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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
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Articles In Category

August 17th, 2012

iBlog: Major Update to Blogging Tool in the Works

January 26th, 2007

Omnidrive: Cool New Web 2.0 Storage and File Sharing App

January 25th, 2007

myBlog: Blogging Software Worth Passing By

January 13th, 2007

WebKit Browser Adds Support for CSS3 Multi-Column Text Layouts

December 19th, 2006

Jer’s Novel Writer: Word Processing for the Creative Writer

December 17th, 2006

SlingShot: Publish/Subscribe Tool Syncs Multiple Macs

November 25th, 2006

Ubercaster: The Final Word in Mac OS X Podcast Tools?

November 17th, 2006

Cast Life: A Stylish “Easy Podcast” Maker

November 17th, 2006

Podcaster: Easy Tool for Making Podcasts

November 17th, 2006

Ten Ways To Make a Podcast, Plus One

Old Classic 45s Jukebox Feed in iTunes SearchIn August 2005, I was all pumped up to make my first podcast, and the webosphere was full of great advice, new tools, and lots of encouragement from Mac zines and blogs. I was particularly excited to put together an "enhanced" podcast using the new iTunes extensions Apple had released earlier that summer. With enhanced podcasts, you can embed "chapters" into a single audio file, and mark each chapter with text and images. That way, when the podcast plays in your iPod or in iTunes, the text forms a set of hyperlinks so the user can hop from one part of the podcast to another, while your chapter pictures help set the mood. This was a great new publishing medium, and obviously publishers all around the world were excited to adapt their ideas to it.

The podcast tool market was still in its infancy a year ago, but already there were quite a few choices. There were fewer choices for doing enhanced podcasts, but I had no trouble finding a good piece of freeware for my experiment: ChapterToolMe was awkwardly named but easy to use, and in no time I had a podcast to submit to the iTunes music store.

The aim of my podcast experiment was to publish the latest mp3 snippets added to the Classic 45's "Jukebox," and I planned to include a brief, spoken narrative about each 45 rpm record. I used Soundtrack Pro to assemble the audio file, and that was the time-consuming part. Stringing the mp3 bits together didn't take too long, but getting the narrative just right did. After doing one, I decided I simply wouldn't have time to make a series out of this, and my life moved on to other creative endeavors. (To my surprise, I see that my original podcast is still in the iTunes inventory... you can find it by searching for "Classic 45s Jukebox" or perhaps trying this URL.)

A few months ago, I finally sat down and adapted my PHP script that updates the regular RSS feed for Classic 45's to create a new feed just for jukebox items, including an enclosure tag for the mp3 files. Then the project lay dormant until last week, when a possible method of automating the podcast process suddenly hit me.

New Classic 45s Jukebox Feed in iTunes ListRather than putting together one big audio file, with recorded narration, and then dividing it into chapters using an enhanced podcast tool, I could just release each mp3 file as a separate episode. Each episode could include the text narration and facts about the record, plus the label or sleeve scan I normally include on the site. I wasn't totally sure this would work, but it seemed worth testing. If it worked, I could release a podcast without eating away up any more of my precious spare time. When I pointed Safari to the mp3 feed I'd made earlier, it loaded the "podcast" right up, displaying the HTML and image content along with a link to the enclosed mp3 file for the last 36 jukebox items. I then went to iTunes and entered the feed URL as a new Podcast subscription, and lo and behold, iTunes also loaded the feed, even providing little Get buttons for subscribers to download each episode they want.

So, the concept seemed sound, and the next step seemed to be a tools review. Was there some cool new application that would help me with the project? Perhaps there were new capabilities of the podcast specification that I could leverage. Thus, the usual sequence of my life played out again: One project led to another! :-)

Full article

November 17th, 2006

ProfCast: Turns Presentations into Podcasts

November 12th, 2006

Apple’s Technical Specifications for iTunes Podcasts (RSS)

November 3rd, 2006

ShutterBug: An Easy Way To Build Web Sites

October 12th, 2006

XFlows: Build XML Publishing Workflows

September 12th, 2006

iTunes Catalog: Cool Way To Web-Publish Your iTunes Catalog

August 29th, 2006

iWriter: New Tool Builds Sophisticated Content for iPod

July 23rd, 2006

Will iPods Become eBooks, Too?

July 20th, 2006

Web Echo: How Intelligent Is It?

March 28th, 2006

Macworld: Accuweather Adopts QuickTime’s H.264 codec for Its Video Reports

December 25th, 2005

Nucleus CMS: Pure Publishing

Just Say No To Flash