How to add podcasts to Vocal on Linux

Vocal is an elegant podcast application designed for Elementary OS and available on nearly every Linux distribution out there. Its primary purpose is to re-invent desktop podcasting applications on the platform, and this shows by its excellent design and features.

Getting Vocal set up for podcasts is a little different due to how the way it’s built, so, in this post, we’ll go over how to get your podcasts up and running on the app. However, before doing that, you’ll need to install Vocal on your Linux PC.

Install Vocal on Linux

Vocal can be installed on Linux in many different ways, from native packages to the Arch Linux User repository and even Flatpak. To get the Vocal installation started on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the command-line instructions that match the Linux OS you use.

Ubuntu/Debian

Ubuntu and Debian users won’t be able to install Vocal through a traditional DEB package or PPA, and the developers of the app have no plans to make this possible in the future. Instead, if you want to use the Vocal podcast app on these distros, you must follow the Flatpak instructions.

Arch Linux

Like with most programs on Linux, Vocal has an AUR package available to Arch Linux users. To install the package, start the process by using the Pacman package manager to install the Git and Base-devel packages.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Assuming the two packages install correctly, use the Git tool to download the Trizen AUR helper. With Trizen, getting Vocal will be much faster, as you will not need to download and build every dependency it needs manually.

git clone git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Install the Trizen app on your Arch system using makepkg.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen app to install the Vocal podcasting program on your Arch Linux PC.

trizen -S vocal-git

Fedora

Thanks to the wonderful people at Fedora, the Vocal podcasting application is readily available out of the box in the main Fedora Linux software repository. To get the app working on your system, open up a terminal, and use the Dnf package management command below.

sudo dnf install vocal -y

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE versions 15.0, 42.3 and Tumbleweed, you can install Vocal via the “Oss All” software repository. To start the installation, open up a terminal and enter the following Zypper command.

sudo zypper install vocal

Flatpak

Flatpak is the method that the developers prefer you install Vocal, as the packaging format offers up a sandboxed, secure environment and can be easily distributed to almost every Linux OS out there with ease.

To install the Vocal app via Flatpak, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC. For help on how to do this, click here. Then, when the runtime is working, use the following commands to get Vocal.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub com.github.needleandthread.vocal

Add podcasts to Vocal

To subscribe to a podcast in Vocal, start by heading to your favorite podcast’s website in a web browser. From there, look around for an RSS feed and copy it to your clipboard. Or, if you have an iTunes link to the show, click here to extract the RSS feed first.

Note: Vocal also lets you subscribe to one of the top 100 podcasts by clicking the “browse” button.

With the podcast URL in your clipboard, open up the Vocal podcast app on your Linux desktop by opening up the application menu, and searching for “Vocal.”

Once the Vocal application is open on your Linux desktop, locate the button that says “Add a New Feed” and click on it with the mouse to bring up the subscribe box.

Press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste in the URL from the podcast you want to subscribe to. Then, click the “Add Podcast” button on the bottom right to subscribe to the podcast in Vocal.

Import your OPML subscriptions

You may have an OPML file of podcasts exported from other podcasts apps. If you’d like to use this file to quickly import several podcasts you listen to to the Vocal app, here’s what to do.

First, open up Vocal. Then, if the app currently doesn’t have any podcasts added to it, click “Import Subscriptions.” Otherwise, click the gear icon at the top left, and select “Import Subscriptions.”

After selecting “Import Subscriptions,” a file browser window will appear. Using the browser, navigate to the OPML file on your Linux PC to import your shows to Vocal.

Unsubscribe from podcasts

Need to unsubscribe from a podcast in Vocal? Here’s what to do.

Step 1: locate the podcast you want to unsubscribe from in the Vocal app and click on it with the mouse to go to the podcast page.

Step 2: Click the red unsubscribe button to remove the podcast from Vocal.

Read How to add podcasts to Vocal on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to listen to podcasts on Linux with Gpodder

Gpodder is an open source podcast management tool for Linux, Mac, and Windows. On the Linux platform specifically, it is known as one of the oldest and most reliable podcast clients. The app, though popular, doesn’t come pre-installed on any Linux distributions. Though, because it is open source, it is incredibly easy to use it to listen to podcasts on Linux. It is available on every mainstream Linux OS, and even Flatpak.

The tool has a pretty easy to understand user interface, and it’s very welcoming to use. Despite this, some Linux users aren’t quite sure how to use it to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. So, In this guide, we’ll go over how to get the latest version of Gpodder on your Linux PC, how to subscribe to your favorite podcasts with it, and even how to back up subscriptions in the cloud.

