Podcast and Live Stream viewing on your Mac!

Farnsworth is a very simple to use podcast and live stream viewing application for your Mac.

Features

Podcasts

Subscribe to Podcasts
Audio and video podcasts are freely available on the internet that cover all imaginable topics.

Farnsworth allows you to easily listen to and view these podcasts on your Mac.

You simply subscribe to a podcast by adding the URL of that podcast to Farnsworth.

Video camera

Live Streams
There are many live streams available on the internet. Most podcast players only allow you to subscribe to podcasts, but with Farnsworth, you can also watch live streams.

It's great to have live streams setup and switch to them when you don't have any unplayed podcast episodes left to play.

Television

TV Like Experience
Farnsworth was created to mimic a TV experience. You simply launch Farnsworth and your podcasts will start playing. Farnsworth will start playing the oldest unplayed podcast and continue playing them chronological order.

Target

On Demand
Normally Farnsworth will play the oldest unplayed episode of your subscribed podcasts, but you can easily select a different episode to have it play instead.

Tools

Control
Farnsworth gives you 30 second skip buttons to allow you to quickly skip portions of a podcast both backward and forward. These are great for skipping boring parts or commercials.

There is also a "Mark as Played" control that tells Farnsworth to mark the current episode as played and skip to the next episode. This is great if you don't want to watch the rest of the current episode, perhaps you want to skip the ending credits and just start the next episode.

Streaming

Streaming Only
Farnsworth simply streams all podcasts over the internet. It does not download them to your computer first so no additional space will be take up on your computer.

Refresh

Automatic Refresh
Farnsworth will automatically check for new podcast episodes on a scheduled interval which you can set.

OS X logo Mac Requirements

Mac OS X 10.11 or later

Screenshot

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I find podcasts?
A great way to find podcasts is through iTunes. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Podcast listings in the iTunes Store and find a podcast you like
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the Subscribe button and select "Copy Link"
  3. In Farnsworth, go to the File menu and select "Manage Podcast Subscriptions"
  4. Click the "+" button in the lower left to subscribe to a new podcast
  5. In the window that opens, paste the URL you just copied from iTunes
  6. Farnsworth cannot use that URL directly, so click the "Convert iTunes URL" button and Farnsworth will convert that iTunes URL to a normal podcast URL
  7. Click the "Subscribe" button

Where can I find live streams?
Live video and audio streams can be found all over the web. One excellent source is Ustream.

The Farnsworth Story

Farnsworth was created to scratch my own itch. I work at my Mac all day and like to have podcasts playing in the background that I can listen to and occasionally watch while I'm working. I tried many of the other podcast applications out there but none of them worked the way I wanted. The closest I found was Instacast and I used that for several years until they recently shut that down. After they shut down Instacast, I couldn't find a good replacement so I started using iTunes to play podcasts and found that lacking as well. So, being a developer myself, I decided to write my own and thus Farnsworth was born.

Help Make Farnsworth Better!

I realize that not everyone has the same use-case for a podcast player as I do. For instance, I don't know of any other podcast player that allows you to add streaming video feeds. I found I liked turning on the live TWiT video feed when I didn't have any podcasts to watch. So, instead of having to keep loading up a new browser window to view the TWiT live feed, I decided to add that ability into Farnsworth to make it easy for me to switch between watching podcasts and live video feeds.

So, if you find Farnsworth could use some additional feature(s) to make it work better for you, please let me know your ideas and I'll consider adding those features into an upcoming version.

Global Keyboard Shortcuts

Farnsworth has keyboard shortcuts defined for the media controls (forward skip, play/pause and reverse skip). These are defined in the Farnsworth menu as F7, F8 and F9. These only work while you are in the Farnsworth application.

Farnsworth also responds to a few global keyboard shortcuts. If you hold the Command (⌘) key down while pressing one of the special function keys on an Apple keyboard (iTunes previous, next and play/pause keys), Farnsworth will respond with skip backward, forward and play/pause no matter which application you are currently in.

Advanced Use of Global Keyboard Shortcuts

As described above, Farnsworth has keyboard shortcuts defined for the media controls. The menu defined F7, F8, and F9 keys only work while you are in the Farnsworth application and I find I don't want to have to keep clicking back to the Farnsworth application just to pause playback. The Command+media keys (as described above) work no matter which application you are in, but I don't think it's ideal that you have to press two keys at the same time. I want to just tap the media control keys on the keyboard just like I can do normally with iTunes.

I found a solution that works pretty well for me and I hope you find it useful as well.

I use a cool little free utility called Karabiner. This utility allows you to remap keys on your keyboard to do other things. It has a bunch of key changes you can select from, but it didn't have exactly what I needed. You can add your own key changes and I did so. I created a key change that causes the media control keys to send the Farnsworth key codes instead of their normal key codes. So, with this setup, when I tap the Next button (double right arrows) on the keyboard, it sends Command+Next instead of just the normal Next key command. So, iTunes ignores it and Farnsworth does its thing.

If you want to use Karabiner like I did, you'll need to open the private.xml file Karabiner uses and add an entry. You can find this file by opening the Karabiner Preferences, going to the Misc & Uninstall tab and clicking the "Open private.xml" button. This will open Finder to the location of this file. You'll then need to use a text editor of some sore to edit this file and add the following entry:

Karabiner private.xml entry to allow media keys to work directly with Farnsworth
<item>
	<name>Change Media Forward/Play/Next to Farnsworth Controls</name>
	<appendix>Change the Media forward, play and next keys to act as Farnsworth media keys</appendix>
	<identifier>private.media_forward_play_next_to_farnsworth</identifier>
	<autogen>__KeyToKey__ ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PREV, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PREV, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L</autogen>
	<autogen>__KeyToKey__ ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PLAY, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_PLAY, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L</autogen>
	<autogen>__KeyToKey__ ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_NEXT, ConsumerKeyCode::MUSIC_NEXT, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L</autogen>
</item>

Once you have added that entry, save the file and then go back to Karabiner Preferences. Go to the "Change Key" tab and click the "Reload XML" button. This will load the XML file you just edited and you should see the new entry appear (Change media Forward/Play/Next to Farnsworth Controls). Check the box next to this entry to turn it on.