Using the gpo text interface:

nicholas@gondor:~$ gpo

gPodder 3.10.17 (2020-11-23) - http://gpodder.org/
(c) 2005-2020 The gPodder Team
License: GNU General Public License, version 3 or later

Entering interactive shell. Type 'help' for help.
Press Ctrl+D (EOF) or type 'quit' to quit.

gpo> help

  Usage: gpo [--verbose|-v|--quiet|-q] [COMMAND] [params...]

  - Subscription management -

    subscribe URL [TITLE]      Subscribe to a new feed at URL (as TITLE)
    search QUERY               Search the gpodder.net directory for QUERY
    toplist                    Show the gpodder.net top-subscribe podcasts

    import FILENAME|URL        Subscribe to all podcasts in an OPML file
    export FILENAME            Export all subscriptions to an OPML file

    rename URL TITLE           Rename feed at URL to TITLE
    unsubscribe URL            Unsubscribe from feed at URL
    enable URL                 Enable feed updates for the feed at URL
    disable URL                Disable feed updates for the feed at URL

    info URL                   Show information about feed at URL
    list                       List all subscribed podcasts
    update [URL]               Check for new episodes (all or only at URL)

  - Episode management -

    download [URL] [GUID]      Download new episodes (all or only from URL) or single GUID
    delete [URL] [GUID]        Delete from feed at URL an episode with given GUID
    pending [URL]              List new episodes (all or only from URL)
    episodes [--guid] [URL]    List episodes with or without GUIDs (all or only from URL)
    partial [--guid]           List partially downloaded episodes with or without GUIDs
    resume [--guid]            Resume partially downloaded episodes or single GUID

  - Episode management -

    sync                       Sync podcasts to device

  - Configuration -

    set [key] [value]          List one (all) keys or set to a new value

  - Extension management -

    extensions [LIST]          List all available extensions
    extension info <NAME>      Information about an extension
    extension enable <NAME>    Enable an extension
    extension disable <NAME>   Disable an extension

  - Other commands -

    youtube URL                Resolve the YouTube URL to a download URL
    rewrite OLDURL NEWURL      Change the feed URL of [OLDURL] to [NEWURL]

gpo> exit
nicholas@gondor:~$ uname -a
Linux gondor 5.11.0-34-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Thu Aug 26 19:22:09 UTC 2021 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
nicholas@gondor:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 21.04
Release:    21.04
Codename:   hirsute

how are episodes actually played?

(Yes, the list command shows podcasts.)

  • What does this have to do with Ubuntu?
    – David
    Sep 15 at 5:52
  • You can find relevant docs at gpodder.github.io/docs . What is your Ubuntu version? Have you tried to use GUI first?
    – N0rbert
    Sep 15 at 6:02
  • The question is posed because the documentation doesn't explain how to play a podcast from the console that I saw. Where in the documentation are you looking, precisely please, for directions on playing podcasts from the console? The question has been updated. Sep 15 at 7:17

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