Looking for a Podcast Manager

My old Galaxy S3 is giving me fits – I hope it lasts until the L5 ships. The latest annoyance is that my podcast manager, Podbean app, is throwing protocol errors and no longer downloading what I assume are RSS subscriptions to my podcasts. I’ve had app after app break as they are updated and the S3 no longer supports some TLS/SSL feature or another. I’m guessing that Podbean is now dead to me. Well, it will probably be dead to me when I get the L5, in any case. :slight_smile:

So tonight, I begin my search for a podcast manager that will actually download episodes to my Linux Mint laptop and will install and play nice on the L5 when it gets here. I commute 2.5 hours/day, and the podcasts let me use that time to keep current on news, Linux and libertarian philosophy. Actual downloads are important to me because the daily podcasts I subscribe to seem to drop during my commute and I’ve timed it so that I pass through 4G LTE zones when they do. Without Podbean, I suppose that I’ll side-load the podcast mp3 files from the laptop to the S3. That is, until I find the perfect Linux podcast manager and it’s installed on the L5!

A cursory search found a list where I see that VLC seems to have more capability than I knew. Still, it doesn’t seem to do actual downloads.

Of course, I’m still looking, but do you all have any suggestions?

I’m not saying that GNOME Podcasts is the best podcast app, but considering this you can probably expect at least one podcast app to be available at the release of the Librem 5.


I use podboat with newsboat which is a nice CLI podcast manager.

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PocketCasts is pretty good. Although the mobile view of the webpage is messed up; however, if you request the desktop site it loads well enough to use.

That’s funny that the demo video of GNOME Podcasts came out the day after my post. I will install it to my laptop this weekend to check it out.

I’ll even try out podboat/newsboat. The idea of a CLI podcast manager is intriguing, but while I expect it will be OK to use on the laptop, I wonder how well it will work on a phone that I expect to mount on my dash and operate whilst driving.

I only find GNOME Podcasts as a flatpack, so I need to upgrade my Mint 18.2 to 18.3 to support. That will have to wait for the earthquakes in California to shake out – I don’t want to get cutoff in the middle of an upgrade. My internet connection has been almost as shaky as the ground… :grimacing:

So, I’ve seen a few posts mention flatpacks as an option for porting some apps to PureOS. Has anyone actually used a flatpack with PureOS?

There are presently two applications available from the Pure OS Store, but none functions:

1 - gPodder - it connects correctly to the feed and lists available episodes. But it is not able to play the episodes, tapping or double tapping on the episode name have no effect.

2 - Rhythmbox - strangely it is not able to connect to the feeds. Works flawlessly on my laptop, but not on the Librem 5.

GNome Podcasts is currently not available from the Store. Is there any other alternative at present?

GPodder does work, I use it regularly to play podcasts on the Pinephone. To play an episode, select it from the list and then go to Episodes > Download. Once it’s finished, select it again and go to Episodes > Play. The episode should now open in an audio player and begin playing.

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I’ve used Flatpak on Mobian on the PinePhone which should work pretty much the same and it works great there.

Thank you for the instructions. However, when I tap Play nothing happens.

Mobian is not available from the PureOS store, but thanks for the reference in any case.

No Mobian is not an app it’s another another phone OS but very similar to PureOS (both essentially Debian with phone patches) so flatpak working on Mobian suggests it likely should on PureOS too.

Do you have Lollypop or another audio player installed? If nothing else it should download audio files to ~/gPodder/Downloads that you can open manually.

I have Rhythmbox installed. The folder ~/gPodder/Downloads does not exist, could it be that gPodder is silently failing to download episodes? Everything works as you say except the Play bit.

Thank you.

If you’ve added any podcasts at all gPodder will create the Downloads folder, so it sounds like you don’t have any podcast subscriptions.

A couple of screenshots below. You can see that gPooder shows some episodes as downloaded, all the while there is no ~/gPodder/Downloads folder.



P.S.: the forum does not allow the direct upload of screenshots taken with the phone.

Interesting, the GUI definitely shows a downloaded podcast there. I wonder if it’s a bug in the PureOS repo’s version. I’m using 3.10.17, if that makes a difference.

If you go to the hamburger menu, then Preferences > Audio Player and change it from “Default Application” to Rhythmbox, does that make a difference? I can’t find a config option to change the download location, so it’s still confusing that there aren’t any files showing up there.

Another thing you could try is to install the Flatpak version and see if that one works as expected.

It’s been a LONG time since started this thread. My stinking Galaxy S3 died and I have a PinePhone now, currently running Mobian. I’ve been happily using gPodder on my Mint desktop for some time, so I know how it should work. I installed the flatpak, and although it doesn’t fit on the screen, I imported the OPML feeds file from my desktop and downloaded a bunch of podcasts.

Partial victory, but I gotta agree with @lads – it won’t play a podcast, downloaded or stream. On my desktop, I have to right-click a podcast to bring up a context menu, then select “play”. Double-click will only show podcast show notes. On the PinePhone, I know of no way to right-click, so I’m hosed. If there were a keyboard shortcut, I would try it, but I don’t know of one.

My take on gPodder on the PinePhone is that it would be good if it used libhandy and it had a control to actually play podcast. If it did, I’m confident it would work fine with the default audio player, or with Lollypop or VLC (both installed). It even popped up with updated feeds while I was typing this!

Incidentally, Phosh crashed and I thought that I lost this post, but after typing my PIN and restarting Firefox, the restored session and Purism forum still had it!


I ordered a mobian community edition pinephone last week and also run mint 20.1 on my nuc. I am going to pay close attention to your posts as I know very very little of what you discuss and hopefully I will learn to actually use the pinphone when I get it next month.
Thanks in advance Photon

I wonder if the flatpak version has some file permission issues that it is not allowed to create the download folder, for instance…