Today I have been playing around with AmiPodder which is a program that allows you to subscribe and download podcasts from around all over the Internet and play these either through my two installed music players which are AmigaAmp or Tunenet, as well as transfer these to a portable medium.
Normally, I would recommend that you head over to the OS4 repository to download the file, however, whilst AmiPodder isn’t exactly a new piece of software (it dates back to at least 2007) the file that is hosted at OS4 Depot is only at version 1.4 and there is a more up to date version at the official Amipodder website which can be accessed at http://www.amipodder.com
The website does a pretty good job in establishing both the actual purpose of podcasts and the AmiPodder program which it describes as follows:
“A podcast is a series of audio or video programmes published on the Internet in a specific way (for the technically minded, using an RSS feed with enclosures) enabling viewers and listeners to automatically receive new episodes when they are published.
In practice this means you can subscribe to a podcast by entering its feed address into a podcast client like AmiPodder and then receive new episodes of that podcast as they are published. Subscribing to a podcast is almost always free and you can unsubscribe easily whenever you like.”
Getting straight down to downloading the program, there is a warning that you will need to ensure that you have the following MUI classes installed on to your system, so if you are not sure if these are actually loaded, then the following custom classes can be found at the links below for you to unpack and install.
TheBar MUI MCC_TheBar-26.17.lha
Once the 840KB AmiPodder.lha file is unpacked to a folder of your choosing (I chose to place mine into the Utilities folder of OS4.1) then it is time to do some configuration in order to get this working correctly.
When you open AmiPodder for the first time you are greeted with the following screen and it is straight into the preferences tab for the amendments.
Now the first set of preferences tabs are related to downloading podcasts and where you would like files to be downloaded to and what program you would like to use to actually perform the download.
AmiPodder gives you the option to use the following programs to handle downloads:
Which given the age of this program should be no surprise to see that more modern browsing like Odyssey or Netsurf not being supported by this program.
As both Aweb and IBrowse are about as much use as the proverbial chocolate fireguard when it comes to web browsing, I would suggest using Wget which is a handy little program which retrieves content from web servers without the need to use an internet browser. However if the Wget program is not already installed on your machine you will need to download this from OS4 Depot here wget-bin.lha
Once you unpack Wget and place the executable in the C drawer of your DH0 partition (which on my machine is labeled AmigaOS4.1)
You then need to do a very important thing here by right clicking on the Wget icon and brining up the information tab and make sure that the execute box is ticked as without it you may get an error message when trying to download podcasts that Wget is not executable.
In terms of the other tabs, there is not much else to configure here aside from the Play tab where you will need to specify which program you want to use to play your podcasts and also in which location either AmigaAMP or Tunenet can be found on your computer.
The next bit is then to find some podcasts to subscribe to which is actually the trickiest part of the configuration as many websites and or podcasts are sadly moving away from the download side of things to streaming of content. However that is not to say that there still isn’t tons of great material for you to enjoy out there. The trick is getting hold of the podcast URL address which is required for AmiPodder to work and download your content.
I did a quick Google search and came across the following website which allows you to gain the Podcast URL from within I-Tunes: http://itunes.so-nik.com/
Here you can do a search like I have for clubbing music as a term.
It will then display a number of podcasts.
Of which you then just select the one you like the look of and the URL for this podcast is displayed.
We then transfer this across to AmiPodder and place the URL in the Podcast URL field.
As you can see once you add and press update, it will search out the Podcast listings and present these back to you ready to download.
In this case I select Clubbing chart podcast 611 and we can see from the screenshot below that Wget starts to get involved in matters by popping up on our screen telling us where the file is being downloaded from along with a progress bar and countdown timer.
Once complete and the Wget output window closes we find that our file has downloaded into our specified folder as per the preferences, so in my case this has downloaded into a Podcasts folder I have created in one of my partitions.
From here you will need to click on the MP3 file which has been downloaded which in my case should automatically open up in Tunenet to play.
However a word of caution here, if your default program for MP3’s is set to something else like say Multiviewer, then click the right mouse button on the file and set the file’s default tool to open up in Tunenet.
Alternatively there is also the option to update the Env-Archive settings in your preferences folder to ensure that all Mp3’s by default open up in Tunenet.
Updates to the latest podcasts can either be done manually by clicking on the update all tab at the top, or you can choose to update just a single set of podcasts by selecting the feed from the left hand side of the AmiPodder screen and then clicking on the update tab. There is also the option to set within the preferences tab the option to automatically look for new episodes.
Amipodder will also allow you to transfer and sync files across to a portable media device or an SD card/USB stick. Sadly my latest Nokia 6 phone which is running Android 7.0 doesn’t allow me to transfer music files between the phone and the X5000 via the USB cable, although photo and video transfer is supported via PTP transfer. I would suggest that you give it a try with your phones to see if other versions of Android/IOS/Windows Phone work. If not I guess you can always sync the music to an micro SD card via a USB card reader and then pop it into your phone that way.
There are some limitations to using the software, podcasts which begin with the https address could not be downloaded using RXsocket which I am guessing needs an update but despite AmiPodder’s age, it still serves a good purpose 10 years of allowing me to stay subscribed to a number of podcasts and receive fresh updates for my listening pleasure.
I wonder if the author or someone else fancies doing an update to this neat little program with the feature to search for podcasts from within the actual programe?
Until the next time, have fun with your Amigas!