In Automatic 1.x, there was an option called “Download every episode once”. If enabled, it would make sure that each episode in a series of episodic content would be downloaded only once, regardless of how many times it (re)appeared in the feed.
There was a catch, however: it only worked if the subscription was set up to match a single series. If the subscription was matching multiple series, and the episode numbers overlapped, there were false negatives. This was a one of the most common issues users had with subscriptions.
With 2.0, this feature can still be found for Custom subscriptions under the name “Try to download every episode once”. But it’s been upgraded to be a little smarter: it can now differentiate between episode numbers that belong to different series. So if a Custom subscription is grabbing multiple series, this option can now safely be enabled.
As an aside, the “Unless tagged as ‘proper’ or ‘repack’” option has been removed, and these tags are now universally respected for all subscriptions.
I’m extremely pleased to announce that Automatic 2.0 will be released on April 19th! Development is rapidly wrapping up, with the help of some really amazing beta testers.
In regard to pricing, a single personal license (*) for Automatic 2.0 will cost $19.95, or the equivalent in local currency.
Also, as a thank you to everyone who supported Automatic over the years, all past donors will receive complimentary licenses for 2.0. So check your mail around April 19th!
(*) Personal means you can use a single license on as many computers as you want, provided they are owned and used primarily by you.
I spent the 3-day Easter weekend off the grid with my family, and although I didn’t get any work done, I did manage to draft some posts about Automatic 2.0 (bonus: I missed the worst of the iPad-craze storm). They’re mostly low-key improvements that don’t warrant any trumpeting, but long-time users will probably appreciate them.
One of the things that always annoyed me in 1.x was the refresh schedule. While most users probably didn’t notice it, there was a flaw in the way Automatic launched in the background: essentially, any computer downtime would also “pause” the refresh timer.
As shown by the pretty graph (thanks, OmniGraffle!) computer sleep would mess up the timer, so that the refreshes would no longer happen at the expected time.
In 2.0, the behavior is much more consistent: any missed refreshes during downtime will be coalesced into a single refresh right after the computer wakes, and then they will continue as expected. Another pretty graph to illustrate:
So you get a single refresh to make up for any missed ones, but otherwise the schedule remains unaffected. Sanity ensues.
It’s been a long time coming, but Automatic 2.0 is almost here! Version 2.0 may share the same name with its predecessor, but the similarities end there. Automatic 2.0 is a complete rewrite, from the ground up: it is no exaggeration to say that there is not a single line of shared code between the two versions. So what does 2.0 bring?
These are just some of the big-picture features in 2.0. Improvements have been made in practically every area, from the ability to specify what linked files are matched to the more mundane performance improvements. And most importantly, 2.0 provides a great foundation on which to build many exciting features.
As far as availability goes, a release date will be announced very soon. Automatic 2.0 will be a paid upgrade from Automatic 1.x – the price will be revealed closer to release. The current version (1.1.4) will continue to be available for free.
Finally, if you want to stay updated on the upcoming 2nd phase beta, follow @automaticapp.