ProductWindows Mobile: BeetzStream SmartRss V4.3157 - RC1Viigo 3.0.18 (current (2.2.82) BlackBerry version has absolutely no podcast support)CorePlayer 1.2.5 (also applies to Symbian / Palm OS / iPhone & other, supported OS’es!)Conduits Pocket Player 3.7Hubdog 2.0BeyondPod 2.8.0FeederReader 1.10.0AudioBay 4.0/e0 (Windows Mobile) and 3.4/e0 (BlackBerry 8800); Symbian S60 version is discontinuedNewsBreak 2.1Egress 4.0.1NewsGator Go! for Mobiles (current version as of late August 2008; internal filedates: 03/28/2008)Skookum 2.0.0.0Symbian: Nokia Podcasting (along with Music Player in S60 FP1 as of firmware version v21 of the Nokia N95[-1])
Misc: Price$14.99Free~$25$19.95freefree$19.95MS SP: $9.95; BB, WM PPC: $14.95$19.95$12.95FreeFreeeither comes built-in or freely downloadable
Today / home plug-in showing the number of new podcasts etc. (NOT just a start / stop / pause control, with the song title, of the currently playing track!)+---+ (must be manually enabled (Menu / Management / Settings / Install Today Plugin), unlike with NewsBreak and Egress). Unlike with the other apps, it can even be fine-tuned for each channel to be (not) shown ---++---
Does it allow for user-def’d podcast categories?+ (creating a new one or recategorizing a feed to an existing one is done in the same way: Subscriptions / Edit Channel / Category)---+ +; what is more, up to 2 categories can be assigned to a feed+-++ ---
Feed login/password?+ (Subscriptions / Edit Channel)--+; must put them in the URL as in http:// user:pass@ example.com/ rss/ podcast.xml-+ ++ (You are prompted after the URL is entered.) (Other, related screenshots: Menu / Podcast info; Enter URL)+ (Menu / Channel Properties / Password)+ (Tools / Properties / Advanced for each feed)+--
Terminology usedChannelFeeds(n/a: feeds are shown in the same list as playlists and library categories; no separate names to denote feeds or articles)-Channels / Items Feeds / PodcastsFeed / Feed content (in the docs; no in-app screens to switch)[Unnamed] / [Unnamed] / Episode Channels / Headlines / Headline[Unnamed; accessible as "Up"] / Channel-Podcasts. It also uses Feeds, but it’s an entirely different group and if you put a podcast feed there, it won’t download the enclosures. Podcasts only
Support for non-supported (in general, non-MM) stuff?n/t-, not even videos (!!!)n/an/a-+: had no probs with SWf / pdf [/ mov] files++ (asks whether they should really be downloaded; has a download icon with everything, unlike NewsBreak)+, albeit it doesn't display any icon with non-multimedia content (including the 909 byte MP3's with L&C). When you click its placeholder, you'll be asked whether you really want to download the enclosure.+n/t- (manual download can’t be forced either (there’s no way of any kind of manual download), unlike with almost all the alternates)+ with manual and - with auto-download. Also see THIS.
Download benchmarks (~20M mixed content over 512 kbps ADSL)n/tOn a 1024 kbps ADSL, about 35 kbyte/s – that is, about 60% of the rest of the bunch. Very bad, especially over faster connections.n/an/a40...45 kbyte/s6:46n/t~6:00~4:00~6:00Averagen/tn/t
Auto download / fetching: Supported? Refresh intervals / timestamp to execute?+; both are supported: (Settings / Schedule Settings…): both interval- and timestamp-based refresh can be set with a resolution of minutesOnly intervals: 30 min / 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 24 hrs- (only capable of streaming, NOT fetching / saving! Also, it has no podcasting-dedicated settings / menu options at all)- (see with CorePlayer: streaming only)+ (Menu / Management / Settings / Disk Space / [after selecting a channel] Menu / Modify channel settings / Refresh Interval (minutes); anything can be given)+; even allows for really advanced functionality like en/disabling wireless during updates etc. via BeyondScheduler; screenshots: 1 2 3+; Only intervals can be set, not pre-defined time(s) of day; with sufficiently large “update every (minutes)” values, you can make sure updating takes place at night. Can be quickly toggled by Tools / Auto Update (if Tools / Expert Mode is enabled). Updates, of course, can also be run manually. No scheduled updates.+ (disabled by def.); only a specific time of the day can be provided (that is, only daily download possible) (WM screenshot)+; really fine-tunable, both globally and locally+; pretty much allows for fine-tuning; for example, in addition to setting the refresh interval, you can also define the hours when allowing for checking (that is, you can instruct it to check, say, every 15 minute during the day but not at night). Note that, by default, it only caches podcasts when cradled +, only refresh intervals (Menu / Settings / Synchronization: every 15 minutes / hour; once every X hours)+ in Menu / Settings / Schedule. Both interval- and timestamp-based refresh work; the both can be combined. Intervals: 1/3/6/12/4 hours; timestamp: half-hour resolution for the entire day + (can be set to anything; supports both interval and absolute timestamp setting - excellent! Also see THIS)
