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Vocal is a podcast manager designed to integrate tightly with the elementary OS desktop, which supports both audio and video podcasts, with built-in video playback.

The application doesn't have every feature you can think of and instead it focuses on what it's supposed to do: play podcasts while taking care of everything automatically, without going through N tabs of settings.

For instance, Vocal can stream episodes without having to download them locally however, if you want to save some episodes for offline listening, Vocal can do that too - it can even automatically check for and download new episodes in the background.

Another useful feature is its library management: Vocal can automatically delete old downloads so you don't have to worry about doing this yourself.

Vocal elementary OS

Also, since the app was designed for elementary OS, it integrates perfectly with the Pantheon desktop: it comes with native notifications, launcher count and progress bar support, media keys support and Sound Menu integration.

Other Vocal features include:
  • you can assign custom skip intervals for the skip forward and backwards buttons, useful if for instance you've missed something or to jump past an advertisement;
  • episode position saving, you can can easily start an episode from where you left off;
  • supports library import/export (can import from iTunes, gPodder, etc.).

For those are new to podcasts, the Vocal website offers "starter pack" which contains a selection of great podcasts which you can add either individually or as a complete .opml pack which you can import into Vocal. Note that in my test, the imported podcasts didn't show up in Vocal until I restarted the application.

While the app reached version 1.0 recently, there are a couple of missing features: Vocal lacks a search/filter and it can't download feeds which require authentication, but hopefully they'll be added in a future release.

It's important to note that while Vocal was designed for elementary OS, it should work on any desktop environment that supports header bars (also known as client side decorations) and has GTK 3.14 or newer. As far as *buntu is concerned, Vocal should work on the following:
  • Ubuntu GNOME / Xubuntu 15.04;
  • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 with GNOME 3 updated to version 3.14 via PPA.
  • Ubuntu 15.04 (with Unity) - partially, because the app won't have any shadows and to avoid various parts of the app being transparent (bug caused by overlay-scrollbar), you'll need to launch the app like this: "LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0 vocal".

The app should also work on elementary OS Freya (obviously), Fedora 21 or 22, etc.

Download Vocal

Download Vocal (packages available for Fedora and Ubuntu-based distros)

Important: you'll also need to download the Granite framework packages (available on the Vocal downloads page) if you're not using elementary OS or Ubuntu 15.04, or else you won't be able to install the app.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.