Version 3 brings a major new release of the Podcaster plugin for Kirby. With numerous new features and optimizations. An overview.
Finally, the time has come! My Kirby Podcaster plugin has been released in version 3, bringing it closer to the current Kirby releases.
Those who have been following my blog for the past few months will have noticed two things: Apart from the weekly reviews, not much has happened, and in the weekly reviews, I mentioned the Podcaster plugin repeatedly. I have indeed been working on it for several months, as well as creating a new website for the plugin.
Unfortunately, the shop hasn't made it online yet, but that's still to come. I would appreciate your support for the development once it's up.
The new version is a big step forward. Version two was already a few years old and, while it was occasionally tweaked, it was based on an older foundation that didn't quite harmonize with the latest Kirby versions.
Over the past months, I not only aligned the plugin with the same foundation as the Komment and IndieConnector plugins, but also extensively refactored the entire plugin.
New composer setup
To allow the plugin to communicate its version within the Kirby system, it needed a new foundation. Here, I could use the basics of my other plugins. The new setup now reveals its version and shows you updates directly in the panel. Installation is still best done through Composer.
Releases are automatically created according to SemVer, including automatic release notes. This makes future development and maintenance faster and easier.
For Podcaster Analytics, a database is required. Here, sqlite or mysql are used. Automatic migrations were already planned, but not optimally integrated into the plugin. Thanks to Kirby hooks, this is no longer a problem. Installing a new version of the plugin automatically runs the migrations on the first page visit. In the best case scenario, the user shouldn't even notice it. However, it is still advisable to make a backup before an update.
Everything new in the feed
The code for the RSS feed has been extensively revised. Individual segments have been moved into snippets, and many helper functions have been removed. Sometimes, less is simply more.
To comfortably manage the feed, I completely redesigned the panel view. Here too, a lot could be removed. New field types and options in the panel now ensure a fresher and more clear representation in the panel:
Episodes and web player
The blueprint for editing episodes has also been massively overhauled. Here too, the new field types and options bring more structure and order to the game. Backward compatibility has also been ensured:
The Podlove Web Player is integrated, which has now been released in a new major version. The integration has therefore been completely rewritten, allowing users to configure all player options conveniently in the panel. Integration on the site is then done simply via snippet.
In the previous version, statistics were displayed directly in a tab of the feed. This was no longer up to date. The new Podcaster Analytics can now be found in a panel view accessible via the main menu.
There, you will get an overview of the most important data and can dive deeper into the details. The underlying structure for the graphs has been completely replaced, which not only looks better but also allows you to zoom in on graphs and export views as images or CSV.
With Podcaster Analytics, you have all the important metrics at a glance and don't need to rely on external services.
The Podcaster plugin was my first major plugin, and I've learned a lot over the years. This is now reflected in the new version. The entire code has been optimized, streamlined, and made more testable. This will hopefully have an impact on both stability and maintenance.
One more thing
With the upcoming Kirby 4 release, there will be many new possibilities again. Kirby Podcaster already runs on Kirby 4, but will certainly adapt to the new release in the coming months.
Also planned is an additional transcription service. This will allow uploaded episodes to be analyzed and converted into text. Users can upload their mp3, click a button, and then receive their transcript.
Installation and setup
If you don't want to do the installation and setup on your own, you can have a look at the video tutorial I recorded. It's about an hour long and guides you through the whole processs, from installation to published podcast:
Feature requests? Bugs? Questions?
Feel free to report them directly on Github!
This release was (for me) a truly significant and labor-intensive one. I hope you benefit from it. Also, take a moment to visit the Podcaster website, where you can support the project in the future. I look forward to feedback and links to your podcasts that you operate with the plugin!