How to set up a podcast alarm with BeyondPod + Tasker

So you have an Android phone, and you’re done with waking up to that melody that sounds just enough like the theme to “My Neighbor Totoro” to get it stuck in your head all day (what, just me?). You’d really rather have a podcast from your feed start playing. It’s like waking up to the radio for the 21st century.

This is, as far as I know, not a built-in feature to any of the podcast apps. BUT! You can hack it yourself by using a combination of Tasker and BeyondPod.

This setup works as of October 2017, BeyondPod version 4.2.16 and Tasker version 5.0u3m. I don’t know if you need the paid versions of the apps, but if there is a paid version of them that’s what I’m using.

Summary:
1. In BeyondPod, create a new category and add the podcasts you want your alarm to play.
2. Make a Smartplay that uses that category to play an episode.
3. In Tasker, make a task that sends an intent to BeyondPod to start the Smartplay list.

First time using BeyondPod? Tap the top-left menu button to open the left drawer.


Then manage feeds, then right above it “add category,” name it something like “Alarm”

Now you need to give  it some podcasts! Tap “add feed,” then search for your favorite podcast, tap “subscribe” and select the category you just made.

Already have some subscriptions? Make a new category, then open up “all feeds” and long-press on a podcast. Tap “edit feed,” then under “feed categories” add your new alarm category.

NB: If you don’t have any episodes downloaded and/or there aren’t any new episodes set to stream, your alarm won’t have anything to play. I’ve turned on auto-updates and added a half-dozen or so shows to my alarm category to make sure this doesn’t happen.

(I forget where you set up auto-updates. I think it’s somewhere in the Settings labyrinth.)

Next step: Set up a Smartplay list. (Smart playlist? Smartplaylist?)

From “all episodes,” tap the playlist menu icon in the menu bar.

Tap “add smartplay” (this is what it’ll look like if you don’t have any smartplays yet)

Give the playlist a name. Say, “Alarm.”
Pick your playback rules. I do random 2 episodes from Category: Alarm (just in case one episode is really short, like the KEXP Song of the Day.)

 

Now we need to tell Tasker to fire off this playlist when it’s time to wake up.

So open up Tasker. Under the profiles tab, tap “+”, then “time”. Make the “from” time your alarm time. Set the “to” time for anything later than the “from” time. 1 minute? That’s enough to trigger it. (Not pictured cuz I didn’t want to delete and recreate my existing tasks. Sorry.)

Then tap “new task,” name it whatever you like, then tap “+”, then “settings”, then “send intent,” and fill in the following fields:

Action
 mobi.beyondpod.command.START_SMART_PLAY
 
Extra
 smartplay:Alarm

(Or, if you named your smartplay something different, whatever name you chose: “smartplay:foo”.)

Then, make sure the toggle shows it’s turned on. (Should be in color, not gray)

Test this by setting it initially for like 5 minutes in the future. If it works, then change the time to your alarm time. If it doesn’t – check for typos and that you have episodes for smartplay to play.

And… that’s it! You’re now on your way to being one of those amazing people that doesn’t need to touch their phone as soon as they wake up.

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