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Posts published in June 2007
Monday, the Tip Day: Playing with Tabs

One of the characteristics of user interface of Ziepod is that it groups provided functions into tabs, which facilitates user experience. For example 'Subscriptions' tab allows you to manage your subscriptions while 'Downloads' tab is for managing downloads. Ziepod has 4 tabs and Ziepod+ has one more tab called Browser, for integrated tabbed browsing experience. We believe tabs is one of the powerful features of Ziepod.

So, today's tip is about tabs and two-folded. Here we go.

Start-up tab

By default, Ziepod starts up in 'Home' tab, which shows you the latest retrieved content along with some statistics in familiar web-like interface. However everybody has different needs and may want Ziepod to switch to specific tab automaticaly at the start up, such as 'Subscriptions' tab. Here is how to do that:

  • Open your preferences by using CTRL+P keyboard shortcut
  • Switch to the 'Display' tab in the dialog window
  • You will see a checkbox entitled, When Ziepod starts up, automatically switch to ..., check that box and then choose the tab that you like to start with
  • Click OK to apply changes and exit
  • Order of tabs
    Other than choosing the start-up tab, you can do one more interesting thing; that is, changing the order of tabs. It's not given in the help of Ziepod but easy to do. Here is how to do that:
  • Click on the tab you like to change its order, but don't release the button
  • At the same time, press CTRL key and keep pressed till you finish with ordering.
  • Now move the mouse horizontally till the tab you choosed is in the place that you want.
  • Release the mouse button and CTRL key.
  • Like the ones we gave before, this tip shows the level of customization that Ziepod offers to you. We believe everybody has different needs and requirements. We mostly guess them by thinking hard but we also get lots of feedback and suggestions from our users. Do you have one? Tell us your suggestion. Just launch the embedded feedback dialog of Ziepod by using ALT+F shortcut to send your suggestion.

    Good day,

    Click [ here ] to read the whole post

    posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 | Permalink ( # )

    Build 4 for Ziepod and Ziepod+ version 0.99.9 are ready for download

    Rocky, the movie series, has 6 movies but we don't want to go that far. This is 4th built of version 0.99.9. And this is most likely the latest release before the 'Version One'. The goal behind this release is to clear couple of bugs that we cought thanks to couple of highly dedicated Ziepod users. We believe this release should be the most bug-free of all releases we made so far. After all, we want to release 'Version One' as perfect as possible.

    Top 3 bugs in the 'Most Lethal Bugs List' arrested

    Have to say, special Ziepod setup with crash report feature that we released soon ago had a major role at catching these 3 lethal bugs. Of course we have to thank our dedicated users who used this special setup and provided crash reports. Phillip and Jason are two of many. Their support was important because we were unable to create those crash cases in our testbed, which made it almost impossible to catch those bugs.

    Those removed 3 bugs were responsible for synch and download related abnormal terminations in certain systems. They showed up somewhat randomly but mostly during synch activities and funny thing is that some people tasted these bugs more often than others, and some never did, like us, as their behaviour change radically based on the computer environment.

    Other than these arrests and couple of more bugs fixes, we don't have much in this package. Nevertheless, it is an important release, and a stable step towards the 'Version One'. And we recommend this new release to everybody.

    Closing to the Version One

    As said, we believe this is the last release before the 'Version One' unless we get any serious feedback. Note that we provide all necessary means to help you report any abnormality easily and quickly, including crash reporting feature. And we are very responsive and sensitive to your feedbacks.

    On the other hand, we are also very excited about new features that we are going to add into Ziepod and Ziepod+ but that's not gonna start before releasing the 'Version One'.

    Hope you like this little release and get a smooth ride with it. Here is more info on this release:

  • Upgrade Instructions (recommended)
  • Download Ziepod+ version 0.99.9 Build 4 [ Mirror ]
  • Read Release Notes for Ziepod+ version 0.99.9 Build 4
  • Download Ziepod version 0.99.9 Build 4 [ Mirror ]
  • Read Release Notes for Ziepod version 0.99.9 Build 4
  • Frequently Asked Questions (updated)
  • Trouble-Shooting (updated)
  • If you like to install special Ziepod release with 'Crash Report' feature, here are the setup files to download:

  • Download Ziepod+ version 0.99.9 Build 4 w CrashReportFeature
  • Download Ziepod version 0.99.9 Build 4 w CrashReportFeature
  • Have a great week,

    Click [ here ] to read the whole post

    posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 | Permalink ( # )

    Monday, the Tip Day: Quick way to play last played episode

    This might be the one of the neat and quick tips we can recommend to you when time comes to Ziepod. It is about a keyboard shortcut that allows you to play the last played episode. You know, it happens ... you forget Ziepod at the background playing podcasts, while giving your full attention to other things on your desktop. There you go, you just missed that podcast episode. Don't worry, it is still one keyboard-shortcut-away from you, even though it is not in your playlist. (remember our previous tip about auto-removal of played items?)

    To make use of this feature, you need to set the keyboard shortcut for it. To do so, just follow these steps:

  • Open your preferences (use CTRL+P shortcut)
  • Switch to the tab named 'Keyboard'
  • Among listed provided shortcuts, select the one named 'Play Last Played Episode', under 'Player Shortcuts' list caption
  • Below the listed shortcuts, check the box to being able to set the key combination. Then set that shortcut, like ALT+L. (L for 'Last')
  • Press 'OK' to apply changes immediately and start using this neat feature.
  • Hope you like this tiny feature. Please browse our help documentation (use F1) to learn more about provided features. Keep in mind that Ziepod has a lot of features that you may not be aware of yet. Ziepod+ has even more powerful features. You can also ask us your questions about Ziepod. To send your questions and comments, just use ALT+F shortcut. That easy!