Download restrictions settable separately for each feed, as opposed to one, global setting?Separately: Subscriptions / Edit Channel / Num. of items to keep (but nothing else)-n/an/a+ (Menu / Management / Settings / Disk Space / [after selecting a channel] Menu / Modify channel settings / Number of items to keep and Number of enclosures (podcasts) to download)+ (if you click More Settings... in Manage Feeds/Edit feed in the Feeds view or while adding the feed). The following can be independently configured: podcast download folder; allow podcast deletions (setting for example auto deletions after playing), time- and count-based auto deletion; configure the internal/external player etc.+- (WM: Preferences / Download Settings / Download Limit (per podcast); BB: nothing settable)+; you need to enable auto content fetching separately for each channel in Menu / Channel Properties / Podcast / Automatically download podcasts +; other stuff that can be overridden: retention count, autocheck; also all podcasts can be deleted from there- (not that it’d count now that you can only download enclosures manually as of the current version...)--
Distinction between allowed / blocked connection types to avoid using (expensive) cellular data?----+ (Menu / Management / Settings / Internet Connection)--BB: the connection type in Preferences can be set from cellular (Direct etc.) to WiFi+ (Connection type can be set in channel options: Podcasts / PC Only (as opposed to Always)+; Options/Retrieval / Auto / When cradled vs. When network available+ (cradled vs. rest: Menu / Settings / Synchronization / Sync when cradled)-+ (as usual in Symbian: Settings / Connection / Default Access Point. Also see THIS)
Can you define whether to force to open a connection if it isn’t available-----More or less: you can start the wireless units when doing an autoupdate and close it after finishing--+: Menu / Options / Auto update / Auto Update Mode list; the choices: No auto update / When ActiveSync available [cradled] / When network available / Connect automatically+: “Retrieval” in Tools / Options: the choices are Never auto update / When cradled / When network available / Open a connection-+ (Menu / Settings / General / Always Connect to Internet; enabled by default)n/a (under Symbian, you are always forced to open a connection – there’re no system-level open connections)
Storage usage restrictable / automatic deletion of listened-to / expired enclosures?: in percentage of free / remaining storage?--n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)+ (Menu / Management / Settings / General / Minimum disk space to be kept free)-+ (Tools / Options / Storage / Enclosure Minimum Store (kB) and Feed Minimum Store (kB) – in Kbytes, not in percentages! Also note that you can also set the maximal size of an enclosure to be downloaded in Tools / Options / More / Enclosure Size (Meg))-+; 50% by default; settable in Menu / Options / Data Storage in the Channels view. Also note that it defaults to the built-in storage; set it to “Store all data and podcasts on card” in the same dialog.- (only the retention number (Options / Podcasts; can be overridden for individual channels in Channel Properties) and read / unread limits (Options / Items; also can be overridden) can be configured ---
Permanent storage in the file system: can the home directory be set?+ (not in trial)- (!!!)n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)+ (Menu / Management / Settings / General / Download location)+ (not the storage card by default!)+ (Tools / Options / Storage / Main Feed Folder)WM: + (Preferences / Advanced Settings); BB: -; with the latter, it’s \BlackBerry\Audiobay; wired-in+ +; also note that automatic podcast retrieval must be enabled for each individual feed in Tools / Properties / Podcasts / Retrieval +; (Menu / Settings / Media / Menu / Change Storage Location sets the enclosure and Menu / Settings / Feeds / Menu / Options / Change Storage Location for feeds)+; Menu / Settings / General / Download folder. It defaults to \Storage Card\Skookum even on devices that don’t have an inserted card or have a CF/SD slot. In both these cases, a bogus \Storage Card directory wlill be created in the built-in storage. Keep this in mind: change this URL as soon as possible and/or make sure you keep your storage card all the time in when using the app.+; built-in storage by default; \Podcasts
Settable maximal number of enclosures kept?+ + (thru restricting the number of feeds)n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)+ (Edit Channel in the tap-and-hold context menu; "Number of items to keep" and "Number of enclosures (podcast) to download")+ + (Tools / Options / More / Enclosures: Num)WM: + (Preferences / Download Settings / Keep Limit (per podcast); default: 99); BB: - (no such menu item in Preferences). It’s only with the automatized (Main) Menu / Cleanup that you can tell the program how many podcasts (per stream) to keep; this is independent of their being already listened to.+; Menu / Channel Properties / Podcast / Keep this many podcasts for each individual channel + (Tools / Properties / Podcasts / Retention)-+ (Menu / Settings / General / Max. New Podcasts; values: 1…6 & Unlimited). Note that you can also set (Menu / Settings / General / Max. Podcast Size) the maximal size of individual enclosures to be downloaded (this is supported by only few other podcatchers. Possible values: 16 / 32 / 64 / 128M / Unlimited )-
Auto-deletion of podcasts older than X days?--n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)-+ +; auto-deletion of just-listened to enclosure is also possible--+ (also can set the max number of retented clips)Partial: 60+ days only can be deleted; number of days can’t be set--
Flags: Already listened to? What functionalities (not listing, deletion etc.) are based on this flag?--n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)-+; has the ability to delete already listened-to threads at once (Menu / Tools / Delete Old Podcasts and Delete All Played). Also, as with FeederReader, it has a “Delete and play next” (non-default) mode; settable in Player Settings / When finished playing.+; deletion.
