ACast's Blog

ACast, a podcast player for Android

What is the plan for the available ACast versions?

Posted by acast on January 4, 2010

ACast2 and 3, with their free/ad-driven counterpart, will both be updated and contain the same functionality. ACast3 is a compact version of ACast2, i.e. player view is removed and replaced by a player available from all views. Some people prefer the layout of ACast2 and some the ACast3 layout.

You can try/install ‘ACast3 Free’ and ‘ACast’ if you want to check out the GUI layout differences.

I’m thinking of renaming ACast3 to something that reflects the difference from ACast2, e.g. ACast Compact or similar, since the underlying functionality is still the same.

Let me know what you think.



8 Responses to “What is the plan for the available ACast versions?”

  1. Wesley said

    I have yet to try version 3 but if at all possible, I would prefer them to be delivered as one piece of software that can be displayed either way based on configuration.

    I do agree that the name ACast3 gives the impression that it is the newer/better version of ACast instead of just being an alternate version. If you are going to continue providing them as two different versions, it would likely be better if you went with something like ACast and ACast Compact.

    One question, do ACast and ACast3 Free share configuration and storage? Will anything conflict if I install them side by side to test them?

    I think a problem you run into with all the multiple versions is that new users will not know which to install which might cause some of them not to try out the software. This is the main reason I think you would be better off bringing all of your versions down to just two, an “ACast Free” and “ACast”.

    • acast said

      Storage is shared for all versions of ACast (/sdcard/acast). However feeds, feed information (downloaded, completed…) and settings are stored separately for each ACast version (Store/Restore Backup can be used to transfer data between versions).

      I’ll see if I can merge the layout differences into one version but it will probably not happen in the near future.

  2. Paul said

    @Wesley I completely agree with your logic about the various versions causing confusion. Until this post I was unaware that the only difference was the player screen being replaced. I was under the impression that there were perhaps some other benefits as well.

    @acast Count me as a +1 to consolidation of those features.

  3. Michael said

    I agree completely with Paul and Wesley. Not only this is pretty confusing for new users, but it will also mean a lot more work for you to release all those versions if you are serious about maintaining all of them.

    It has been confusing enough that Acast2 is just the ad-free counterpart of Acast. There is no other product I’m aware of which has a similar weird versioning scheme.

    Bottomline: I would really like to see all versions being merged into one (or two, if you like to separate between free and paid. But still, they should both have the same version numbers…

    PS: I was going to buy Acast2 but because of that version number mess, I decided to give DoggCatcher a try, so I bought this one instead 😉 Not beeing very happy with it, I’m now back with Acast, but still unsure which version to buy. So I’ll wait for now and stay with the free Acast version…

  4. Jeff Mcknight said

    Yes, you definitely need to change the naming. The use of version numbers to indicate free/paid is very confusing. Ideally, I would like to just see two versions, ACast Pro (paid w/ no ads) and Acast Free (free w/ ads), and include in both a preference setting to switch between the standard and compact user interface.

  5. Eric Raymond said

    I agree that 2/3 is misleading and that “ACast Compact” is the best name.

    Unless program size is an issue, have you considered simply having just one product with configuration options to enable professional (via license key or addon “product”) and compact mode?

    One nit I found when trying ACast3 is that the feeds/downloads/playlists/filters are not shared between Acast and ACast3. Idf it’s easy, I would opt to have the “data” shared between the apps to allow for easy transition.

    • acast said

      I will change the ACast names.

      It might be hard to combine the regular and compact versions since the GUI differ quite a bit, I’ll see what I can do.

      Currently you have to use ‘Store/Restore Backup’ to transfer feeds/downloads… between versions.

      I could place the not so important information in a publicly available database (e.g. /sdcard/acast/acast.db) but then I have to extract user credentials and similar to a private DB which requires some work.

      It’s not that hard to use the backup functionality to export the feeds to another version when needed (unless you want to run multiple versions at the same time which is only recommended for temporary testing/evaluation). Another benefit of having a database on the SD card is that it doesn’t consume app space. However, I will most likely not create a “global” database.


      • Eric Raymond said

        Store/Restore Backup sounds like it meets the need. Wasn’t aware of that feature. Depending on the difficulty, it may be better use of time to work on other things (such as variable speed playback)

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