Tag Archives: podcast

greg: You’re so vain

Everyone named “Greg” out there in the world can now sit up straight and imagine this little program is named in their honor.


I was introduced to greg after yesterday’s note about podcastxdl, and in spite of its lack of color and command-action-target input style, I think I like it better than the latter.

Of course, that screenshot isn’t very interesting, but what you see there is a lot of the way greg works. It maintains a list of podcasts and addresses, and you can wrangle them with fairly straightforward actions.

greg add adds to that list. greg remove drops it off, after you confirm it. greg check sees if anything is updated, and greg sync synchronizes your local folder with what’s available online. Like I said, it’s fairly straightforward.

I don’t see anything offhand that disappoints me about greg. I ran into no errors except when I fed it an invalid link, and it warned me that it wasn’t going to work. And aside from the lack of color and lack of an “interface,” it seems to work perfectly without my empty-headed suggestions.

So there’s greg, which we can add to the meager list of podcast aggregators for the console. Now do you see it? “greg”? “aggregator”? Aha. … 😉

podcastxdl: One-shot downloads for your ears

There are not many podcast tools I can mention, in the years spent spinning through console-based software. In fact, I can think of only about four. But here’s one you can add to your list, if you’re keeping one: PodcastXDL.

2015-04-19-6m47421-podcastxdl 2015-04-19-6m47421-podcastxdl-02

PodcastXDL works in a similar fashion to podget, which you might remember from a looong time ago. Give PodcastXDL a url and a file type, and it should parse through the stream and pull down everything that matches.

It can also spit out links, meaning you can use PodcastXDL to supply links to files, rather than download them. There are also command-line options to start or stop at specific points in a feed, which might be helpful for cropping out older files.

I’ll be honest and say I had a few difficulties working with PodcastXDL, most notably that it didn’t accept my target download directory. If you run into issues with PodcastXDL and nothing seems to be arriving, I would suggest leaving off any -d argument.

Other than that small hiccup, PodcastXDL did what it promised, and I ran into no major issues. It has good color, plenty of options and has seen updates within the past month or so, if you shy away from dated software.

If you need something quick and one-shot for podcast downloads, this could work for you and is better looking than podget was. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive and with more of an interface, stick with podbeuter.

podbeuter: The hidden podcast tool

You’re probably well aware of newsbeuter, one of the best console-based RSS readers available. Outside of that and snownews, there are only trace elements of full-screen, easy-to-configure RSS readers at the console.

What you might not know, and what I didn’t know until Denis told me, was that newsbeuter comes with an integrated podcast downloader tool, podbeuter.


After working with it and newsbeuter for about a half an hour, I walked away from the experience thinking, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”

Most of podbeuter’s configuration is through newsbeuter’s regular ~/.newsbeuter/config file, the most important option probably being the player variable, which will determine what is cued when you tell podbeuter to play an audio file. For experimentation purposes, I tried mplayer and XMMS (because I’m old school), and both worked fine. I daresay anything that can accept an audio file as a target will work.

Once you have feeds in ~/.newsbeuter/urls, you can enqueue the URLs of audio files to podbeuter’s ~/.newsbeuter/queue file with the “e” command. Once in podbeuter, “d” downloads the file and “p” plays it. Seamless and intuitive, just how I like it.

Visually, podbeuter looks and behaves a lot like newsbeuter, which I understand is meant to look and behave a lot like mutt. I’m fine with that, so long as they both use color. 😉

A couple of suggestions: I couldn’t find a way to move directly from newsbeuter into podbeuter or back again. newsbeuter will jam your URL list into your $EDITOR with “E”, and throw up a help display with “?”, so it seems natural to have some way of switching between the feed reader and the file downloader. Perhaps I overlooked it, but I suppose it’s no great loss to have newsbeuter running in one terminal, and podbeuter sitting in another.

Secondly, podbeuter doesn’t seem to allow you to play files until they are completely downloaded. That might be the distinction between streaming audio and a podcast, but it seems another natural point, particularly when most of the console backends are comfortable with streaming from a URL. It also gives you the chance to stop downloading something, if it turns out to be a piece of garbage.

