Guests on the Windows Developer Show!

Last week, James and I were guests on the Windows Developer Show! We got to hang out with Ryan and Travis and chat about BringCast. We talked about our future plans, technical challenges and we discussed the future of podcasting in general!

It was great fun being part of the show and we thank the guys for having us. You can listen back to the recording using the link below, or of course by using BringCast 🙂

The interview with us is 26 minutes in. Enjoy!

http://windowsdevelopershow.com/2014/01/episode-146-one-peach-cobbler-away-from-cholesterol-disaster/

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New feed database released

The following feeds have been added or modified. To get the updated database, go to Settings->Database->Check for Database Update.

11 O’Clock Comics Podcast
24FPS
3 (and a Half) Tips for Being a Young Boss, or Working for One
5 live Football Daily
5 live Sport Specials
APM: Marketplace All-In-One
Bad Voltage
CBN – Podcast – Max Gehringer
CNET News
CNET News (HD)
CNET UK Podcast
CNET Update (HD)
Current Geek
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
Dan Barreiro – KFAN FM 100.3
dev.destination dev.cast
Discovery
Doctor Who: Verity!
Documentary of the Week
Double D Podcast
English Podcast
Fighting for the Faith
Film Junk Podcast
First Look (HD)
Forum – A World of Ideas
Frühstück bei Stefanie | NDR.de – NDR 2 – NDR 2 – Steffis Bistro
Frühstück bei Stefanie | NDR.de – NDR 2 – NDR 2 – Steffis Bistro – Podcast
Gav & Dave’s Tech Podcast
Glance and Go Radio
Googlicious (HD)
Henry Rollins
History According to Bob
History Extra podcast
Iain Lee
Inside The Huddle
Inside View
La Chaîne Eléphant
Learn2SpeakThai.net » Podcasts
Let’s Talk About Tech
Listen to episodes of The YoGPoD on podbay: open podcasting
Liverpool FC KopTalk – Audio Podcast
Phones Show Chat
Pocketnow Weekly Podcast
Prizefight (SD)
RA Exchange
Rev3Games
Rev3Tech
Rumor Has It (HD)
Selected Shorts
Sounds of Berklee
StarTalk Radio
Startups For the Rest of Us
TBT Talks
Tech Tent: Business and Technology
Tech Tent: Business and Technology
The Anfield Index Podcast
The Anfield Wrap Podcast
The Dough Roller Podcast
The Football Ramble
The Linux Action Show! MP3
The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast
The Wired.co.uk Podcast
The Worlds of Abigail Hilton Podcast
This Week in Tech (Video-LO)
Ubuntu Podcast » MP3
UFC World Podcast’s sounds on SoundCloud – Hear the world’s sounds
Vinyl Cafe Stories from CBC Radio
WiredTech Podcast
Wiretap from CBC Radio

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BringCast + Car Dash = More Awesomeness!

Our friend Rob has just released an update to his excellent app, Car Dash, which now integrates with BringCast!

Car Dash is a Windows Phone 8 dashboard application for the commuter!

Features: 

* Large touch-friendly interface
* Play music from your phone’s music library using voice commands
* Play music from Nokia MixRadio using voice commands *Nokia Phones only
* Store frequent destinations, with the press of a button launch a navigation app that will route you to your saved destination
* Store frequently used contacts to quick place phone calls
* Buttons to quickly navigate your phones settings menus (WiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth etc)
* Buttons to navigate to frequently used apps (Live Music Access, WPCentral, WhatsApp etc)
* Program an NFC tag to launch the app

The latest version integrates with BringCast, so you can now control podcast playback directly from the app! It also supports voice commands to control various functions. For example, with Car Dash installed, you can start BringCast playback with the following voice command:

“BringCast Play Podcast”

Are you a Windows Phone developer who is looking to integrate with BringCast? Check out the details of how to do so here.

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New or Updated feeds in BringCast 3.8

Here is the list of 81 modified or newly added feeds in the current database. This database ships in BringCast 3.8.1, BringCast 3.0.4 and is available by going to settings -> database -> check for updates.

