Discussion summary: Play video as audio

There have been some (sometimes conflicting) requests for features related to playing videos as audio. Because many users commented the same things over and over again, it is hard to follow the entire discussion and get an overview. Here I’m attempting a summary of what was requested. We discussed this at the community call on 11.11.2023, the results are listed in bold.

Current state (introduced after a discussion here: Ignore video, play only music · Issue #4749 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)

  • Videos play as videos
  • Pressing the home button plays it as picture-in-picture mode
  • Pressing the back button stop
  • There is a button in the overflow menu to play it in audio-only mode


  • Re-introduce “Upon exiting video” setting with the name “Continue audio playback” (Continue to play videos as audio when back button pressed/user leaves app by gitstart · Pull Request #6273 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)
    • Advantage: This is what quite a few users on the forum and on GitHub requested
    • Disadvantage: The setting was removed because users found it confusing. Re-introducing it (even if it has a different name) might not make the situation better.
    • If we re-add the setting, what should be the default?
      • My argument: When turning off the screen or leaving the app, users expect the video to be paused (like browser, YouTube, etc) and not continue as audio. Just imagine pressing “play” on accident in a meeting, lecture, etc. My first reaction would be to turn off the screen, expecting it to stop playing.
    • Decision: Add setting “Continue audio playback” in Playback»Audio controls. Subtitle mentions video and screen off. Off/Default is current behavior. When enabled, always continue audio (pressing back, turning off the screen, pressing home, etc). Reason for turning off screen: Use-case with meeting has the same problem with audio.
  • Move “switch to audio mode” button from the overflow menu to the main menu (Continue to play videos as audio when back button pressed/user leaves app by gitstart · Pull Request #6273 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)
    • Advantage: Easier to find
    • Disadvantages: Takes away space from the title, makes the screen more cluttered. Also, it seems mostly redundant when there is a setting to do that by default with the back button.
    • If we want to do it, what icon do we want? The one proposed in the PR looks more like a button to enter picture-in-picture mode icon
    • My argument: We should not make the button more prominent because the setting makes that redundant.
    • Decision: Move to toolbar, remove audio controls setting (move to overflow for now). Reason: Easier to find, we have space if we hide the dialog. Icon: Strike-through eye: eye-off-outline - Material Design Icons - Pictogrammers
  • Request to never enter PiP mode, always continue audio playback when leaving the app (Continue to play videos as audio when back button pressed/user leaves app by gitstart · Pull Request #6273 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)
    • My argument: That feels like an overly specific setting. AntennaPod is focused on audio only, we should not add too many settings for “bonus features” that are outside the main app goal
    • No decision needed, setting does that anyway
  • Do we want an option to play in audio only mode by default (Option to play in audio only mode by default · Issue #6380 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)
    • Advantage: When someone wants to quickly listen into an episode, the full video player could be somewhat “strong” (Non full screen video player. · Issue #6632 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)
    • Disadvantage: Isn’t this basically redundant when pressing the back button continues as audio? In most cases, users want to actually play something and if it’s a video, playing the video is somehow expected
    • My argument: I think it is not really worth the complexity of another setting that is irrelevant for most of the (non-video) users
    • Decision: We don’t want that setting. Reason: More settings for all users, even audio users. Unexpected if someone forgets about the setting
  • Do we want to play in picture-in-picture mode by default (Non full screen video player. · Issue #6632 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub)?
    • Advantage: Less prominent than full-screen player
    • Disadvantage: Both when wanting to switch to audio-only mode AND when viewing the video, it needs a second tap.
    • My argument: This would be annoying for all use-cases except listening to the first 5 seconds and then deciding that you want to play something else.
    • Decision: Don’t add the setting. Reason: Too niche.
  • Switch to picture-in-picture when pressing the back button, not only when pressing home (Video Playback Behavior - #10 by Matth78)
    • Advantage: more consistent. Can continue to browse the episodes list while video already plays. Somehow similar to what YouTube does (small player bar on the bottom)
    • Disadvantage: Might be unexpected, as it is different to what other apps (VLC, Browser) do
    • Decision: Use picture-in-picture. Do not add a button to switch to PiP. Reason: YouTube has high reach and users are used to it. There is a setting on the Android settings screen to turn off PiP. We expect that to pause then.

@ByteHamster Shall I update/close the referenced GitHub issues?

Reviews in favour of improvements in this area:


Great player and will switch to it when they fix/add one feature. I listen to all my podcast audio and almost never watch the video if there is a video. Video is glitchy on this player. If you select audio only from the player the controls disappear. If you lock screen it stops playing. Audio only podcasts work great however… Once this gets updated, I’m all in. Now that we have an end date to Google Podcasts I’m hoping they fix this soon…

Would be great, thanks