Today is one of those days, a big one, as we are releasing reborned Feedzie.com to the public. To us, this is very important because we are taking a huge step towards providing more web-oriented services to the people of the cyberspace.
Compared to old versions of Feedzie.com, this new release is a result of the most creative development cycle we ever performed since its debut in 2005. Unlike almost all feed-oriented search engines and directories on the Internet, we are operating Feedzie.com on content-centric methods. In other words, we are showing you more than what publishers post thru their feeds. We are truely getting into the content and extract anything we can to let you understand the topics which those feeds mention throughout their lifecyle, giving you a true overview.
New : Automated Tagging
We started to build the new core almost 5 months ago and still building onto. This new core technology allows us to automatically tag podcast episodes and feeds with pre-defined tags. Those tags have been automatically populated from the content produced by the Blogosphere itself and they are very category-centric descriptive words and phrases. At this very early stage of our core, even though our automated tagging procedure is a bit naive, you will find that it is very good at tag selection.
New : Automated Categorization
In addition to auto-tagging, Feedzie.com also categorizes podcast episodes and feeds by looking at what those episodes and feeds talk about. It uses 7 predefined categories; Business, Entertainment, Life, Politics, Science, Sports, and Technology. You will be able to use these categories to optimize your search.
Here are couple of sites that Feedzie mapped and categorized their published content.:
Feedzie.com helps you find the most related feeds to the topics that you might be interested in and it does that with good enough precision. Feedzie.com selects most related 100 feeds out of hundreds of thousands for each tag. Not only that, it also shows you the most related feeds for each feed by comparing their published content with one another. In short, if there is a feed that you like, find it in the Feedzie.com and see other related feeds that you might be interested in.
Here are couple of samples showing most related feeds from our collection associated with shown tags:
You will see that given title or description of a feed may not help you understand what that feed publishes about but we are showing you exactly what those feeds are talking about. Believe it or not we are even ordering those topics.
New : Feeds for Tags
As a Ziepoder, this is something that you can easily start to put into use. Feedzie.com now provides feeds for each tag so that you can keep an eye on your favorite topics by making use of Ziepod and Feedzie.com together, which is a very anticipated feature, btw.
This is all good but other than feed support all other new features are only accessible from the website. In other words, if you are using Feedzie from inside Ziepod, you will be experiencing existing functionalities, not the new ones. Nevertheless, future releases of Ziepod will incorporate these new features of Feedzie.
Future of Feedzie.com
Feedzie.com along with its new core is a stepping stone for our future services. We will be building and developing new technologies via Feedzie.com, which helps us provide better and more unique services to our users. At upcoming development cycles, we will be working on tools that let feed publishers make use of the content-centric features of Feedzie.com at their websites. We will also work on new ways to let Ziepoders reach more audio and video content via Feedzie.com.
When time comes to support, maybe we should first thank those people who bought Ziepod+ as we are using their investment to support Feedzie.com. In that matter, we also like to encourage everbody to buy Ziepod+ to support the future of Feedzie.com and any project we will embark.
On the other hand, if you have a blog, make sure that you are listed at Feedzie.com and please consider adding this badge to your website along with the link to your listing at Feedzie.com.
All in all ...
This is one of the most important steps we are taking towards more web-oriented and content-centric services and very happy and honored to come to this far. We believe, thanks to Feedzie.com, you will be experiencing something new that you haven't seen it yet in any website, including those websites that weight million or even billions of dollars ... kidding ... maybe not.
If you are interested in how Feedzie.com interprets the Blogosphere, you should keep an eye on our new blog at blog.feedzie.com. We will be taking snapshots of the Blogosphere from various angles and present those photos in this new blog.
Ziepod users can rate podcast episodes while they are listening to them. Then, those rated episodes are listed at ratings.ziepod.com site or in the 'Ratings' tab of the Ziepod client. We not only list them one after another but also group rated episodes based on the country from where those Ziepoders with their ratings are participating. By providing this extra info, we try to help Ziepoders find the podcasts they might be interested in by showing what other Ziepoders from their own country are rated.
And today we are starting to provide a new service. We provide feeds to let you monitor rated episodes without having to visit any place. We are supplying one feed to present last rated 10 podcast episodes and one feed for each country to present last rated 10 episodes from that country.
