Ok, I think 1.33alpha6 is the final version regarding podcasts. For those who want to read without installing it, here is an excerpt from the release notes:
This version introduces a new kind of podcast support. It works differently than the one in iTunes®, so be sure you read this if you want to use podcasts with Winamp.
There are some limitations in this approach. It is a first try, nothing more. The obvious limitation is that podcasts do not show up in the “Podcasts” menu on the iPod, sorry.
You have to create a smart playlist to gather all podcasts in one place. The advantage of this approach is the possibility to use the full features of live smart playlists.
I’m using these two smart playlist queries:
1. All podcasts
genre = Podcast
2. New podcasts (makes sense with LIVE updating only)
genre = Podcast AND ! playcount >= 1 AND ! rating >= 1
How is it supposed to work, now?
- Download your podcasts to a specific directory on your computer.
I’m not using the Winamp ShoutcastWire for this, because it is too much focused on streaming. You need a podcatcher that downloads all new episodes to your hard disc. I’m using Juice (http://juicereceiver.sourceforge.net/) for this.
- Set up this download folder as a watch folder in the media library preferences, to make sure that downloaded episodes show up in Winamp automatically.
- Tell ml_ipod about this directory on the config page (Preferences->iPod support->Speech tab->Top folder for podcasts)
- Connect your iPod and switch to the iPod page in media library
- Click on “Sync podcasts” button.
- All files under the top folder for podcasts are automatically tagged with genre “Podcast” now
- All new podcast episodes are transferred to the iPod.
- After you have listened to an episode on the iPod, the playcount is automatically increased by iPod. (Only if you listen right to the end! That is different to Winamp’s behaviour).
- During the next “Sync podcasts”, this episode is automatically removed from iPod.
- This removal can be prevented on the options page, uncheck “Remove played podcasts from iPod during podcast sync”
One common problem is solved with a trick: I often have podcasts that I want to skip after some seconds, because the episode is simply not interesting enough. That is not recorded as “played” on the iPod, therefore the file stays on the iPod during sync. Not what I want. I need something to mark this episode as “unwanted”. There is only one thing that you can change on the iPod: The rating. So we abuse this setting. Initially all episodes have no rating. Whenever I want to skip one, I set the rating to anything higher than 0. At the next sync, this serves as an “unwanted” marker and the file is removed.
If you want to do the same, you have to enable this on the options page, check the “Remove podcasts with rating >= 1 from iPod during podcast sync” box.
Why do we not use a specific rating? Setting the rating with the clickwheel is sometimes a bit wobbly, especially on the road. I just wanted to make sure that my “skip marker” is easy to set, so I can use any rating now. That is no problem because I don’t use ratings for podcasts in any other way.
Enjoy your podcasts, without the need for iTunes…