Eric's Blog

ListenCat - A New Project

February 12, 2015

What is

TL;DR version, it’s a podcast client for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and web. I’m starting to build it. It’ll be awesome.

Do we need another podcast client?

We probably don’t, but I can’t find anything I’m happy with.

A quick look at the Windows store, and there doesn’t appear to be a single podcast client with more than a 2 star rating. Windows Phone isn’t much better. There’s the “Podcasts” app by Microsoft, but not much else.

I’ve been using the Microsoft Podcasts app for a while and I have a few issues with it.

  1. It’s buggy.

    • Episodes don’t get marked as played reliably
    • It decided to stop updating Hanselminutes
  2. Slow

    • Load time is slow since it appears to try to refresh all feeds on load
    • While it’s loading feeds the UI is pretty much useless

      • It jumps around, and shows some partially rendered stuff
  3. Can’t search feeds

    • My favorite podcast is .Net Rocks, which just hit 1100 episodes, but the Podcasts app doesn’t have any kind of search

      • This probably doesn’t help the load times, but that’s another issue
  4. All data is local to phone

    • I want to be able to start listening to a podcast on my PC at work, and when I get in the car it should resume where I left off
    • Similarly marked as played should be synced between devices
  5. It gets confused by podcasts that only leave a handful of episodes in the RSS feed

    • A good app would be able to cache and remember old entries, ideally while having logic to detect and handle updated entries gracefully

What’s been done?

Well, the domain has been purchased. Beyond that, not much. I’ve written this post, and thought about the feature set and issues I’d like to resolve.

What’s the plan?

I’ll be writing one post per week here while I’m working on ListenCat. The next couple posts I’ve been thinking about are:

  • What’s required for a minimally viable product
  • Technical decisions/architecture overview

Eric Haskins

Written by Eric Haskins, maker of things.