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  1. #1
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    blip.tv problem

    For a few days now, I can't download episodes from blip.tv anymore. It will download a 57kb big file and nothing else. Streaming still works, episode download in other podcasts still works.
    It seems to me, that either something wonky is going on with my phone or that blip is actively blocking podcast download on android phones, which wouldn't surprise me, since they also block access to their flash player on android...

    Am I the only one having this problem or is it a general one?
    If it's blip blocking the downloads, is there a way to spoof the user agent?

    Example feed: http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/rss
    Last edited by Slowking; 03-31-2012 at 12:45 AM.

  2. #2
    BeyondPod Team
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    Something going on with the feed. It does the exact same thing with IE (which by the way is a great way of testing a feed url).

  3. #3
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    YES! I've also been experiencing this only within the last few days on the jupiterbroadcasting.com shows. I'm a sad panda.

    It seems that there is a 302 redirect before the video. Maybe two of them it looks like, in the feed Slowking linked. Is that really all it's taking to throw BeyondPod off?

  4. #4
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    I also found a ~40k file in BeyondPod's downloaded files on my Xoom. When opened in a browser it looks looks like this. (This is another file right from blip's servers, but the one BeyondPod downloaded did look the same.) It's a video player telling me, "This video is only available in the Blip player." In BeyondPod, the enclosure, reporting to be 100+ Mb, downloads in a second.

    Last edited by thread; 04-02-2012 at 11:43 PM.

  5. #5
    BeyondPod Team
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    I did a bit of research on this issue. Seems like blip.tv has recently started to limit access to the episode files based on who (what application and platform) makes the request. If they don't approve the application, they redirect to a small clip showing the red "This video is only available in the Blip player" message (as shown above).

    Fortunately they do still allow access from iTunes so as a workaround, you can "disguise" BeyondPod as iTunes by changing how BeyondPod identifies itself to blip.tv servers (a.k.a. User Agent)

    To change the User Agent BeyondPod uses, go to: Menu > More > Settings > About BeyondPod > Long press on the version number > Advanced Settings > User Agent. In the text box, type "iTunes/10.6.1" (without the quotes) and press OK.

    I am not sure what is their rationale to limit the access but at least this should provide a solution for now.
    Last edited by StefanK; 04-05-2012 at 04:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Thanks StefanK. This solved the problem with my podcasts as well.

  7. #7
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    Thanks StefanK, great workaround. It worked for me as well.

    That said, I submitted a support request to the Blip folks to see if they can whitelist Beyondpod and Doggcatcher (the two Android based podcast clients I tested and saw this issue on). We'll see what they come back with.

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot StefanK, that worked. ^^

    Why is the user agent setting hidden away like this? Had I known it existed, I would have solved this problem myself in 5 minutes.
    Well on the other hand, this way it helped other people as well, so yay.

    I think what blip is saying is, that they want the feeds really only be used by podcast readers and not that they want to get rid of the feeds. Otherwise they would have just disabled them.
    Ofcourse the sensible thing to do would be to just merge the videos with ads on the fly, when they are requested. Ofcourse this way you can't block people from skipping over the ads, like in your flashplayer, but it would be better than not having ads in the feeds at all...

  9. #9
    BeyondPod Team
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    The reason why "User Agent" is in the "advanced" settings was that we did not have much use for it... util now (only a handful of cases over the last years).
    I really hope that this was not the first step towards further limiting the feed functionality (kind of what YouTube has done).

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much for looking into this StefanK. Who knows what the reasons are... I have to imagine this is something being encountered by many people...

    I went with "iTunes/10.6.1 you guys suck" and it seems to be working just fine.

    Thanks again!

    /Adam

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