  • Flags in general: Read/Unread, Delete/Undelete, Keep, On Hold/Off Hold, Enclosure (Podcast)
  • Allows a variety of functions based on flags. "Hold" functionality ensures non-periodic updates do not flood you with podcasts.
  • Keep allows you to retain podcasts and/or news items. Undelete allows you to recover some items before removal. Unread/read determines age deletion. Podcast exists/not exists determines age deletion.
  • Optimized for both podcasts and news reading.
  • +; nothing? It does have support for the Read flag and works both manually and automatically; however, the setting doesn’t seem to stick+, extensive filter also supports this flag+ (for feeds, this default functionality can be disabled in Feeds / Menu / Options / Mark read after navigating through).+; hiding (but not mass-deletion – the latter is only based on the timestamp)+; it has a Never played auto-category for easier selection. No auto/mass-deletion capabilities, though.
    Not listened to, but old enough to be deleted (expired)?--n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)-++ (see section 6.4 in Help; Do / Manual Expire/Delete; Tools / More / Delete). Tools / Options / More / Enclosures: Age and Item Age: Read / Unread set the auto-expiring time. Age to delete settable per feed and/or category.---; retention count (not time) limit can only be defined for read (and, of course, unread items, which isn't based on timeout)-- (but time-based mass-deletion IS supported)-
    Downloads: Multiple downloading threads at the same time to make performance better?+ (by default, disabled; see Settings / Podcast Settings… / Max. Simulataneous)-n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)1 by default; can be set to 2 or 3 in Menu / Management / Settings / Download Threads- (physically, it’s strictly serial)+ (Tools / Options / Connection / Connections / Encl sets the max. number of parallel downloads)--; however, it’s already probably the fastest to download; that is, no need for further optimization+, up to 4. Note that Egress uses the built-in storage under \Windows\Profiles\guest\Temporary Internet Files to temporarily store its stuff and will only continue storing its stuff directly on the card when the internal storage fully fills up. This can greatly slow down the device and will also result in system warnings. If this is a problem, relocate the PIE cache to the card, particularly if it’s a fast one and/or you don’t use PIE much and, therefore, the possible speed hit isn’t an issue.+-+
    Progress bar (or any way to see what has already been downloaded)++ (at the bottom)n/a (no storage at all)n/a (no storage at all)+ (in the My Channels view, the mini status dialog shows the actual download speed. The list of queued podcasts waiting for download is accessible in Menu / Management / Status / Podcast Queue)+ (current download percentage & completion message shown on the taskbar; also beeps on completion)++, percentage with each download+ (progress bar at the bottom or in the background of a channel; always visible)+ (clicking the rotating dots)+++, percentage, separated for all downloads
    Streaming (playback without downloading the entire enclosure (first)) Supported? (Note: Under WM, this will only work with MP3 streaming-capable external players like CorePlayer; WMP will display the “Cannot perform the requested action at this time.” error message.)--+ (incl. random positioning)+ (the only way of working)++ (click “Stream” instead of “Download”; this will also work when another download process is active, unlike the Download link)+; must be turned on globally. (Options / Detail / Enclosure Display / Stream) . Note that if you forget to do this, when you start playing a non-downloaded clip, the last, already-downloaded one will be played.WM: + but only with the built-in player (Episode / Stream) with non-downloaded titles; BB: - (Article menu of the latter showing the lack of the “Stream” menu item)-- (!)--+ (Options / Play preview)
    If streamed, random positioning supported?n/an/a+Partial? (MoDaCo: always starts from the beginning, even after downloading; 1Src: OK)+++ (depending on external player)WM: -; BB: n/an/an/an/an/a- (only allows for random positioning inside the already-downloaded part – in this regard, much weaker than the rest)
