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Player FM 4.0
What's new in Player FM 4.0?
A lot! A new interface optimized for modern phones, feature-rich premium memberships, enhanced media importing, and faster interaction. These have been developed in the beta for many months now, so we've listed here a few questions that have come up so far. (Thanks to all beta testers! You rock.)
Why did you update the interface? The old one was perfectly fine.
It takes a lot of work to get such updates right and we're way too small and focused to make changes just because "it's time". There are real gains here in terms of everyday interaction with the app.
In an era of jumbo-sized phones, most thumbs could never reach the top of the screen, making one-handed use difficult. The new bottom navigation interface lets you get around comfortably with just your thumb. That's why the pattern has become popular on Android, where it's now an official part of the platform guidelines and even used by several of Google Android apps (e.g. YouTube).
Furthermore, we freed up your screen space to focus on what matters most: the content. The old screen had up to three top layers - the "Shows" label with some icons, the three tabs (Discover, Subscriptions, Play Later), and then your subscription categories. There is now just one top tab along with the bottom nav panel.
Furthermore, the new interface brings you settings and downloads directly on the main screen, instead of buried in the side menu. Settings toggles, like "show downloaded only" are now very prominent on the main settings screen. This helps to make features more discoverable and reduces a lot of jumping back and forth.
Was the mini-player update necessary too?
Yup. The mini-player was redesigned because it's now sitting above the new bottom navigation panel. With the previous design, its layout was too similar to the bottom nav, both with five evenly spaced symbols, creating an unwanted visual connection between them. The new design breaks that up to allow the two containers to sit adjacent while remaining distinct. The redesign also has the advantage of improving the region that can be tapped to take the player full-screen.
What other interface updates are there?
The full-screen player and mini-player now have animated controls and they are both swipeable to navigate tracks. From Settings | Import, there's a new "Import Media" tool to let you open local files directly within the app. You no longer need to share from a file explorer tool to play local files. Additionally, the app overall has been updated to become more snappy and stable.
Will you run ads? It says one of the premium features is "No ads, no nags"
First, let's address the "no ads" part. Our primary aim here is to fund ongoing service and development. If we can confidently maintain a high-quality app for all users without ads, just relying on premium upgrades, we'll do it. That said, this is a cloud-synced app with a support team, meaning that all users - paying or not - impose an incremental cost. To help cover that cost, we do intend to experiment with display advertising in some markets and on some platforms. We'll aim to do it unintrusively and in ways that respect user privacy. Premium plans will remove those ads.
Now to the "no nags". This is a reference to parts of the app promoting premium features, e.g. when you change to night theme, you'll see a promo for theme editing features. This kind of in-app promo is pretty much a necessity for any app with premium features. If you're reading this FAQ, you're the exception to the rule, because most users are oblivious that such plans are present and such features are possible. Upgrading naturally removes those messages, including the promos of features that aren't part of the user's chosen plan.
We've promoted the app as ad-free in the past because ... it has been. For over four years. And continues to be, for now. The FAQ has always indicated we would consider advertising in the future if we can do it unintrusively. We've also indicated the app would be "free forever" and it will remain so, providing a high-level experience without an expiration date for all users. We're proud to receive regular reviews indicating the app is their favorite app on their phone, even without these advanced features, and we'll continue to make it great for everyone. That's part of our goal to open up podcasting and make it as accessible as possible, no matter what platform you're on.
What data are cloud-synced by the premium plans?
As a regular user, your subscriptions, starred topics, subscription categories and Play Later list are synced in the cloud. When you upgrade to premium, the following data will be cloud-synced as well:
- custom playlists
- play history, including episode positions and played/un-played statuses
- series "mark as played" status and "mark played until this episode" status
- app settings such as continuous-play mode
- subscription settings such as series-specific speed preference
- all of your custom themes
Will play sync update downloads on other devices?
Yes! All premium plans will sync play positions, played/unplayed status, and series "mark played until this episode" settings across Android, iPhone (under development), and the web app. That means if you play an episode on phone 1 and it's also on phone 2, the file will indeed be deleted from phone 2 according to your download limit and "auto-delete played episodes" settings. It would be just as if you had played it on phone 2. Essentially, you will always have the same items offline on both phones, assuming they both have the same settings, which is of course up to you. This is generally desired behavior. You can still choose to keep an episode permanently on your device with a manual download. Also, premium plans introduce a better option for permanent downloads. There are now custom playlists and they come with their own download limit. For example, you could make a "besties" playlist with a download limit of 100 to keep all your favorites offline, even if they're played.
How does Pro and Patron plan differ?