GoingNative 2013 Sessions (HD)
Build 2013 Sessions (HD)
Coolsmartphone
Tech Talk UK
The Adam and Dr. Drew Show
The Jimmy Dore Show
White Horse Inn
The Dividing Line
Best of the Left Podcast
On Iowa Podcast
AlbertMohler.com » Thinking in Public
Roadrunner Podcast
Official Philadelphia Eagles Audio Podcasts
Official Philadelphia Eagles Video Podcasts
The Practical Amateur Radio Podcast
Ham Nation (MP3)
Ham Nation (Video-HD)
SolderSmoke Podcasts
icqpodcast’s Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast
Programming Throwdown
The Index Investing Show
The Confessing Baptist » The Confessing Baptist Podcast Feed
Wake Up To Money
Observed Tech PODCAST
Travel with Rick Steves
Accidental Tech Podcast
On the Media
Tech News 2Night | TWiT.TV
Before You Buy (MP3)
Before You Buy (Video-HD)
iFive for the iPhone (MP3)
iFive for the iPhone (Video-HD)
Know How… (MP3)
Know How… (Video-HD)
NSFW (MP3)
OMGcraft (MP3)
OMGcraft (Video-HD)
Tech News 2Night (Video-HD)
Tech News Today (Video-HI)
The Social Hour (MP3)
The Tech Guy (MP3)
The Tech Guy (Video-HD)
This Week in Enterprise Tech (Video-HD)
This Week in Google (Video-HD)
This Week in Law (Video-HD)
This Week in Law (MP3)
Security Now (MP3)
Security Now (Video-HD)
This Week in Tech (MP3)
This Week in Tech (Video-HD)
Windows Developer Show
The Ask Leo! Answercast
The Kickass Life Podcast with David Wood
The Moth Podcast
Daily Tech News Show
Iain Lee
Startups For the Rest of Us
24FPS
The Dough Roller Podcast
History According to Bob
Inside The Huddle
11 O’Clock Comics Podcast
APM: Marketplace All-In-One
Dan Barreiro – KFAN FM 100.3
Gav & Dave’s Tech Podcast
Current Geek
English Podcast
Vinyl Cafe Stories from CBC Radio
Selected Shorts
Wiretap from CBC Radio
5 live Sport Specials
The Worlds of Abigail Hilton Podcast
Ubuntu Podcast » MP3
Doctor Who: Verity!
Glance and Go Radio
Listen to episodes of The YoGPoD on podbay: open podcasting
La Chaîne Eléphant
Film Junk Podcast
Let’s Talk About Tech
The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

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BringCast 3.8.0 Is Available!

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since our last post. We’ve been hard at work and we’re back with some great news! BringCast 3.8.0 is now available in the Windows Phone Store!! This is a huge release, bringing lots of great features.

For starters, it’s our first release of BringCast for Windows Phone 8. You’ll notice a beautiful, fast and fluid UI that makes use of every pixel on your device. The app starts up faster, too! We’ve expanded the podcast database, and added many highly-requested features, like customizable seek intervals and automatic clean-up of episode files that are no longer needed.

One new feature we’re super proud of is the ability to use the lock screen / Bluetooth / headphone controls to skip within episodes. When this is enabled, it means you can easily skip through sections of a podcast using your headphone controls, or the Bluetooth controls in your car!

We’ve refined the inbox workflow, too, to make it simpler to use. Now, if you want to listen to every episode of a particular podcast, just flick a switch and new episodes will be added to your player, skipping the inbox completely. For those podcasts where you like to pick and choose what episodes you play, the inbox has been cleaned up to make it super easy to triage what you want and what you don’t.

BringCast 3.8.0 is also the first release to offer integration with other apps. Car Dash (formally known as Car Starter) integrates with us and can start podcast playback in BringCast directly! We also have a completely customizable user interface theme, so you can change the color of the app to suit your mood.

We’re super proud of this release, and hope you love it as much as we’ve enjoyed building it. Screenshots, a video and a full change log are shown below.

There’s so much more BringCast goodness coming in 2014. We can’t wait to share it with you! Follow us on Twitter – @bringcast.

