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Thread: WBUR podcasts not downloading

  1. #1
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    Unhappy WBUR podcasts not downloading

    Hi everyone,

    I feel like a total idiot posting here as I can't really see how this is a BP issue, however WBUR told me to ask BP so here I am

    I currently subscribe to Circle Round and Endless Thread. I wanted to subscribe to Last Seen and that's when I realised I had a problem. None of the Last Seen episodes would download and neither do any of the latest Circle Round or Endless Thread episodes. The last ones that downloaded and played were released in the first week of Nov. Since then I've had nothing. As they're all issued by WBUR I contacted them and got a very disappointing answer: "I've spoken with our developers and they say your best bet is to contact BeyondPod. You can also try reinstalling the app, and removing and re-add the offending RSS feeds.Hope this helps, and thanks for being a listener!"

    The first thing I did when the problems started was to unsubscribe and resubscribe to the feeds, but that didn't work. I'm definitely not going to uninstall and reinstall BP as everything else I subscribe to downloads perfectly - plus I have a playlist that's 90+ episodes long and I don't want to lose it!

    So here I am contacting BP...! Any ideas, wise ones?!

    Btw, I'm running v4.2.41 on Android v7.
    Last edited by Dozza; 12-04-2018 at 02:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2012
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    I tried adding them, it just opens like a news RSS feed would. Same issue you're having, reinstalling the app won't help you.

    For example: https://rss.wbur.org/kindworld/podcast

    If you go to that RSS feed I do see .mp3 files listed, so somehow BP isn't picking them up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I've been seeing the same thing for a while now on their news feed. *some* episodes play, others don't. I haven't analyzed the HTML in depth yet, though.

  4. #4
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    same problem with their "On Point" podcast. BP downloads it, but when it tries to play it, it reports "Playback Error". started a couple weeks ago?
    when BP fails, it suggests it can open it with another application. I agree, and it opens up a graphic. so, it looks like they've embedded a graphic into the MP3 in some non-standard way.
    -- Mike Jacobs

  5. #5
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    Actually, the XML puts up both an image and the mp3 as <media:content ... /> entries. The mp3 is the only thing inside the <enclosure ... /> tag. I can only assume that BP is using the first media:content and ignoring the file suffix and "type" metadata.

    So, the question is, why is BP trying to play something that's clearly labelled as type="image/jpeg" and medium="image" when the audio is tagged as type="audio/mpeg" ??

  6. #6
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    Jun 2016
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    Same problem, came here Googling WTH is going on.

    I just contacted people at WBUR, hopefully they'll be able to help a bit.

    Another piece of information I wanted to show you guys is how WBUR's feed looks different from a functional feed even in Feedly, not just BP.

    Modern Love feed: https://prnt.sc/lueeik
    Working Podcast feed: https://prnt.sc/lueewp



    So, there's almost certainly some sort of problem with the feed itself, and that's why BP is having problems reading it correctly. Probably a problem that could be solved both on the WBUR and BP side, honestly.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2016
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    Today's Endless Thread seems to work for me! Don't know why, couldn't be able to figure out any differences in the rss feed, but it just - works.


    EDIT: Nope, spoke too soon. Seems to download, still says "Error playing".
    Last edited by kemikica; 12-14-2018 at 06:08 AM.

  8. #8
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    I've just tested Endless Thread on my husband's phone using his podcast app 'podcast addict'. Infuriatingly it downloads and plays perfectly there! This makes me agree with kemikica in thinking that BP probably *could* fix this for us! Hello, BP techies?! Please help!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozza View Post
    I've just tested Endless Thread on my husband's phone using his podcast app 'podcast addict'. Infuriatingly it downloads and plays perfectly there! This makes me agree with kemikica in thinking that BP probably *could* fix this for us! Hello, BP techies?! Please help!
    Works fine in Pocket Casts as well

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2018
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    I've been having the same problem with the On Point podcast for a week or two, as well.

    Sometimes the feed syncs and the episode properties look right (logo, time, abstract). But, when I download the episode, it seems to happen instantaneously and doesn't actually fetch the underlying .mp3 file. Trying to play it yields the aforementioned "External Player Required" message. Looking at the filesystem, there are no actual files in the feed's directory (or, sometimes, just some random .jpg).

    Other times, the feed itself syncs improperly. Specifically, the logo is replaced with some other pictures (different for each episode). When I try to play or view the description, the left bar in the UI just snaps back. As before, no .mp3 on the filesystem.

    I've tried deleting the feed and re-subscribing, with the same results. I also exported settings > cleared the app's cache/storage > reimported settings, to no avail. Thinking it might be something in my settings, I also did that same workflow, without restoring, and just subscribed cleanly to On Point. No luck.

    This same feed works fine in other podcast apps I've tried. I don't know enough on the technical side to say whether the feed's format is problematic but, even if it is, BeyondPod seems particularly intolerant of the discrepancy.

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