    Feed input (in addition to direct address entering, which is supported by all): OPML import / sync?++ (via URL only)--+++ (Tools / File / 2 bullets)- (only direct URL or directory)+ (also supports exporting)+-: No local input at all; new feeds must be added on the Web interface. OPML is not supported in the latter. (Locally, all you can do is deleting feeds from the server, not only from the local mobile in Menu / Feed / Remove from NewsGator.)+ Menu / Manage Feeds / Menu / Import . Also note that you can do the same with online OPML’s too by entering the URL of the OPML file to Menu / Settings / General / OPML Feed Listing and, then, invoking Menu / Add Feed / Menu / Browse. Note that the default URL no longer works and results in a Net exception upon starting to browse. Also note that file:/// URL’s (to access local OPML files) won’t work either: you’ll get a NotSupportedException.-
    M3U / PLS support?--+ / +; however, it’s the best to add them one-by-one as it had problems with some of the feeds I’ve imported via M3U / PLS+ /+ (both work just great; however, podcasts imported this way aren’t added to the library)- / -- / - (not a problem though: you can easily create OPML files on THIS page by just pasting the contents of your M3U files into the “List of RSS feeds url (one per line) :” text area, clicking the “Create OPML” button and copying the results into an OPML file. Note that the the OPML conversion, in cases, generates bad files; for example, with MoDaCo and the two Tagesschau feeds).Partial (Will download and allow playing of all types. Does not pre-download files within playlist for offline playing.)- / -- / --- (on the Web interface; no local feed addition)-- / -
    Pre-defined, built-in library?-+ (pretty nice & expensive)--+ (about 30 feeds built-in at start; has access to, among other things, “Most popular” feeds online etc at Menu / Discover)- (comes with 5 pre-defined feeds, though)+: comes with a handful of built-in feeds+ + ++ (subscribed: not very large, about 20 titles, including YouTube and other video, tech and top news/blogs feeds. Available to choose from for subscription (via the Web interface and the “Find Feeds” tab): really a LOT)-+ (Podcasting / Directories); pretty extensive
    Online search?---+; see Browse > Web Guide, which lists podcast directories and is searchable+ (Menu / Discover / Search)---+; supports Live Search and Syndic8; MoDaCo found by both; the second only has the enclosure-less MoDaCo News thread (screenshots: 1 2 3)+; MoDaCo found+ (found MoDaCo, even the podcast feed and without additional fluff and false hits, unlike with some other searches – that is, excellent results!)+ (Menu / Search in Add feed; MSN.com, Podscope and OMP Search can be searched)+ (Podcasting / Search); by default, it only searches in the already-available online database and not in other databases; this means it won’t find for example MoDaCo However, you can supply another search service URL in Settings / Connection / Search service URL. There, # stands for the user input. This may turn out to be useful.
    Generic HTML page parsing if unsure about the exact feed URL?---------+; MoDaCo's feeds weren’t found, though+ (on the Web interface only. Instead of entering a real feed address, you can also enter the page containing it. It didn’t work with MoDaCo – it didn’t find anything.)--
    Online, web-based, synchronizable and/or readable account?-+--+- (albeit it supports Google Reader imports – but not being in sync)----+ (syncing works pretty good)--
    Built-in player (if any): AVRCPn/a-+ (both BT stacks)+ (both BT stacks)n/a (no built-in player)- (with neither BT stack using the built-in player; + with an external AVRCP-capable one)n/a-n/an/an/a (external player only)n/a+
    CPU usage?n/a~30% @ 624 MHz PXA310 – VERY bad!ExcellentA bit over average: could be better...n/agood (15% at 624 MHz @ PXA-310)n/aWM: about the twice as that of CorePlayer – that is, averagen/an/an/an/aExcellent
    Remembers last position (resume-capable)? And, even better, auto bookmark-capable?n/a-- (!)+ (By default, it only remembers the last played stream and, therefore, restarts it from the beginning. However, you can alter this behaviour in Menu > Seek / Resume > Auto Resume All Tracksn/a+ (with the built-in player)n/a+: It remembers all your pause positionsn/an/an/an/aPodcasting: +; MP: + (as opposed to what some people state). It even has bookmarks – that is, it always remembers the position, even with AAC files.