The Patron plan is a way for enthusiasts to support the platform. Some users like the approach we're taking to podcast management and have in the past offered donations to help cover the cost, so we decided to make this as frictionless as possible with a separate plan. There are various perks offered as a "thank you", such as human recommendations for topics you're interested in, higher priority support, and insider access to new features. Longer term, we plan to add features and bundle content from publishers to make it a more typical top-tier plan. In its current form, there's no pretense that this is a plan oriented around the patronage model. Hence the name.
About Podcasting and Player FM
What's Player FM?
Player FM helps you discover and play podcasts on any device. We love podcasts because they are a great way for busy people to learn, laugh, stay informed while you're on the go. We started with the Player FM web app, which works on desktop, phone, and tablets; and now we have the Android app too. By logging in, you can sync your subscriptions across devices and applications.
Why make "yet another podcast app"?
Player FM is an opinionated app with its own unique take on the podcast experience ... our goals are:
- Be super-friendly. You shouldn't need a university degree in RSS feeds to subscribe to your favorite shows and play them offline.
- ... And yet, be powerful for hardcore podcast fans. We don't accept that "ease of use" should equate to "dumbing down" and won't compromise on either simplicity or power. There are many options for those who dig into settings, and advanced playback options such as speed control, skipping silence, and intelligently boosting volume.
- Cloud, Cloud, Cloud! Unlike a traditional podcast app, Player FM's nerve center resides in the cloud. Feeds are fetched on our servers, not on users' phones, saving precious battery and bandwidth, and getting those podcasts updated fast (typically within 15 minutes of publications).
- Sync across devices. Player FM's cloud model means subscriptions sync across devices, so you can easily get up and running on new devices or even use it on 2 devices simultaneously.
- Help users discover great shows. Instead of using an existing catalogue such as iTunes', we were determined to build a catalogue ground-up, so we could more adequately capture niche topics. Not just "Technology", but "Gaming", "Social Media", as well as "Java" and "Programming" categories. Users can follow these topics and see new episodes every day, even if they aren't subscribed. We view the catalogue as being community-driven, we're open to suggestions, and we make it available under a Creative Commons license (similar to Wikipedia's open source license).
- Spontaneous. Subscriptions are awesome for your favorite shows, but we don't think you should have to subscribe just to play an episode you come across. Playback is always a piece of cake - just hit the play button whether the episode is downloaded or not. And there's a "Play Later" playlist to save episodes for later ... it can keep them offline automatically and (in beta) sync across devices.
Why "FM"? Is this a radio app?
The "FM" is just a fancy way of signifying this is an audio app and "Player FM" is a convenient way to indicate the web address at player.fm. There's no live radio here - we are much more into playing what we want, when we want, and that rarely coincides with the traditional "appointment listening" model of radio. Player FM is on-demand content similar to YouTube or Netflix.
Is it really free?
Yes, it's free to install and the features you enjoy today will always be free, plus more to come.
Why free? Firstly, we view Player FM as an open platform. You can make your subscriptions public and share them on the web. The catalogue organization is also available under a Creative Commons license. These kinds of social and data sharing features would not be practical with an app that placed a payment barrier in front of every user. Secondly, from a practical perspective, it's difficult for a new app to charge an upfront fee when there are established alternatives, no matter how much innovation the new app brings to the table. Having launched later than other podcasting apps, it simply wouldn't have reached enough interest to make the project sustainable.
For those reasons, we decided to focus on making a great experience all users can enjoy. We will announce additional features for paying users later on.
What's a podcast anyway?
Short definition: A podcast is a recurring program delivered over the internet. They don't always have to be audio, and we support video too, but most are audio-based conversations. Podcasts span all topics from technology news to business to fashion trends, and they can be created by anyone at all, from an individual barking passionate opinions at their phone to a global news organization working in a professional studio. People sometimes use "podcast" to refer to an individual show or a whole series of shows, so where possible, we use the terms "series" and "episode" to make the distinction clear.
Where do shows on Player FM come from?
The shows are podcasts which publishers have made available for streaming and downloading from their own websites. We love podcasts, but we've found the whole process of subscribing and downloading podcasts to be highly complex and so we're re-thinking how it can be done in a more friendly and intuitive way.
Is Player FM available on other platforms?
As a cloud-first podcast app, we're always interested in adding more platforms and being demand-driven, we're happy to take requests from users. For now, in addition to the Android app, there's the web app which should already get part of the job done elsewhere, but we hope to build more native apps too. An iPhone app is in production - you may sign up here to keep you updated and participate in the beta test when it's ready. For the meantime, you may enjoy Player FM in your iOS devices with our web app.
