Keeping it Small and Simple

2007.12.22

Catching pods with hpodder

Filed under: Software — Tags: , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 22:21

I am subscribed to quite a few podcasts. There are so many interesting ones out there if you just spend a little time searching for them. Obviously, keeping a track of all your podcasts requires a good podcatcher. The one I use is hpodder, and I’m really happy with it. It does what I need it to, is really easy to use, and doesn’t add loads of functionality that I don’t need.

Hpodder was written in Haskell, which is definitely in interesting language. It uses cURL for downloading. It has been very stable for me. I have never had a single issue with it. Another thing I like is that hpodder doesn’t try to be anything but a podcatcher. Once it has downloaded an episode for you, you decide which tool you want to use to play the episode. I usually use mpd/mpc for music, but with podcasts I tend to just use mpg123.

I also like the fact that hpodder doesn’t force a GUI on me. It is a well-behaved command-line tool that I can easily invoke from a cron job or a login script or whatever. I can use it on a machine that doesn’t have X installed (several of my boxes don’t). And, if for some reason, you would “need” a GUI front-end for it, that would be trivial to implement (there might already exist some).

Here are some usage examples. To add a new podcast:
% hpodder add <url>

To update your casts:
% hpodder update

To download new episodes:
% hpodder download

Or, if you are lazy (as I am), you can update and download in one with:
% hpodder fetch

There are loads of things you can do with hpodder. You can specify to download only a specific podcast, or specific episodes, etc. There hasn’t been anything that I have needed to do with regards to podcatching that hpodder hasn’t been able to perform.

There are of course a number of other podcatchers out there. I am sure that several of them are really good as well. Me saying hpodder is good should not be taken as me saying podcatcher X sucks. There are also several media players that also have podcasting support. Banshee, Rhythmbox and Amarok all support podcasting. Of course, they will also eat all your RAM. 😉

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