Armangil's vodcatcher is a video podcast (or vodcast) client for the command line. It provides several download strategies (new shows only, back-catalog allowed, etc), supports BitTorrent, offers cache management, and generates playlists for video player applications. It is written in Ruby, and runs on Linux (tested), Windows, MacOS and many other operating systems.
To watch video podcasts, simply type something like vodcatcher subscriptions.opml > latest.m3u. This will download the subscribed shows into the current directory and generate an M3U playlist named latest.m3u.
This application accepts one or more feeds (RSS or Atom) or subscription lists (OPML or iTunes PCAST) as argument, in the form of URLs or filenames. Alternatively, it tries to read one such document from the standard input.
For help, use vodcatcher -h.
Merging with Armangil's podcatcher 23 Dec 2006, 9:48
As of version 2.0.0, Armangil's podcatcher is capable of downloading any type of content, including video. For example, podcatcher --content '^video/' http://www.podtech.net/home/feed/ downloads video content from PodTech.net.
As a result, Armangil's vodcatcher, which is a clone of Armangil's podcatcher specialized in video, no longer has a reason of being. Version 1.3.3 is the last release of this software. For newer versions, please see Armangil's podcatcher.
Version 1.3.3 released 12 Jan 2006, 24:15
This release includes a major new feature: search. This function generates a subscription list by querying a set of subscription lists/feeds. Here are some usage examples:
- the command vodcatcher -F search "rocket tiki video" 'http://www.ipodder.org/discuss/reader$4.opml' > result.opml queries the iPodder podcast directory, and (hopefully) generates a list of video podcasts including Rocketboom and TikiBar TV,
- the command vodcatcher -F search -f 22 video http://www.podfeed.net/opml/directory.opml | vodcatcher > latest.m3u queries Podfeed.net for video podcasts (22 at most), and downloads their latest shows.
The search function can safely be interrupted (through Control-C keystrokes on Linux): it still generates a valid subscription list.
This release also adds support for the XSPF playlist format, and adds the -p option for assigning a separate cache subfolder to each feed.
Version 1.2.0 released 6 Nov 2005, 17:22
This release includes many feature enhancements and a minor bug fix. Changes:
- M3U is now the default playlist type,
- added support for RSS/Atom feeds as command line arguments,
- added support for decentralized subscription lists such as the iPodder podcast directory,
- added the -f option that puts an upper limit to the number of downloaded RSS/Atom feeds,
- added support for Extended M3U and Extended PLS playlist formats,
- added support for Atom feeds that do not list items in reverse chronological order,
- added "cache" strategy which deprecates the -c option,
- fixed a bug that sometimes caused an invalid Referer header to be sent in HTTP requests.
Vodcast test for videoblogs 3 Sep 2005, 18:34
Some videoblogs do not qualify as vodcasts, and vodcast clients such as Armangil's vodcatcher cannot handle them. Here is a quick (and geeky) test to determine whether a videoblog is a vodcast:
- Does the videoblog have an RSS or Atom feed?
- Does the feed list video files as enclosures? (i.e. does it contain elements such as <enclosure url="http://www.example.com/show.mov" length="2144275" type="video/quicktime" /> or <link rel="enclosure" href="http://www.example.com/show.mov" length="2144275" type="video/quicktime" />)
If the answer to both questions is yes, then the videoblog is a vodcast.
Finding vodcasts 3 Sep 2005, 17:57
Armangil's vodcatcher answers the question: "How do I receive vodcasts?". The next question is: "Where do I find vodcasts?". Here are some options:
- A sample vodcast list is provided with this software; it is ready to use, although somewhat small,
- The Mefeedia videoblog directory currently lists 850 videoblogs, many of which are vodcasts.
Version 1.1.0 released 30 Aug 2005, 15:30
The initial release is available here. This software uses the code base of Armangil's podcatcher, which has been in development for almost a year now. As a result, this first release is already stable and feature-rich.