Can you make Player FM do ... ?
How do I delete my account and leave Player FM?
I'm a developer. Can I make a podcasting app with Player FM data?
We have an API under development. For now, you can access a basic JSON-formatted payload of channels and users by appending ".json" to their respective URLs, e.g. http://player.fm/featured/food.json and http://player.fm/user.json, though it's unofficial and may change in the future. Please mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or comments.
I can't work something out. Help!
Hopefully this FAQ answers your questions. But if not, please feel free to ask for help:
You're missing a podcast. How can I add it?
Why can't I successfully import a feed?
This may be due to either of the following:
- The feed is not a valid podcast feed, which means it doesn't contain any audio enclosures or playable media elements.
- The feed no longer exists, or its URL is incorrect or broken.
- The URL doesn't really point to a feed at all. Some users may mistake website URLs as RSS feed URLs.
- The inputted feed URL does not begin with "http://" or in some cases, "https://".
- The feed has been blacklisted as per publisher's request. This is true especially on premium/private feeds, since we currently do not support them.
- In rare cases, there might be a bug in our feed import tool. Should you need further assistance on this, feel free to contact us anytime via email@example.com.
Why do some series like "This American Life" only have one episode available?
The number of episodes shown is based on what is indicated in the series' feed. We remove old episodes if the publisher has removed them from their feed because we can't guarantee they will still be present and playable, though episodes will remain on your device if they are downloaded.
Why can't I see old episodes of some series?
Player FM keeps in sync with the publisher's feed, so if old episodes aren't there, it may be because the publisher removed them from their feed. We might later experiment with keeping them around, subject to publisher approval. But it would still need a warning flag because we have no way to guarantee the episodes are still served by the publisher if they've removed them from their feed. Oftentimes, they still are served and only omitted from the feed just to keep the feed small. Yet other times, they will have actually removed the files from their server.
A podcast show seems not updated and does not contain the latest episodes. Why?
When a feed isn't updating, it's almost always because the publisher has stopped updating the feed. This happens for several reasons:
- The feed is old or no longer active. The publisher has moved to another feed. In this case, please let us know as we can merge feeds for all users.
- Your current settings and internet connection might be preventing the app from retrieving updates.
- There is a bug with our server's fetching of feeds. This is very rare as we have a lot of checks and tests in place to ensure feeds are constantly fetched and processed, but if you suspect an issue, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it possible to filter the Catalogue by language or by country?
The catalogue supports a number of languages. By default, it will open in the language of your phone (if that language is supported). You can switch to another language from the catalogue top-right overflow menu.
Can you show the episode's image/cover art?
Showing episode cover art would be nice to have and we will probably support this later. However, it's a bit of a challenge for us than most podcast apps as we host the images ourselves. This is in order to prevent "hotlinking" (a.k.a. stealing bandwidth from the publishers, since Player FM is also a web app), and to help optimize bandwidth use in the app, since the images from publishers aren't always as small as they could be. Nevertheless, it should be possible if more shows provide it in the future.
Player FM for Android
Installing and Uninstalling
What permissions does Player FM for Android require, and why?
We're not interested in declaring a laundry list of permissions. Each new permission we add requires a careful cost-benefit analysis to ensure it genuinely adds value to your experience and it will only be used for the stated purpose.
For Android 6.0 and later, no permissions are required by default. Some are added on demand. For earlier versions of Android, we are only able to request permissions upfront. Below are details on the permissions the app is using.
This permission is especially for logging in with Google+. Player FM only retrieves the user's e-mail address and doesn't need any other contact information aside from that. Furthermore, when you log in with Google for the first time, you can opt to deny accessing this other information (e.g. list of people in your circles, age range and language), and the app will still be completely functional.
Manage Phone State
We added this permission when we added the much-requested setting to keep playing during notification sounds and navigation directions. Enabling that setting is great, but unfortunately it means playback continues during a phone call too. So we have to request this permission in order to detect when phone calls start and end. Here's a programming reference about this permission: "This is why apps like Pandora, Spotify, etc need the permission - so they can mute themselves when you get a call."
This is necessary to read and write podcasts on connected USB drives.
Wi-fi connection information
This is necessary for Chromecast integration.
Device ID & call information
This is necessary to stop playback during phone calls, for users who have added the setting to keep playing during notifications and navigation commands.
Run at startup - Running in the background after your phone boots ensures your shows can be downloaded and ready for you to play anytime. Pair with Bluetooth devices - Play on Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Full network access - Download and stream podcasts. View network connections - Start/stop playing as you move between wi-fi and cellular, according to your preferences. Prevent device from sleeping - Keep playback going.
