Auto-downloading files (enclosures)

Some RSS feed items may have files attached to them, also known as enclosures. These are most commonly used for podcasting although they are by no means restricted to only this. Enclosures can be used to distribute any kind of file e.g. new versions of software, updated Office documents or perhaps audio segments that are part of an online language lesson.

Unlike email attachments, RSS enclosures are not transmitted together with the feed item. Instead, only a link to the file is included and if you want to open that file to read or listen or watch it, you must first download it. Awasu can be configured to either automatically download enclosures when they are received or (if you want to save bandwidth), simply let you know that a feed item has a related file and you can selectively choose which ones to download.

NOTE: Enclosures are a feature of RSS and are not specifically supported by Atom. However, Awasu has been designed to handle this situation and can handle enclosures in both RSS and Atom. To reflect this, Awasu uses a slightly different terminology. Feed items, whether they be from an RSS or Atom feed, can have one or more related links that point to an external file that is associated with that item. Awasu can be configured to either auto-download these related files or just let you know about them so that you can decide for yourself whether or not to download them.

 

Configuring auto-downloads

Most of the settings relating to auto-downloading files can be found in the Advanced tab of the Program Options dialog.

There is a master switch that enables or disables all automatic downloading of related files.

You can also control where the files get saved (default is in the Downloads sub-directory of your user's home directory), what file types can be downloaded and when. You can also control how long you want to keep the files e.g. you might want to automatically delete them after 15 days.

 

Most of these settings can also be configured individually for each channel.

 

Finally, if feed items have any related links, they will be shown in the channel summaries.

If the related files have already been auto-downloaded, they will be shown with a small icon that you can click on to open the file directly from your hard disk. Otherwise, you will see them as a normal link that you can click on to download the files from the Internet.