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Thread: Asynchronous Downloads & Playlist Enhancements

  1. #1
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    Asynchronous Downloads & Playlist Enhancements

    Is it possible to have BP download more than 1 podcast at a time? I haven't seen anything that indicates it can.

    I'd like to be able to download more than 1 podcast at a time - up to a user defined limit on how many download threads there can be.

    This would be really helpful when a slow podcast d/l is blocking all the other PCs from downloading.

    For the playlist, I'd like to be able to add the same podcast, multiple times to the playlist. This would allow me to listen to the same PC multiple times - without having to move the sort order of the playlist. I could have other PCs in between the multiple entries. This would let the player play PC a, then other PCs in the list, then PC a again (and again) etc...

    Also, how about settings for random play of the playlist? by feed or category, etc. what about playing X number of minutes from each podcast in the list, then randomly playing the next X minutes from another PC? This would give us the ability to pseudo-random play..

  2. #2
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    If you have a chronic slow downloader, and it really mattered, I'd set up a separate category for it, and update it separately from the others. Personally, I try to never just watch my phone download stuff, it seems like a waste of time. Not trying to be snotty, I just have too much to do to watch machines do things.

    For the last point, you can set up a SmartPlay to play one Random episode from 'All Feeds', then the automatic restart will give you random play. That's actually an interesting idea!

    Why you would want to listen to random stretches of a random episode is a mystery. My feeds don't have the same segment lengths, if they have segments at all. The conversations would get horribly jumbled.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Rockwell View Post
    If you have a chronic slow downloader, and it really mattered, I'd set up a separate category for it, and update it separately from the others. Personally, I try to never just watch my phone download stuff, it seems like a waste of time. Not trying to be snotty, I just have too much to do to watch machines do things.

    For the last point, you can set up a SmartPlay to play one Random episode from 'All Feeds', then the automatic restart will give you random play. That's actually an interesting idea!

    Why you would want to listen to random stretches of a random episode is a mystery. My feeds don't have the same segment lengths, if they have segments at all. The conversations would get horribly jumbled.
    I have my feeds scheduled to refresh at different times of the night/day, but sometimes when I manually check for any new episodes I'll get a slow download running that blocks other downloads... Besides, this is 2016, no reason apps shouldn't be running asynch/multi-thread if there's no limitation to doing it ;-) Also, let's take advantage of the "Download Booster" feature on Samsung phones too (parameter driven)

    The random snippets would be more for music 'casts and not talk 'casts... So I'd set up the playing to be 10 mins from each of the music 'casts in the playlist... instead of having to listen for the full episode length before changing...

  4. #4
    BeyondPod Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalh13 View Post
    Is it possible to have BP download more than 1 podcast at a time? I haven't seen anything that indicates it can.
    Sorry, no it can't, and we have no plans to change that in the near future. We see downloading as fundamentally a background, non-interactive function where multi-threading doesn't really add much value. If we had unlimited time and money, maybe it would be a feature that would get added at some point, but since we don't, there are many other aspects of the app that would take a much higher priority than multi-threaded downloads.

    This would be really helpful when a slow podcast d/l is blocking all the other PCs from downloading.
    You CAN already postpone the download of episodes that are blocking the ones you want urgently (see below).

    In general, I'm with Dennis on this. If you schedule an overnight update, then it doesn't matter how long it takes.

    If there's a specific podcast you want to download urgently between scheduled updates, just pick that one feed (or category) and update just that one (easy if you have Pull to Refresh enabled in the Feed Update settings - open up the feed or category, and pull).

    Alternatively, even if you want to do an All Feed update, just to see what's available, and your settings and environment (i.e. download settings) allow the update to include episode downloads, you can still see what's in the download queue and postpone anything you're not in a hurry for.

    Tap on the notification to see the download queue (assuming you haven't disabled notifications in The Feed Update settings), or on the spinning update icon to the left of the playlist counter in the top bar in the app to open up the download queue. If you see an episode downloading that is "in the way" (or any that aren't urgent right now), tap on the cross to the right hand side of the episode name to cancel that particular download for now, just leaving the urgent one(s) in the download queue. Downloading of the interrupted/cancelled episodes will resume next time you do another feed update.

