Functionality to auto-download favourites is now available in Podcast Lounge and makes use of a little-used background process capability first added to Windows Phone 7.5 (AKA Mango).
When enabled, a special “resource-intensive” process runs in the background. Microsoft stipulates that in order for these to run, your phone needs to be:
- Plugged in (charging) with battery > 90% charged,
- Able to connect to a Wi-Fi network with Internet access
When these conditions are met, the process will run and update all of the episode listings for each of your favourites and download the most recent episodes ready for offline playback on your phone. This is typically when you have your phone charging at home overnight, or perhaps when charging at your desk at the office.
The feature works on all Windows Phone 7.5 & 7.8 devices. With Windows Phone 8.0 the situation is a little more complicated; a bug in the OS caused the API we rely on to fail on versions of Windows Phone 8.0 before the GDR 2 update (i.e. version below 8.0.10327.0). The GDR 2 software update will be delivered by Microsoft and its carrier partners during the summer months of 2013 and comes pre-installed with Nokia’s newest Lumia 925.
If you are having problems, one thing we’ve noticed that improves things is reducing the number of apps that have Background Processes enabled. You can check out what’s running by navigating on your phone to “settings”. Swipe right to get to “applications” and then select “background tasks”. From there you can see what runs in the background. It’s often worth uninstalling any apps that you no longer use to ensure the list is kept to a minimum.
Microsoft does warn that there are some cases where the background process may never run. This could relate to the queue of other background processes being too long or the battery not being at peak capacity.