Install Gpodder

Gpodder has been around on Linux for quite a while, so nearly every distribution of note has it in their software repositories. To install it, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, follow the detailed instructions that match the Linux operating system you use.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install gpodder

Debian

sudo apt-get install gpodder

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gpodder

Fedora

sudo dnf install gpodder

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install gpodder

Flatpak

Flatpak is an excellent option to install the Gpodder podcast client on Linux if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t find the program in your distribution’s software repository. Though, keep in mind, you must have the Flatpak runtime set up on your Linux operating system to install apps with Flatpak.

To get the Flatpak runtime set up on your Linux distribution, head over to our guide on how to set up Flatpak on Linux. After that, enter the commands below to get the latest release of Gpodder from Flathub.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub org.gpodder.gpodder

Sign up for Gpodder.net

Having an account on Gpodder.net will allow you to keep your subscriptions in sync, without much effort easily. To create a new account on Gpodder.net, click here.

After setting up your account on the website, you’ll need to activate the account. To do this, log into your email account and check your messages for the activation email.

With the account active, launch Gpodder on your Linux desktop.

Subscribe to podcasts with Gpodder

The Gpodder podcast app works by parsing RSS feed links. To add a new podcast to the program, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Head over to the website of the podcast you’d like to listen to and copy the RSS feed to your clipboard.

Can’t find the RSS feed? Try searching for it on iTunes, then, use this website to extract the RSS feed from the iTunes link.

Step 2:  In the Gpodder podcast application, find the “Subscriptions” button and select it with the mouse. After that, find the “Add podcast via URL” button and select it to bring up the URL subscription box.

Alternatively, the URL subscription box can quickly be opened with the Ctrl + L keyboard combination.

Step 3: Gpodder should automatically detect the podcast RSS feed in your clipboard. If not, press Ctrl + V to paste it into the subscription box.

Step 4: Click the “Add” button to load your new podcasts into Gpodder.

As soon as you add in the new feed to Gpodder, a download box will appear. Use the download box to check (or uncheck) episodes of the podcast you’d like to listen to.

To play a podcast with Gpodder, select the podcast in your list, followed by the downloaded episode.

Back up podcasts with Gpodder

One of the best aspects of Gpodder is its ability to back up your subscriptions to the cloud. To make a backup, ensure that you’re signed into Gpodder with your Gpodder.net account.

Unsure about how to sign in to Gpodder? click the “gPodder” menu button, then “Preferences.” Once inside the “Preferences” area, click on “gpodder.net,” and fill out your username and password.

After filling out your username and password on the “gpodder.net” page in “Preferences,” check the box on that page that says “Synchronize subscriptions and episode actions”.

To restore your backup, install Gpodder and sign into your account. They should automatically appear.

Backup via OPML

Backing up your Gpodder podcasts to Gpodder.net isn’t the only way to save your podcasts. If you dislike the cloud method, back up to an OMPL file instead.

To back up your podcasts via OPML, find the “Subscriptions” menu button and click it with the mouse. Once in the “Subscriptions menu,” select the “Export to OPML file” option to export your podcasts subscriptions.

To restore your backup, click on the “Subscriptions menu,” followed by the option that says “Import from OPML file”.

Read How to listen to podcasts on Linux with Gpodder by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Get An RSS Link To A Podcast On iTunes

iTunes isn’t just great for buying high quality music, it’s also a good place to find podcasts on all sorts of topics. You can subscribe to most popular podcasts on iTunes however you may not like listening to them on the app itseld. A lot of people have their own preferred apps for listening to podcasts and these apps allow you to add any podcast to it with an RSS link. Here’s how you can get an RSS link to a podcast on iTunes.

RSS Link To iTunes Podcast

Open iTunes on your desktop. Make sure you’re already subscribed to the podcast that you want to get the RSS link to. Go to your Library and select Podcasts. From the list of podcasts in your library, right-click the one you want to get the RSS link for. From the context menu, select ‘Copy Podcast URL’. This will copy the RSS link to your clipboard. Save it somewhere or add it to your preferred podcast app.

This allows you to listen to the complete podcast series. If you want, you can also get the link to a specific episode from a podcast. To do that, again go to your iTunes library and select Podcasts. Select the podcast that contains the episode you want to get the link to. Find the episode from the list of episodes and right-click it. From the context menu, select Podcast Info.

Another window will open. This window will have multiple tabs. Go to the Description tab and check the description given for it. It will contain a direct link to the episode. You can use this link to listen to a particular episode instead of the entire podcast. To listen to the episode, add the link the same way you add a podcast to your preferred app.