Screenshots

BringCast 3.8 List of subscriptions Exploring the podcast database Skip play Fully customizable Video playback  

Video

Change log for BringCast 3.8.0

  • Support for Windows Phone 8.0
  • Support for larger screen sizes
  • Faster app startup/resume
  • Additional app themes
  • In-app purchases
  • User interface refresh
  • Improved scrubbing control
  • Improved podcast feed parser
  • Improved podcast database searching
  • Customizable seek interval
  • Use lock screen controls to seek
  • Refined inbox triage workflow
  • Mark episodes as listened/watched
  • Improved SkyDrive import/export workflow
  • Clear all episodes in playlist
  • Custom URI protocol for app integration
  • Toggle auto-play of next episode
  • Auto clean-up of old episodes
  • Portable core
  • Bug fixes
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BringCast 3.02 released

Most folks will have this by now but.. we recently released BringCast 3.02 to the app store. Changes for this version:

– Episode re-ordering

– Removed 20 episode limit in the player

– Bug fixes

New Feeds added:

  • The Web Ahead
  • After Dark
  • Systematic
  • 5by5 Specials
  • Screen Time
  • Radar
  • Quit!
  • The Prompt
  • The Pipeline
  • Latest in Paleo
  • On Taking Pictures
  • Old Tech News
  • The News
  • Mac Power Users
  • 5by5 at the Movies
  • Mikes On Mics
  • The Incomparable
  • In Beta
  • The Ihnatko Almanac
  • High Density
  • Geek Friday
  • Founders Talk
  • The Crossover
  • The Critical Path
  • CMD+Space
  • The Changelog
  • Capital
  • Bionic
  • The Big Web Show
  • Back to Work
  • Penn’s Sunday School
  • Puppet Labs » Podcast
  • Geek in the City
  • “Keeping it Reel” with FilmGordon | Blog Talk Radio Feed
  • Mondays: What Sunday Threw Up
  • Computer Swedens podcast
  • On refait le match
  • NPR: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Podcast
  • Intelligence Squared
  • Martial Secrets
  • Christopher Titus Podcast
  • Star Wars In Character
  • Indiana Jones in Character
  • Welcome To That Whole Thing » Podcast
  • Amplified
  • CBC News: World at Six
  • Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast
  • The Pen Addict
  • Travel with Rick Steves
  • The Frequency
  • Geek News Central (Mobile)
  • Geek News Central Audio
  • My Digital Life with Rob Greenlee
  • DH Unplugged
  • Geek in the City
  • Puppet Labs » Podcast
  • Javascript Jabber
  • ESPN: Fantasy Focus Football
  • Comic Vine Podcast
  • Social Triggers Insider: Marketing, Psychology, and Business
  • thEndUsr Podcast
  • Entertainment 2.0 from The Digital Media Zone
  • Ambridge Extra
  • Destructoid’s Video Game Podcast
  • A Life Well Wasted
  • Engadget Eurocast.
  • WindowsObserver.com
  • All About Windows Phone Insight Podcast
  • Surface Geeks Podcast
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BringCast 3.0, 3.01, 3.02 update

Hello there Dear readers. It’s been a while since we posted any updates here so let’s fix that right now. Here’s what’s been going on:

BringCast 3.0 [for Windows Phone]

Back on July 11th we finally shipped BringCast 3.0 for Windows Phone. I must say this release felt like a marathon. V2 came out way back in 2011 and 3.0 has proved really hard despite the doubling of the dev team (man it is so amazing to have Mark on board!). We did a lot of foundational work including a bunch of refactoring and the build out of our cloud service (which hasn’t yet gone live); by the time 3.0 shipped pretty much the entire app had been rewritten from the ground up with the future in mind. Thanks to input from Travis Lowdermilk we also decided to redo the whole UX. We literally threw away everything that existed and started again. We hope you like the results. Well that’s all done and dusted now and we’re been moving onwards and upwards..