How do I switch language on Player FM?
The app's language is determined from your device's settings (the OS language settings, not Player FM), as long as we support it. You can explore shows in any language though - choose languages from the catalogue overflow menu.
I don't have Google Play. Can I still install this on my phone?
If you have an Android phone (or variant which runs Android apps, e.g. Kindle Fire and some BlackBerry models), you can install.
Player FM for Android is available in some other locations. Here are the official sources:
These are the only official sources; we can't verify the reliability of security of APKs found anywhere else.
The app isn't listed in my country. Can I still install it?
Can I get an older version of the Player FM app?
We don't provide older Player FM versions anymore, especially for Android versions that we no longer support. This is because the older versions are not well-maintained and may be buggy when used. You might want to use our website https://player.fm to listen to podcasts, or import your account's feed (https://player.fm/˂your username˃/fm.rss) to another podcast app.
How do I delete the app from my device?
In case you are trying to uninstall and reinstall, you might want to first try just logging out and logging back in again. You can also clear the cache using Android System Settings - visit Apps, open Player FM, and clear cache from there. That should make the app like new.
If you want to delete the app altogether, it goes the same way you delete any app on your device. The simplest way is to long-press the app's icon and drag it to the [App Info] label found at the top of the screen. After which, confirm to uninstall.
Downloading and Offline Usage
How do I download for offline use?
We love podcasts for their ability to work offline, and Player FM has two main download features:
- Subscriptions - Player FM automatically keeps recent episodes from each subscription offline. You can fine-tune this in download settings, choosing when to download and how many episodes.
- Play Later - Add any episode to Play Later whether you're subscribed or not. Your Play Later list automatically downloads. Similar to an email app, the latest 10 episodes are always kept offline. Again, fine-tune this in download settings.
There are some other downloading options for advanced users:
- Download - Every episode have a "download" menu item, but it's mainly there for familiarity. We think Play Later is all you need in most cases, and it has a lot of advantages! See Why Use Play Later? below.
- Links menu - Episode details screens have a "Links" dialog for advanced users. Here you can find the publisher's direct URL (e.g. a MP3 link), which you can download to your phone's download area, though the app won't show it as a download.
How does Play Later work? Why do you say it's better than a traditional download button?
Anytime an episode grabs your interest, we suggest you add it to your Play Later list. It's a convenient way to build up an offline-ready playlist and also serves as a kind of bookmarking capability. While Player FM has a traditional Download action for the sake of familiarity, we would advise most users to use Play Later instead, for the following reasons:
- Play Later cleans itself up so you don't have to. Episodes are automatically removed from the list when you play them and only a fixed number of Play Later items are ever downloaded (default 10). So when new episodes are downloaded, the old ones are deleted. This lets you relax and never worry about running out of space or having to clean up every few weeks.
- You're in control of downloading conditions. A traditional download button will always download immediately, even if you're on 3G/4G and running out of battery. Play Later only downloads when you're on wifi and you may also configure to only download while charging. Or if you want the traditional download button experience, you can make it always download immediately.
- Play Later episodes sync across devices and the web (in beta). So you can hit Play Later on your work PC and it will be on your phone when you leave the office, ready to play offline. That's a more cloud-friendly approach to the traditional downloading model.
- Play Later also serves as a playlist of your favorite discoveries, with the ability to sort and re-order them anytime.
In case you want to keep an episode on your device permanently, you can use the Download action (since Play Later auto-deletes from the device as it gets full). But aside from that, there's really no good reason to use it.
How can I make some subscriptions not download?
Open the series detail screen, open the top-right overflow menu, and there you can set the download limit to zero. (In case you don't see an option here, it will be because you have enabled the "playlist" option in download settings ˃ subscriptions. You need per-series downloading enabled to set a limit.)
I only want to download shows I find. Nothing should be automatically downloaded.
In this case, you may consider setting your Subscriptions limit to zero. Only shows you explicitly choose, by adding them to Play Later (or manually downloading from the episode menu), will be downloaded.
Can I change the download order?
You can monitor download progress (both subscription and Play Later episodes) from the side menu ˃ Downloads screen. All manual downloads and Play Later items are prioritized over episodes from your subscriptions. To re-order downloads, you can re-order the Play Later list as episodes will download in that order. To prioritise a subscription episode, just add it to your Play Later list.
Can I download to my Android Wear watch for phone-less playback?
