Announcing hpodder

Today I’m finally announcing hpodder.

I’ve been trying different podcatchers in Linux, and have been generally unhappy. ipodder looked nice at first, but turned out to be horribly buggy.

bashpodder/podracer looked like a nice idea. However, it didn’t have enough flexibility for me, its XML parser has some well-known failures (it’s not a real XML parser, after all), etc.

So I wrote hpodder. hpodder is a command-line podcast downloader for Linux. It features:

  • Extensive manual (installed as manpage, or you can view the PDF versoin). Documents all command-line options, the config file, a quick start, plus some basic information about the internal database
  • Database of seen URLs (in Sqlite3) — for use both for downloads and when processing feeds
  • Graceful handling of Ctrl-C, shutdowns, network troubles, etc — including ability to resume downloads later, plus the ability to detect servers that don’t handle download resuming properly (libsyn)
  • Automatic setting of ID3 tags based on the episode title and podcast title from the podcast’s feed (as iTunes does) — dramatically helps with viewing of all sorts of podcasts on the iPod and your PC
  • Support for download rate limits, progress bars, etc. via Curl
  • Seems to be stable for me
  • Command-line tools to: add new podcasts, remove podcasts, update podcast feed URLs, scan podcast feeds, list known podcasts & status, list known episodes & status, alter episode status (mark for downloading or not), “catch up” podcasts, etc.
  • Automatic retry of downloads that failed due to transient errors

You can download a source tarball, or apt-get install hpodder if you run Debian sid.

hpodder is written in Haskell, and calls the curl and id3v2 binaries. It uses the Sqlite3 library and my HDBC database interface for Haskell.

But you’d never need to know or care about that unless you’re a programmer.

In future hpodder versions, I intend to improve the download status display, add last-seen date tracking, and add multithreaded downloading.

3 thoughts on “Announcing hpodder

  1. I wrote a Haskell podcatcher for my own use a wee while ago. It was — and still is — my first proper Haskell app so it wasn’t as fully featured as that. I’ll have to have a good look at how the experts do it now, and see how I can improve my own app! :)

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