Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bringcast Podcatcher for Mango V3 feature requests

I just received my Nokia Lumia 800 from Nokia yesterday thanks to their developer program launchpad. I now have the SDK installed and hope to start tackling my first WP7.5 app soon.

In the meantime, I had to get the phone setup with the microSIM (cutting my old SIM down to size did not work I think because my previous SIM was way way too old and had a different chip pattern). Also, I started loading the phone with apps. WP7 may not have as many apps as iOS or Android, but the list so far is much more impressive then I have seen for Symbian, especially considering how short of a time they have been in the market with this platform. Mango is less then 6 months old and WP7 only launched publicly in Oct 2010.

One of the most glaring faults with the OS is the lack of a podcatcher and the need to sync with Zune on a PC. I download podcasts every day and I do not want to have to turn on my PC to get new podcasts. Nor do I ever listen to podcasts on the PC.

The good news is that I found BringCast for WP7. They apparently released a Mango optimized version in December (v2) and I decided to give it a try. Well, after 30 seconds I went ahead and bought it. From what I have seen and read so far it is the best podcatcher for WP7.

I saw that the developers are considering v3 new features so I wanted to give them a list it consider for v3 (and if not v3.5 or v4):
  • Automatic updates to check for new podcasts in the subscribed feeds that is configurable (every 2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, only manually, etc...)
  • Automatic download of new episodes with configurable general defaults (none, N, all) and also per feed settings (for example, I want all Slate podcasts, but only the newest episode from WTF?, 2 newest from Fresh Air, and none automatically downloaded from the Economist)
  • Perhaps automatic deletion of old podcasts (x days after 100% completed). I do not like how from the playlist you can delete it but you cannot delete the actual media. You need to go 1 by 1 in BringCast to delete the media
  • Live Tile integration:
    • # of new episodes
    • Now playing
    • Status (updating, downloading, etc...)
  • If possible, full podcast integration with Zune player on the device, not just via playlists. For example, from Zune, I cannot delete the downloaded podcast episode, I can only remove it from the playlist.  To delete it I need to go back into BringCast to delete media.
While not feature requests, I also found two things that seem like possible bugs:
  • While trying to do background downloading of podcasts, I received an error saying that the OS policy does not allow non-WiFi downloading of podcasts.  However, in my settings I have the checkbox set to allow 3g downloads.
  • I tried importing an opml file from a public dropbox url and the app just did a refresh of the screen but did not import anything.
So I hope will take my requests into consideration.

For any WP7 owner who needs a podcatcher app, check out BringCast.

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