05 October 2011

Wireless podcast sync on Windows Phone 7 outside USA–yes we can!

Sorry! No code here as well, but a usability tip.

Mango RTM came, the Dutch Marketplace went live, I nuked my HTC7 Pro and finally used my age-old live id as primary live id. I registered my credit card and bought my first apps. Now I knew in advance not all the cool features that were available when I still was running my fake live id based on a random ZIP code in Texas (I think) would still be there when I switched live id, but I was not prepared for was the fact that the whole podcast Marketplace part was missing. Fortunately there is a work-around for this: Zune downloads anything you know the RSS for. So if you want to listen to Windows Dev Podcast as I do every week, you just enter their RSS feed (http://feeds.feedburner.com/WindowsPhoneDevPodcast) and boom, Zune starts loading their podcasts.

But now I was back to downloading episodes via Zune again by attaching my phone to my computer. I was just getting used to letting the phone taking care of that – as soon as it was in Wi-Fi range of my home it started to check for new episodes and lo and behold, automagically Lowdermilk & Lowdermilk appeared on my phone, just as the DotNed podcast, Windows Phone Radio and more.

Turns out that once you have one episode downloaded on your phone via Zune, you can then start synching via Wi-Fi again. It’s dead simple.

  • Once you have synced a podcast episode over an USB cable via the Zune program to your phone, disconnect it
  • Open Zune on your phone
  • Tap “podcasts”
  • Tap the descriptive text of the podcast on the right, not the logo
  • You will get a list of downloaded episodes (default Zune downloads 3).
  • And a button “subscribe”

And then you are where you were before you lost the podcast Marketplace. Tap it, and you are basically done. From now on your phone will sync podcast episodes over Wi-Fi again. If this is by design or by accident, I don’t know, but it works.

4 comments:

Fares said...

Thanks for the information, it works from belgium also :)

Leon Zandman said...

I'm buffed. The fact that wireless podcast syncing was missing from my Mango phone was one of the major gripes I had. And now you're saying it's working!?

During the Mango beta I also discovered the fact that the Subscribe button is available for already synced podcasts. But even though I could subscribe, it never downloaded any episode to my phone. So I assumed it was broken and really needed the podcast marketplace.

But now you claim otherwise. I will try again to see if I get it working...

philipcolmer said...

I have tried this in the UK and it works - to a degree. However, I do encounter a significant issue with it.

Taking the WPDevPodcast as an example, I would have this set up to play oldest episodes first, and to download 3 episodes. Now, I've been listening hard to catch up with the podcast since finding it and I've almost reached current episodes.

So what happens when I subscribe on the phone? It downloads the OLDEST episodes all over again. I try marking those as played and nothing happens - no newer episodes are downloaded.

And if I download the ones I've marked as played? It downloads them all over again!

Something seems broken here ...

Philip

Joost van Schaik said...

@phillcolmer It's a bit odd, the procedure as I describe it works pretty well. What is does not seem to do is delete older episode and it sometimes displays them in the wrong order. I use only "play newest episodes first". Maybe that is your problem?