A Music App Shouldn't Be a Podcast Appby Cassidy James

Many popular music apps handle not only music, but podcasts. The thinking goes that since both are comprised of MP3s (or other audio files), that they should be handled in the same app.

The elementary Music app

The mental models between a music app and a podcast app are vastly different, though. I don't go, “Hmm, I want to listen to one or more MP3s. Do I want that to be a series of songs, or a podcast?”

I go, “Hmm, I want to listen to some music,” or, “I want to listen to a podcast.”

Just because one underlying piece of technology is the same doesn't mean it needs to be the same app. Especially when you start to consider the unique aspects of podcasts like subscribing, downloading, streaming, video, etc. It's just a whole different monster.

Vocal, an upcoming podcast app

This is why I'm excited to see the third-party app Vocal being developed. It's a podcast app through and through. The elementary Music app can stay dedicated to organizing and playing music, while Vocal can take all of those podcast duties and rock at them.

Originally published on Cassidy's personal blog. Cross-posted here with permission.

Published April 8th, 2014


Robert Kovacs 1 month ago

I hope someone from elementary will see this comment: You have to bring new posts, and some updates on Isis or you will start loosing users… and that’s a shame. Atleast bring new posts on this “Journal”, atleast once a month.. people really start to think that the website is dead.. You are an awesome team there but you need to keep up.

LMH 1 month ago

check out the following sites for “inofficial” news, questions, articles ...:


Robert Kovacs 1 month ago

Thank you!

saeed yarboa 1 month ago

When will release Isis ?
I can’t wait

Nicholas Maguire 2 months ago

Any updates?  I’m very excited for Isis :3

mammlouk 2 months ago

The only issue I have with this, which seems to be something that doesn’t matter to anyone else, is that I still use an iPod Classic for my regular media consumption. This means podcasts, mp3 music, audiobooks, and anything else you can think of all need to be managed by the same app in order to handle syncing with my iPod. I’m pretty sure we all know that syncing an iPod with Linux is not something that always goes quite as well as you might hope. Adding more pieces like partial syncing of data based on different applications handling those files is just begging for trouble.

winston3d 2 months ago

Will be better if you change Mirodi. It display sites incorrect. Very wide and blurred.

Hike Mellem 2 months ago

the good, the storm is much to little case! let staff work! free galley deck! there other programs out there ... just u choose any of your choice!

dinamic 2 months ago

How should I handle all my podcast which is 99% music mixes ? Do I need to play my music in two different applications ?

Mike123b 2 months ago

Yes.  And if you’re unhappy with that, you can write you’re own app.  The software is free, made by people who donate countless hours to it’s success.  If you want something that does everything poorly instead of one thing, and one thing exceedingly well - switch back to windows.

yzlyd 3 months ago


AnakLaut 3 months ago

just another option

cyrano 3 months ago

I agree with Elementary team. None of you listen to podcasts and stored music at the same time. No one must get into a shop to listen to music. So why on Earth should I get a store attached to my music player? Why can’t you switch from one app to another instead of changing tabs? Is it THAT much strenuous to open a podcast app to listen to them, and a music player for your stored music?

Let’s just get things simple. If you want everything together, why not assemble everything, then? After all, one loves to write and listen to music at the same time. Let’s merge Office suites and music players and podcasts!

As you can see, there is no definite option or solution. People have different needs. If you keep it simple, those who want more can get more. If you keep it all stuck together, people who want less won’t be able to. I want to get less, so please let me be. Thanks, EOS team!

P.S: Now all I need is to get a less buggy Noise. I removed it for now, it is unusable. Sorry, but it is. But that’s another thread.

flan_suse 3 months ago

I agree with this viewpoint, however, it appears elementary OS’s strong points (unification, integration, consistent look, feel, and behavior) breaks upon installing third-party applications (e.g, Google Chrome, Firefox, gPodder, Banshee, and so on.)

The only “solution” to avoid this issue is to create an application for EVERY need in-house that is superior (or “good enough”) over the third-party alternatives. So far, elementary OS has not reached this level.

We’ll see what Isis has to offer!

cyrano 3 months ago

Indeed, it’s not an easy task. Nevertheless, Noise, Midori, Plank are recent projects and all have gathered lots of interest from ubuntu and other distros users. Their ideia of providing integrated apps is more consistent with the proposal of offering Vocal for podcasts than of providing an all-in-one clunky “solution” such as Banshee.

runej 3 months ago

Whatever the elementary team is doing design- and/or accessability-wise seems to always fill my needs, so consequently, the question is not (for me) whether it’s best to separate applications into APPs or not, but whether these APPs are without bugs.
Elementary can for example release a net radio APP, and I will use that instead of Clementine - if it is without bugs.
It’s also the main reason I use gEdit instead of Scratch, because it doesn’t have as many bugs…
So design in that way doesn’t matter that much to me, it’s all in the “is this program behaving without giving any non-expected error messages or shutting down abruptly”.
However, I would suggest, if elementary is for real aiming at single APP, that the window manager is rebuild or extended accordingly. As os now, you can only resize automatigally half the screen for a program (two programs using exactly 50% of the screen width). With more single-focused tasks, more apps will be open at a time, so it should be possible to use also fx. automatic 1/4 of the screen or something automatically. Maybe also divide in the height, not just the width.

Magnus Teekivi 3 months ago

The window manager you described is called tiling window manager, and I don’t think elementary should take that approach. If you feel the need for it, just install a different window manager, such as i3wm or awesome.

runej 3 months ago

No, I’m not going to change any of the eOS internals with a 3rd party program. I think it’s a wrong path.
Why do you think it’s a bad idea with tiling?
Could be made as a plugin to Tweaks, and wouldn’t affect standard user then.

Fabian Thoma 3 months ago

Well that’s why we are excited to see Vocal beeing developed as a third-party Application, and we are seeing more and more of these pop up, and that’s a very important part of this ;)

Johan Bjäreholt 3 months ago

Or you just wait until the new AppCenter is done.
They have said that they will be strict on what kind of applications will be accepted in there, so no applications with blurry icons or simply buggy applications will not get into the application list so the high quality apps gets the spotlight.
Ubuntu Software Center has some very bad applications in it that do not work well at all, and when browsing applications you find very wierd and unessesary apps and that makes it boring to browse through.

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