Old 24th May 2006, 14:45   #1
abu
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Podcast support without iTunes

Hi folks,
I uploaded a new alpha version of ml_ipod 1.33a4 to http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=114821

It has some kind of podcast sync support. Whoever is interested in podcasts on the iPod without iTunes, try it. It is described in the release notes that are shown at the end of installation. What do you think about that? (I know, it has its limitations)

What should we change for the real 1.33 version?

I'm looking forward to receiving some feedback.

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Old 25th May 2006, 18:50   #2
beritrep
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Love the "sync podcast" button! It's not showing in the simple list view, though, bug or intentional? Have had some trouble with sending podcasts to my Shuffle earlier; they would show in ml, but they did not play when I disconnected it (music did, though). Seems to work now, however. And: great work on the "remove played podcasts" option!

Some suggestions:
* The option of "always accepting" when you sync podcasts without getting the "do you want to continue?" message. I trust the plugin to know what I want.
* Defining podcasts based on more than genre. I download my subscriptions directly to a folder named "podcast", but I'll have to alter the genre to be able to do that magic thing with the button; my regular radio shows don't come with genre.. Defining a string in filename perhaps?
* A way of sorting the podcasts to beginning/end of playlist would be great for the Shuffle. Today, I hunt them down and move them manually so that I'll be able to find them without a screen (stupid player, but hey, I got it for free).
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Old 26th May 2006, 17:15   #3
kaatinthehaat
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Is it possible for the podcasts to be bookmarked automatically so they don't restart from the beginning when you leave it and then go back to it on the ipod?

Also, in the Podcast playlist query, instead of using "genre" one could use "time length" as podcasts are generally long and songs are short. I found that the Genre in podcasts varies when they are downloaded and I've had to manually set it to "podcast" on several occasions which is a bit annoying.

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Old 26th May 2006, 20:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by beritrep
* The option of "always accepting" when you sync podcasts without getting the "do you want to continue?" message. I trust the plugin to know what I want.
If you set "Show confirmation box on.." to "Never" in the Transfer options page, you will not get it. But then, you don't get it during a normal sync, either. Is that a problem?

Quote:
* Defining podcasts based on more than genre. I download my subscriptions directly to a folder named "podcast", but I'll have to alter the genre to be able to do that magic thing with the button; my regular radio shows don't come with genre.. Defining a string in filename perhaps?
Actually that's a bit hard to implement, even though I completely understand that wish. Problem is: As soon as the file is on the iPod, I have no longer access to the original filename or path. But I'll think about it a bit more.

Quote:
* A way of sorting the podcasts to beginning/end of playlist would be great for the Shuffle.
Well, good idea. As I have no Shuffle, a bit hard to check how it works on that device. It's hard to imagine for me to have an iPod without display or clickwheel ;(

Let's see, perhaps I'll have a look at that if I find the time...
Nice to know that somebody wants to use it!

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Old 26th May 2006, 20:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by kaatinthehaat
Is it possible for the podcasts to be bookmarked automatically so they don't restart from the beginning when you leave it and then go back to it on the ipod?

Also, in the Podcast playlist query, instead of using "genre" one could use "time length" as podcasts are generally long and songs are short. I found that the Genre in podcasts varies when they are downloaded and I've had to manually set it to "podcast" on several occasions which is a bit annoying.
Bookmarking should work already, at least it does for me. If you exit a podcast with the menu button and come back later, you get to the same point.

The time length things sounds good at first, but is not practical for me. I have some podcasts of less than 7 minutes, but some music of more than 10 min.
I know, the genre thing is a bit clumsy. Perhaps we could add an option to mark everything under a certain directory as "Podcast" in the genre (altering the entry in the ML)?

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Old 27th May 2006, 18:12   #6
beritrep
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Quote:
If you set "Show confirmation box on.." to "Never" in the Transfer options page, you will not get it. But then, you don't get it during a normal sync, either. Is that a problem?
Ah, just me being plain stupid. I never use the sync feature anyway (can't fit everything into 512 MB..), so nope, no problem.


Quote:
Actually that's a bit hard to implement, even though I completely understand that wish. Problem is: As soon as the file is on the iPod, I have no longer access to the original filename or path. But I'll think about it a bit more.
I see. And, I see two solutions: that auto-update genre thingy for podcasts (based on, say, whether filename includes "podcasts"), or defining podcast status on all tags, not just genre.

My favourite radio shows, for instance, will always have a certain string in the title (like FK Fotball or Dagsnytt, neither of these would ever be used for music) or a given artist, like Kanal 24. The main problem with only looking for "podcast" in the genre is that the guys responsible for the different radio shows don't care too much about including standard indicators, but add the tags they feel like. And, of course, I'm too lazy to change the genres manually (but hey, I can't even do it from ShoutCast/downloads in ML, I have to hunt them down in Local Media). I wouldn't mind writing down the typical strings for my podcasts, though (lazy, yep, but not that lazy).


Quote:
Well, good idea. As I have no Shuffle, a bit hard to check how it works on that device. It's hard to imagine for me to have an iPod without display or clickwheel ;(
It's plain horrible.. Will buy one with display when I start making some money, but for now, that tiny thingy will have to do.

