roXor media

martial arts, computers, dorks

Archive for February 2007

Episode 52: We Don’t Have a Show Tonight

With nothing to talk about we sure did talk a lot.
The Show
The Notes
The Forum

Written by Dan

February 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Posted in podcasts

Finally, my podcast script.

My Script (right-click “Save Link as…)

There are many things that irritate me about iTunes podcast management. At the same time, it seems to the best podcatcher I’ve found. I realize there are many others out there, but I happen to have an iPod, and it works well for me, except:

  • I would like to keep podcasts on my computer without keeping them on my iPod
  • When you select unplayed iTunes defines unplayed as not started (WTF), so if I even start a podcast it’s going to remove it from my iPod next time I sync.
  • The only way to not sync a specific episode is have “manually manage music and videos” not checked, so you can check “Only sync checked items” (A feature removed after version 6!)
  • You can use the smart playlist trick, but it has its own set of problems.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a script that would do what I needed so I could stop bitching about it.

First, I set iTunes to sync all episodes, played or not. I’ve found this is the best way to make sure I don’t miss anything.

Then I run my script. My script will delete podcasts that have been played (play count is 1 or more), which means played through to the end. That takes care of the play count problem and cleans up my hard drive.

It won’t delete the podcast if the word “.keep.” (no quotes) is in the grouping tag. I have no idea what the original intention of the grouping tag was but it works really well for stuff like this. This is for podcasts that you want to make sure you don’t delete even if you listened to them, something like Podrunner would be an example or a special episode of podXor that you can’t live without.

After it does all that, it goes through the podcasts on your iPod and removes anything tagged with “.iPodRemove.”. This way you can have stuff on your computer that doesn’t get copied to your iPod. This is really the one flaw in the system, it’ll copy everything to your iPod then remove it, so it adds a little time to the sync process.

As a side note, it outputs a log file to track everything it’s doing and the date it did it on.
In the end, it simply deletes listened to podcasts, unless you specified you want to keep them and removes stuff from your iPod that you want to keep only on your computer. Why can’t iTunes do this? Version 6 worked perfectly (I upgraded so I can have games), the sync only checked items was available even if you wanted to manually manage your music, and played meant FINISHED not started.

OK, I said I’d stop bitching. I’m sure this script has lots of room for improvement, so if you have any suggestions please leave a comment on the blog so everyone can use it.

Written by Dan

February 1, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Posted in misc