I’m fortunate enough not to have time to watch video on a 2-inch screen. However, I do watch vodcasts during breakfast instead of TV news, and wonder: if I had to ride a train to work, could I have my Clif bar and singing woodchucks too?
Step 1: Subscribe to vodcast using iTunes
Drag a feed URL into the “Podcasts” node in iTunes, or click the “ITMS” badge on the website, which lets you subscribe using the ITMS interface.
Step 2: Automatically download updates
iTunes can check for new episodes every hour. On weekdays Rocketboom publishes right around the time I wake up, and the hour interval usually doesn’t hit until I’m ready to leave. If I’m lucky, I don’t have to do anything. If I’m unlucky I have to select “Update Podcast” before I take a shower. This means I have to select “Update Podcast” so my train activity isn’t “Let’s Count the Telephone Poles”.
Step 3: Reencoding
If an episode isn’t in the right format for the iPod it needs reencoding. Since 6.0.2, iTunes has this capability. Sweet! But it doesn’t do it automatically. Doh! After I get done with my shower I need to drip on the computer and select “Convert selection for iPod”. I risk shorting my keyboard because reencoding takes a long time… and my computer sure is noisy for its speed..
Step 4: Get in my iPod!
After the reencoding’s done, you have to manually update the iPod.
572… 573… 574… and The Way It Should Be
- Step 1: You can drag a website’s URL to iTunes. Safari detects feeds. I don’t see why iTunes can’t. Auto-detection of feeds was the future oh, about 4 years ago, and it’s certainly easier to explain to people. I realize this doesn’t support ITMS link-through, and I like how ITMS rolls things up for new viewers… couldn’t iTunes ping ITMS to accomplish the same thing?
- Step 2: iTunes supports specific check-for-updates times for each podcast.
- Step 3: All downloaded episodes are reencoded automatically if you have an iPod.
- Step 3: Everyone has a faster computer so reencoding’s not a big deal.
- Step 4: The iPod updates itself when a converted video shows up. If it’s not on the iPod what’s the point of converting it?