    For the playlist, I'd like to be able to add the same podcast, multiple times to the playlist. This would allow me to listen to the same PC multiple times - without having to move the sort order of the playlist. I could have other PCs in between the multiple entries. This would let the player play PC a, then other PCs in the list, then PC a again (and again) etc...

    Also, how about settings for random play of the playlist? by feed or category, etc. what about playing X number of minutes from each podcast in the list, then randomly playing the next X minutes from another PC? This would give us the ability to pseudo-random play..
    You can already achieve much of this with BeyondPod as it stands, using SmartPlay rules:
    1. You can already choose Random order in a SmartPlay rule
    2. You can already add the same rule as many times as you like in a SmartPlay list.
    3. You can set When Playlist Ends in the Playlist Settings to be Restart SmartPlay - although due to point 2, you probably don't need to anyway

    The only bit that's missing automatically is the 10 minutes bit. That's a very specific request, more applicable to using BeyondPod as a music player (which is not its primary purpose) rather than typical talk podcasts (and even then it assumes you don't mind your music being cut off in mid-song, which would frankly drive me nuts), so I'm afraid I can't ever see that particular option being added.

    HTH
    Julie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by juwlz View Post
    Sorry, no it can't, and we have no plans to change that in the near future. We see downloading as fundamentally a background, non-interactive function where multi-threading doesn't really add much value. If we had unlimited time and money, maybe it would be a feature that would get added at some point, but since we don't, there are many other aspects of the app that would take a much higher priority than multi-threaded downloads.


    You CAN already postpone the download of episodes that are blocking the ones you want urgently (see below).

    In general, I'm with Dennis on this. If you schedule an overnight update, then it doesn't matter how long it takes.

    If there's a specific podcast you want to download urgently between scheduled updates, just pick that one feed (or category) and update just that one (easy if you have Pull to Refresh enabled in the Feed Update settings - open up the feed or category, and pull).

    Alternatively, even if you want to do an All Feed update, just to see what's available, and your settings and environment (i.e. download settings) allow the update to include episode downloads, you can still see what's in the download queue and postpone anything you're not in a hurry for.

    Tap on the notification to see the download queue (assuming you haven't disabled notifications in The Feed Update settings), or on the spinning update icon to the left of the playlist counter in the top bar in the app to open up the download queue. If you see an episode downloading that is "in the way" (or any that aren't urgent right now), tap on the cross to the right hand side of the episode name to cancel that particular download for now, just leaving the urgent one(s) in the download queue. Downloading of the interrupted/cancelled episodes will resume next time you do another feed update.
    This is what I currently do.

    My thought, though, is that doing this is a "workaround". Multi-threading capability is a cornerstone of modern computing - modern apps really shouldn't be designed without this functionality unless for technical reasons (like excessively poor write performance allowing only a single data stream to be written at a time) or like you mentioned, financial/resource limited.

    Coming from a Software and Customer Service background, I can tell you that telling the end user that the way they are doing something is "wrong" and they should be doing it this way because then it doesn't matter how long it takes, isn't exactly the "right" thing to say Just because you, the maker of the app, thinks that downloading is "a background, non-interactive function where multi-threading doesn't really add much value" doesn't necessarily mean that we, the end-users feel the same and/or don't consider it TO be critical ... right?

    Quote Originally Posted by juwlz View Post
    You can already achieve much of this with BeyondPod as it stands, using SmartPlay rules:
    1. You can already choose Random order in a SmartPlay rule
    2. You can already add the same rule as many times as you like in a SmartPlay list.
    3. You can set When Playlist Ends in the Playlist Settings to be Restart SmartPlay - although due to point 2, you probably don't need to anyway

    The only bit that's missing automatically is the 10 minutes bit. That's a very specific request, more applicable to using BeyondPod as a music player (which is not its primary purpose) rather than typical talk podcasts (and even then it assumes you don't mind your music being cut off in mid-song, which would frankly drive me nuts), so I'm afraid I can't ever see that particular option being added.

    HTH
    Julie
    I agree, this would be a very targeted functionality for only a handful of users... I don't really have much ammo to back up this request, it was just something I thought of when organizing my playlist and thinking it would be cool if BP would jump around like a stand alone music player... I'll have to look into the SmartPlay functionality more - it's not an option I've ever played with lol.

    Just to reiterate, I definitely love BP and have paid for the full version. Even without the async downloading, which is just a slight annoyance, I'll keep using and recommending the App!!

    Roy

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