    Positioning (with already-local playback); + stands for external players with podcatcher apps without a built-in playern/a+++++n/a+ (controls must be enabled: Episode / Controls in the menu; can also be globally enabled: Preferences / Program Settings / Open controls on play?)n/a++n/a+
    If it does have a player, can you still use an external one?+ (you must; note that you can even override the system-level file association with a generic one in see Settings / Podcast Settings… / Use user selected player))-n/an/an/a (you MUST use an external one)+ (Settings / Player Settings / Default Podcast Player list. Note that this global setting MUST be overridden for each feed in Menu / Manage Feeds / Edit Feed / More Settings / Play Podcasts Using - or, at feed creation time)n/aWM: + (Preferences / Use external player?); BB: - . Fortunately, with BB, you can still download enclosures not supported by the built-in player and navigate to them with either Xmedia or the built-in Media (via Menu / Explore in the Media main menu, NOT in the music player)n/an/a+ (you must)+. Note that it uses the file:/// URL upon invoking external players. It’s NOT compatible with CorePlayer (which won’t find the given resource); on the other hand, it does work with the built-in WMP.n/a
    Channel / individual song image support: Generic channel image displayed?-----++ (must be enabled manually in Tools / Options... / Detail / Msg Window / Image. Note that the feed must be updated after this because FR will not download the image during the update process unless this option is selected during the update (thus saving a small amount of space if images are not displayed/desired)WM: + (can be disabled and switched to the traditional title list: Preferences / Podcasts Display? / Title list); BB: - (and a list of the articles showing it’s not shown in there either). Note that, unlike, say, BeyondPod, it was unable to fetch the global 1src feed icon+ (in one-channel view)+, but with considerably less channels than with, for example, BeyondPod: of the test feeds (except for the, in this regard, untested MoDaCo), only X-Play's and the two Tagesschau icons were displayed in the top-level feed title viewWhile it can (explicitly) be enabled (Menu / Settings / Media / Menu / Options / Fetch media thumbnail images ), it worked with none of my feeds--
    Album art / article display? (With external players, only players that do support embedded artwork; that is, NOT WMP but players like CorePlayer. See the first chart HERE for more info on this q.)+-+++++- in built-in player (both WM and BB); + in external (WM only)++++Really limited: of the tested streams, ONLY displayed MoDaCo’s artwork
    Mass playback / delete operations: Mass playback in a given channel?--+ (Channel contents are rendered as a playlist; therefore, mass playback is possible)+ (just like with CorePlayer)?+ with the (default; can be globally changed in Menu / Tools / Settings / Player Settings / Default Podcast Player and can be overridden for each feed in Manage Feeds / Edit Feed / More Settings / Play Podcasts Using - or, at the feed creation time) built-in player: just click the play icon in the top-level feed view and all the feeds will be queued. The same works great with ext. players like CorePlayer if you select either of the two playlist-based external playback approaches. Note that, by default, feeds default to using internal players; however, you can switch to using external ones at any time; then, playlist files will be auto-created and you won't need to re-download the individual podcasts to be able to mass-play them. Excellent!- (not yet; will become available very soon now that I've discussed this problem with the developer)+ (Menu / Play all in the bottom-level article headlines view; works great with external players too)--; albeit it's supposed to auto-create ASX / M3U playlists (after enabling it in Options / Podcasts / Auto-generate playlists (global-only setting). However, I couldn't find any playlist file anywhere.)-- (only global playback is supported)+ (strictly in Podcasting, in the channel view; there, mass selection (hardware pencil button and/or Options / Mark/Unmark / Mark all) also works.)
    Mass playback globally (not just in one channel, but all the new enclosures)?- (Podcasts / Play list …/ Menu / Start all only (re)starts downloads) -?-+ (Menu / Playlist / Latest Audio and Latest Video)- (it seems it's only able to queue the entire contents of a channel at a time, not ALL of them)(see above: will very soon be implemented)- (only channel-level Play All is possible)---: while, in the main (top-level) feeds view Menu / My Media lists all your present media, no mass-selection / mass-playback is possible. Note that traditional feeds are better in this respect: new articles in traditional feeds can be listed in one page; see (the only) Newspaper View in the context menu of feed categories) Menu / Play All in MyPodcasts list; however, it threw an exception on my iPAQ 210+ (All episodes right under in the Podcasts top-level category. This requires an explicit library refresh and will not find a lot of podcasts. Also note that it not only searches the \Podcasts directory on the default storage, but everything; that is, podcasts retrieved by other clients will also be listed here.)
    If (any kind of) mass playback is supported, audio / video distinction (unattended "Commute mode" as referred to by FeederReader?)-n/a--+ (see above)-+-n/an/an/a+ (as it in no way can download videos)-
    Mass deletion of all enclosures? If possible, can you do this on both globally and just in an individual channel?--n/a (currently, no enclosure stroage / caching support)n/a (no support for filesystem-level caching)?Menu / Tools / Delete Old Podcasts and Delete All Played. This uses the expired (see Space savers in Edit Feed / More Settings; defaults to 999 days) / read (podcasts can also be manually tagged unread and vice versa) tags.+?+; yes, there's a distinction between global and channel-level deletion (Podcasts/Delete All Podcasts in Options vs. [Channel] / Properties)-- (all you can do is mass-delete articles older than 60 days in the global Menu / Cleanup)+; both; can also be based on the timestamp of the files; see Menu / Manage Feeds / Menu / Delete All or Delete Selected (for global mass-deletion or feed-specific one only). Both these menus have Feeds, Items and Items older than 1 Day / 2 Days / 3 Days / 1 Week. The same functionality is also allowed here (Menu / Manage Feeds) in the context menus of - (Not automatically. While Podcasting does support the Read flag and either mass (Options / Mark/Unmark / Mark all) or (using the pencil button) quick multiple manual selection, you 1. can't get a list of already-played titles (only the opposite of this); 2. you can't sort based on the Read flag, which would definitely make manual mass selection (no need to cater for intermittent unread podcasts) much easier. Note that the By publish date category greatly helps the situation, as an old title is more likely to be already listened-to. Here, there're four subcategories separating titles based on their publish date: last week, 2 weeks ago, last month and earlier.)
