Storage saver | in-app feature to transcode downloaded podcast to a much efficient codec (libopus in low bitrate)

App version: 3.1.0 (91d5238f0) (Google Play Store)

Problem you may be having, or feature you want:
I’ve been using this fantastic app for managing and enjoying podcasts, and I’m sure many of you share my enthusiasm. However, I’ve noticed a recurring issue that’s been bothering me and likely many other users – the excessive storage consumption caused by downloaded podcasts.

Suggested solution:
I’d like to propose a solution that not only benefits users with limited storage on their devices but also aligns with modern audio compression standards. My suggestion is to implement an in-app feature that allows downloaded podcasts to be transcoded into the more efficient Opus codec, with the option to choose lower bitrates. I believe this would be a game-changer for several reasons.

Firstly, most podcasts are currently available in 256kbps MP3 or M4A formats, which, while providing good audio quality, are outdated in terms of compression efficiency. By integrating the Libopus codec and offering lower bitrate options, we can significantly reduce the amount of storage these podcasts occupy on our devices. This is particularly beneficial for users with devices sporting limited storage capacities.

Imagine this scenario: a podcast that originally takes up a considerable amount of space due to its high bitrate could be transcoded into a much smaller Opus file without a noticeable loss in audio quality, especially if the content is in mono. This could mean a transformation from a 256kbps MP3 to a mere 25kbps Opus file – a dramatic reduction without compromising the listening experience.

I encourage our talented developers to consider this idea for implementation. One possible way to introduce this feature is by incorporating it into the settings menu. Users could have the freedom to choose from preset Opus bitrates or even opt for a custom bitrate to suit their preferences.

I understand that implementing this feature might involve using tools like FFmpeg and potentially utilizing some of the device’s processing power during the transcoding process. However, this could be made optional, ensuring that users who prioritize storage efficiency over immediate playback performance have the choice to enable this feature.

It’s important to highlight that Opus is a codec well-supported by Android devices natively, so compatibility shouldn’t be a major concern. This feature could truly set our app apart by offering a practical solution to a common storage issue, all while keeping up with modern audio compression standards.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that integrating this transcoding feature would make our beloved podcast app an even more indispensable tool for podcast enthusiasts. It’s a solution that addresses a prevalent concern and empowers users to manage their storage effectively. Let’s work together to make this app even better – a space-saving, audio-loving, and storage-efficient marvel.

That’s all.

1 Like

Yes! It would allow us to store more even in devices with higher storage phones.

Hi @Jed_Sarmiento, @Aman_Garg,

Thanks for chipping in on our community forum!

AntennaPod is already quite complex, and given that we have a small team of volunteers and to ensure that the app remains simple to use, we need to focus our efforts.

While I see how transcoding could be useful to save the storage space used on the device, we won’t be implementing this. Most importantly because re-coding audio is out of scope for AntennaPod (see also decision on a previous request).

Also, even when made optional, there’s the downside that it makes the app bigger due to the inclusion of additional libraries (which counters the storage space benefit, especially if you mainly stream episodes). And as you noted transcoding is an intensive task, which means that AntennaPod would use less storage but would use more power when the option is enabled, making the option all-in-all less beneficial/attractive for many users.

The way to go is to encourage podcasters and/or their hosts to offer different compression. There are already 2 ways in which RSS feeds can provide this alternative file format:

Thanks again for reaching out. I hope you understand the decision and will enjoy the app nonetheless :slight_smile:


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