The Android Wear app doesn't yet download episodes to your watch. We think it's a cool possibility to stream podcasts from your watch (!) and we're watching this space. Storage has been limited on most devices, which makes them more suitable for music than podcasts at present.
I'm seeing download errors.
This usually means the publisher's site is down, though it might also be because of a connection error. Sometimes it happens if you're on a wi-fi connection that requires login, e.g. at an internet cafe. Player FM will normally retry downloading periodically and will also update episode URLs from the publisher's feed, in case they have changed. To understand more about the problem, you may tap on the episode title to access the episode detail screen, then tap on the top-right overflow menu ˃ [Links...] ˃ [Raw episode file], and see if you're able to open or download the episode file directly.
Please feel free to report the problem to us by going to the side menu ˃ Help ˃ [Report Problem...]
Can I start downloading on a fixed schedule, e.g. every weekday at 7 AM, as that's just before I go to work?
Sorry, not right now. Your best option is to go to Settings ˃ Downloads ˃ Subscriptions, and set [Auto-download] to [Wi-fi and charging]. After which, set a short refresh interval like 1 hour via Settings ˃ Connection ˃ [How often to update]. We're planning to create Android intents to control downloading, so that advanced users could schedule it using a third-party app like Tasker.
How can I configure which wi-fi networks Player FM is active on?
You might have some wi-fi networks with limited bandwidth, such as your workplace or a mobile wi-fi hotspot served from another phone. In that case, you might want to "blacklist" the network on Player FM. While the app doesn't support this directly, you may configure it through your Android device's settings, as follows.
Firstly, identify the "blacklisted" networks:
- Visit Android Settings ˃ Data usage (or Mobile data).
- Tap the overflow menu at the top-right corner (or menu button in some devices).
- Select [Mobile hotspots].
- Select the wi-fi networks where you want to restrict background data.
Then, make this setting apply to Player FM:
- In Android Settings, go back to the [Data usage] screen.
- Scroll down and select Player FM on the list.
- On the next screen, check [Restrict background data]. With these settings, the app will be not able to execute network calls while in background - no sync, no downloads.
We realize this isn't a perfect solution, as you might wish to "whitelist" networks, e.g. your home, instead of blacklisting others. Hopefully Android will expand this feature in time, and we may also consider adding direct support for it in the future.
Can I keep the episodes in Play Later after playing them?
Yes, you can. All you need to do is go to the side menu ˃ Settings ˃ Downloads ˃ Play Later, and disable [Auto-remove played episodes].You may also want to disable [Auto-delete played episodes] if you want to keep the played episode offline too.
Alternatively, you can find previously played episodes in Side Menu ˃ History.
How can I save podcasts in my SD card?
To save downloads in your external storage, go to Side menu ˃ Settings ˃ Downloads ˃ [Store downloads in SD card or custom folder].
For devices with Android version 4.3 or earlier, you can choose any available folder or download location. For Android version 4.4 (KitKat) and above, you can only choose folders owned by the app - usually one on internal storage and one on SD card. This is because Android introduced security constraints that prevent apps from writing to any folder.
Can I download a series' un-played episodes from oldest to newest?
For now, downloading only happens from newest-first, though we appreciate the need for a "catch up" downloading option and will be building it soon. Until then, your options are:
- Add items manually to your Play Later list.
- Download all episodes in the series. Set a high download limit in the top-right overflow menu for that series.
How can I see a playlist with all episodes for my subscriptions?
In Subscriptions, tap the 3-row button on the toolbar to switch from "subscriptions grid" view to "episodes playlist" view. It shows you latest episodes from all your shows mixed together, and you can choose the sort order from the top-right overflow menu.
Does Player FM support private/premium/password-protected feeds?
Feeds added to Player FM are presumed public by default; it helps us keep the catalogue up to date with the latest shows automatically. In the event that premium feeds are added, we'll remove them immediately as the last thing we're going to do is threaten publishers' revenue streams. We'll certainly be adding support for private feeds in the future as it's a good thing for both users and publishers. We just have to be careful about the implementation on a cloud-based app like this.
How do I delete episodes?
The app auto-downloads the most recent episodes based on the download limit you've set for [Subscriptions] in Settings ˃ Downloads. At the same time, it auto-deletes episodes that are no longer within the specified limit. For instance, if you set a limit of 10, the app would download the top 10 latest episodes. If there are incoming 2 new episodes, these will be part of the latest 10 and will be downloaded, while the previous 9th and 10th latest episodes will be deleted.
Another way of deleting episodes is by enabling [Auto-delete episodes from device when played] in Settings ˃ Downloads. In this case, once you've finished listening to an episode or marked it as played, the app auto-deletes it.
