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How to add podcasts to Vocal on Linux

Vocal is an elegant podcast application designed for Elementary OS and available on nearly every Linux distribution out there. Its primary purpose is to re-invent desktop podcasting applications on the platform, and this shows by its excellent design and features.

Getting Vocal set up for podcasts is a little different due to how the way it’s built, so, in this post, we’ll go over how to get your podcasts up and running on the app. However, before doing that, you’ll need to install Vocal on your Linux PC.

Install Vocal on Linux

Vocal can be installed on Linux in many different ways, from native packages to the Arch Linux User repository and even Flatpak. To get the Vocal installation started on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the command-line instructions that match the Linux OS you use.

Ubuntu/Debian

Ubuntu and Debian users won’t be able to install Vocal through a traditional DEB package or PPA, and the developers of the app have no plans to make this possible in the future. Instead, if you want to use the Vocal podcast app on these distros, you must follow the Flatpak instructions.

Arch Linux

Like with most programs on Linux, Vocal has an AUR package available to Arch Linux users. To install the package, start the process by using the Pacman package manager to install the Git and Base-devel packages.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Assuming the two packages install correctly, use the Git tool to download the Trizen AUR helper. With Trizen, getting Vocal will be much faster, as you will not need to download and build every dependency it needs manually.

git clone git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Install the Trizen app on your Arch system using makepkg.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen app to install the Vocal podcasting program on your Arch Linux PC.

trizen -S vocal-git

Fedora

Thanks to the wonderful people at Fedora, the Vocal podcasting application is readily available out of the box in the main Fedora Linux software repository. To get the app working on your system, open up a terminal, and use the Dnf package management command below.

sudo dnf install vocal -y

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE versions 15.0, 42.3 and Tumbleweed, you can install Vocal via the “Oss All” software repository. To start the installation, open up a terminal and enter the following Zypper command.

sudo zypper install vocal

Flatpak

Flatpak is the method that the developers prefer you install Vocal, as the packaging format offers up a sandboxed, secure environment and can be easily distributed to almost every Linux OS out there with ease.

To install the Vocal app via Flatpak, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC. For help on how to do this, click here. Then, when the runtime is working, use the following commands to get Vocal.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub com.github.needleandthread.vocal

Add podcasts to Vocal

To subscribe to a podcast in Vocal, start by heading to your favorite podcast’s website in a web browser. From there, look around for an RSS feed and copy it to your clipboard. Or, if you have an iTunes link to the show, click here to extract the RSS feed first.

Note: Vocal also lets you subscribe to one of the top 100 podcasts by clicking the “browse” button.

With the podcast URL in your clipboard, open up the Vocal podcast app on your Linux desktop by opening up the application menu, and searching for “Vocal.”

Once the Vocal application is open on your Linux desktop, locate the button that says “Add a New Feed” and click on it with the mouse to bring up the subscribe box.

Press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste in the URL from the podcast you want to subscribe to. Then, click the “Add Podcast” button on the bottom right to subscribe to the podcast in Vocal.

Import your OPML subscriptions

You may have an OPML file of podcasts exported from other podcasts apps. If you’d like to use this file to quickly import several podcasts you listen to to the Vocal app, here’s what to do.

First, open up Vocal. Then, if the app currently doesn’t have any podcasts added to it, click “Import Subscriptions.” Otherwise, click the gear icon at the top left, and select “Import Subscriptions.”

After selecting “Import Subscriptions,” a file browser window will appear. Using the browser, navigate to the OPML file on your Linux PC to import your shows to Vocal.

Unsubscribe from podcasts

Need to unsubscribe from a podcast in Vocal? Here’s what to do.

Step 1: locate the podcast you want to unsubscribe from in the Vocal app and click on it with the mouse to go to the podcast page.

Step 2: Click the red unsubscribe button to remove the podcast from Vocal.

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