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gPodder 3.0.0 removed support for the old method of syncing podcasts to portable audio players. Some people have expressed their sadness about seeing that feature go. The feature as it was implemented in 2.x was not well maintained, and while it worked, it didn't provide the necessary flexibility that users demanded (see bug list below), so we decided to remove it in 3.x (which also made it possible to clean up some other spots). Of course, there's no problem with re-implementing an even better device sync module for 3.x, and this is what this Wiki page is about.

Now would also be a good time to subscribe to the Mailing List if you have not done so already.

User Stories[edit]

Please help us understand how you used or want to use the device sync in the past and in the future, so we can have an idea about what is important to you and what not. Simply add a subsection here, describe your use case and leave some way of contacting you, so we can get back to you in case we have further questions. Please also add yourself as volunteer below if possible.

User story 1[edit]

I use gPodder for sync my player (Generic Chinese player based file system). I connect the player to the computer and cron run sync of gPodder every 10 minutes. I'd like that the software will automatically sync itself (bug 864). Hatul 13:43, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

User story 2[edit]

I sync audio podcasts with my Sansa player. I prefer to listen to podcasts in FIFO order, although I will edit to move important ones up. My process is a bit unwieldy, however:

  1. open playlist to determine fully played podcasts (scrobbler log does not work for me)
  2. delete all fully played podcasts using gpodder
  3. run sync to replicate deletes to device
  4. download new podcasts, either all or selectively (I sometimes run this independently)
  5. run sync to copy new podcasts to device
  6. edit playlist to re-order (new podcasts were added to the top)
  7. manually edit bookmark on device to resume current podcast (which is now first)

I also want to move to running gpodder portable (currently at version 2.20, although 3.0 is in the works) but I haven't decided whether I will download directly to the device or not. I tend to have more podcasts ready than will fit on the device thus I use sync to always have current podcasts ready, but decide which ones to copy to the device. Rsleegers

User story 3[edit]

I start gPodder every day after booting my desktop PC (my desktop isn't always on) and check for new updates. But if my PC is running, gPodder is running too and checks for new episodes every 20 minutes. My device isn't always plugged in because it looses the position for the current playing podcast when connecting the charger or the usb connection to a PC. So I mostly synchronize after listen to a podcast episode and before I start a new one. Sometimes I have to remember the position if I want to transfer episodes before I finished listen to a episode. So this is my usecase step by step

  1. open gPodder and check for new episodes
  2. download new episodes
  3. open playlist to determine fully played podcasts
  4. mark all fully played podcasts as played in gPodder
  5. run sync to delete played episode from the device and to transfer new episodes to the device
  6. edit playlist to re-order and activate episodes (new podcasts were added to the top)
  7. on the device I start with the first podcast episodes on the playlist

Some thoughts:

  • There is an application for syncing music player with mass storage devices. It could also generate playlists. But I couldn't test it because it don't run on an actual linux system because the app depends on HAL. But the project seems to be dead since 2006 (syncropated)
  • Could it be a solution to create an external app (independent from gPodder) and talk with gPodder via DBUS (as mentioned in the bug comment: bug #864 - comment2)
  • I think I could live with the new option from version 3.0 to store downloaded files and all gPodder config files directly on my device. So I always have to plug in my device before I could start gPodder. But then I would need the playlist feature. But this could also be an external app. Such an app don't need any dependencies to gPodder. It only has to know the media file directory and where to store the playlist file.

Bernd Schlapsi

User Story 4[edit]

I'm a long time gpodder user. Git pull every so often. Haven't reported many bugs lately, as I haven't found any!

I loved the sync feature. I had gpodder configured to prepend a datestamp to each filename, and to store them on my local computer. I did this because I'm several months behind in my daily podcasts.

I would then move the files, one by one, by date, to my file system-based MP3 player. It played the MP3s in the order they were copied, thusly the one by one nature to preserve the natural order of the daily podcasts.

So now I have to send each file to the local file system, then delete it. A little bit of a hassle now, but I'm limping along.

Ideally, if I can ever catch up on my backlog, I'd remove the podcasts on my MP3 player, and upon the next sync, they'd disappear from gpodder.

