Player for Android Updates: Search, Import, Bandwidth Controls, and More

Wow! It’s been two weeks since launching the apps, and Player FM received more feedback in that time than in 11 months of being online as a website, a mobile-friendly one even. Here’s a run-down of how we’ve responded to feedback so far…

Search

Browsing is great, but not enough for people who already have a specific show in mind. You can now search for any series to subscribe to, a familiar feature to users of many other podcatcher apps. If you’ve seen the website’s search, you’ll know Player FM can do much more than this and we’ll eventually integrate more advanced search features into the app.

Import OPML

Podcasting thankfully has an industry standard for imports and exports: OPML. So it’s easy to bring subscriptions in from iTunes or other players, and now Player FM supports this directly in the app. In the event we don’t yet have a series indexed, you can submit it and we’re generally adding them within a few hours; but we’ll also automate this process soon too.

Incidentally, you can export OPML from Player FM subscriptions too. Just add .opml to your channel’s URL. e.g. http://player.fm/michael.opml

Bandwidth Controls

We’ve added several more settings to control auto-updates, and warnings about bandwidth impact of streaming 3G episodes. Furthermore, we’ve now added these settings into the signup process, so users can set up their main preferences without even going into Settings. The view below is present in the current version and will be simplified in the next.

Better Image Loading

Image loading was sluggish at times. We were using a technique to ensure low memory usage, but we needed to tweak settings further to ensure images would load quickly. But what happens when images don’t load? For example, your wifi drops out just after adding a channel. We’ve improved from those “blank images” to incorporate the series title.

And More …

Among other updates:

  • The notification can close itself now. When paused, it shows an “X” button. Simples.
  • Signup is possible in landscape mode. We’re not yet tabtastic, but it’s an okay experience now.
  • Media library option. Funnily enough, people don’t like seeing podcasts appear in their music playlists, e.g. when using Google Music. So we’ve turned this off. But since some people do need this, for integration with apps and hardware, you can turn it back on. Find the option in Auto-Download settings.
  • Bug fixes. There’s always bug fixes. And we have this ready to go for Android version 2.3 users.