Getting Podcasts on Windows Mobile with BeyondPod

BeyondPod is a wonderful feed reader written entirely in .net (compact framework). There are some real small-form-factor UI gems in the program. Of course, performance could always be improved but IMHO it's definitely one of the best free feed readers out there.

Although it's great for reading feeds I've found that getting feeds into its list of feeds is a bit of a pain. Some of this is inherent in the form-factor; it's a lot easier to browse the web on a laptop or PC and web browsing is the best way that I've found to discover podcasts/feeds.

One way to get a list of feeds discovered on the web into BeyondPod is to use OPML files. These are xml files structured according to the OPML standard that can be used to aggregate feeds. There are plenty of OPML generators on the web.

So I usually load one of the web based OPML generators out there into a separate tab then copy and paste feed rss/atom links as I encounter them. Then I:
  1. Generate the opml file.
  2. Open it in an editor (UltraEdit) to remove all whitespace (BeyondPod unfortunately chokes on OPML files with whitespace between xml elements).
  3. Connect my Windows Mobile device.
  4. Copy the opml file onto the storage card.
  5. Import the opml file into BeyondPod.

With so many podcasts out there the frustrations of a long commute have been replaced with "darn, I'm at work already?" Usually in the middle of some juicy tech podcast....

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