If you don’t have a podcast app that you prefer, you can always use VLC player but we should warn you that while it can play entire podcast series as well as individual episodes, it’s not the greatest podcast player.

If you’re looking for a new podcast app and you don’t mind spending money on one, make sure that it allows you to add podcasts with a link. It’s a fairly staple feature but some apps prefer to offer their own selection of podcasts and bar all others from being streamed. That’s not the kind of app you want to spend money on so do your research before you buy an app. There are of course a lot of free ones that are good.

Read How To Get An RSS Link To A Podcast On iTunes by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Download Podcasts From The Linux Terminal With Podfox

Who says your podcast manager should be a clunky GUI tool? Meet Podfox, the podcast client for the Linux terminal: it can do all the same things that fancy podcast apps do while using fewer resources.

Install Podfox

The Podfox podcast client installs a little differently than most Linux programs. Instead of installing it directly through your Linux package management tool, you’ll need to get the program through the Python package installer (aka Pip).

Distributing Podfox via Pip means that as long as your Linux operating system runs the correct version of Python, you’ll be ready to go.

Install Python

For most Linux users, Python should already be installed. This is due to the fact that most Linux programs rely heavily on the Python programming language. Still, not every Linux distribution has the Pip package tool running by default, so you may need to install it by hand. Open up a terminal, select your operating system and follow the instructions to get it going!

Note: Podfox needs Python3 and Pip3 to work, so installing Python 2 and Pip will not work. Determine you have Python 3/Pip3 by running pip3 in the terminal. If nothing happens, you don’t have it and should install it.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install python3-pip

Debian

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S python-pip

Fedora

sudo dnf install python3-pip

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install python3-pip

Install Podfox

With the Python Package Index program working, it’ll be possible to use it to grab the latest

code directly from the internet and install it on your Linux PC. To install, open up a terminal and enter the following.

Single User

It is possible to install the app just for your local user, by running Pip without the sudo command. Doing this installs the binary to ~/.local/bin/, rather than a universally accessible directory. Going this route also means that the app can’t be easily called via a terminal at any place. If you understand the risks for this and still want to proceed, enter the following command:

pip3 install podfox

or (in some cases, like Arch Linux)

pip install podfox

If the installation failed, you may have accidentally used the Python 2 Pip tool, and not the correct one. Use Pip3 and still no luck? Try downloading the source code instead.

To access the app in single-user mode, do:

cd ~/.local/bin/

./podfox

System-wide

The best way to install the app on Linux is by doing it with sudo. This will allow the program to be available at any time to your user, and be installed universally. To install, run:

sudo pip3 install podfox

or (in some cases)

sudo pip install podfox

Adding Episodes

To add a new podcast feed, go to the show’s website and grab the RSS feed. If they only have an iTunes link, use this tool to extract the RSS feed first, then copy it to your clipboard. In this example, we’ll use the Linux Unplugged podcast feed.

After grabbing the podcast feed, open up a terminal and use the mkdir command to make a directory where all Podcast files will download.

mkdir -p ~/Podcasts

Next, create a new config file.

touch .podfox.json

Use the Nano text editor to edit the podfox.json config file.

nano ~/.podfox.json

Paste the code below in it. Be sure to change “username” in the code below to your Linux PC’s username.

{
"podcast-directory" : "/home/username/Podcasts",
"maxnum" : 5
}

Save Nano with Ctrl + O, and exit with Ctrl + X. When done, take the podcast URL and add it like so:

podfox import http://linuxunplugged.com/rss LUP

Repeat this process with as many podcasts as you’d like. Be sure to change “maxnum” in the podfox.json file if you’d like to download more than 5 from a feed at a time.

Download New Episodes

Downloading new Podcast episodes inside the app requires two commands. First, use the update command to refresh the Podcast feeds inside Podfox.

podfox update

When everything is up to date, use the download command to download new episodes to ~/Podcasts.

podfox download

Playing Episodes

The podcast app is very slim and only works as a way to download episodes from feeds with commands. It doesn’t have a built-in audio or video player. To fix this, consider installing VLC (for video/audio), or Audacious for audio.

To install VLC or Audacious, open up the terminal and use your Linux PC’s package manager to search for “VLC” and “Audacious”. Alternatively, open up the Gnome Software app, KDE Discover, Ubuntu Software Center, etc and search for them.

Once the apps are installed, open up your file manager to ~/Podcasts, click on the desired show folder and right-click on the audio (or video file).

In the right-click menu, select “Open with..” and choose Audacious or VLC to play the episode.

Read How To Download Podcasts From The Linux Terminal With Podfox by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter