Player FM 3.6: Manage your podcasts with ease

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.
  • Series settings

    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.

    Enhanced Search

    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.

    Custom Artwork

    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.

    Sleep timer

    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.

    Intents

    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.

    Downloads management

    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.

    About The Author