Torsten created a mockup of the Options tab for Attachments & Podcasts in the next version of RSS Bandit which is currently codenamed Jubilee and we've gotten into quite a debate about it. The Attachments/Podcasts tab of the Options dialog is shown below

So what are the points of contention?

  1. Dare: We shouldn't have two download locations, one for podcasts and one for attachments
    Torsten: What about people who want to copy supported file formats to their hardware device (e.g. MP3s) but have everything else go to local folders?

  2. Torsten: My MP3 player doesn't handle subfolders well so all podcasts need to be placed in the same folder.
    Dare: Most podcast clients create a folder structure where each podcast goes into a subfolder that is named after the feed. Perhaps we need an option for 'place podcasts in subfolders named after the feed'?
  3. Dare: When creating playlists in iTunes or WMP, should we create one über-playlist with all podcasts or one playlist per feed? Perhaps we need an option for this as well?

  4. Torsten: With all these additional options perhaps we need an 'Attachments' tab and a 'Podcasts' tab?
    Dare: Wouldn't that be weird given that most of the settings from the 'Attachments' tab would apply to podcasts as well?

Let us know what you think about the various points of contention and feel free to let us know if there are other points of contention that you have with the above dialog and the discussion around it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 6:53:51 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Q1: I agree with Torsten
Q2: I agree with Dare
Q3: Definitely need option to specify playlists - what about allowing the user to specify a play list at the feed level as well. That way you could have a Technology Podcasts Playlist, and a News Podcasts Playlist, etc
Q4: I don't think that you need seperate tabs, but maybe an advanced options button for podcasts with some of these options. That way you don't clutter the normal options interface.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 9:44:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
1. I disagree with Dare on this one. Right now I download all my netcasts to one folder which is included in my WMP library, and everything else goes to my download folder.

2. What I do currently agrees with Torsten but (related to #3) I maintain 1 netcasts playlist manually. If I had 1 WMP playlist with all my netcasts, I wouldn't care abuot the subfolder structure because then all I'd have to do is reorder (maybe), listen, and delete which I can do inside WMP

What about bitTorrent netcasts (Rocketboom, DotNet Rocks, Hanselminutes)? I would prefer to mark feeds as netcasts rather than go by file extension, because .torrent could be either. Zips could also be either (dnrTV is a zipped netcast). It would be really cool if RSS Bandit could start the torrent (similar to what it does now, but preferably without loading IE as an intermediate step), and then when the torrent finishes, unzip and add to WMP. That's probably asking a lot to monitor when a separate program finishes downloading a torrent, but I mention it as an example of how I use RSS Bandit (installed on a USB key so I can read at home and at work, since I can't run it off my notebook because I can't connect it in the office--good security policy, but a royal PITA)
Thursday, November 9, 2006 4:27:34 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The General section looks fine.
As for the Podcast section (can't you call it enclosures or feedcast or something, podcast sounds so... Apple):

I don't think you should hard code specific apps to the UI like you have there. Instead how about making the podcasts section have a list box with add, remove, and properties buttons below it. Clicking the add button would open a dialog that prompts the user for a list of extensions (as you have mocked up) as well as a drop down of handlers. These handlers would be plug-ins (dlls dropped in the handlers subdir?) By default you could include the WMP and iTunes ones like you have mocked up. This would allow you to map say aac and mp3 to iTunes and .wma and .wmv to WMP. Each would have it's own set of supported extensions and it's own entry in the list box.

When RSS Bandit downloads an enclosure it would loop through the mappings set up in this list box looking for a handler for the enclosure's extension. If it does not find one it will download it to the directory specified in the General section above. If however there is a handler defined it would pass it the feed name, the feed item name, the enclosure name, and any other relevent info. It would then be this handlers job to return a path to RSS Bandit for where to save this file. If the path returned is invalid an error could be reported to the user and the file could download to the path in the General section.

In the case of the WMP and iTunes handlers they would use the feed, item, file info that RSS Bandit passes in to create the desired playlist and potentially form the path the plug-in returns to RSS Bandit. The Properties button below the List box in the RSS Bandit UI would allow the plug-in developer to present the user with a UI to select options on how this is handled. For example the Properties for the WMP extension might allow you to select if the WMP enclosures go in a single global playlist or per feed playlists. You could also specify a path to them providing the user with variables like %f for feed. That would let the user specify a path like: C:\Podcasts\%f. The iTunes Properties UI could be similar or completely different since each is a seperate plug-in.

This also means each plug-in could place it's files in different directories. Other plug-in ideas could be a generic handler that just returns a path specified in it's properties. This handler could thus be copied and renamed to be used for various extensions. For example you could make one and map it to various image extensions and set it's path to some image directory. You could then make another copy giving it another name and mapping it to audio extentions and having it download them into another directory. People could create plug-ins for winamp, foobar, and any other media player.

I don't know how doable this is but if possible it would be a great addition to RSS Bandit. I hope it at least gives you some ideas you can work with.
Thursday, November 9, 2006 7:21:08 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
1. Agree with Torsten.
2. Agree with Dare. You could always have a field where people could set the output folder and filename structure, e.g. "[entry-id]" (Torsten), "[feed-title]/[entry-title]" (Dare), or "[feed-title]/[date-year]/[file-name]" (group by feed title, publishing year, and original file name).
3. Option needed.
4. Agree with Dare.
Jarno Elovirta
Thursday, November 9, 2006 11:34:45 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Q1: Torsten
Q2: Dare (and and option box to not/use subfolders
Q3: Playlist option please
Q4: Dare

General remark: shouldn't 'attachment' be replaced with the text 'enclosure'?
Michel Erdmann
Friday, November 10, 2006 10:22:28 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
1. Torsten, kinda
There should be a master folder for either podcasts or file attachments and each feed should have an override option.

2. My Sony Ericsson W800i requires that I put it within a unchangeable located at X:/MP3/. But I am permitted to have nested folders from there on ie: X:/MP3/TWiT/episode99.mp3
I propose a root folder where all podcasts are placed but there also be an option for podcast nesting where the folder name is also the feed name.
I would like this for RSSBandit because no podcast application supports my phone :(.

3. There should be an option to have either or both of a master list and a podcast-feed-specific list.

4. No Opinion. Whichever looks cleaner.
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