FeedReader Now Supports Enclosures

FeedReader Logo_OldI was talking to my brother-in-law tonight and giving him a crash course in RSS feeds and podcasting and just how great the whole thing is. I think I left him sufficiently confused but excited about what it could do for him. That aside I was recommending a feed reader for him to try and I have always recommended FeedReader. I was very surprised to see that it now supports enclosures (and that includes podcasts!).

While I have not used this version which is FeedReader 3.02, I am sure that it is as easy to use as it was for me when I used it. I have used FeedDemon for some time now, one of the main reasons that I switched to FeedDemon was the fact that it is an all-in-one solution. It supports both feeds and lots of different types of enclosures including podcasts and I liked the idea of having it all in the one place. Essentially both these programs do the same thing; in that they now both support enclosures and read news and whatever other feed you wish to subscribe to. But now when I recommend a reader I won’t have to give an explanation as to why you can not get podcasts with it and why you need a program like Juice to do that. This makes FeedReader a very nice no cost alternative for anyone wanting to give RSS a go.

Juice is a very good Podcast aggregator. However I do think that it is not the easiest piece of software to use for a person that is new to RSS or podcasting. Now having the podcasting support in FeedReader means that a user only has to learn to use one program and not two. Both having very different interfaces. The other huge bonus for the end user is that FeedReader is still open source and still free! Which is great news all round in my book. The new version of FeedReader has some other great new and improved features so check it out!

So for my mates that I put onto FeedReader, go and update it to the latest version on the Download Page and shove your podcasts and feeds into it and let me know how easy/hard it is to use. I hope it makes it a lot easier for people to utilize RSS and enjoy podcasts.

What is RSS?

What is a podcast?

What is an aggregator?

Ok, so I have the software where can I go to find some great RSS feeds and podcasts?

That should be enough to get you going I am sure you will start to notice RSS links and feeds and podcasts everywhere now.

Don’t forget to add Rooster’s Rail to your subscriptions and Global Geek Podcast! Here are the RSS feeds for those. Right click and copy the link and paste it to your reader of choice when you have selected to make a new subscription:


LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.


Today, I had cause to drop down to the local computer shop to pick up an audio lead for the computer. I would not normally drop in there to buy this particular lead but it was five in the afternoon and needed it for the podcast and wanted to test it. (Yes I am impatient).

Anyways I got into a bit of a conversation with three of the guys at the shop regarding what I needed the lead for and I said: “You guys heard of podcasts right, what do you listen to?”. Would you believe the answer that I got back was “…err no sorry, nope..ahhh no never heard of that” (cue: blank looks). What the heck, can you believe that! I was totally and utterly dumbfounded beyond belief.

So the upshot of the conversation was the following points:

  • None of them had heard of podcasting.
  • What they thought was a podcast was in fact a webcast.
  • None of them had heard of RSS (or atom or XML or OPML!)
  • None of them had listened to a podcast.
  • None of them had a C L U E !!!

I told them that to be honest I was totally and utterly surprised and speechless. (even my mates have listened to podcasts and subscribe to feeds and they are not geeks). I then went on to tell them briefly what the whole business is about but generally sent them in the direction of links to Wiki and some open source applications to get them started.

But the main thing I learned regarding the whole experience was that if this is the state of knowledge of people within the consumer electronics and computer industry then no wonder this technology remains in the geekosphere! No wonder I confuse my friends and family when I talk about this stuff, how can I expect them to know what I am talking about when supposed “geeks” don’t have a clue?

This then gets onto how I can “share” this technology with the people around me, as this is the only place I can really influence. What I have been doing is just telling people in very simple terms what it is all about. If they show and interest about the podcast and how to get it, I don’t even mention downloading it from the site. First, I tell them about the free applications like Juice that they can use to do it. It isn’t much but it is my little bit that might help others to get as much out of the internet as I do. And if they don’t investigate it right away; that’s cool but it might twig their interest later and that’s enough.

As for the computer shop boys… I really was dumbfounded… all three! Bloody hell. I can only shake my head, in realization that we have a long; long way to go before any of this is in any way “main-stream”.