hpodder: a podcast client that just works.

October 7th, 2007 edited by Tincho

Article submitted by Matt Clare. We are running out of articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!


hpodder is a command-line podcast client that just works. The command arguments are simple to master and allow for flexibility in downloading.

In depth

So you’ve have been desperate for a podcast client that rivals the ease and efficiency of iTunes (but have found Linux clients wanting) then hpodder may be the answer to your quest. Having found other clients to be a little jack-of-all-trades for your needs or else, just plain buggy, hpodder is a breath of fresh air.

Once installed, typing hpodder in the terminal will get things under way. The initial run will allow you to make a directory for access your podcasts from and give you the option to subscribe to the sample feeds. If you pass and just want to get onto subscribing your own feeds type:

$ hpodder add

This will add the feed to the hpodder database and assign an ID that allows for easy specification and manipulation of a feed later on. Hpodder will handle any valid podcast feed, even if it is not the traditional .xml address —including feeds extracted from an OPML export of iTunes podcasts. Once you have your list of podcasts you wish to download, simply type:

$ hpodder update
$ hpodder download

Or, if you want to make life easy:

$ hpodder fetch

As this does effectively the same job as the two commands combined. If you are using hpodder to listen to a podcast that you have perhaps been listening to on another machine, and want to download only the most recent episode, you can do this by typing:

$ hpodder catchup
$ hpodder fetch

If you want to only download or update specific podcasts, you can do so by specifying the podcast’s ID after the command (update, download, fetch, catchup). If you want to delete a podcast type:

$ hpodder rm ID

Where ID is the podcast’s ID number (else you risk deleting them all!).

Downloading the actual episode of your podcast is handled by cURL and is fast, efficient and if interrupted for whatever reason, can be picked up later on without having to start the download from the beginning.

If you want to make hpodder fetch on a regular basis, you can add it to your cron jobs and set it to run as frequently as you like.

If you want a full list of the commands and more subtle features available to hpodder users you can download the manual in PDF format, or read it online.

Any downsides?

The only real downside is that you need to use a second program to listen to your downloaded podcast episodes, but then most people have a favourite media player (kaffeine, mplayer, totem, vlc et al) that they use given the chance.

hpodder is available in Debian since Etch, and in Ubuntu since Feisty

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

4 Responses

  1. ergosum Says:

    Be warned! hpodder will rewrite/mangle the idv2 tags of downloaded mp3s with information from the feed (e.g. feed title). This is pretty disastrous behaviour in my opinion.

  2. Shanness Says:

    Sounds pretty nice, but I love the simplicity and easy ability to personalise bashpodder, check it out as well.

  3. Cameron Says:

    Actually, the ‘hpodder fetch’ can be shortened (by default) to ‘hpodder’

  4. T. Rex Says:

    @ ergosum:
    Actually, it seems this behavior can be disabled by setting `postproctypes’ to an empty string in the config file for either all or individual podcasts (consult the man page).


    postproctypes =