    Filename naming conventions (for quick file system-level lookup, mass playback queuing from external players, deletion etc.)All podcasts are stored in the same directory (by default – which can’t be set in the trial version – the Media subdir of the home dir), using the naming convention xx_xx.mp3, where XX is a number (and is the same; that is, it doesn’t help in deciding what files belong to the same feed. Note that with some feeds like Classic Animation, the original filename is used – after a numeric header)All podcasts are stored in the same directory, using the original filenames.n/a (currently, no enclosure storage / caching support)n/a (no support for filesystem-level caching)Uses the original podcast names in numeric (like 106408 or 339609) main directories, the podcast files put in subdirs like 11 or 77Uses the original names as filenames; creates separate subdirectories for each feed. The filename naming convention can be overridden in More Settings..., by checking in "Force unique names" - then, it won't extract the name from the download URL. no original filename kept; in the \Enclosures subdir of the storage directory, files are kept as <Feed index>_<in-feed-index1>_<in-feed-index2>. Note that the Index subdir here has individual XML descriptors for all enclosures, listing the original names / URL's of the files.Original filenames are kept, with an additional rss_ prefix. All the files, as with FeederReader, are stored in the same (storage) directory.No original filename kept in the home (\Program Files\ Newsbreak\ ChannelData); the naming convention is Ch<Channel index>-Encl<In-channel index>Channels have their individual subdirs in the storage directory. The naming convention is as follows: <a 8-digit hexa number>-original name. That is, the original filename is kept.All enclosures are stored in the same enclosure directory, using their original names.Podcasts are saved using their original names (see the 1Src remarks for mor e info on associated bugs) in separate subdirectories for each feedAudio and video separated to \Podcasts\Sounds and \Podcasts\Videos. In these directories, the system uses the original filename - no prefixes or alternate indexes are used instead.
    Compatibility with some real feeds: MoDaCon/tn/t- (didn’t start / list anything, not even after some 5 minutes)+ (albeit doesn’t resolve / show the titles in Library view [only the URL’s] and can’t reposition in songs)++ ++ +?+n/t+
    1Src Palm-powered Podcast (MP3)+n/t++ (no problems, unlike with MoDaCo)+++?+++ (while it uses original names, it doesn’t make the same mistake – bad filename / URL parsing – as Skookum)Partial: can’t download more than one podcast a time, as it erroreneously assumes the filename being “redirect.mp3”, which results in downloading subsequent episodes overwriting previous downloads. +
    Heart of Space (Mp3)++++++++++- (while it does let for downloading the MP3 enclosures, playing them from inside My Media is impossible: NewsGator seems to add some trailing characters to the filename passed to the external player)++
    SpaceMusic Archive (MP3)+n/t+ ++++?+++++
    (Current) SpaceMusic +n/t++?++++++++
    Radio 538 (AAC-LC): 080804 is problematic with CP (and also with WinAMP on desktop Windows: it can’t read the description); the other files, for example, 080811, work just fine+- (absolutely no support for AAC / M4A audio)080811: +, 080804: complained about multiple, different types in a container - (it correctly parses the feed but can’t play the files themselves, not even on PPC PE devices, which, otherwise, do have an AAC-LC codec)080728, 080811: +; 080804: see problem with CP. WMP on PPC PE devices work great and was able to play even 080804; no album art was shown at all with any of the clips, though.See CP / WMP compatibility remarks+WM: +; BB: - (internal player doesn’t support m4a / AAC). Note that automatic retrieving doesn’t download m4a files as they’re “unknown” – this may be a problem. Same stands for videos on the BB – you’ll need to manually download them ++partial (download works, playback doesn't)- (feed works; downloading doesn’t)+: unlike CP, was able to play even 080804. Note that, when played in Podcasting (and not in Music Player), metainfo wasn’t shown with any titles. Screenshots showing this: Podcasting; Music Player (2)
    Classic Animation (H.264 Baseline video)+- (absolutely no support for videos)+ (at first, it couldn’t open URL; after that, it worked flawlessly)n/a++++ (note that there’s no support for video in the BB version, only via external players, which must be started manually and passed the downloaded file)+?partial (downloading works, playing back from inside doesn't - trailing character addition bug)++ (default RealPlayer is compatible)
    X’Play’s Daily Video Podcast (640*480 non-baseline H.264)+- (absolutely no support for videos)+ (not the best FPS though: on the iPAQ 210, 16)n/a+++See above+++- (feed works; downloading doesn’t)+ (only playable via CorePlayer, NOT the default RealPlayer)
    Tagesschau Podcast (MP3)n/tn/t- (didn’t start / list anything, not even after some 5 minutes)? (“No Results” in the title view on the iPAQ 214; worked great on the Universal only when the feed URL was manually entered; otherwise (when imported from a playlist file), playback didn’t work)- (didn’t display enclosures)+ +WM: +; BB: - upon entering the URL (“Unable to retrieve feed. Check URL”) +++n/t+
    Tagesschau Video Podcast (MP4 / H.264 baseline)n/t- (absolutely no support for videos)- (lists the titles but can’t play them)n/a+ (unlike the MP3 audio version)+ (with external CorePlayer)+See above+++- n/t+ (default RealPlayer is compatible)
    ProsLooks cool (albeit I still prefer non-iPhone-alikes)Additional (non-multimedia) content feeds like Olympics / Election 2008 etc.While in no way top-level, still nice to have aroundWhile in no way top-level, still nice to have around
  • excellent, very-very fast and works unattended, without having to set anything – as opposed to the, being based on the IEM engine, slower BeyondPod
  • free
  • Free but still excellent, apart from some speed problems
  • Really powerful – in many respects, even better than Nokia’s Podcasting, FeederReader or NewsBreak!
