Support for FreshRSS

I use FreshRSS selfhostet on Synology NAS for my RSS-Feeds and also Podcasts.
Everyday I use the daily feed to mark new interesting podcasts.
Unfortunately AntennaPod does not support FreshRSS, so I have to add all my marked podcasts manually.
It would be great if AntennaPod support FreshRSS, that I have all Podcasts synchronized on one service (FreshRSS). Thanks!

App version: 2.5.0 (Google Playstore)

FreshRSS is an RSS agregator and does not really follow a structure suited for Podcasting as far as I know, It has an API and I guess it could be connected but I don’t really see the point. If you have a NAS you might want to wait for the Nextcloud integration coming up soon.

I am interested tho, how do you find FreshRSS useful for podcasts?


oh, ok. Did not know that the structure is not suited for podcasts. The idea was to have only one synchronized service for all information sources.
For podasts on WIndows, you have the overview in the browser so it was easy to use. A good thing was to use a categorie that all podcasts are in one folder.
For Android I used FeedMe (RSS Reader | Podcast), which also supports Podcasts.
Unfortunately the app has no Android Auto Support in contrast to AntennaPod.
I mainly listen to podcats on the way to work, so Android Auto is very important for me and therefore I use AntennaPod. FreshRSS I use in the breaks, so it work on every pc (login through website) and all you favorite artikels are synchronized.

So I actually have a valid use case for this. I use FreshRSS on my home server as my main RSS aggregator, with a client on my desktop and phone. The really big advantage of using something like FreshRSS is that it has support for the Google Reader (gReader) API, which allows any compatible RSS client to synchronise article status. So if I read an article on my phone using an app like Readrops (Readrops | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository), when I get home and open up my desktop RSS reader, that article will appear as already read.

This makes for a pretty nice RSS workflow. I can have everything from Youtube channels, to news articles, to github update feeds, all in one big content aggregator, and it’s synced between all my devices the same way we would all expect. As a result, I don’t have to bother with checking out Youtube or other sites for updates - they all just come straight to me through my reader, and I know once I read something it’s gone everywhere, and if I favourite it, it’s favourited everywhere, etc.

Podcasts are, at the end of the day, RSS feeds. They have a slightly different format to what we are used to, but RSS clients can read them and will handle them correctly, presenting each episode as an “article”, where the text is usually just a direct link to the audio file, followed by an episode description.

As a result, using FreshRSS for podcasts is technically already feasible, but it’s not a nice experience. Because the articles are literally linking to audio files, there’s usually no auto-download support (most readers only auto-download text and images since that’s what they are usually designed for, with embedded video or audio being “download on demand”), no streaming or rewind/fast forward support, and none of the other fancy podcast features, the audio file usually appears like any other file would - as a download. To listen to a podcast now (and maintain synchronisation of read/unread episodes) I basically have to open the article, click to download the file, wait for it to finish downloading, then open it in a program like VLC, and listen to it like a standard audio file. This is, for many reasons, an unpleasant experience, but it gets the job done and is a perfectly valid way to keep up to date with podcasts.

In order to get all of the fancy features of podcasts and podcast clients, while maintaining some sort of syncronisation between devices, I basically have to use something like gpodder, however this essentially requires maintaining 2 different synchronisation systems side by side - one for podcasts, one for everything else.

If you were to add support for the gReader or fever APIs, that would make this app compatible with a huge number of RSS aggregators, including FreshRSS. It should then be able to accept a subset of the feeds from a server, as if they were podcasts. That would hopefully allow some of the more advanced features like auto-downloading, streaming etc, in a way which allows us to maintain our existing reader setups and not have to reinvent the wheel using gpodder or some equivalent. It would also be nice to be able to add new podcast feeds to our RSS reader using the “discover podcasts” feature, (preferably in some category we specify). This would definitely help to keep podcasts “nice” and easy to use, while maintaining compatibility with our existing RSS synchronisation setups.

All that being said, I’m not sure if it would be better to approach this problem from the other side. I’m not sure how possible it would be, but I would be greatly interested in FreshRSS adding gPodder support. That is, it would be able to act as a gPodder instance. Then, we could easily use this app (and many others). I know someone has already gotten some basic form of podcasting working within FreshRSS, but I don’t really understand what they did (see: Add <enclosure> in FreshRSS output rss to be compatible with podcast software · Issue #1796 · FreshRSS/FreshRSS · GitHub). Approaching from this angle would also allow some interesting ideas - such as possibly transforming a YouTube RSS feed into a properly-formatted video podcast feed by manipulating the feed dynamically and re-serving it, which is something FreshRSS can do.

I am an amateur PHP developer, but I could be interested in adding whatever is needed to FreshRSS (probably as a plugin), to facilitate communication with podcast clients.

The utopian ideal here would be to manage all “content consumption”, including podcasts, in a self-hosted way, that offers synchronising between mobile and desktop, using the same systems we already use for articles, youtube videos, etc, especially since podcasts use the same basic technology under the hood, so having 2 unrelated systems for managing what are essentially the same thing is really asinine.

That’s true, but, as you already mention, there are a lot of additional features that podcasting apps offer which aren’t available in a simple RSS reader. If AntennaPod were to integrate with ‘basic’ RSS readers, you would only be able to remove or add the new label, which is the equivalent of the un/read status in an RSS reader, and toggle favourite status. Adding/removing from queue, ignoring episodes, listening to episodes… it would all be impossible.

The other way around, as you propose – adding podcasting support to web-based RSS readers – would indeed also be an option.

Either way: is it really worth it trying to morph a saloon table into a couch? Creating something that is purpose-built will most likely deliver a better experience. Plus it might even be a more efficient thing to do. The fact that you separate podcast and other feeds is only a plus, as it allows you to benefit from podcast-specific features.

In that sense, I would rather encourage everyone to put their time and energy in a web-based podcasting app that AntennaPod can integrate with. And they exist already: the Podcast app for Nextcloud seems currently at a standstill but has great potential, and the cross-platform app Podfriend has a great interface already. Hook them up with AntennaPod via an API and you have a great system that serves the use-case that you described above :slight_smile:

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You bring up good points. I will check out those web solutions.

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