View Full Version : Episode sync - Getting Started and Basic Principles - PLEASE READ THIS SECOND

01-18-2013, 03:03 AM
Thank you for trying out Episode sync.

Please note that if you are using the Phone UI on a tablet for testing purposes, it is very import to uninstall the tablet UI immediately after (or before) installing the phone version, and certainly before running the phone UI for the first time. This is especially true on JellyBean OS versions, as the various symlinks and variations on the paths used for folders can cause problems with BP keeping track of what's been downloaded and played on a single device, before syncing even gets involved. [NB: Episode Sync is now available for the tablet UI. If you were previously using the phone UI on your tablet and wish to switch to the tablet UI again, please uninstall the phone version, for all the reasons above.]

You will first need to set up an account to use to sync your devices. Once you have "unlocked" episode sync via the Advanced Settings (Menu | More ... | Settings | Menu (again) | Advanced Settings), you will find a new item on the menu that allows you to get to the EpisodeSync info. We have tried hard to avoid having settings that influence how it works, and instead to make it "just work".

The basic principle is that BeyondPod will report back to the server to keep it up to date with your listening progress on each device that you associate with your syncing account. The other devices associated with your sync account should then behave as though you had listened (or partly listened) to those episodes on that device.

Any feed that exists on both devices will be synced, and information about episodes related to feeds that don't exist on the "other" device will simply be ignored on that device.

If you want to sync every feed you have, the easiest way to do it will be to do a backup on whichever you consider to be your main device (Menu -> More... -> Settings -> Backup and Restore), share it (via email, dropbox, google drive or whatever), and restore it on the other device. However, in the interests of better testing, we'd also like some users to have dissimilar settings on their devices; you could Export your Feeds (Menu -> More... -> Settings -> Import and Export Feeds) to OPML and import them on the other device.

You don't have to use the same SmartPlay list or any other settings on both devices, or listen to things in the same order. Although we would like some users to have identical setups on multiple devices, in some ways, for testing purposes, it's also useful to have some users with as many differences between setups as possible, so that we can catch any possible remaining glitches relating to those. On the other hand, if you have exactly the same setup on both devices, you should get an environment where it really doesn't matter which device you pick up - it should behave exactly the same as any other device linked to your sync account, and we'd like to make sure that that works too.

The sync works by keeping track of how much you've listened to of which episodes and "informing" the other device(s) via the server of your listening progress when necessary (e.g. when you stop listening to something on one of your devices), so that whatever listening pattern and SmartPlay rules you have on the other device(s) can take that information into account, and change its behaviour accordingly. It's important to note that each local device is totally in control of its own feed updates and playlists. Sync does not attempt to change your playlist directly (because different devices may have different feeds, different SmartPlay rules, etc.) - it simply gives the information to each device to allow them to update their own.

e.g. If you listen to Episode 1, Episode 2 and listen to the first 15 minutes of Episodes 3 on Device A, Device B should behave as though you had listened to Episode 1 and Episode 2 on Device B (if they are from feeds that exist on Device B), and had listened to 15 minutes of Episode 3. However, Device A and Device B could have different rules for listening to episodes, so just because you were listening to Episode 3 on Device A, you won't automatically resume listening to Episode 3 when you pick up Device B, unless your playlist settings would make it the Episode that Device B would listen to next anyway. Of course, if you have all the same feeds and the same SmartPlay rules on both devices, this will be the case as long as you were actually listening to the first item in your playlist.