V3.1.1 Stop RE-refreshing podcast cover images on every launch

Hello, there are a few things that are going in a direction I don’t like with the app. So, because of that, I just quit updating. That for whatever reason, only works for so long until podcasts don’t have access to valid certificates, forcing me to use a new version.

I hate the way podcast images are re-downloaded (I check my dns, and can see it happen) on every of the program. This is incredibly annoying and wasteful from a network perspective. In context, Apple podcasts used to download ALL previous episodes of a podcast, I wonder how many gigabytes per podcast that used before people were out of storage space in less than a couple hours. Thankfully it doesn’t do that anymore.

Your app allows to turn on or off such auto downloads. What was an option, but no longer is, a cache of podcast cover images. I bet they don’t change every 2 minutes, so why is the program not reading them from a cache (which was able to be set from 20 MB and larger) but just redownloaded a picture that very likely hasn’t changed in over five years?

Please fix that if it hasn’t been already. Yes I know I’m on an older version, because each new version contains features I can’t turn off: inbox what is it? And queue, which fills with each new downloaded episode, but needs manual clearing even after listening to an episode, and even after it has been deleted. I guess there’s a bug there, but the queue is way too unmanagable so I just don’t use it. Spotify does a good job of going from one download to the next but is unbearably slow, if not on wi-fi and is suspiciously snappy once connected. It’s so bad, some downloaded episodeds WILL NOT play until I toggle wifi, just long enough to let spotify know exactly what I’m doing, and it has now happened in the middle of a downloaded episode, where it stopped. I toggled wifi again and it resumed. What would I do if I really don’t have wifi, it is not reliable. I switch between spotify and antennapod, one for joe rogan, and also spotify has a decent recommendation list that I started reading. So, because of that, and that it defaults to my much larger internal storage, I have about five or seven podcasts there as well. I could get a larger sd card and migrate all but JRE to antennapod, but I am content with the current setup, accepting the intentional performance bugs in spotify.

Another feature I want in antennapod (and also in spotify and other services) is to disable pitch / time stretching. When I need to slow down a section where there is lots of rapid fire speech or crosstalk, the robotic sound absolutely prevents all ascertainment of what was said, making it a useless way to change speed. Sure, lower pitch can be a bit harder too, but not literally missing audio portions in the timestretch effect, and it sounds like garbage. I’m surprised ANYONE thinks that is an acceptable way to ilsten to audio. 85-100% isn’t bad but much less than that is defeating the purpose.

Lastly, I would like the return of the L/R channel volume. I don’t need it anymore, but it is very helpful in avoiding hearing damage when forgetting to quickly check the volume before playing an episode. I have some headphones that I don’t use anymore, one night I played an episode of “Linux out loud” via bluetooth, and had it on full volume. Yeah, I was in spotify listening to music, and when the internal spotify EQ was an option (see why I don’t like updating? Features randomly get removed) I had the bass up, mids near minimum and treble all the way down. This limits volume and requires max volume to be really audible.

So when I switched back to antennapod to play a Linux out loud episode, it was so loud I couldn’t decide whether to find the pause button or throw the headphones off my head. I decided to rapidly press volume down, but it took about 8 seconds, and this was just speech at the beginning of the episode, not music. It was incredibly loud over bluetooth, and had the option remained to limit the output, would not have been an issue.

So, even though I use wired headphone now, I’d still like the ability to limit the volume so that others can also avoid the same issue. It was so loud I know the headphones could be heard 40 feet away, it was LOUD.

To summarize

  • NEVER ever, for any reason, re-download any podcast images. I get the idea of episode images, and some podcasts use them, but there is no reason to ever redownload the main image for the podcast that won’t change for several years or even a decade. This is just not useful ever, to anyone. I’d like to make sure there is a way to also disable podcast episode images, and only use the main podcast image, and cache indefinihely, and never ever check for new images, ever.

  • Disable time stretching. Right now I open a file manager and open the file with VLC. For some reason, vlc won’t read my storage in the new android versions, I can’t get into the antennapod files/media folder, so I browse there in a file program and open it with vlc.

In VLC, in advanced settings, I have timestretching unchecked, so that when I reduce playback speed, I don’t get the shitty robotic garbage sound, but rather a 100% smooth fully audible rendition of the file, similar to reducing tape or record speed. It would be nice to just have this setup in antennapod. Sometimes it’s just nice to slow down speech to give more time to think about what it being said, like when an event is being recalled, it gives a slower pace to imagine it, without having to pause. It’s not something I use often, but very useful when something is said quickly and there are multiple people talking at once.

  • L/R channel output please bring back this feature

  • option to completely disable both the confusing inbox mode, and the cumbersome unweildy queue that fills up with over 450 entries containing even played and also deleted episodes.

If I really had my choice, I’d still use the v2 of this program, it did everything I wanted, and cached all the images. I was forced to update because of certificate issues, which I don’t understand. V2 was simple, and I was never, ever planning to update the program until I couldn’t download any podcasts.

Quite long to read so I skimmed through it. I don’t have answers for all points but at least for episodes in queue deleted and not removed I think you can address it thanks to an option in settings->download to remove from queue when episode file is deleted. And there is another to delete file when episode is finished. But I would have said both are on by default?

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I agree with @Matth78. Several of the items you mention appear to be configuration issues on your side as they are working fine for me (i.e. episodes clearing out of the queue after being completed).