BringCast 3.01 revenge of the Charcoal Skin

Shortly after doing 3.0 we released a minor update with some bug fixes and a new charcoal skin:

This release also included 20 or so new feeds as requested by users. Mark has been working wonders on our parser infrastructure enabling us to expand our feed support. Keep the requests coming.

BringCast 3.02

There are still a couple of features and bug fixes we want to get out on the 3x codebase. The first is playlist re-ordering. This was something we wanted in 3.0 but it didn’t make the cut. We’re not quite done building this yet but not far off.. here is a video James shot at the weekend:

There are a couple more smallish tweaks and bug fixing we’ll be doing this release… After this it will be full steam ahead to..

The Future

We have made a massive investment in portability in BringCast 3.x and we are going pedal to the metal to leverage this into a 4.x series of releases specifically targeting Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. We have a few more milestones of work to get things where they need to be after which we’ll be going into beta for BC4. This will be another big release that we are extremely excited about. We will start to take advantage of Windows Phone 8 features such as bigger screen size and faster launch times. This is also the time when we hope to bring a unique set of features to Windows 8 for the first time.. specifically targeting Windows 8.1 and a bunch of the new APIs that will enable us to do interesting things. We don’t want to say too much just yet as we want to make sure we can get everything working before posting too many details.

We also sorely need to update our web presence; this is also in the plan for the near term.

So.. thanks for your patience. It is hard work building software in our sparse spare time and frustrating at times and the ongoing encouragement and support of our loyal users helps to motivate us to keep moving forwards. Stay tuned!

Thx as ever

James and Mark

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BringCast 3.0 Update

Hey everyone!

Mark here. I thought it would be good to jot down some words about the current state of BringCast 3.0 development!

Firstly, apologies that it’s taking a long time. James and I are super busy with our day jobs, so we only get a few hours each week to chip away at BringCast development. But, rest assured the project is still alive and well and we’re ensuring we get everything right.

The last few weeks have seen some UI tweaks – as you guys requested, we’ve toned down the usage of “BringCast green” on all the screens to make things more readable. Here are some screenshots of the latest iteration of the UI:

wp_ss_20130424_0001 wp_ss_20130424_0002 wp_ss_20130424_0003

We’ve also re-branded “What’s New” as the “Inbox”. We figured this was a ubiquitous term that people understood and it can apply to podcast episodes just like it does to email!

A lot of our recent work has been around the RSS feed parser. We’ve decided to make this core part of BringCast completely portable. It has also been re-coded to make it easier to test so that we can more easily fix problem feeds through it that you guys report!

Also, as we talked about previously, BringCast 3.0 for Windows Phone 7.5 will not include cloud mode. That will be deferred until BringCast 4.0, for Windows Phone 8. So, we’ve also been working on making “offline” mode work as seamlessly as possible.

We’re aware from users that BringCast 3.0 Beta 1 recently expired. We plan to ship Beta 2 in the next few days to address this.

Many thanks for all the feedback and support!

Cheers,

Mark & James

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BringCast update from GW2013.1

Mark and I had the opportunity to get together this weekend for another GeekWeekend™.. the last one was so successful that we decided that a rematch was in order, this time in Seattle. The sun in the Pacific Northwest in March hasn’t been quite as warming as it was in San Diego in September last year but the Guinness at Paddy Coyne’s and coffee at various random locations offered compensation and we were fortunate to enjoy a contrasting Alpine backdrop to the proceedings courtesy of the Olympic and Cascade mountains. Too bad we didn’t take many photos to catalog the proceedings (actually, only one).

Whilst it wasn’t such a coding frenzy as last time, we did get a lot done. The last couple of months have been super busy for us both at our respective places of work and, as a result, our ability to spend time coding on BringCast have been severely curtailed. To that end we needed to reboot our spirits and get back into the shipping zone. I think we succeeded 😉

Progress updates and infrastructure

There were a number of things on the todo list that needed to take care of in person including:

  • Moving all our VS solutions over to cloud TFS: we’ve been using a Subversion-based cloud SCM solution up to now for the phone project while the web service was hosted in Cloud TFS.. we consolidated everything to be in cloud TFS which has been working really well for us. We also agreed to use TFS for work item tracking going forward
  • Dev Box Bringup: For myself (James) I needed to transfer all of my development assets and resources over to my new primary workhorse machine (Surface Pro) off-of the aging Sony Vaio. For Mark, we needed to get him enlisted in the cloud projects and able to checkin and publish there.
  • Reviewing progress on the new portable core: Mark has been busy refactoring our core data layer and service interface to play nicely with PCL. We code reviewed his changes and talked about how to extend this to encompass our serialization layer and parser speaking of which..
  • Making a portable version of the RSS parser: The parser we have has become quite complex because a large number of feeds we support are not entirely RSS compliant. Getting a portable version of the parser running is a high priority as it will enable us to fix feed bugs which are blocking some of our users from adopting the app (Laurent, we’re looking at you). With the portable parser deployed in the cloud and client platforms and the unit tests running again (see next bullet) we’ll be well placed to grow the podcast catalog significantly.
  • Moving the RSS Parser unit tests into a new permanent location (and.. make them work again). As mentioned above the unit test suite we’ve developed to cover our podcast catalog is a vital piece of enabling infrastructure to ensure the quality of our feed parsing experience and to enable us to grow the catalog. For various reasons we’ve been unable to leverage this for a while now and this has impeded progress with fixing feed related bugs. Let’s just say that as a result of GW2012.1 we now have check-ins gated on the parser test suite running successfully. Very cool.
  • Upgrading our Azure environment to Windows Server 2012. This is another piece of housekeeping that is long overdue. Last time we attempted this there was a lot of additional churn that ultimately caused the upgrade to be unsuccessful and to get rolled back. This time we were able to focus on this task in isolation of other changes; it is not only desirable move to stay current with the latest Azure Guest OS version (3.1) but also is an enabled for running PCL code in the cloud including the parser. Mission accomplished:
  • Fixes to the feed curation system: the feed curation system also had a few minor blocking issues that have prevented us from extending the catalog. These are now fixed.

In summary.. we’ve cleaned up a lot of the nagging issues that have been drag factors on forward progress of late and set us up well for the next phases of the project.

BringCast 3.0: the new plan

One of the other major goals of the visit was to come up with a release plan that would enable us to deliver BringCast 3.0 to the marketplace. We made the most progress on this aspect on the journey to the airport (although a lot of prep had been covered over the course of the weekend that enable this) and made some bold calls which we’ll describe here:

  • BringCast 3.0 will be
    • The last release of BringCast to support Windows Phone 7.5
    • Will include our new player centric UI
    • Will not include the cloud functionality we are currently working on
    • Will be a free upgrade for BringCast 1. x and 2. x paid users
    • Will have a free, ad-supported trial version
    • Will ship to the marketplace by the end of April 2013
  • BringCast 4.0 will
    • Deliver cloud support at scale to Windows Phone 8 and will be the version where we support Windows 8.
    • Will require an in-app purchase in order for existing users to get 1 year of cloud support (optional; BringCast 4.0 will continue to run just fine without cloud integration at no extra cost to existing paid users)
    • Will ship with 1 year of free cloud support to new purchasers of the app who buy post launch of BringCast 4.0

Action for Testers

We will be sending mail to our awesome set of beta testers shortly with instructions as to how to proceed. We will divide the group into testers who are running in cloud mode and testers who aren’t; both constituencies will have a path forward to help us out with testing if they wish and will definitely not lose any existing BringCast 3.0 B1 functionality at any stage.

We have a plan how to move the codebase forward and we think it will actually enable us to get to our intended destination in a manner that is more optimal for more people.

Summary

Mark and I are both re-enthused and ready to deliver on our new plan. We have the energy necessary to get BC3.0 to RTM (that would be Release To Marketplace) and also get BC4.0 B1 out there for our cloud testers to party on and give us feedback. We are excited around our plans for Windows 8.. we won’t talk about those for now but know we will have a unique experience that will differentiate us from what’s out there in exciting ways and that you can look forward to later this year. As ever, thanks to our customers and testers for all their support.

Roll on GW2013.2.

Best

James and Mark.

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