Aside from those points, podbeuter is a fine piece of work and a worthy addition to the newsbeuter tool. I give it a definite thumbs up. Thanks, Denis. 😉

podracer: Not quite the man podget was

Another podcast downloading tool today: podracer.


Despite the obvious allusions to certain portions of a particularly rancid string of sci-fi movies, podracer does what it claims to, and pulls down podcasts from the ether.

And in contrast to podget from yesterday, it does so with a minimum of setup and a minimum of gab.

Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. If you’re into silent software, it’s a good thing, but if you’re like me and enjoy some sort of interaction with your computer, it’s not so great.

podracer will give you a sample list of podcasts and download them the first time you run the program. That’s nice. And if the home page is to be believed, podracer has support for bittorrent too, so it can draw in podcasts that are available via torrent.

It has a long list of other features, punctuated with the assertion that it’s “the winner of the pod race.” Not sure what race that was; perhaps that’s something from back in 2006, when the last update was posted.

And I’m also not sure why the Debian version needs screen as a dependency, but I see where podracer supposedly uses screen to seed files downloaded via torrent. How? Another mystery.

All in all I don’t know that I have a preference for this or podget, or for that matter goldenpod. I think podget suits me better though. It’s a bit more verbal. 🙄 That, and podracer doesn’t seem to arrange its products in the same nice, organized way that podget did.

Which is an amazingly trivial complaint. Fact remains, I don’t need or use podcasts enough to care or have an opinion on a download client. You decide for me.

AUR has a PKGBUILD for it, which I will mention obliquely because it’s quite out of date and doesn’t build correctly. Just so you’re aware. 😉

podget: Getting the goods for you

Do people still listen to podcasts? I seem to remember podcasts being all the rage about 10 years ago, but I don’t hear so much about them now. Perhaps I am just not paying attention. 😐

Regardless, podget — as you might infer — does the job of yanking podcasts from servers, and managing them for you.


I haven’t seen many tools like this, but podget was quite easy to manage and set up. I seem to remember another one from a while ago that wasn’t so … cooperative.

Set up a server list at .podget/serverlist — or shamelessly steal the one included on the man page, like I did — declare a “library” (which is just a download target) and voila! You’re in business.

As I understand it (because I didn’t wrangle through all the little details) podget is also clever enough to clear out old files and retain only a number of recent files. It also arranges them in a nice tree. 🙂

And both the Debian and AUR descriptions suggest it’s intended to work from within cron, so it’s designed as a fire-and-forget background tool.

I can appreciate that, although I’d have to add that I don’t know of many tools that don’t play well with cron, unless they are just too blabby.

All of this boils down to:

  1. If you know what a podcast is, and
  2. if you listen to a lot of them, and
  3. if you need a tool to download them, and
  4. if you need a tool to clear them out periodically, and
  5. if you want that tool to arrange them nicely, and
  6. if you want that tool to play well with cron,

then podget might be the thing for you. Logical, yes? :mrgreen:

goldenpod: Again, against my better judgment

For reasons that will become obvious later, I’m going to include another application that I am not 100 percent sure is working.

But again, it’s probably an issue of application — not the application. If that makes sense. 😦

This is goldenpod, at the peak of what I was able to do with it.


There are a couple of issues here, and half of them might be mine.

First of all, I confess I’m not much of a podcast listener. I only really know about the “Linux Lifestyle” one, and I’ve only listened to two or three. I used it as an example, but I honestly don’t know a good one from a bad one.

So it may be that the problem here is that I’ve (not again!) misconfigured goldenpod, and it’s trying to pull podcasts in the wrong way. On the other hand, it may be that they’ve published their files in an unconventional manner.

I am more than eager to accept my error, if that’s the case. Again, I don’t know much about these things.

On the other hand, and in a larger way, there’s the issue of the curl errors that are cropping up. That’s not promising.

If I check the goldenpod home page, it’s a few years out of date, as far as updates go. I’m not a curl expert, so I don’t know if there’s some sort of change on curl’s end that perhaps goldenpod didn’t catch.

All this swirls around into my vague apology for including a program, again, that may or may not be 100 percent functional. Like I said, probably within a few days the reasons for these halfhearted posts will be obvious. 🙄