How to Automate Your Podcast Downloads with gPodder

If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ve probably at some point become fed up with manually finding and downloading your favorites. This can be a real pain for people who count on fresh daily podcasts to make it through the work day, so multiple solutions have been attempted to make this process simpler. One such project is gPodder, a Python/Linux application that can help you find, download, and transfer new podcasts automatically. Today we’ll show you how to use gPodder to automate downloads for multiple unique podcasts.

Ubuntu, and likely several other popular distributions, has gPodder available for download in the standard repositories. Like just about any package, it can be fetched with the Ubuntu Software Center, or by the command line with

sudo apt-get install gpodder

When launched, gPodder will first ask how you’d like to proceed. You have the option of browsing a list of popular podcasts or, if you already have a login, pulling your favorites from the gPodder website.

gpodder-firstrun

If you choose to browse the list, you’ll be given a fairly wide assortment to choose from. As gPodder is a Linux program written by geeks, the choices presented are slanted toward that crowd. After choosing Add, gPodder will check for the most recent podcast and add it to the download queue.

gpodder-downloading

If gPodder was limited to just the built-in list, it probably wouldn’t be much use to anyone’s who’s not in to Linux or NPR. Fortunately, that’s not the case, and you can add just about any podcast feed. If you’ve got the URL of the feed you’d like to add to gPodder (RSS, Atom, YouTube and Soundcloud) you can add it by clicking Subscriptions -> Add Podcast via URL.

gpodder-addURL

In order to use the previous step, you’d need to know how and where to get the podcast URLs. We couldn’t possibly cover all the available podcasts on the Internet, but here are a few favorites from MTE authors and friends. Many of these sites have multiple feed types, so the links will take you to the main page for each site where the podcast URLs are available.

gPodder wouldn’t be much use if you couldn’t easily use it to transfer your podcasts to your iPod/MP3 Player/Phone, so it’s good for us that it’s got device support built in. gPodder supports iPod, MSC (USB storage) and MTP devices for easy transfer. Before it can sync, however, you’ll need to tell gPodder exactly which device you’re using. To do this, open Podcasts > Preferences > Device. From there you can choose not only device settings, but how gPodder will handle synchronization.

gpodder-device

Whether you’re new to podcasting, or spend every day walking down server isles listening to Leo Laporte, gPodder can be an extremely simple and useful way to keep track of old and new podcasts. gPodder will take care of much of the work of finding, downloading, and transferring your files, giving you that much more time to finish your trivia and Reader before heading to work.