Quote:
Let's see, perhaps I'll have a look at that if I find the time...
Nice to know that somebody wants to use it!
Thanks! Nice to know that somebody's out there actually developing these things. You're doing a great job!
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Old 28th May 2006, 12:39   #7
abu
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Quote:
Originally posted by beritrep
And, I see two solutions: that auto-update genre thingy for podcasts (based on, say, whether filename includes "podcasts"), or defining podcast status on all tags, not just genre.
Ok, let's pick that up. The second approach would be a great deal of work, I don't want to do that. mainly because I have no possibility to do full ML queries on the iPod itself.

But auto-update sounds like a very good idea. In fact, it's what I was thinking about last night, even before I read your post. But I'm not sure whether we're talking about the same stuff. What I'm thinking of:

Define a toplevel directory, in that tree all your podcasts can be found (that's Juice's download directory). Then, when you do a podcast sync, the very first thing that happens is ALL files in that directory tree are given the genre "Podcast". That will change the database of the ML, too. So you see the updated genre in a regular ML view. After that is done, we can go on as before: defining smart playlists based on genre etc.

This has the advantage that you know for sure that all podcasts have exactly the same genre. It makes it easier to create smart playlists. Cause the iPod is too dumb to process a query that has brackets in it, like "( genre = Podacst or genre = "Talk Radio" ) and playcount = 0". This is processed by Winamp without any problem, but live updating on the Pod will not work. "genre = Podcast and playcount = 0" will work fine, even with live updating.

What do you think, is that a good way?

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Old 28th May 2006, 14:43   #8
beritrep
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Quote:
Define a toplevel directory, in that tree all your podcasts can be found (that's Juice's download directory). Then, when you do a podcast sync, the very first thing that happens is ALL files in that directory tree are given the genre "Podcast".

What do you think, is that a good way?
Yep, very nice and smooth indeed. Don't know too much about programming, so if pushing the "sync podcast" button can invoke an automatical genre-change, that'd definitely be the best way (is it hard to make?). And this way, setting the same download directory for Juice and Winamp (with some shows, you'd want too choose your episode manually) makes this podcast thing work just perfectly. And we can all stop thinking and start listening..
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Old 28th May 2006, 19:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by beritrep
Don't know too much about programming, so if pushing the "sync podcast" button can invoke an automatical genre-change, that'd definitely be the best way (is it hard to make?).
No, it's not too hard. Actually, it's done already. Have a look at the new package at
http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=114821

Any comments?

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Old 29th May 2006, 10:31   #10
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Ok, I think 1.33alpha6 is the final version regarding podcasts. For those who want to read without installing it, here is an excerpt from the release notes:

This version introduces a new kind of podcast support. It works differently than the one in iTunes®, so be sure you read this if you want to use podcasts with Winamp.
There are some limitations in this approach. It is a first try, nothing more. The obvious limitation is that podcasts do not show up in the “Podcasts” menu on the iPod, sorry.
You have to create a smart playlist to gather all podcasts in one place. The advantage of this approach is the possibility to use the full features of live smart playlists.
I’m using these two smart playlist queries:

1. All podcasts
genre = Podcast

2. New podcasts (makes sense with LIVE updating only)
genre = Podcast AND ! playcount >= 1 AND ! rating >= 1

How is it supposed to work, now?
  • Download your podcasts to a specific directory on your computer.
    I’m not using the Winamp ShoutcastWire for this, because it is too much focused on streaming. You need a podcatcher that downloads all new episodes to your hard disc. I’m using Juice (http://juicereceiver.sourceforge.net/) for this.
  • Set up this download folder as a watch folder in the media library preferences, to make sure that downloaded episodes show up in Winamp automatically.
  • Tell ml_ipod about this directory on the config page (Preferences->iPod support->Speech tab->Top folder for podcasts)
  • Connect your iPod and switch to the iPod page in media library
  • Click on “Sync podcasts” button.
    - All files under the top folder for podcasts are automatically tagged with genre “Podcast” now
    - All new podcast episodes are transferred to the iPod.
  • After you have listened to an episode on the iPod, the playcount is automatically increased by iPod. (Only if you listen right to the end! That is different to Winamp’s behaviour).
  • During the next “Sync podcasts”, this episode is automatically removed from iPod.
  • This removal can be prevented on the options page, uncheck “Remove played podcasts from iPod during podcast sync”

One common problem is solved with a trick: I often have podcasts that I want to skip after some seconds, because the episode is simply not interesting enough. That is not recorded as “played” on the iPod, therefore the file stays on the iPod during sync. Not what I want. I need something to mark this episode as “unwanted”. There is only one thing that you can change on the iPod: The rating. So we abuse this setting. Initially all episodes have no rating. Whenever I want to skip one, I set the rating to anything higher than 0. At the next sync, this serves as an “unwanted” marker and the file is removed.
If you want to do the same, you have to enable this on the options page, check the “Remove podcasts with rating >= 1 from iPod during podcast sync” box.
Why do we not use a specific rating? Setting the rating with the clickwheel is sometimes a bit wobbly, especially on the road. I just wanted to make sure that my “skip marker” is easy to set, so I can use any rating now. That is no problem because I don’t use ratings for podcasts in any other way.

Enjoy your podcasts, without the need for iTunes…

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