  • One of the VERY few apps to seamlessly support mass playback of new podcasts (in a channel), even with an external player like CorePlayer
  • built-in MP3 player has good CPU usage (15% at 624 MHz / PXA-310)
  • really-really powerful and configurable
  • non-audio/non-video enclosure support
  • has no problems with even a huge number of feeds
  • the expiration model is unique
  • the no-video playback mode (see Do / Commute Mode) is unique
  • comparatively easy to queue enclosures to download: you can download a single enclosure, all "OFF Hold" enclosures of a feed or category. Or all "OFF Hold" enclosures globally. By selecting the item/feed/category and then "Download Enclosures" it is one step. You can also list all podcasts (By "Remaining" is my favorite podcast list) and tap the "%" link to add that podcast to the queue.
  • the Expire Then Play Next mode is (apart from BeyondPod) also unique, also together with auto-deletion; see 7.3 Viewing Enclosures and 7.4 Deleting Enclosures for more info.
  • While the interface is indeed hard-to-learn, it's more powerful than most of the alternatives. A practical example: as it is both news and podcasts AND you can do anything at any time, you can be reading news going to the next message and while listening to a podcast end, play the next podcast while not losing your place in news reading.
  • simple, clean, easy-to-learn (compare it to FeederReader or even Egress in this respect!) interface with reliable auto-fetch
  • quick, responsive, unlike BeyondPod
  • for BB users, currently the only way to go
  • Version 4 for WM will be available be the end of this month; The Blackberry version 4 will be available in October/November and have the same features as the WM version 4, with possibly the exception of no streaming. This is GREAT news, given that it's still not known when the BB version of Viigo does receive podcast support. And, of course, the podcasting capabilities of the current WM version of Viigo are far inferior to AudioBay.
  • simple, clean, yet powerful interface – much easier to learn than that of Egress, let alone FeederReader
  • if you prefer manually (mass)-selecting individual podcasts to download in a feed, it offers the fastest selection with large, easy-to-press queuing icons and by showing several headlines on one page, heavily reducing the requirements to download. In this regard, Egress is far inferior: there, you need to press-and-hold the enclosure icon and select download when the context menu comes up - all this NOT finger-friendly, unlike NewsBreak's solution. Yikes!
  • very fast
  • no bugs
  • fully finger-controllable - albeit for example NewsBreak comes pretty close in this (particularly in channel view), Egress is still better in this respect
  • able to make Web content available offline, with even settable depth (both generic Options and channel-specific, overriding Channel Web / Retrieval / Make HTML available offline; note that, as opposed to regular enclosures, retention of Web content is time-based, not read flag & count-based; see the Retention setting in here)
  • much faster than BeyondPod
  • very well configurable (unlike, say, Spb Insight)
  • free
  • great online integration & read flag synchronization (works like Opera’s favorite synchronization – that is, the changes are visible at once on other mobile clients as well)
  • Free
  • easy to use and configure
  • A very well-made client considerably faster over fast (>10 Mbps) connections than, say, WinMo’s BeyondPod. Compared to the rest of the WinMo podcatchers, its has both pros (for example, mass playback capabilities) and cons.
    Cons
  • VERY slow menus
  • slow podcast enqueing (compare this to how quickly you can do the same in NewsBreak!)
  • slow scrolling – in no way iPhone-like and even slower than for example Egress
  • not really feature-packed
  • commercial (even some free titles like BeyondPod or HubDog are FAR better)
  • NO auto enclosure update!! All enclosures must be manually downloaded, which is very annoying, given that there’s not even queuing
  • very-very simple, as can also be seen in its options dialog (as can be seen, you can only set the max. number of non-enclosure articles and the frequency of autoupdates – nothing else)
  • the slowest download of the bunch (about 60% of the speed of the rest of the bunch (except NewsBreak) on 1024 kbps ADSL; over faster connection, the difference is even more staggering
  • no mass-download capabilities
  • impossible to use external players; the built-in one is pretty incapable (no videos; AAC on PPC’s – not tested on PPC PE’s in this respect! – etc.)
