Prior to a few days ago, the original Podiant player hasn’t changed much since 2016. I wanted something that looked nice, worked well in a number of circumstances but didn’t look too generic.
It worked mostly fine on mobile, but wasn’t great, and the controls for embedding, sharing and subscribing were a little obscure. Also it was bulky, with lots of unnecessary code and caveats for weird use cases.
Our new player is cleaner, smaller in file size and works better across devices. Under the hood, we’re no longer using special software to dynamically draw the waveform in the browser, but instead take an image of the waveform, layering a darker one on top of a lighter one to show progress. This means it runs more smoothly in browsers, and we don’t have a lot of extraneous data lying around.
As before, if you embed a player on another site, you get more controls like Share, Subscribe and Download - we remove these from the player on your own podcast site to reduce duplication of info.
I’m still working through a couple of Android-related issues, so will have those ironed out ASAP. It’s important to make the player work the way it does, as recent news about preloading causing inflated download numbers has borne out.
As with everything at Podiant, it’s a constant work in progress, but I think version 2 of our player is a much more stable foundation to build on, and just as we’re improving the customisation of themes, the ability to customise your player is also something I’ll certainly be heavily championing, a little further along in our roadmap.