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Fri, 01 Jul 2005
Why iTunes Podcasting support is no big deal to me

I know that there's a lot of excitement around the podcasting support in iTunes 4.9. I can appreciate why -- for a lot of people this is going to make podcast content much more accessible, and that's a good thing. Most of those features don't make much difference to me, because I have NetNewsWire. Now, don't get the wrong idea. NetNewsWire also has some cool podcasting support in it, but I'm not using that either. Instead, I'm using NetNewsWire's ability to subscribe to the output of a script, and Clint Ecker's podder.py, which I've modified for my own devices.

I put the RSS feeds for my favorite podcasts into a NetNewsWire group, and subscribe to podder.py. Podder. takes care of grabbing the podcasts/enclosures in that group, downloading them, and putting them into iTunes, where they later get synced to my iPod. The big reason that I use this setup is that I have two iTunes playlists for podcasts. Podcast, and Podcast-short. My modified version of podder looks at the duration of the podcast, and puts all podcasts shorter than a 35 minute ferry ride into Podcast-short. This makes it easy for me to optimize my Podcast listening by location.

The one feature of iTunes 4.9 that looks promising for me is the directory, at least sort of. I drove around the directory a bit, but between IT Conversations and Steve Gillmor, I'm already pulling more audio than I can possibly listen to. There's no doubt that there are lots more wonderful podcasts out there, but my bandwidth is saturated.

[00:37] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
I do something similar as far as separating shorter and longer podcasts.  The difference being I use smart playlists akin to Making the iPod's shuffle function work better and then limit Podcasts to less than 41 minutes (an arbitrary limit that ensures I get Coverville shows but not really long IT Conversation episodes). 

I've just started playing with script subscriptions in NetNewsWire, and they are indeed quite awesome.  Things like PreAggregator or Podder.py has me thinking of better ways to distribute these sorts of things to less adventurous OS X users.  Perhaps Ecto and NNW would benefit from some sort of "microapp" protocol that allows bundle distribution, but contains metadata so that Ecto, NNW, et. al. can look up where the script is located and how to call it.
Posted by Adam Keys at Sat Jul 2 09:15:55 2005

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