  • no multiple downloads or, even worse, download queues – you can queue only one podcast for downloading a time
  • "Only" a streaming podcaster, not a podcatcher; limited RSS / Atom parsing capabilities"Only" a streaming podcaster, not a podcatcherSome incompatibilities (not as bad as those of CorePlayer, though)
  • Switching / tapping isn’t very responsive as it uses the PIE engine to render HTML
  • often complains of the memory being full – even with 52M free on my test iPAQ 210
  • on VGA, in Landscape orientation, built-in player has messed-up controls
  • no AVRCP support in built-in player
  • compared to the, in this respect, better podcatchers (most importantly, NewsBreak), comparatively slow download. This won't be an issue over current max. 1-2 Mbps home / cellular connections, though.
  • pretty ugly on VGA devces (even with the VGA hack – that is, renaming VGAFeederReaderCF.exe.0409.mui to FeederReaderCF.exe.0409.mui)
  • settings dialogs not Landscape-compliant
  • may not be the right one for beginners or ones that dislike reading manuals – in this respect the otherwise somewhat less capable, say, AudioBay and NewsBreak are both better - but still less powerful.
  • pretty expensive
  • heavily lacks advanced features like auto-cleanup and flagging (see FeederReader’s excellent flagging and related functionality), particularly the BB version. Note that, however, the 4-series BB version will soon be released, as is also pointed out in the Pros section above.
  • Doesn't have some advanced features some of the alternatives do offer.The GUI's being optimized for finger control / scrolling means it's sometimes pretty hard to activate a specific menu item - double-taps are interpreted as scroll requests etc.
  • doesn’t auto-sync enclosures, only feeds. Enclosures must be separately and MANUALLY downloaded in the headlines view by selecting Menu / Get Media. This will be a showstopper for many. Unfortunately, the dedicated thread in the official NewsGator forum has still received no response (for over four months!).
  • Playback can't be initiated from inside the app with many feeds / downloads (in addition to the above, also the majority of the C&L blog videos suffer from this problem). This is another MAJOR bug.
  • with feeds having more than a handful of headlines, very slow loading (while you can’t do anything). In this respect, it’s definitely THE worst podcatcher / RSS client of the bunch. This must be caused by the constant state (read flag, deletion etc.) synchronization between the server and the local list and the subsequent inability to do full client-side caching.
  • Absolutely no local feed addition capabilities – you MUST use the Web interface to do this
  • Not any way to restrict storage usage, unlike with most alternatives
  • Settings dialog isn’t VGA-compliant (another screenshot) and, therefore, is very hard to use on VGA devices
  • pretty restricted capabilities
  • pasting doesn’t work in dialogs, unlike with the alternatives (would be useful in entering / pasting feed URL’s)
  • no longer developed
  • incompatible with players not compatible with file:/// URL’s
  • ugly, pixelizated characters on VGA devices; in article mode, they’re, in addition, double-sized
  • not in any way of downloading non-MP3 files
  • naming extraction / guessing problems (see 1Src bug)
  • There is no way of configuring different retention, enclosure size etc. restrictions for individual feeds
  • also lacking in for example the channel image and non-MP3 enclosure download support
  • Lacks some functionalities existing in BeyondPod and other podcast/catchers
    VerdictNot recommended - there're far better alternativesProbably the worst WinMo solution for podcasting - in no way recommended unless you really need the advanced, unique features like Elections 2008 news feedsThe BEST multimedia player with basic podcasting (and absolutely no podcatching) capabilities. If you can live with the restrictions and bad RSS/Atom compliance, you won't need anything else for listening to / watching podcasts; otherwise, go for an additional podcatcher like Egress, NewsBreak, BeyondPod, HubDog etc. A decent multimedia player with rather limited podcasting (and absolutely no podcatching) support. See my CorePlayer remarks for additional info.A decent podcatcher - one of the most recommended titles. And it's free!One of the most recommended free (!) podcatchers, if the somewhat slow rendering speed and, compared to, for example, NewsBreak, the slower manual podcast download enqueing isn't an issue.A very nice, feature-packed podcatcher. However, be prepared for a very steep learning curve - and I do mean this!Compared to the most recommended Windows Mobile titles, a somewhat barebone, but still useful app. If you're a BlackBerry user, this is your only choice.Without doubt the most user-friendly app. Highly recommended, unless you need a free and/or more feature-packed app.Another feature-packed app with iPhone-like finger control. I, personally, prefer NewsBreak to it, though.Too bad it's suffering from a LOT of problems. Not at all recommended for podcasting - there're much better free(!) titles out there. Don't bother, unless you absolutely need to use it because, say, its online synching capabilities.Not really recommended, albeit certainly not the worst podcatcher of the bunch. Some other free titles (BeyondPod, HubDog) are way better.Nokia did it again! This title isn't considerably worse than most podcatchers / podcasters on Windows Mobile. Well done Nokia!