Meanwhile, should you want to manually delete an episode right away, there is a [Delete] option on the episode overflow menu (3-dot icon found below each episode title). However, we don't generally recommend it as the storage will soon be occupied again when new episodes come in. It's easier to just set limits and relax. Let the app manage storage for you.
Can subscriptions be organized into different categories?
Subscription categories are possible to add experimentally on the website, please ask for permission from support. You can add/remove "custom channels" from your profile page at https://player.fm/me, and Subscribe menus will then support multiple channels.
The Android app doesn't yet support adding/remove/editing these channels, but it does support syncing with them.
Can I subscribe to Youtube series with Player FM?
YouTube has many series worth listening to, but we have chosen to avoid integrating YouTube subscriptions as the YouTube app itself handles that task well. If we added support, we'd have to keep it up to date with whatever new features YouTube adds in the future as well as maintain it against any arbitrary changes YouTube happens to make. We'd rather focus on features that are core to the podcasting experience, such as play history syncing, improved recommendations, and keeping up with latest Android features and hardware.
Bleh! Why did my podcast stop playing? I didn't touch anything.
When playback stops, it's usually because you are streaming and you've recently gone offline or the publisher's server has gone down. You can confirm this by opening the episode "links" dialog and checking if the raw episode URL can be streamed or downloaded.
Playback may also fail because the operating system is freeing up memory. Android 5.0 has a particularly well-cited issue with memory usage which was fixed with Android 5.1. We recommend upgrading to 5.1 or above if you are experiencing playback stoppage. Please use Help ˃ Report Problem to let us know if you are still seeing this issue.
Why can't I play a downloaded episode?
The most common cause of this issue is that the app might have downloaded a non-playable file (in most cases, a webpage) instead of the actual episode file. This may happen when you're connected to a public wi-fi but not yet logged in through its web portal. Also, it may occur when the publisher's server is temporarily down or under maintenance, and that all the episode links are redirected to a certain webpage.
To try to resolve this, first make sure that you're logged in to the wi-fi's portal. After which, tap on the episode title, and on the next screen, tap on the [Downloaded]/[Error] label and confirm re-download.
How can I choose what plays in continuous-play mode?
Episodes play down the playlist that's present when you click play. For example, if you want to "binge" on all episodes in one series, just hit play on the first episode of the series. You can also change the order from the top-right overflow menu, e.g. to play oldest episodes first, change sort order so you see oldest on top and then hit play so it proceeds to newer episodes. In case you want to switch the playlist being used for the next episode, you'll find a Switch Playlist option on the bottom of the full-screen player.
Can I sync play position and played status between different devices and the web?
Sorry, syncing play position and play history in the cloud isn't possible yet. Play Later is in the cloud and syncing across devices, just like subscriptions and favorite topics, but episodes don't. We will build on this capability to sync episodes in the future.
How can I see what I've played?
Open History in the side menu. This shows you past plays on the current device and we plan to sync this in the cloud for cross-device play history.
I have some audio files on my device. Can I add and organize them in the app?
Player FM has basic support for playing audio files on your device. You can open files from the Downloads area or a file explorer app and Player FM will play it. However, there's no support for importing a list of files or a whole folder. We are focused more on podcast features at present, but we may add file management support in the future.
The lock screen controls are limited. How can I see more controls?
For Android 5 and above, If the player is 1 row, you may expand it to 2 rows by "dragging down" with your finger. Note some devices unfortunately don't support this, e.g. LG G3.
For earlier Android versions, you may long-press the play controls to reveal a seek bar. If you'd rather jump within the episode when tapping ˂˂ and ˃˃ instead of skipping to previous/next episode, you can change that in play settings.
How can I sync my Play Later list between several devices and the web?
Why is the app using mobile data when my settings are all set to Wi-Fi?
When you're using mobile data, it might be that you have accidentally played a streamed episode. To prevent this from happening, go to the side menu ˃ Settings ˃ Playback, and enable [Show warning when streaming on 3G/4G]. That way, a warning pop-up will appear before you can proceed playing a streamed episode.
Furthermore, please verify in Playback settings if the [When can continuous-play jump to streamed episodes?] option is either set to [Never] or [Wi-fi]. You may also go to the side menu and enable [Downloaded only] to only see downloaded episodes in your playlist.
If you're still experiencing the issue despite following the abovementioned tips, feel free to send your logs via Help ˃ [Report Problem...] so we can conduct further investigation. A podcast app can potentially use a lot of bandwidth and we care a lot about that ... we want to be sure you have it set up according to your own preferences and it works as expected.
