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HowTo : Portability

Portability feature is the newest feature of Ziepod coming with the version 0.99.9. It is such a feature that enables you to run your same Ziepod environment at different machines by keeping it on a medium that you can carry along and run it from there, such as USB flash drives.

In this short tutorial, we like to point out couple of points that you need to consider and should be aware of while using this feature. Let's start.

Why previous versions of Ziepod is not portable?

Previously, Ziepod kept some of the variables on the Registry Table of your computer. These variables are mostly your preferences settings but also related to databases. So even though copying previous versions of Ziepod to another place and run it from there looked 'OK' for a while, adding new subscriptions later on would corrupt the database and halt Ziepod eventually. Starting with the version 0.99.9, Ziepod keeps all environment inside the files which are under the installation path. Saving all environment into the files prevents any loss of data.

How to make my Ziepod *mobile*

Here is a simple step-by-step explanation:

1) Install your Ziepod
2) Go to the installation path, which is by default 'C:\Program Files\Ziepod'.
3) What you need is to copy this folder all together to any place on your computer or onto another external drive. Do not *move* installation folder to another place because if you do that, it corrupts the uninstallment process and you will not be able to uninstall Ziepod when you want to.
4) After copying that folder, get into that folder and run Ziepod.exe. You will see an exact copy of the environment you have.
5) When you finish using it, you can simply delete the folder you copied.
Since each copied instance of Ziepod is independent from each other, changing anything in one instance will not affect the other, except for downloads. If you use the same 'Base Download Folder', then deleting downloaded file in one instance will also affect the other instance since they both use the same folders to keep downloaded episodes.

Speed

When you place Ziepod onto a medium such as USB flash drive, you may feel that Ziepod is not as fast as it operates on your computer's harddrive. Because your harddisk on your computer is much faster than your external drive, when speed of read/write operations onto disk are considered. Hence it takes a little bit more time to read your saved data and to write newly retrieved content on the flash drive. Speed related issues can be;

  • Slow start-up
  • Slow loading of episode listing for a subscription
  • Waiting downloaded episodes in the download list as Ziepod keeps those episodes till they are fully moved from 'Incomplete Downloads' folder into their permanent locations under the 'Base Download Folder'
  • The key thing to improve the performance of Ziepod is to reduce the number of read/write operations as much as possible by excluding unnecessary read/write operations so that it does not spend time with reading and writing. We will be working on this issue continuously for upcoming releases.

    Available space on the drive

    One of the important points to be checked continuously is the left space on the medium that you keep Ziepod, especially if you also keep your downloads on the same medium. Fortunately, Ziepod by default checks available space on your harddrive and automatically pauses downloads if there is not enough space to save downloads. However keep in mind that, after copying your Ziepod environment onto another drive, Ziepod may not know which drive it has to check for available space. You may need to customize that from the 'Advanced' segment of the Preferences.

    Another thing that you should keep in mind is that there is hardcoded threshold value for minumum allowed available space for the drive that Ziepod is running at the moment, and that is 10 MBs. If you don't have more than 10 Mbs of space on your drive where you keep Ziepod, it does not download any episode and all episodes are kept in paused mode.

    Different Operating Systems

    When Ziepod becomes mobile with your external drive, you may want to run it with any computer you come across. Keep in mind that Ziepod only works on the Windows machines, but unfortunately not on all versions of Windows. We know that Ziepod works with Windows 2000, XP and Vista systems. However in case of Windows 2000, you may see errors for absent DLL(s). If you experience any, make sure that you have latest updates for your system.

    Deciding where to locate your 'Base Download Folder'

    Keeping downloads along with your Ziepod on the same medium might seem as a perfect idea, and in normal circumstances it is. However this may lead to couple of issues as we pointed out before. First you may run into problems with left space on the drive if you are downloading large files. Secondly, while download procedure writes down downloaded file onto the medium, you may experience slow down in the process since external drives (eg, USB flash drives) are slower than actual harddrives on your computer.

    Nevertheless, if you are not downloading much but streaming, then you shouldn't be worry about.



    We will continously update this tutorial and provide more complete description of how to make use of portability feature and what you need to consider and be aware of. If you do have any question regarding this topic, please feel free to share with us so that we can improve this feature based on your experience and make it more useful for you. [ Send Your Feedback Now ]




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