New Podcasts UX

Hey, i finally gave up my opposition to spotify for listening to music and create shared playlists, even tough I really dislike the made for dumb interface and the “smart” suggestions, I found it great to listen to some (original) podcasts without subscribing to them, maybe AP can learn from that, the preview is kind of a hassle and sometimes you just want to listen to one episode, so here’s what I’m suggesting:
Instead of preview, a new podcast (discovered through iTunes or search or the new discovery screen if finished) is simply added as a temporary podcast to the database, if shows up as the regular feed episodes list, just with an add/subscribe button instead of the settings


Then one can listen every episode, which is added to the queue as well (according to general settings, autodownload etc).
This podcast, while not subscribed, won’t be kept recent (not sure what the english wording is but its not included in the episodes screen and AP doesn’t call the RSS feed automatically). The temporary podcast is kept in the database as long as there’s an episode on queue, is there’s not, it’s silently removed during the general calling of all RSS feeds.

What do you think? I think this behavior would be more intuitive and more welcoming to exploring new podcasts (especially with moving to new home and/or discover screen).

This should be rather simple to implement right @ByteHamster ? So what do you think, do you like this idea? :slight_smile:

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Fully agree, IMHO, it should be possible to be able to do what you would be able to if you subscribed. (add to queue, download, stream)
When the user do so it should trigger a hidden subscription to the user as long he has episodes in his queue list OR marked as favorite.

Simply not updating the “temporary” subscriptions will result in a ton of users complaining that AntennaPod does not show new episodes of that podcast. So the temporary subscriptions probably do need to be refreshed normally.

When deleting a subscription, it disappears from the “playback history” screen, as well as from the statistics. In order to avoid complaints here, too, the “temporary” subscriptions need to be kept forever.

…which makes them the same as normal subscriptions, making me wonder why we need them

In my opinion temporary subscription should be invisible to user and just let him add episode from the same place where you can preview an episode.
Right now preview episode don’t allow you to preview it later, or to stop to listen to something else and get back to it.

The only option for those episodes should be when accessing podcast from them to refresh manually, add another episode manually and above all to explicitly subscribe.
Maybe for those episodes it shouldn’t be the normal podcast screen which is shown but the one when you want to add a podcast so it’s clear it’s not really a subscription and there is no confusion that users don’t see new episodes in new screen. (And there is already the subscribe button!)

The only point imho is to be able to try a podcast without having it notify you for new episodes and without having to unsubscribe if you don’t like it.
It could be also so you can listen to a specific episode someone recommended you but you have no interest in what the podcast is usually about. For instance an episode about your job in an economy or news podcast.

So it should be the same as a normal podcast but it shouldn’t :

  • be show in your subscriptions
  • be updated (which is already possible for normal subscriptions)
  • eventually hide temporary subscriptions from history, stats and make it clear that is feature for normal subscription

and it should :

  • automatically unsubscribe when there is no episodes in queue list or in favorites
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No if you didn’t subscribe, why would you expect them to be updated?
Do you expect the newspaper be delivered to your door everyday if you just bought it once at a kiosk? :thinking:

I think the preview screen is much more confusing, missing vital functions and sometimes you do just want to listen to one episode and don’t subscribe for every episode, I believe this to be a valid use case (that’s nearly impossible with AP currently) but I noticed doing this actually quite a bit on spotify. I find this explore first and maybe subscribe later approach not to bad actually :slight_smile:

No, but if I go back to the kiosk (by pressing the “open podcast” button), I expect the kiosk to have the newspapers of today, not from the last time I visited the kiosk

Yeah, that’s just not really how podcasts work (technically). There is no central server that has access to random episodes of different feeds. I fear that when we do not draw the line between “subscribed” and “not subscribed” enough, users will assume that missing features or different behavior is a bug.

I get what you’re saying but there would be a clear distinction though, subscribed podcasts are on the subscribed screen and are accumulated in the episodes screen plus on the actual podcast feed there would be a big subscribe button instead of the settings (see my screenshot mockup above).

I feel that would greatly improve the UX and technicalities holding back great UX is kinda a weak argument for me (I totally get that and argue it as well for my paid programmer job tbh, but let’s be really honest it’s just an excuse for not doing something for whatever actual reason :smiley: ).
Above I already outlined how it could work, and there is the PodcastIndex, that (like the kiosk, or a library maybe but let’s not stretch our analogies too much) keeps track of feeds and therefore episodes. Also isn’t searching for individual episodes by for example guest and an extremely current podcasting 2.0 thing? :wink:

PS: @ByteHamster really do appreciate your hard work maintaining the app and keeping everything clean and on track, and I know how hard it is to let let go of certain aspects of responsibility, but I really feel like you should allow for some bold improvements/new ideas sometimes, maybe they don’t work after all, and we just have to revert, but I fear AP is missing out huge potential. This is actually a minor changes that could be just implemented and tested in beta, and when everybody hates, fine, roll back. If I had more time I would actually love to create a fork with all the ideas I had in the last year to just show what AP could be like, unfortunately I haven’t so I must resort to being the annoying guy just shouting random ideas and I want to apologize for that :slight_smile:

I don’t think it is actually that minor. We need to think about how it works together with various places throughout the app, like episodes list, playback history, statistics, auto download, auto delete, import/export, synchronization, feed refresh, etc. I think a feature like this would also require a few user studies afterwards to do fine tuning. (I don’t want to say that I don’t want to have the feature. It is just that things like this are sometimes more work than one expects)

Yeah, I do have to admit that I am a bit slow with accepting larger features sometimes. I think my main reason is that there is a lot of people adding new features but usually I’m the one who needs to do all the bug fixing afterwards. Instead of implementing something new myself, I have mostly been fixing bugs recently, even though I would actually like to work more on features instead. In the end, it boils down to having not enough regular contributors who work on not-as-fun things like bug fixes or code reviews.

Maybe we can talk more about this at the next community call :slight_smile: