Posted by Adam Wade on December 1st, 2016
We are pleased to announce Player FM 3.6!
This update will help new podcast users and even the seasoned podcast junkies manage their daily podcast habit. You can now organise subscriptions into categories and they will sync across Android and web apps. Player FM rethinks the podcast experience for the modern era, and categories are no exception. We aim to make categories “smart” with features like Suggested Categories when you subscribe to any series, recommendations to help you build up your categories, and Social Sharing.
Smart categories for your subscriptions
Rare is the “casual podcast user” … most people who get into podcasts quickly find themselves devouring hundreds of them! To help you organise all your subscriptions, Player FM 3.6 introduces categories, so you can keep a list of “news podcasts”, “morning commute” podcasts, and so on – create whatever categories fit your lifestyle. You’ll see categories as sub-tabs in your subscriptions screen and similarly in web app navigation. In addition, they have several unique features:
When you subscribe to any series, the app will automatically suggest a category among your existing categories making it a breeze for you to follow any new show. This is based on various cues, from our curated catalogue to publishers’ metadata. If there’s no good choice, it will still suggest some categories and let you immediately create the category and add the series, all in one tap.
Each category shows recommendations to help you fill out the category,. The recommendations are powered by a combination of curation, publisher metadata, and usage trends.
You can make any category public. The category URL will open in the app if the user has it installed, allowing other users to subscribe and play. More importantly, it will also work as a regular web page for anyone not using the app.
Related to smart categories, per-series settings has been updated. You now have a single popup dialogue allowing you to set categories, unsubscribe, and set preferences like notifications, playback settings, view sort order, and download order (can be used for downloading “binge-worthy” series from the start). A new setting will let you see the dialog whenever you subscribe.
The search interface has been redesigned to use the familiar “dial” interface used elsewhere in the app. As well as searching over 300,000 available series, there are tabs for: episodes – allowing full shownote and title search of over 16 million episodes; series you’re subscribed to; and topics. The topics is a list of over 500 curated catalogue topics to explore, and will expand in the future to include categories users have made public.
Many podcasters go the extra mile and provide custom artwork for each new episode. We’re pleased to finally be able to showcase these efforts. Player FM will extract artwork from episode files as well as artwork linked in publisher feeds. You’ll see this appear on episode lists, in the lock screen, and the full screen player. In addition, both series and episode detail screens have been updated to show you large images. Popular shows using custom artwork are TED Talks, No Agenda, and KCRW’s Left, Right & Center.
Aside from setting the sleep timer at a specific time, the sleep timer can be set to stop at the end of your favorite episode.
If you want fine-grained control over your podcast experience and use apps like Tasker and IFTTT, try Player FM intents. We’ve added two new intents to let you choose when podcasts download: fm.player.update.conditional and fm.player.update.unconditional.”conditional” will respect your app settings (e.g. only download on wifi and while charging), “unconditional” will always sync and download according to your limits, so you will probably be choosing the conditions from the external app if using that. More on intents in the FAQ at docs.player.fm.
If a podcast app didn’t have any downloads, was it a podcast app at all? As well as the downloads-only toggle, we know some users still like to delve into their completed downloads and browse them directly. This screen now has sub-sections for All, Manual, Subscriptions, Play Later downloads. See total size and number episodes for any type of download and delete all in one tap.
User interface updates and settings
We’ve been busy cleaning up the interface since v3.5. As well as the above updates, here are a few other things you’ll notice:
Main settings screen now has more color and icons on the left to give each section a unique identifier. Gone are check boxes, replaced by toggles.
If you are using a custom theme, you’ll see more consistent styling in that theme. e.g. With purple theme, Downloads screen header will now be purple instead of the standard green. This is particularly important for night mode, where you’ll no longer see colored header bars. To explore themes, check out Display Settings, or just tap on the Player FM logo in the side menu.
You now have flexible series thumbnail layout. For phones, choose between 3, 4, or 5 thumbs per row.
For lock screen purists, you can now disable lock screen podcast artwork in Display Settings.
Notification settings has been redesigned and simplified, so you can turn everything on or off with a single tap. You’ll also see icons for each show in the notifications list.
Say goodbye to empty boring screens. We’ve added a friendly radio guide indicating when there are no search results or no downloads.
One more thing! That Icon!
After 4 years of the red mic icon, it was time for an icon that didn’t lead people to think this app lets you record top 40 singles. We’ve been getting feedback on several icon options in recent months and we’re happy to settle on this one. Users can now rejoice that they will see the same icon on Google Play and on their homescreen!
Download Player FM in Google Play Store NOW.
Posted by Adam Wade on May 1st, 2016
Constantly updating and improving the app has always been our goal, in accordance with your feedback and ideas. Thanks to all who have left suggestions and special thanks to the beta community for ongoing discussions about how to keep bringing the awesome. We’re pleased to announce a major version bump from v3.1 to v3.5, and here’s a rundown of features.
See it in a glance with unified search results
1000+ topics, 100,000+ series, and over 5 million playable episodes are now searchable from the same, universal, result screen! Using the new series carousels and topics dial, get what you’re looking for right away. In addition, you’ll get a row of results matching your own subscriptions, so it’s a quick way to jump to your favorite show.
Save time with autocomplete and search history
An initial tap on the search field will now show you a dropdown list of recent searches and the results will update as you type.
Explore over 100,000 series with the new Discover and Catalogue design
There’s a podcast or 10 for every occasion, making discovery a key challenge for any podcast app. Player FM has from day one focused on the discovery problem, providing an independent, open-source catalogue covering hundreds of niche topics. The Discover tab has been redesigned to make browsing a pleasure, whether you to find shows to subscribe to or episodes to play right now. As with the new search screen, you’ll see a unified screen per topic – explore related topics, series, and episodes in the one place. It’s the simplest and cleanest navigation model since the app launched.
Play Later is now in the cloud
Just like your subscriptions and favorites, your Play Later list is now saved in the cloud and also available on the web app at player.fm, so no need to worry about syncing your favorite Play Later episodes even when switching devices. That episode you save on your web browser at work will be downloaded on your next phone sync, ready for your trip home!
Binge all day with flexible download order
So you’ve just heard about this hot new show and you simply have to hear all episodes before sunset! Player already lets you set a custom download limit for this series to make sure you get a bunch of recent items. But you probably want to start from the start if it’s a “serial” storyline, a multi-part documentary, or a lecture series. In that case, the usual “get latest N episodes” setting won’t work for you. With Player FM 3.5, you can now optimise any series for binging with flexible downloading order. Set your new obsession to download “oldest unplayed” and cancel your weekend plans.
Be the first to hear it with custom notification settings
Now that you’re all caught up on that bingeworthy show, you’ll be super-excited to know when the next episode comes out. You now have the control to be notified for any series when is a new episode lands. This saves you time asking “is it there yet” and brings the content to you fast. Set this from the individual series screen and you can manage all your notifications from Settings.
Play it fast – or slow – every time
Player FM already has advanced audio to let you listen exactly how you want, with speed control, silence skipping, and intelligent volume boost shipping since v3.0. With today’s upgrade, you can now customise these settings per series. If your favorite podcaster happens to need a new microphone, add the noise reduction filter every time. If you’re a language learner, you could slow down foreign shows to 0.5x.
Discovery doesn’t stop at niche topics. Player FM is always adding new langauges to its catalogue and with this release, the entire app has been localised to Korean, Portuguese and Chinese. They join English, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, German, and Japanese as languages which are fully supported by the apps and its catalogue and docs.
Below are some of the changes we’ve released since Player FM 3.0 in case you missed it…
- Mini-player redesign.
- Make your subscriptions public so others can see them on web and in the app and who knows? You’ll gain followers with the same interests as yours.
- Sort your Play Later list by series and publish date.
- Be aware of series with errors. A transparent fetch model indicates you when a series is failing to fetch or has been “closed” or “replaced”.
- Check absolute dates in episode shownotes.
- Be in control with your phone’s storage as the downloads screen now shows storage used and available play time.
- Many new channels added and populated with interesting shows. You might want to check some of these out: https://player.fm/featured/filmmaking, https://player.fm/featured/comedian-interviews & https://player.fm/featured/the-blacklist
Be the first to receive future updates by becoming a Beta Tester and follow Player FM on Twitter and Facebook for further updates, tricks, and recommendations.
Posted by Mark Peterson on February 21st, 2016
We’ve been listening to a lot of user feedback here and here, so after major features were introduced in v3.0, we worked on a design update based on feature requests by fellow podcast junkies.
Night and AMOLED power-saving display themes
A lot of us listen to podcasts at night. Enable the ‘Night’ theme mode under Display settings to reduce glare so looking at the screen in a dark room is easier on the eyes. There’s also the AMOLED power-saving ‘Black’ theme that helps AMOLED device owners prolong their battery life – less pixels to paint means more shows to play. You can also switch display themes by tapping on your logo/avatar in the side menu.
New ‘Download-only’ switch in Side Menu
We know that when you’re out and on 3G/4G, that you wanted a way to view & listen to just saved episodes while still being online. Save data by switching to a ‘downloaded-only’ view from the side menu so only episodes you’ve downloaded will be played. (Before, you can also make this happen automatically via Playback Settings.) A new “Downloaded only” indicator will be present on the top of the screen when this setting is active to remind you.
Sort Series Order and Custom Left/Right Swipe Actions
We heard you! After some time, our podcast list does get unwieldy – now you can sort your subscriptions series in grid view with options such as newest-first and alphabetical order, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve also received a number of comments on the default swipe actions so we made it so you can choose whether to swipe left or right to mark the episode as played or add it to the Play Later list. Now, you get to choose!
Adding to a polished Material Design interface, a new round-arrow design for the player forward and back buttons has been introduced that features the actual time value – so you always know you can go back 30 seconds to repeat or go forward 60 seconds. Also, you can now tap the time on the mini-player to toggle between played time and remaining time. On the full-player, tap on the right hand time-display to switch between total time and remaining time.
A Global podcasting app
We’re launching the app in the Japanese language, joining English, Spanish, German, Italian and Russian with more to follow. To coincide with this, we’ve revamped our Catalogue to add 25 featured topics (including Better Call Saul, Star Wars, Serial & Election 2016) as well curated shows for 30 countries including popular daily podcasts for Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, China and Japan.
We sought to build an app to bring you the best podcast listening and discovery experience – we reached important benchmarks lately, having just reached over 1 million installs and given ‘Top Developer’ status on Play Store. Thank you for all of your patience and support but we’re pretty sure you have ideas too. Player FM v3.1 has just begun rollout and users should receive these features by the next day. Be the first to receive future updates by becoming a Beta Tester and let us know what feature you’d like to be added in the next update.
Posted by Mark Peterson on December 13th, 2015
It’s been 1.5 years since 2.0 launched and it’s time for another big update! Before we run down the new features, thank you to all the users who have taken time to leave reviews and spread the word to their friends. And a special thanks to the awesome beta community for putting with our crazy polls, experiments, and the occasional hand-drawn scrawl.
Call them vodcasts, videopodcasts, or “a bit like that tube site but somehow in a podcast app” … videos have always been part of podcasting. Sometimes presented as companions to an audio podcast, other times a pure-play video series or a TV show reformatted for the world of video podcasting. Player FM now downloads and plays video, and we’ve added a couple of other features to help with this. The catalogue now features a video filter so you can pick any topic and see the latest video series and episodes available. You also have a new setting to decide if the full-screen player opens after you hit the play button. We reckon you’ll want it to open when playing a video, so that’s the default, but it’s up to you now.
Player FM already has a variable-speed control, with the unusual capacity to work while streaming (not just on a downloaded episode). With 3.0, we have enhanced the playback experience in two dimensions. Firstly, you now have enhanced audio settings to automagically boost volume, skip silence, and reduce noise. The great thing about podcasts is they are recorded by so many different people in so many different environments, and not always audio engineered to perfection. With these new capabilities, you’ll be able to play your favorite shows without compromising on audio quality. Second – formats! While MP3 is the staple of audio podcasts, there are other formats out there, and you’ll now find the custom player is more broadly compatible with them.
All this continues to work on both streamed and downloaded episodes.
The advanced player control has been updated to accommodate these features as below, and you’ll also find the speed control and sleep timer easier to operate now. (No more sliders!)
Player FM is all about solving the hardest question in podcasting: “What should I listen to?”. A great source of inspiration is to figure out which shows are like the ones you are already digging. And so, Player FM 3.0 introduces Related Series. Open the series detail screen, tap on “Related”, and see a list of similar shows. (Note not all series have related series yet; it depends on how much metadata is available.)
To support quick access to this feature, as well as series descriptions, the series screen has been updated. With a smaller header, you now have more room to explore its episodes from the get-go.
Following the recent Spanish release, Player FM will now support users in German, Italian, and Russian. These are more than app translations, but fully-curated local catalogues. In addition, a new “Countries” feature is available to highlight a variety of podcasts from each country.
More languages and countries are coming – let us know if you’d like to help contribute or give us feedback on the translations.
Quick access from Discover
Discover is the place where you get fresh recommendations on your favorite topics. But it’s also a front door to the catalogue. The earlier catalogue button has now been updated to jump straight into popular, trending, videos, and countries sections.
Go get Player FM 3.0
We’ve been enjoying these features in beta for a while now and we can’t wait for you to enjoy them too. Player FM 3.0 has begun rollout now and should reach all users in the next day. If you can’t wait, opt into the beta and get it right now.
Posted by Mark Peterson on December 10th, 2015
What else to listen to?
We want you to find out more podcast shows that you will like.
That is why we rolled out v2.8.2 with more space to explore podcasts to listen to and follow. From the Discover window – just click ‘More in Catalogue’ and you can choose from Popular, Trending and Latest to discover new podcast shows. You can also access Catalogue by clicking on the three bars on the upper right.
So is it downloading?
We’ve also updated the Downloads screen to help you monitor progress and browse downloaded as well as queued episodes. So you never have to ask.
We’re currently working on a lot of updates to the service, based on your feedback and some things we’ve wanted to do with the app that we think would improve your listening experience.
Live life on the fast lane and be a beta tester.
Posted by Adam Wade on November 14th, 2015
It’s time! Player FM now has the most awaited download button. While Play Later performs a similar function by keeping latest playlist items offline, the new download button is more familiar to users of traditional podcast apps.
The download button also adds several advantages over adding to Play Later, namely the ability to “just download now” even on 3G and battery, and the ability to keep episodes permanently on the device without worrying about auto-cleanup. Play Later is still recommended for most users to keep episodes offline, because of exactly those points – it helps you manage bandwidth and power by only downloading when your settings say so; and it cleans up to keep a fixed amount of stored episodes. But for full control, you now have a download button and a corresponding delete button for any downloaded episode.
We’ve added a new feature which is swiping. Enable it in Display Settings to use Play Later and Mark as Played with ease. It’s still an early feature, so you’ll need to enable it in Display Settings for now. You can still use the overflow menu for all episode options too.
Additional Bug fixes
Be the first to receive future updates by becoming a Beta Tester.
Posted by Adam Wade on October 16th, 2015
Player FM’s toolbar has been updated with a top-row navigation bar to use the web app more efficiently. The first categories are your starred topics (if logged in) followed by the main topics.
Also, on the right most part of the web’s toolbar you will find “ALL TOPICS”. Clicking it will launch an overlay to browse all topics, podcasts by country, what’s trending and popular and lastly networks.
We hope that this helps you navigate easily within the web app and make it easier for you to locate your favorite podcasts.
Posted by Adam Wade on October 14th, 2015
Shortly after v2.8, Player FM was recently featured in the main section of Google Play globally for the first time. High five!
Posted by Adam Wade on September 26th, 2015
Player FM 2.8 is now starting to reach more audiences and helping everyone get content in the language of their choosing.
Spanish is now the first international edition of Player FM and we promise there’s more to come! It’s not just a language translation but all the topics, catalogues and episodes are now available in Spanish.
New “Made In …” feature
Available to Spanish speakers, showing popular Spanish podcasts by country. English is coming soon.
Catalogues have been redesigned
HD images have been added just like what you see on the web version. No more boring channels as each channel has a unique HD photo.
Episode detail animation
No more static images popping up. Episode detail animation has been added from list to individual series.
Auto cluttered listing fixed for Android Auto
Truncated titles fixed so you see a neater episode list on your screen.
It’s now even faster and better
The new version go through a series of bug fixes to enhance your listening experience.
Check out the Google Play Store and update the app to experience these brand-new features!
Be the first to receive future updates by becoming a Beta Tester.
Posted by Adam Wade on September 10th, 2015
Player FM 2.7.1 has been launched with several new features. Here’s the rundown of the new developments:
Chrome Custom Tabs
As noted on the Android and Chrome blogs, Chrome 45 is now out with custom tab support. This is the feature that was announced at Google IO, which helps to bridge the gap between native and web. If you click on external links inside the app, it will open in a Chrome browser as before, but now the transition and web browser appearance feels like you are still inside the Player FM app. You’ll also find publisher links are pre-fetched if you have opened them from the new Links dialogs.
Here’s an example of an external link you might have opened via an episode’s shownotes:
Faster, smoother, transition from list to individual episode screen
So you can click play and listen straight away to your favorite episode.
We’ve added a new Display Settings section, which has helped us to clean up the overflow menus in the main screen.
That’s taken from the beta … where episode swiping is now possible.
Better support for Chromecasting from multiple devices
Multiple devices can easily use Chromecast and the Player FM app.
The new version also underwent a couple of bug fixes to enhance your listening experience.
Check out the Google Play Store and update the app to experience these brand-new features!
Be the first to receive future updates by becoming a Beta Tester.