To subscribe, please visit ratings.ziepod.com and use 'RSS' button to get the feed addresses. As an alternative, you can switch to the 'Ratings' section of your 'Home' tab from inside Ziepod and then press 'SUB' button to subscribe to desired feed at one click.
Thanks to these new feeds, you will be reaching quality content easier than ever. And don't forget to rate episodes while you are listening to them. Note that this will help you mark your favorite podcasts for future use and help others reach quality content.
Version 0.99.9 Build 2 of Ziepod and Ziepod+ are ready for download. With this new release, we are most likely one baby step away from the Version One.
Wrapping up this release kept a little bit longer than we expected as we are also working hard on "Reborned" version of Feedzie.com. We will launch new Feedzie.com hopefully next week with its brand new feature set and look.
Lets get back to the Ziepod. This new release may not include powerful features but we tried to put as much as possible while not disturbing any existing module. As we are one more step closer to the 'Version One', we don't want to add any instability with new functionalities but rather remove as much as possible. Yet we believe that this is an *attractive* release. How attractive? Lets dive into it.
Seekbar Handle in Deskbar Mode
This is one of the things you may have felt its absence everytime you needed to roll backward or forward while listening to podcasts. Now, a new handle, shown in the sample screenshot, lets you seek the position while playing and without having to switch to other visual mode.
Improving performance for 'Portability'
This release is an important step for people who use "Portability" feature because we added one switch to improve the performance.
As disk read/write operation speed for portable mediums are low compared to conventional harddisks and "write" operation is used a lot while downloading episodes, you shouldn't be using space from your portable medium to keep your imcomplete downloads. Rather you should be able to use space from your harddisk so that Ziepod can download episodes faster. New version allows you to customize that "Imcomplete Downloads" path so that you can separate it from actual Download Base Folder and gain performance, while still keeping your fully downloaded episodes on your portable medium.
New set of keyboard shortcuts
Some people may not want to use keyboard shortcuts but with each release we are trying to add as much as we can. Because, if one of them help you gain speed, it improves your performance and lets you consume more content in less time, which is why we are developing Ziepod.
One of the new shortcuts is to play last played item, which is infact a very neat one. Always happens; you listen to something and then you realize you want to play it again. Then, volla!, your playlist is empty. This is that time you need to use this shortcut. There are two more version of this shortcut; to play last downloaded or rated episode.
Keep in mind that Ziepod provides lots of keyboard shortcuts. You don't necessarily use them all, but we are sure that you can find couple of them useful.
Two new filtering related features help you maintain Ziepod better. First one is the feature that keeps your subscriptions away from the 'Sweeper' so that non of saved items inside those subscriptions is swept accidentally by the Sweeper.
Another new filtering feature looks for posts and rejects the ones with text-only content so that you only deal with the ones that have associated enclosure. In other words, if you have a subscription that publishes both audio and text-only posts, you can make Ziepod automatically filter out those text-only posts. This actually saves your time if you are the one deleting them manually.
This is "bug eats bug world"
Tough days are not over for bugs poking inside Ziepod but most of them will not be able to gnaw Ziepod any more. Like with any other release, we tried to catch as much bug as possible. We responded to the feedbacks we got, then tracked and busted couple of them while chewing Ziepod. Some of them were rookies coming onboard with the previous version, so was easy to catch. However some are so professional that they appear in certain cases. They may be still out there, chewing Ziepod and having a good time but we took precoutions and updated couple of parts and hope we will never hear from them again.
In this new release, we removed couple of important bugs related to iPod support, dynamic OPMLs and download module which generated crashes and undesired cases, such as adding an episode to the wrong playlist in your iPod, opps! We also made proper changes so that non of downloads are automatically got paused because of connection failures but rather kept retrying till successful connection or you cancel them manually.
In short ...
We are one more step closer to the Version One and looking forward to hearing the word "Go" from you. As mentioned before, we will keep this release for a while and keep our ears open. If we do not get any feedback about any important issue from our users, we will rename it as the *Version One*.
We just also want to point out that when bugs are considered, there is no software on this solar system that is without them. All our effort is to make things run as smoothly as possible. Hope you like this new release, and get ready for a brand new Feedzie.com that is coming out very soon.
Have a smooth ride with the newest Ziepod and don't forget to uninstall your old version before installing the new one.
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