An article about the Podcast Management Conundrum

March 20, 2008

I published an article to CodeProject which discusses the solution to a tricky problem. It discusses the way that I implemented a piece of functionality in Podder that can be displayed in either the main window or a separate dialog window. This took me a while to get right, so I thought it might be beneficial to explain how it works.

Here it is: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/WPF/podder3.aspx

Please kick it on DotNetKicks.com for me!


Podder v2 Beta

February 10, 2008

Just over a month ago I introduced my WPF podcatcher project, Podder. Shortly after the initial release of Podder I began collaborating with Grant Hinkson, Visual Designer extraordinare. He has been working on a new skin for Podder, actually a new “structural skin,” as I call it. I designed Podder to allow for structural skinning, meaning the entire UI can be swapped out at runtime or compile time. It has been very exciting to see Grant turn Podder into a thing of true beauty, by substituting my UI with his own! 😀

Part of this process has required me to change the way Podder works, as well as implement several new features. At this point, I have implemented all of the new functionality and refactored some of the previous code. I’m not sure how long it will take Grant to finish his Podder skin, so I decided to release the new build of Podder as a beta.

Here it is: Podder v2 Beta

NOTE: You will need to change the file’s extension from .DOC to .ZIP and then decompress it. This is a workaround for a limitation imposed by WordPress. Podder requires .NET 3.5

If you have already been using Podder, you must erase the files it stores in your AppData/Local/Podder directory. On my Vista machine, those files are located here:

C:\Users\joshs\AppData\Local\Podder

I am not sure where the equivalent directory would be on XP.  If you do not delete those files, Podder will not work correctly.

I added quite a few features between v1 and v2. Here are some of the big ticket items:

  1. Vastly improved podcast management dialog.
  2. The Podder process runs at a high priority so that it does not freeze under heavy CPU load (thanks to Marlon Grech for that tip).
  3. Episode tooltips now contain a summary, duration, file size, and more.
  4. The app has a system tray icon and minimizes to the system tray.
  5. No matter which podcast is selected, you can click on a link to return to the active episode.
  6. The app detects when it does and does not have internet access (hacky…).
  7. The app can load and apply skins from DLLs at runtime (this feature is disabled in the Beta).
  8. Lots of tweaky bug fixes and better error handling.

Here are some screenshots of the Podder v2 Beta, still using my plain old skin. Click on the images to view them at full size.

Podder’s main window

Podder v2 Beta (Main Window)

Podder in the system tray

Podder v2 Beta (System Tray Icon)

Adding a new podcast to your list – Processing…

Podder v2 Beta (Processing New Feed)

Adding a new podcast to your list – Finished!

Podder v2 Beta (Podcast Added)

I hope you have as much fun using Podder v2 Beta as I had making and using it. If you find any bugs, please drop a comment on this post and let me know. I appreciate all the help I can get. 🙂

By the way, I have seen the skin that Grant is making. OMG it looks good! Once it is ready, I will write the next article in the Podder series on CodeProject, and show you why WPF rocks so hard!