The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has a review of the Podcaster iPhone app I mentioned the other day. Check it out.
Archive for the 'Podcasts' Category
I don’t have an iPhone or iPodTouch yet. I’m waiting for my killer app before I break my Verizon contract and jump. The app for me would be the ultimate podcast player. As I’ve shown in other posts, I jump through a few hoops to manage my podcasts (see here and here). This helps the workflow associated with download, listening and removing and with a few AppleScripts it isn’t to cumbersome.
My bigger issue is capturing notes and bookmarking specific portions of podcasts and audiobooks so that I can quickly retrieve those notes when I get out of my car. For instance, I’d like to be listening to a podcast via bluetooth headset, be struck with an insight based on the content, press the button on my bluetooth, speak a quick note or two, then get back to listening. When I’m out of the car and back to the office or syncing with my Mac, I could pull up a list of “notes” and the app would show me a list of all files that had attached notes, allow me to skip directly to that spot of the podcast or audio book, play back the note and perhaps the section of the podcast…you get the idea.
I thought maybe the iPhone version of Evernote could work but a few conversations with the developer pointed out some limitations with iPhone in that it doesn’t run multiple apps at once. So that indicates that I’d need an all-in-one solution. Unfortunately, it looks like Apple may not allow that app to be created. A new iPhone app, Podcaster, may not make it to the app store having been rejected by Apple because:
Apple Rep says: Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.
This app isn’t exactly what I’m looking for but the developer’s experience would indicate that the journey may be tough. It’s really a shame that a helpful $4.99 app can’t make it to the store but the $1000 I Am Rich app can. Come on Apple. We expect better from you.
Yesterday, I discussed my process for converting downloaded podcast files to bookmarkable AAC files. Here’s my process for managing my podcasts using the five star rating system. Rating is very important to my process and I haven’t been able to figure out how to rate unconverted podcasts on my iPod. I can do it in iTunes but I listen to them on my pod not my mac.
I use all five stars. Most important is the first one!
- 1 Star: Delete this podcast. For short podcasts (less than 15 mins.) I’ll set this when I start listening. My .Delete smart playlist is set to capture just podcasts with a rating of one star. After my sync, I highlight all of the podcasts in that list and press Option-Delete (on the mac) to permanently delete the files.
- 2 Star: In progress podcast. For longer podcasts, I’ll start listening and immediately give it a 2 star rating. I have a smart playlist that captures all 2 stars. If I don’t finish one or get tired of it but want to come back this, I use two stars and check the list “PC – In Progress” later on.
- 3 Star: Come back to this one for some important information. I often listen in the car so this rating puts the podcast in a special play list so I can quickly refer to it after sync and jot down important notes. Often, I record the name of the podcast and the time setting into a small digital recorder in my car so I can find the import spot quickly. As I mentioned in a previous post, my ideal podcast player would let me press a button to bookmark the spot or press another button and actually record a brief note. I usually delete these podcasts after I capture the note later.
- 4 and 5 Star: Like or Love It so keep it. These are the podcasts I don’t want to delete. The do show up in a smart playlist so can remove them from the iPod but keep them in iTunes. This works great for music podcasts, lectures and book summaries, that I’ll listen to again.
This works great for me. Hope it works for you!
I use iTunes (on mac) to download all of my podcasts. Most are downloaded as MP3s but I prefer to listen at high speed so I convert them to bookmarkable M4B AAC files. Doug Adams has a great AppleScript to do the trick. QuickConvert allows me to take one file or a entire playlist and convert it to most any file type, place the files in a new playlist, then delete the old posts. I especially like this process because when used on iTunes downloaded podcasts, it apparently removes the podcast tag in iTunes. This has three important results:
- The file no longer shows up in the Podcast area of my library. That’s fine with me since I use smart playlists to find the many podcasts.
- It allows me to rate the podcast from my iPod. It seems that iTunes podcast files can be rated in iTunes but not on the iPod. This is very important to me. I’ll describe why in another post.
- When the pre-converted file is deleted, the Podcast download area in iTunes looses all record of the download. This is important because iTunes may think that you haven’t downloaded any podcasts recently and will stop trying. The solution? Another one of Doug’s scripts: Update Expired Podcasts.
I use a combination of scripts, smart playlists and ratings to manage the dozens of podcasts I download each week. Keep reading to find out how (and why).
I recently started listening to This Week in Photography. What a great podcast. It’s entertaining and informative and I look forward to each new episode. Each show includes segments on news, equipment, techniques, books, software and photo sharing in dedicated TWiP groups on Flikr. The guests are awesome. Here are some resources for you…
Lifehacker recently posted a list of great add-ons for iTunes. I’ve tried a few and there are a couple on the list that I plan to try primarily for controlling playback. A couple of my favorites are missing from the list:
- Markable for creating audiobooks from MP3 or audio CDs (Windows)
- Audiobook Builder from Splasm (Mac)
- AppleScript and Doug’s Scripts to automate just about anything in iTunes (Mac)
More posts on Audiobook Builder and some of my favorite AppleScripts coming soon.
Powered by ScribeFire.
A random thought from Kerrying On…
The other day I went to the pet store to buy my wife a puppy for her birthday. The salesman up-sold me to a Clydesdale. One thing’s for sure—when you give your wife a Clydesdale you don’t get that cute little jump in the air accompanied by a screech of joy. Nope. Not with a Clydesdale.
From the newsletter article Kerrying On; June 2007
Purchase Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High at Amazon.com
Get the podcast at Digg or search on iTunes
A random thought from Kerrying On…
My mom hates all forms of confrontation. Rather than tell dad that his feet stink, she gave him charcoal insoles and explained that in case he ever got lost in the mountains he could use his shoes as a hibachi.
From newsletter, Kerrying On; June 2007 ; Purchase Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High at Amazon.com.
I added a Podcast page to the blog tonight. It includes some of the podcasts that are regularly updated on my iPod. Many of them can be found on digg so if you listen to them, be sure to vote for them. Currently the list only includes business and religous podcasts. Soon I’ll add some music and personal development podcasts. Check out the list at http://randomthoughts.johnmichl.com/podcasts/
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts on my iPod. Though the process works “ok”, I frequently dream of the ultimate player. Here’s my list. What would you add?
- Ability to control the speed of MP3 files (I currently convert to M4B to accomplish this)
- Ability to place index marks in large files while listening to bookmark key points
- Ability to place chapter marks similar to Audible (probably done on the computer)
- Ability to annotate on the fly (I usually listen in the car and often want to capture a key point or make an observation. Currently, I carry a digital recorder to do this. I stop the iPod. Start the recorder and capture the title, the time location of the track and my key thoughts or notes. It works but would be much better if I could do it all on the same device.)
- Better yet, be able to quickly fast forward to my indexed marks.
- Mark tracks with status by using a button on the player. It would be great to push a button to indicate things like: remove from player on next sync, remove from player and computer, in progress, finished listening, save for review, etc.
What would you add to the ultimate player?