    Have a good day,

    Click [ here ] to read the whole post

    posted on Monday, June 18, 2007 | Permalink ( # )

    Tip of the Day : Control over downloads

    Today's tip is about having a control over the downloads. If you have a Ziepod+, that is purchasable version of Ziepod, you will be able to monitor progress of your downloads at any time and even limit used bandwidth.

    Ziepod+ comes with download status monitor panel, like the one shown above. Just use ALT+D keyboard shortcut to see this external panel, and note that this keyboard shortcut is a hotkey, that is, it enables you to open this panel even Ziepod is minimized at the time. You can also customize this keyboard shortcut thru your Preferences.

    This external panel allows you to track progress of each download and apply certain actions on them, like pausing and canceling. It stays on top of all windows and becomes transparent when you focus on another application so that you can still see your downloads, without intervening with other opened windows.

    Another tip on controlling downloads is being able to limit bandwidth usage. Note that Ziepod and Ziepod+ tries to use your bandwidth as much as possible to download episodes fast. However this may distrupt and slow down your other internet activities, such as streaming media, like watching video over YouTube. To prevent such cases, Ziepod+ provides you the feature which allows you to limit bandwidth usage.

    To set this limit;

  • Open your preferences (by using CTRL+P keyboard shortcut)
  • Switch to the 'Connection' tab, where you set internet connection related settings
  • Check the box entitled 'Make sure that total download speed does not exceed ...'
  • Set the limit in terms of KBs/sec.
  • Press 'OK' to apply this change.
  • Deciding this speed limit is entirely up to you. You can set the half of your internet connection speed or some low constant value, like 20 KBs/sec. Just a quick tip: if your internet speed is 1024 Kbps (Kilobits per sec)(1024 Kbps = 1 Mbps), then your max download speed should be around 128 KBs/sec (Kilobytes per sec). In short, just divide it with 8 to map that number from bits to bytes.

    Today's tip shows that Ziepod+ has more tools that you can make use of when comes to downloading experience. Hope you purchase it and support the future of Ziepod product family. If you like to try it out now, click [ here ] to download Ziepod+.

    Have a good week,

    Click [ here ] to read the whole post

    posted on Monday, June 11, 2007 | Permalink ( # )

    Tip of the Day

    Starting this Monday, every Monday we present you a tip to help you make use of your Ziepod better. Today's tip is not a quick one but addresses an interesting topic in the context of automation.

    Lets consider this scenario: You are sitting in front of your computer for couple of hours and there is a news podcast among your subscriptions that provides you news coverage every hour, like CNN Update, or NPR Hourly News. And you are tired of pressing download and play buttons and trying to maintain your playlist.

    Instead of making things manually, Ziepod can automatically download and then play those news episodes while you are working on other things. Not only that, Ziepod can even keep your playlist empty aftering done playing. To do all these automated, you need to check couple of boxes and here is how to.

    Step 1: Downloading episodes & adding them to the playlist automatically

    Ok, assume that you subscribe to the CNN Update podcast which provides news coverage every hour. And you want Ziepod to download new episodes from that specific podcast automatically as soon as they are available. How to do that?

    (1.1) Open the properties of that particular subscription by making a right click on it
    (1.2) Select 'Properties' option.
    (1.3) Switch to the 'Download' tab
    (1.4) Check the first box, entitled "When new epsiodes are detected ..." and then select download all or download newest one option.
    (1.5) Then to place newly downloaded episode to playlist automatically, check another box entitled Automatically add downloaded episodes to the playlist.

    In fact, you may not want to download but to play it right away. Downloading is often used to feed your MP3 player or in case of low internet connection speed. Instead of downloading, you can stream the content by directly adding newly detected episodes to your playlist.

    To do that, in the step (1.4), you should check the second box in the view and select add all to playlist or add the newest one to playlist option. As we don't use downloading, you can also skip the step (1.5). Now you can press 'OK' button to finish this step.

    Step 2: Adjusting player for automation

    At this point, new episode from your news channel is in the playlist, ready to be played. However, Ziepod isn't going to play it right away unless you set it so. Here is how to set.

    (2.1) Open your preferences by using CTRL+P keyboard shortcut.
    (2.2) Switch to the 'Playlist' tab
    (2.3) Check the second box entitled Automatically play newly added episode ...
    (2.4) Press 'OK' button to apply this change.

    And aftering setting this, Ziepod will play new episodes as soon as they are added to the playlist. Do you think that is enough? Not quite.

    Step 3: Removing played episode automatically

    As new episodes are downloaded and played automatically, you will see how your playlist is getting crowded, unless you manually remove them. How about making that automated, too? Because, Ziepod can also automatically remove episode after it is played. Here is how to do that.

    (3.1) Before pressing 'OK' in the step (2.4), in the same tab of the Preferences, check the box entitled Remove item from the playlist right after it is played. (3.2) Press 'OK' to apply these changes.

    Now you can sit back or work on other things while listening to hourly news coverages from your favorite news agencies at the background, much like listening to radio.

    This is a bit long "tip" but a perfect example showing the level of customization and automation that Ziepod offers to you. Hope you can make use of it as much as possible.

    Have a great week,

    Click [ here ] to read the whole post

    posted on Monday, June 4, 2007 | Permalink ( # )

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