I want to control Player FM from apps like Tasker and IFTTT. What Android intents are supported?
Player FM supports the following intents:
For playback control
- fm.player.playback.play - play/resume
- fm.player.playback.pause - pause
- fm.player.playback.jumpforward - jump forward
- fm.player.playback.jumpback - jump back
- fm.player.playback.next - skip to next episode
- fm.player.playback.previous - skip back to previous episode
- fm.player.playback.stop - stop
- fm.player.playback.toggle - toggle play/pause state
For sync and download control
- fm.player.update.conditional - update app and respect connection setting, download episodes and respect download settings
- fm.player.update.unconditional - update app but ignore connection settings(e.g. if you set update only on WiFi, this intent will ignore it and update also on 3G), download episodes and respect download settings.
- fm.player.download.unconditional - update app but ignore connection settings, download episodes but ignores download settings (e.g. if you set download on wifi only, or download never, intent will ignore it and download even on 3G)
These intents have to be sent to service. For instance, on Tasker, you need to set target to "service".
If the app reaches the last episode of a playlist, will playback stop?
When continuous-play is enabled, the app will keep on playing even when the last episode is reached. As to which episodes will be played next depends on the following cases:
If there are remaining un-played episodes on the list, the app will play them next, starting from top to bottom.
If all episodes have been played, the app will play episodes in other playlists based on this order:
- Playlist selected by user
- Play Later list
- Episode list of the General subscription category
- Downloads list
What hardware does Player FM integrate with? (e.g. Chromecast, Android Wear)
The app supports:
- Android Auto. Browse episodes from your car's dashboard
After connecting the phone to your car, tap on the music (headphone) icon found at the bottom part of your Android Auto device's screen. Then select Player FM to access the player and start browsing content.
- Android Wear. Browse episodes on your wrist
With your Android Wear watch, simply say "OK Google", then mention "Run Player FM" to view episodes from your subscriptions, downloads and Play Later.
- Chromecast. Fling episodes to your TV
Once your Chromecast device is connected to your TV and to the same wi-fi your phone uses, tap on the Chromecast logo that will appear at the top-right portion of Player FM, then start casting.
- Samsung Gear S. Check notifications from your Samsung Gear wearable device
When there's a notification from Player FM on your phone, it will also be automatically displayed on your Samsung Gear watch.
- LG QuickCircle™. Quickly access Player FM on your QuickCircle-supported LG smartphone
Go to your device's Settings > General, and make sure that [QuickCircle case] is enabled. After which, go to the [Select apps] option and include Player FM. From there, you'll be able to view the app on a small portion of your phone's screen with cover closed.
What apps/services does Player FM integrate with?
Player FM supports:
Drivemode. Conveniently control the player while driving through the Drivemode interface (displayed on your Android phone)
On the Drivemode app, simply go to the Music section and select Player FM.
Google Talkback. Access the Player FM app more easily on your phone (implemented especially for vision-impaired users)
To enable Talkback, go to your device's Settings > General > Accessibility and switch it on.
Music Boss for Android Wear. Control Player FM directly from your watch through Music Boss' interface
Open the Music Boss app on your phone and add Player FM to the app list. Connect the phone to your Wear device and run Music Boss, then choose Player FM to browse and play episodes from your subscriptions, downloads and Play Later.
Podlove subscribe button. Easily subscribe to a series while on a mobile browser, with its widget found on several podcast websites
Upon tapping on the Podlove subscribe button, press [Choose app] and select Player FM. The app will then open and have you subscribed to the series.
RockScout, by MirrorLink®. Control Player FM from your car’s dashboard by integrating your MirrorLink®-compatible phone and car infotainment system
Connect your phone to your car with MirrorLink®. After which, you’ll be able to see the Player FM icon on the RockScout portal (shown on the dashboard). Tap it and start listening to podcasts.
Streamkeys. Control playback on the Player FM web app using your keyboard, even outside of the browser
Install Streamkeys Chrome extension, then open the Player FM website in a new tab and play your favorite podcasts. Even if you’re looking in another tab/window, you can still control the player by clicking on the [SK] icon found next to the URL bar. You can also control playback even if you’re away from Chrome using configured hotkeys.
Subscribe on Android. Subscribe to podcasts with your Android device through a simple web link
Upon tapping on the [Subscribe on Android] link found on many podcast websites, select [Subscribe on Android] (with Player FM icon) from the selection that will appear. Player FM will then open and let you subscribe to the series.
TeslaUnread. See counts of new and un-played episodes on the app's home screen icon.
