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Thread: Happy camper here

  1. #1
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    Happy camper here

    Since this is in beta now and you want people to test it and give feedback, I figured I'd give you a quick update on my experience even though it's just to say "it's working for me."

    I set up sync'ing between 2 devices (Samsung Galaxy 3 <-> HTC EVO 4g). I did a backup of my SG3 config and put that same config on the EVO. Working great so far.

    Thanks for the sync feature. Love it.

  2. #2
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    Glad to hear it. Thank you for letting us know. It's always good to hear good news!

    Julie

  3. #3
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    Working great here, too. Syncing with Sprint Galaxy Nexus 4.2.1, Nexus 7 4.2.2, and Toshiba Thrive 4.0.4.
    More stable than new Pocketcasts.
    Would prefer cleaner a cleaner and simpler UI eventually like Pocketcasts, though.

  4. #4
    Working great for me too in general. (N10 & N4).
    It really is nice. In 99% of cases, it works exactly as I expect.

    There are a few little things I have noticed though...

    1) "Which Episode is the Current Episode" does not sync between the devices.

    I.e., If I start playing episode X on my tablet, pause it, and then put on headphones, plug em into my phone and press the headset button it will sometimes begin playing a different episode (episode Y), than the one I was listening to on the tablet. But, when the phone does play X, it does continue where the tablet left off. So that part is working well.

    It's not really clear that it SHOULD sync the "current episode" in all cases... I am sure some people want listen to different episodes on their various devices, but at least for me, I like to listen to episodes serially and would love a check-box on the sync settings page for this.

    2) Another thing I noticed is that if I manually delete an episode (marking it read) on one device, it does not seem to happen on the other device. I need to manually do it there too. So, if there is (for example) a duplicate episode in one of my feeds, I need to delete it twice.

    Both are really minor things... and I am really impressed with how well it works.

  5. #5
    BeyondPod Team
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    The behaviour in point 1 is intentional, working on the KISS principle - let's get the absolute basics working first, without adding lots of new settings. Each device is autonomous - it is in control of what gets put on its own playlist and where. It will know what's been played on other devices, but isn't influenced by their playlists - only by what has been played. The more options and settings that get introduced, the more likely it is that things won't work as expected in all cases.

    If you have identical setups on both devices (same feeds, categories and SmartPlay rules - the easiest way to get that is to use BeyondPod to do a backup on one device, and then restore from the backup on the other), it will work (if you don't rearrange your playlist), but only because both devices are using the same rules to create and update their playlists. BeyondPod doesn't make any attempt to sync playlists or keep track of the current episode (i.e. the one played most recently on any of your syncing devices). All it (currently) does is to tell each device what the other devices have done, so that each devices can act as though it did it itself. So, if you part play an episode on Device A that is 3rd on Device B's playlist, Device B will know you've part-played it, but is in control of its own destiny as far as its own playlist is concerned, so will pick up where you left off only after it has played the first two podcasts on its own playlist (or you select it manually, of course).

    Having said that, a future enhancement at some stage will probably be to sync the "current" episode being played. However, that seemingly simple thing is fraught with issues (see this discussion for more details), so if you choose to do that, it will have to basically be interpreted as "If this device contains the feed that the most recently played episode in the sync group belongs to, move it to the top of my playlist". Even then, once your device updates its feeds, the position on the playlist will then be determined by the local settings on that (i.e. whether or not you use SmartPlay, have Keep Current Episode ticked, etc.).

    And still the only way to sync the current episode on two groups of devices with different usage patterns (e.g. a phone and a small tablet that you use primarily for audio podcasts, and a large tablet and a Google TV where you mostly watch video podcasts) would be for them not to share the same feeds (or not to share the same sync account). Now, not many people will be syncing across 4 or more devices, but whatever gets implemented has to work for those who do. Syncing 2 devices is relatively easy. Syncing larger numbers gets more complex.

    2. Do you have "Allow remote episode deletions" ticked in your EpisodeSync settings? If so, it should work, so could you please send details of which episodes didn't get remotely deleted, plus your BeyondPod log and BeyondPodSyncLog from both devices to support@beyondpod.mobi

    Julie

  6. #6
    Re: #1
    Makes sense. Thanks.

    I do have both devices with the same rules. It only seems to happen when I am listening to something on one device, while an update occurs which adds an episode that would be before the playing one. On the device I am listening, it gets placed after the current episode... On the idle device it gets placed before. So the lists get out of sync. (This is 100% consistent with what you describe above... So everything is working as intended).

    Re: #2
    Yep, I have "Allow remote episode deletions" on. How far back do the logs go? This happened to me yesterday afternoon.... Not sure if that will still be in the logs or not. If not, I'll wait until the next time it happens.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnQ View Post
    How far back do the logs go? This happened to me yesterday afternoon.... Not sure if that will still be in the logs or not. If not, I'll wait until the next time it happens.
    Good question - but they're plain text files, so you could have a look ;-).

    Julie

  8. #8
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    JohnQ,

    One thing to keep in mind is that EpisodeSync does not (at least currently) sync the "read" status of a post. If you just mark a post/episode as "read" it will not be market as read on the the other device.
    Marking as "read" on the other device can actually happen indirectly as part of episode deletion. Here is an example - if you download an episode on one device, play it and delete, the "download-play-delete " operations will be synced to the other device and as part of "delete" operation the other device will mark the episode as "read".

    The sync infrastructure we use internally supports pretty much all operations you can apply to feed or episode (add/remove feed, mark post as read/unread/downloaded etc.). We started with the basic download-play-delete and will slowly expand it to add more operations as needed.

    In a mean time, we support sync with Google Reader, and that does sync the "read" status of the post/episode, so if it is important for you to have the "read" synced directly, you can set the 2 devices to request this particular feed using "Reader" and this will ensure that the read status is synced up (between both devices and Reader web site).

    Stefan

  9. #9
    Ah that's consistent with what I am seeing.
    I suspect that there is no bug here.

    Unfortunately the "sync with google reader" thing has given me no end of headaches so I turned that off ages ago. I am trying now to remember what the problems were, but I can't recall the specifics. I do remember that it meant that some episodes were being marked as read and removed... but I do not recall the details of how or why that was happening.

  10. #10
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    Possibly that IIRC GReader marks anything older than 30 days as read.

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