Andrew Bennett

User Story 5[edit]

I don't sync at all anymore. My mobile device has been an Android phone for a few years now and there's no client. So I just have separate subscription lists. Video podcasts on my desktop with gpodder and audio podcasts on my phone with DoggCatcher.

I wish I could:

  • manage all podcast subscriptions online with
  • synchronize which episodes where played on my phone or desktop with
  • be able to pause an episode on my desktop and resume last played position on my phone (like kindle books)
  • new episode from feeds populate playlists. the playlists are subscribed to be devices (desktop, phone, laptop)

I have no desire to physically connect a cable between devices to sync. That seems pretty old school and fraught with possible issues.

Thanks for gpodder!

Ben Wilson

User Story 6[edit]

I use gPodder on Ubuntu to sync my Sandisk Sansa Clip+ in MSC mode. This player has a dedicated PODCAST folder and all files in this folder have playback continue support.

I currently use file-based syncing to the PODCAST folder. The player requires correct tagging, so I use a small post-download script to re-tag all downloaded files using the channel and title variables.

The implementation of both syncing and scripting in version 2.20 work without problems for me.


User Story 7[edit]

I use gPodder on Ubuntu to sync my Android phone in USB device mode. I am still on 2.20 and so use the device sync feature. Works ok for me. However, I would like to:

  • Be able to delete files on my phone once I have listened to them, and have them be removed in gpodder at the next sync.
  • Be able to create a playlist or somehow set the order in which my phone will play the podcasts. Currently my phone orders the episodes by title, and I can't see how to play them in chronological order (though this could be be PEBAK on my part). So it would nice if gpodder created a playlist for me, with perhaps options on how the episodes are ordered, so I can hit 'play' on my phone and hear the episodes in the desired order. (I think this may already be a feature in 2.x but I didn't have need for it until very recently).

(Significant overlap with User Story 4, but I wanted to add mine anyway.)

Joseph Wickremasinghe

User Story 8[edit]

I currently run gPodder 2.20 on my LMDE laptop, and use an iRiver B20 mp3 player to listen to the podcasts on. I have around 60 podcasts that are captured, some daily, some weekly, others less frequent, and a mixture of professional (BBC, Absolute etc), semi-pro (Linux Outlaws, Bugcast etc) and amateur (Soundcloud)

My routine is:

  • Run gPodder on the laptop, then sync with the mp3 player (use Filesystem-based option in Devices) deleting from gPodder once synced.
  • Listen to podcasts on mp3 player, manually deleting as I've listened to them.

Prefer to use the mp3 player, as run podcasts faster than normal (reduces the time to listen) and I've yet to find a way for my Android phone to do this.

Ian Roberts

User Story 9[edit]

I sync gPodder with my Android phone. I manually refresh my gPodder feeds when my device gets low on new items to listen to. I connect my phone to my computer, mount it, and manually hit the sync button for gPodder.

When I finish a podcast I delete it on the computer, and rely on gPodder to delete it from my device. It would be nice if I could delete the item from my device and have gPodder recognize it as deleted and delete my PC's copy.

User Story 10[edit]

I use gPodder with a vanilla 4GB thumb drive as device - this integrates directly with my car's (Prius) audio system. Once a week, I ...

  • Run gPodder
  • Mark podcasts I've listened to as played
  • Sync my device and...
  • Plug it back into my car

and I'm good to go for the whole week. gPodder, deletes the old ones, copies across the new ones and keeps the USB stick neat and tidy with no effort on my part.

I miss this facility so much that I'll stick with version 2.3 until it's back!

Mike D P

User story 11[edit]

I'm using a good Player (Sansa Fuze v2) with an alternative FreeSoftware-Firmware (RockBox).

  • I update my podcasts on a daily basis
  • I want gpodder on my normal PC which holds the archive of all the podcasts I ever downloaded (I like offline-files!)
  • Only new and unplayed podcasts should remain on my portable player

What I would love to see is a feature to mark the podcasts as played/unplayed from within RockBox so that it would be deleted at the next sync. The feature "lastfm" doesn't work that well. Because, what happens with a podcast that I had only listened 80%?

Please define a sync-protocol-foo that will be integrated into RockBox (I would do that). So that rockbox will list the new podcasts, and so on..


User story 12[edit]

I'm using file system based mp3/ogg player. gPodder (2.20) runs always and checks for a new podcasts every 20 minutes. I use it for video podcast as well as for audio. Audio podcasts I hear usually on my portable player and video podcasts I watch always on PC. So gPodder is media center for my online content.

I have subscribed around 100 feeds. Some feeds I like very much and download every episode as soon as it is online. But other feeds are not so interesting and I download only certain selected episodes. I've used Amarok 1.4 as podcatcher before. It has a very useful feature, that I miss in gPodder. It is selective autodownload. In Amarok I can turn auto download mode only by certain (favorite) feeds on. Afterwards I do not care about new episodes any more.

I am trying to download interesting episodes as soon as they are online. New podcasts are waiting for syncing on my harddrive sometimes for a long time. When I plug in my mp3 player, I remove first old played episodes from player by hand using gpodder ("Select and remove episodes from device"). Afterwards I select unplayed downloaded episodes and sync they to my player. These episodes are marked as played and will be removed soon after syncing.

Andrey Skvortsov

User story 13[edit]

I have previously used gpodder2 to download and sync podcasts to my iPod Classic 6.5G. It worked well, because half of the podcasts had no ID3 tags and the file names were made of random digits, and gPodder was smart enough to embed the metadata from the XML feed into the actual MP3 files so that the episodes had meaningful names on the player.

As of recently version 2 suddenly stopped syncing because of missing dependencies which after an upgrade do not seem to be available anymore in the repos or in AUR (in Archlinux).

Once a week I would typically delete old episodes from the `~/gpodder/downloads` folder (typically 2 or 3 GBs) and then update the feeds, go through the descriptions and select the ones I want. Now that syncing does not work in either v2 or v3 I am only using gPodder for downloading.

After the files are downloaded I have to run a python script which prepends the parent folder name to those MP3 files with random file names and no ID3 tags, and then use gtkpod for copying the files to the iPod. During the copy process gtkpod often crashes, especially when drag-and-dropping entire subfolders, but generally it works and I can almost live with it.

I used to have syncing enabled but stopped using it because it takes longer than normal and speed does matter.

I wish gPodder had an option to populate the ID3 tags with data from RSS feeds in those cases when the MP3 files have no tags and the file names are not meaningful. I realize that there is no way to programatically determine if a name is meaningful, but an option to ignore original file names and use XML data would be very nice.

I noticed that in about 75% of cases gPodder reports incorrect file sizes prior to starting the download, but I suspect that it is related to incorrect content length being reported by the server or by the RSS feed itself.

Espedu Tamadre

User story 14[edit]

  1. connect iPod shuffle to the PC (Ubuntu)
  2. delete played episodes on the iPod shuffle using home-brewed python/libgpod script
  3. gpo update; gpo download
  4. manually select podcasts based on priority and age, select "send to"/ipod (transferred files get deleted) <-- this was with version 2.x, now it is gone!
  5. until iPod storage is full continue at 4.

Update: I have written an extention to cover my use case (see, it works reliably, but is mising some goodies and user feedback features.

Paul Ortyl

User story 15[edit]

I use gpodder with an Ipod Classic 160Gb. There are always problems when syncing. First I used to this:

  1. Connect the Ipod. Sync once. However some title will appear repeated 20 or more times. The problem was in the catalog, because it appeared to be copied once. While syncing it would appear that most podcasts are copied again, even if still in the device.
  2. Erase the repeated one and sync again. Same deal.
  3. Erase the repeated one in the device, sync again and everything seemed to be fine.

However, i began noticing that old podcasts began appearing as music.

My new procedure is the following:

  1. I begin by telling godder which tracks I already played.
  2. Then I erase all podcasts from the device.
  3. Sync

This works ok.

--Vsanchez (talk)

User story 16[edit]

I've been using gPodder 2 on Linux for a few years now to download podcasts and sync them to a Sandisk Sansa Clip+ player. It worked almost perfectly, exactly the way I needed. Thanks! Now I've switched to OSX, and installed almost native gPodder 3. It works better, and I really miss the old sync feature. I've got a few issues with the new one:

  1. The episodes marked as played in gPodder are not removed from the device.
  2. There is really no point in copying a few files concurrently to the device (the Limit downloads to: 4 option kicks in). This is the cause of a very small sync speed: ~400 KB/s (limit to 4) vs ~4 MB/s (limit to 1).
  3. on_episode_downloaded() method of an extension is called after copying to the device, and it shouldn't be.
  4. The contents of the Progress tab are not reflecting the process (it may be an issue of gPodder on OSX). EDIT: The data is indeed updated in the Progress tab, it's just that gPodder DoS'es the player with a dozen of episodes from the start, and then waits until they are synced. See point #2.

I'm ready to help with this!

--Eugene (talk) 21:20, 29 April 2013 (BST)

User story 17[edit]

I use gpodder 2 on (X-) Ubuntu 12.04 with a Cowon iAudio 7 player. Very simple, quite convenient:

  • I have gpodder download all new episodes when I'm on a fast internet connection (ctrl-r)
  • I quickly browse through the list (all episodes or per channel) and mark the episodes I'd like to have on the iAudio, then I click the "Copy to device" button.
  • I delete files manually on the iAudio after listening to them, or when they're outdated. From time to time, I delete old episodes on the computer, too, but file deletion should not be synchronized.

Only two little problems in gpodder 2 for me:

  • If a channel gives the same title to every episode, gpodder overwrites the same file again and again on the iAudio.
  • I cannot mark episodes from more than one channel list at a time.

User story 18[edit]

I am working on a new setup as follows:

  • A "server" (always on Linux Box) is running a podcatcher (currently gPodder) which is constantly syncing the "device" (a filesystem on a SAMBA share).
  • This same "server" is also running a DNLA/UPnP program to "advertise" the media on the LAN. This allows any other machine to play/control the media.
  • While I can use to add/subtract podcasts, I need to physically access the gPodder tool on my server to mark specific episodes of a podcast as played. Also, this needs to be confirmed, again requiring GUI access to my server.
  • Also requires physical access to my server to repeatedly hit the "sync with device" button despite the device being a shared file system mounted on the server.
  • Server is not designed for GUI interface and that is highly inconvenient. Would much rather have a tool (such as a 2nd installation of gPodder) on my personal machine which could share/sync a file (presumably a DB?) to mark which episodes are played and which are still unviewed.
  • I'd love to see this ability to sync worked into any future android clients that may eventually come about:

Helpful links[edit]


If you would like to volunteer in helping to get this feature back into 3.x, please add yourself, and describe the device you are using and what you want to contribute (i.e. developing or just testing or documentation, etc..).

  • Bernd Schlapsi, Device: Meizu M6, contribute: developing, testing and documentation
  • Hatul, Device: Generic Chinese player based file system, contribute: testing.
  • Rsleegers, Device: Sansa e260 (file based mp3, RockBoxed), contribute: testing Windows release.
  • Andrew Bennett, Device: Panasonic SV-MP020 (file-based), contribute:testing and documentation
  • Ben Wilson , Device Google Nexus S, contribute:testing, Android hardware
  • Joseph Wickremasinghe , Device HTC Evo, contribute:testing, Android hardware, also testing on Sansa Clip. Plus development (though I'm a novice Python developer, but have programming experience in other languages.)
  • Mike D P, Device: USB thumb drive (file system based mp3), contribute: Testing.
  • Andrey Skvortsov, Device: File system based mp3/ogg player, contribute: testing.
  • Tom Potts, Device: iPod nano (4g), contribute: development, testing.
  • Ville-Pekka Vainio, Device: Sandisk Sansa Fuze running Rockbox, contribute: development, testing.
  • Lewis, Device: Iriver S100, contribute: testing.
  • Chris Farrell, Device: File system based mp3 player, contribute: testing.
  • Paul Ortyl, Device: iPod Shuffle 2g/4g, contribute: testing, development
  • Victor Sánchez, Device: Ipod Classic, contribute: testing.
  • Eugene, Device: Sandisk Sansa Clip+, contribute: development, testing, (possibly) documentation.
  • Don Cristóbal, Device: Cowon iAudio 7, contribute: testing, documentation, possibly development (no Python experience)