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Tuesday Open: Podcasts

Inspired by the noble and brave Frank J. and Charles Johnson, I’ve realized that a key element to generating more blog content for a disproportionately small amount of effort is to get your readers to do it for you. So here’s a post for you to comment on and discuss to your heart’s content.

But I do also have a sort of point to this. I’ve recently been exploring the use of podcasts as entertainment during my cross-campus treks. This has consisted entirely of the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call podcast and Penny Arcade’s Downloadable Content. But this is of course limited by two factors: shortage of content and cumbersomeness of manually downloading and transferring each file. Any recommendations on how to fix either or both are welcome in the comments.

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Categories: The Internet
  1. September 25, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I user Juice (used be called Ipodder lemon) to download my podcasts. Juice knows how to work with both iTunes and Windows Media player to add newly downloaded files to your media library and add them to podcast specific playlists (one per channel). Juice also has cleanup features to delete files and remove them from the library.

    Once in Media player (or iTunes), you can sync to your device or burn CDs and listen. You will still have to do the cleanup process by hand unless your player has some way to mark the mp3 as heard or deleted.

  2. Bob
    September 26, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I also use Juice; it’s not perfect, but I haven’t been able to find any podcatcher client that does everything I want (though I admit I haven’t looked at any of the non-free options).

    As for the rest of my system, I have a Microsoft Zune. And I don’t care what anybody thinks about that; I’m very happy with it, and especially pleased that I was able to avoid Apple and still get a well-designed, highly usable player.

    I’d be happier if the Zune software had built-in support for podcast subscriptions (hopefully that will be coming in a future update). For now, there’s a bit more setup required. Juice automatically downloads podcasts to a certain directory; then I have the Zune software set up to monitor that directory and automatically add the podcasts to a “Podcasts” playlist, which gets copied to the Zune whenever I sync.

    After I listen to a podcast on the player, I use the “flag” feature to mark it. The flagged tracks show up in an inbox after the next sync, and it’s easy to delete them. This is a nice way of avoiding the manual cleanup problem.

    BTW, I just bought several tracks from Amazon’s new DRM-free MP3 download store. It worked beautifully, and the tracks play fine on the Zune. Who needs iTunes?

  3. hobershort
    September 26, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    “Who needs iTunes?”

    That would be slash-and-burn-prices-and-customers Apple.

  4. October 17, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I somehow managed to miss this post when it first appeared. I use Juice to automate my downloads, and I listen to podcasts with the MP3 player built into my Palm T|X, using the Pocket Tunes software that came bundled with it. I haven’t bothered to automate the process of transferring the MP3 files to the Palm; I just manually drag them to the Palm installer window and then press the HotSync button.

    However, this may all change soon. I took advantage of yesterday’s woot.com offer and ordered a Zune for $100. I will give it a try and see whether I like it better than the Palm.

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