Newbie Questions

Hi.
I’ve been using Ivoox for podcasts for a while and recently I changed to antennapod. There are a few things I find a bit difficult. I’ll try to explain with my bad english (sorry) in case I’m doing something wrong.

First one is that there are a lot of podcasts that in IVoox show hundreds of episodes and on Antenna Pod just around 20. I asked about this on Play Store and they told me this is a feed issue. But I find strange that other apps show all the chapters.
One example of this is this podcast:
Documentos RNE: http://api.rtve.es/api/programas/1938/audios.rss

Second one is that I find really difficult to add some (independent spanish small) podcasts. Normally I search for the podcast, doesn’t appear, then go to advanced search, try the three options with no effect, and finally have to search for the RSS feed and add it manually.

3- Is there any way of searching for general content instead of for programs? I mean: sometimes I want to search for a keyword, example “COVID 19”, searching for episodes of podcasts. But I can´t find how to do it.

And last one: Some of the feeds I added manually don´t show any cover. I suppose this is a bad configuration of their podcast, but the posibility of adding a cover manually would be great,

Sorry if my questions are a bit dumb. :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome to the forum, @karramarro! I hope that my reply is not too long and complicated. It got a bit longer than what I originally planned to write. If you have more questions, feel free to ask :slight_smile:

There are basically two ways how to make a podcast app:

  1. Central: There is a central server (run by the company that develops the app) that checks for new episodes and then delivers them to you.
  2. Distributed: The app itself checks new episodes.

AntennaPod uses method 2, eg. we do not have a central server. There are a few advantages and disadvantages about that method.

  • Using the central method, if the company shuts down their server for whatever reason, the app will stop to work. AntennaPod will continue to work independently from what we do on our end because the app itself looks at the publisher’s websites to collect new episodes.
  • Using the central method, the company must operate the server, which costs money. Therefore, apps that use that approach are either paid or show ads. AntennaPod is developed by volunteers without making any money from it. The app is free and without advertisements but we can therefore not afford operating a server.
  • Using the central method, the server operator knows what podcasts you are subscribed to. They probably even know what episodes you listen to, what parts of the episodes and at what time you listen. AntennaPod does not know anything about that. We do not even have a server where we could collect that data.
  • If you listen to private feeds (some publishers sell their podcasts or give supporters early access to the episodes), the central method requires to send your password to the company running the app. Usually, the central services simply do not allow to add private feeds.
  • Using the central approach, the company running the app can keep episodes on their server even if they are deleted by the podcast publishers. Using the distributed approach, you can only access the episodes that the publishers specify in their feed. If you subscribe to a podcast using AntennaPod and the publisher deletes an episode, the app will keep the episode, too, but if you delete and re-install the app, it is gone (unless you make a backup). Everything happens locally on your device, so if the publishers do not list an episode, the distributed approach can not know that it exists.
  • Using the distributed approach, you can listen to all podcasts. Because your device itself looks for new episodes, app developers can not really censor what you can listen to by removing podcasts from their server.

This is because they use the central approach. AntennaPod will show more episodes when more are released but it can not go back in time and show episodes that have been deleted by the publishers.

Podcast publishers usually list themselves on iTunes to be discoverable. If they did not do this, AntennaPod does not know what server to ask for new episodes. This should be the same with other apps: If publishers do not tell a platform that their podcast exists, it can not be found.

This is another limitation of the distributed approach. You can only search for episodes in subscribed podcasts because we do not have a central server that knows all episodes from all podcasts.

Yeah, this is usually caused by a bad configuration by the publishers. If you post the feed address, I can have a look at them, if you want. I am not really in favor of manually changing the cover because you are dependent on the publishers anyway. If they mess up the feed, there is nothing much we can do on our end. I mean, I don’t think we should add an option to add your own episodes in case the publishers mess up that part, too :wink: Adding more options is usually a bad thing because it makes the app harder to understand. AntennaPod has a huge number of settings already, so I rather want to remove some than to add more.

So while the central approach is sometimes easier to use, the distributed approach is more flexible and better for your freedom and privacy.

2 Likes

Thank you so much for taking the time.

The podcasts with no cover are these two.
http://www.bifmradio.com/radio/la-hora-canibal/feed/
https://halabedi.eus/author/sueltalaolla/feed/

I’ll Keep learning about the app. Thanks again !

The first one (La Hora Canibal) is totally broken (this is not even a podcast). They do not specify the mp3 files for playing. I think this one might work better: https://www.ivoox.com/hora-canibal_fg_f1167436_filtro_1.xml

The second one (Suelta la olla) does not specify an image (no <image> tag in their feed), so the issue is not caused by AntennaPod. Maybe you can contact them and ask if they could fix their feed.

I know in previous versions of the AntennaPod app, there were often issues in not getting cover art for podcasts. However, that has been fixed for awhile and the problem usually has to do with how the podcast has their feed coded.