will delete the selected episodes.

Quit exits the application.

The preferences option will be detailed later on.

The Episodes Menu

The episodes menu has the following options and works on individually selected episodes:

  • Play
  • Download
  • Cancel
  • Delete
  • Toggle new status
  • Change delete lock
  • Episode details

Play opens the podcast in the default media player.

Download will download the selected episode.

Cancel stops the download.

Delete removes an episode.

The toggle new status will toggle whether an episode is considered new or not which is used by the download new episodes option.

The episode details toggles the preview pane for the selected episode.

The Extras Menu

The extras menu has options for synchronizing podcasts to external devices such as your phone or MP3/MP4 players.

The View Menu

The view menu has the following options:

  • Toggle toolbar on or off
  • Show episode descriptions
  • View all episodes
  • Hide deleted episodes
  • Downloaded episodes
  • Unplayed episodes
  • Hide podcasts without episodes

The toolbar will be looked at shortly.

The show episode descriptions provide a brief title for the episodes. If this is turned off you just see the date.

The view all episodes will show all episodes whether they are deleted or not and whether they are downloaded or not.

If you just want to see episodes that haven't been deleted choose the hide deleted episodes option.

If you just want to see episodes that you have downloaded choose the downloaded episodes option.

If you just want to see episodes that haven't yet been played choose the unplayed episodes option.

Finally, if there are podcasts that don't have any episodes you can choose to hide them.

The view menu also provides the ability to choose which columns appear on the details panel for the episodes to a podcast.

The options are as follows:

  • size
  • duration
  • released date

The Subscriptions Menu

The subscriptions menu has the following options:

  • Discover new podcasts
  • Add podcast via URL
  • Remove podcast
  • Update podcast
  • Podcast settings
  • Import from OPML file
  • Export To OPML file

The discover new podcasts was handled at the beginning of this guide.

The add podcast via URL lets you enter the URl to a podcast directly. You can find podcasts all over the place.

For instance to find Linux based podcasts search for Linux Podcasts in Google and you will find something like this at the top.

Remove podcast obviously removes the selected podcast from gPodder. You can also do this by right-clicking on the podcast and choosing remove podcast.

The update podcast will look for new episodes and ask whether you wish to download them.

The podcast settings option shows details about the podcast. This will be highlighted later in the guide.

OPML Files will be discussed later.

The Toolbar

The toolbar isn't displayed by default and you have to turn it on via the view menu.

The buttons for the toolbar are as follows:

  • Download
  • Play
  • Cancel
  • Preferences
  • Close

Preferences

The preferences screen has 7 tabs for managing every aspect of gPodder.

  • General
  • gpodder.net
  • Updating
  • Clean up
  • Devices
  • Video
  • Extensions

The general tab lets you choose the audio player to use for audio podcasts and the video player to use for video players. By default, they are set to the default applications for your system.

You can also choose whether to show all episodes in the podcast list and whether to show sections. Sections include all podcasts, audio, and video.

The gpodder.net tab has options for synchronizing subscriptions. It includes a username and password option and the device name.

The updating tab sets how long between checks for new episodes. You can also set the maximum number of episodes there should be for each podcast.

You can also choose what to do when new episodes are found. The options are as follows:

  • Show episode list
  • Add to download list
  • Download automatically

The cleanup tab lets you choose when to clear outplayed episodes. By default, it is set to manual but you can move a slider to set the number of days to keep an episode.

If you set a number of days to remove items then you have further options such as choosing whether to delete partly played episodes and also whether you want to remove unplayed episodes.

The devices tab lets you set up devices for synchronizing podcasts to other devices. The fields are as follows:

  • Device type (i.e. file-based or iPod)
  • Mountpoint
  • Create playlists option and where to put them
  • Remove episodes deleted on device from gPodder
  • Choose what to do after synchronizing.

The video tab lets you choose the preferred youtube format. You can also enter a Youtube API key and choose the preferred Vimeo format.

The extensions tab lets you attach add-ons to gPodder.

gPodder Add-ons

There are a number of extensions that can be added to gPodder.

The extensions are categorized as follows:

  • Desktop integration
  • Interface
  • Other
  • Post download

Here are some of the available add-ons

  • Add context menu option for opening podcast webpage for an episode
  • Add context menu for concatenating videos
  • Convert video and audio to different formats
  • Normalise audio

Podcast Settings

The podcast settings screen has two tabs:

  • General
  • Advanced

The general tab has the following options which can be amended

  • Podcast name
  • Disable feed updates
  • Synchronize to MP3 players
  • Section
  • Strategy
  • Description

The strategy has 2 options which are the default and only keep latest.

The advanced tab has options for http/ftp authentication and displays the location of the podcast.

OPML Files

An OPML file provides a list of RSS feeds to podcast URLs. You can create your own OPML file within gPodder by selecting "Subscriptions" and "Export To OPML".

You can also import other people's OPML files which will load the podcasts from their OPML file into gPodder.

Summary

gPodder is a great way of organizing and managing podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to decide to listen to and watch just what you are interested in.