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How to use the PocketCasts web interface on Linux

PocketCasts is a podcast application on iOS and Android. It’s a well-designed application with tons of features. Perhaps one of the best features that PocketCasts has to offer is its web interface, which syncs with the mobile app, and is accessible from any operating system with a compatible web browser.

The web interface for PocketCasts is very nice. However, it would be better if there was a native Linux app to use. So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to take the PocketCasts web interface and turn it into a native Linux application.

Note: you must have a PocketCasts Plus account to access the web user interface. More information on that here.

Method 1 – AppImage

The best way to get the PocketCasts web interface on the Linux desktop is with a fan-made PocketCasts AppImage. Why? Not only does it wrap up the beautiful PocketCasts web UI into a native Linux app, but it includes support for MPRIS, which provides the ability to control podcasts with multimedia controls, Linux desktop music-player integrations, and more.

To get the PocketCasts AppImage file up and running, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the wget downloader tool to grab the latest release.

wget https://github.com/jgierer12/pocket-casts-linux/releases/download/v1.2.1/pocket-casts-linux-1.2.1-x86_64.AppImage

After downloading the PocketCasts AppImage file to your Linux PC, use the mkdir command to create a new directory with the name “AppImages.”

mkdir -p ~/AppImages

Once you’ve made the “AppImages” directory, move the AppImage file into it with the mv command.

mv pocket-casts-linux-1.2.1-x86_64.AppImage ~/AppImages/

When the PocketCasts AppImage file is in the new “AppImages” folder, it’s time to update the permissions of it so that it can run on your Linux PC.

sudo chmod +x pocket-casts-linux-1.2.1-x86_64.AppImage

With the permissions up to date, you can run PocketCasts for the first time with the following command.

./pocket-casts-linux-1.2.1-x86_64.AppImage

As soon as PocketCasts is run for the first time, a desktop shortcut will appear in your Linux desktop’s app menu.

Method 2 – Snap package

If you’re not a fan of AppImages, another way to get access to the PocketCasts web app is through the Snap store. To start the installation of the unofficial Snap version of PocketCasts, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Then, use the snap install command below to install PocketCasts.

Note: using Snap packages on Linux requires the Snapd runtime. If your system does not have the Snapd runtime set up, please follow this guide here to learn how to set up Snapd. Or, consider installing Ubuntu Linux, as Snap support is enabled out of the box.

sudo snap install pocket-casts

Method 3 – Nativefier

The third way of accessing the PocketCasts web interface on the Linux desktop is to build an app with the Nativefier application.  To start the building process, you must install Npm. To do that, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and follow the command-line instructions below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install npm

Debian

su -
apt-get install curl
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_11.x | bash -
apt-get install -y nodejs

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S npm

Fedora

sudo dnf install npm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install npm

With the Npm tool installed, get the latest version of Nativefier. Or, follow our in-depth guide on how to set up Nativefier if you need something more detailed.

npm install nativefier -g

Building

With Npm and Nativefier installed on your Linux PC, start the building process by creating a new folder called “pcasts-working-dir” in the “tmp” directory.

cd /tmp
mkdir -p pcasts-working-dir

Move into the “pcasts-working-dir” folder with the CD command.

cd pcasts-working-dir

Next, use the wget downloader tool to grab the PocketCasts logo file. This file is needed for the Linux desktop shortcut.

wget https://i.imgur.com/3o5JCVf.png -O icon.png

After downloading the PocketCasts file, use the Nativefier tool to build your very own Linux app of the web interface.

nativefier -p linux -a x64 -i icon.png --disable-context-menu --disable-dev-tools --single-instance https://play.pocketcasts.com/

Once the program is built with Nativefier, use the mv command to rename the app  folder from “podcast-web-player-online-podcast-player-pocket-casts-linux-x64” to “pocketcasts”.

mv podcast-web-player-online-podcast-player-pocket-casts-linux-x64 pocketcasts

Now that the PocketCasts folder file is renamed, use the mv command to place the files into the “opt” directory.

sudo mv pocketcasts /opt/

Update the permissions of the PocketCasts files.

sudo chmod 755 -R /opt/pocketcasts/

Next, rename the PocketCasts binary.

cd /opt/pocketcasts

mv podcast-web-player-online-podcast-player-pocket-casts pocketcasts

Next, create a new PocketCasts desktop shortcut.

sudo touch /usr/share/applications/pocketcasts.desktop

Open up the PocketCasts desktop shortcut file in Nano.

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/pocketcasts.desktop

Paste the code below into the file. Save with Ctrl + O and exit with Ctrl + X.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment[en_US]=Listen to Podcasts.
Comment=
Exec=/opt/pocketcasts/pocketcasts
GenericName[en_US]=Pocket Casts Podcast Player
GenericName=Pocket Casts Podcast Player
Icon=/opt/pocketcasts/resources/app/icon.png
MimeType=
Name[en_US]=Pocket Casts
Name=Pocket Casts
NoDisplay=false
Path=
Categories=Audio;Music;Player;AudioVideo;
StartupNotify=true
Terminal=false
TerminalOptions=
Type=Application
X-DBUS-ServiceName=
X-DBUS-StartupType=
X-KDE-SubstituteUID=false
X-KDE-Username=

Finally, update the permissions of the new PocketCasts desktop shortcut file with the chmod command.

sudo chmod +x /usr/share/applications/pocketcasts.desktop

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