To use this feature, you need to install TeslaUnread and custom launcher Nova Launcher Prime. It will count un-played episodes from the last time Player FM was opened. The counter will be reset once the app is re-opened.
Twitter. Make a podcast episode playable in your tweet
Add a Player FM episode link in your tweet and a player will be automatically embedded so anyone can play it without having to leave Twitter.
How do I resize the home screen widget?
Aside from being customizable, you can also resize the home screen widget.
After adding the widget to the home screen, simply long-press it again and release. Its corners will then be highlighted, and from there, you can drag the corners to resize it. Some devices may need a reboot after resizing, for the resize to take effect.
The widget can vary from sizes 1x1 to full phone width.
Why doesn't speed control work on Chromecast?
Player FM uses Google's standard Chromecast interface for the TV end, and that doesn't support speed control. A request has been sent to the Chromecast team to support it, we hope they will add it. (This is probably why YouTube's speed control is also not supported by Chromecast.)
Can I run the app from an SD card?
It's not possible to run the app from an SD card. We don't plan to support it as there are some disadvantages if the app is moved to an external storage device - see here. The main disadvantage is that if you unmount the card, you can't use the app, widgets are removed, and there are other complications that may arise.
What voice commands are possible on Player FM?
Your podcast app talks to you all day, so why not talk back to it! Player FM supports several "OK Google" voice commands, a feature of Android you'll need to enable if you haven't done so already. To turn it on, open the Google app and check side menu > Settings > Voice > "OK Google" detection. Once enabled, you can say these to your phone:
- Open the app - "OK Google Open Player FM"
- Search - "OK Google search on Player FM app for
- Stop playback - "OK Google Stop Player FM"
Why did the app crash?
The operating system may be closing it to free up memory. Normally it shouldn't stop a mid-play track, but some Android versions do. Third-party security software and battery savers (e.g. AVG, Clean Master) may also stop the app unexpectedly. You may be able to add Player FM as an exception to their shutdown policy or contact the app's support about this situation.
If you're not sure why the app is crashing, you can report it to us via Side Menu ˃ Help ˃ Report Problem. Note that we do receive crash reports automatically and we proactively investigate any concerns.
Why aren't downloads working?
- Side Menu ˃ Settings ˃ Connection: Ensure you have Force Offline off and you're set to update and download when on wifi (assuming you are regularly on a good wifi connection).
- Side Menu ˃ Settings ˃ Downloads: Ensure your Subscriptions and Play Later have limits above zero.
- Open an episode you wish to download (tap on its title to open the episode detail screen). In the top-right overflow menu (3-dot icon), tap on Links and then navigate to Raw episode file. You'll see an option to open the raw MP3 URL. Try to open this in Chrome or another web browser to see if it plays. If not, it may be an issue with the publisher's servers.
- Try to log out and log back in. It shouldn't be necessary but sometimes fixes the problem.
Feel free to go into Side Menu ˃ Help ˃ Report Problem if you'd like us to investigate any problems with downloads.
My system is running hot and battery draining faster than I'd like. Is it caused by Player FM?
Under default settings, Player FM is fairly conservative regarding battery and CPU usage. But if you are streaming a lot of content over 3G/4G, it will certainly consume significant resources. To keep usage low, make sure you don't play episodes showing "Stream" status. In Download Settings, you may wish to require "wifi and charging" for downloads instead of the default of just "wifi". If you're already following these guidelines and still seeing significant resource usage, don't hesitate to let us know by sending a report (side menu ˃ Help ˃ Report Problem).
Meanwhile, another possible cause of excessive battery usage is a bug in the Android operating system (specifically, Android 5 and above), which is still not resolved yet. The bug indicates that if you use an app on mobile data and close it, the “mobile radio” (the hardware component used by devices for mobile internet) is never turned off, which then drains battery. For now, the only way to work around this is to restart the device or force-close the app.
Why does Player FM show up on my security checker / antivirus app?
From time to time, utilities like AVG may flag Player FM as a security risk. We assure to our users that our app is safe and secure. The following are possible causes as to why antiviruses may generate a warning on Player FM:
- The antivirus is not up to date. In this case, please make sure you have its latest version.
- It could be that some of the podcast series display content with explicit shownotes or malicious codes. These should be harmless as we don’t execute them as code, yet we see how some security scanners might think otherwise.
- Excessive resources. A podcast app typically uses a lot more bandwidth and storage than other apps, so the security checker may flag it for attention. Should you encounter this issue, we suggest contacting the support team of your security app. You may also report to us by going via Side menu ˃ Help ˃ Report Problem.