Tag Archives: castroller

One Day After (Instacast)

One day after and I have a couple new notes.

1) I’d like to be able to reorder the list of episodes (downloads, unplayed and starred) manually to how I’d like the playlist to play.

2) Needs to be able to set different actions for new feed items on a per feed basis. I want one feed to download all new episodes and another to just update and I’ll pick what to download.

3) 1.5X is teh bestist!

Instacast Update

I have a list of Apps the I keep an eye on, watching for updates or polish that will make me switch. I actually have a small Twitter List to follow some of them.

Anyways, an update to Instacast came down the tubes recently and it fInally plays nice with CastRoller feeds. There was some weird error that would never show episodes. In dealing with these things we see, all to often, some small error in a feed or in the aggregator software that messes things up pretty bad. It’s also usually fairly hard to track down.

Well, things are fixed now so I have a few things to share. Some general notes about moving from my current “old school” CastRoller -> iTunes -> iPhone Music App having to sync all the time to CastRoller -> Instacast. Yes, even with wireless sync it’s still a bit of a pain. Easier but, I have to have my Mac to get episodes, they have to be on the same network while it syncs, etc. Being able to just get stuff on the phone is awesome, especially when I travel.

I’ve talked about Instacast here before and they’ve done some great work in making the app better. Most of my concerns from before have been addressed. These notes are new based on more experience using the app both before this last update by importing my OPML from CastRoller and now using it by subscribing to my CastRoller feeds (My Collection, Starred Items, Shared and a couple channels).

Before when I filled the app with the actual direct feeds I noticed that the app is great for people who listen to a small number of podcasts. I’d say twenty or so is easily manageable. Not the 89 like I’m currently subscribed to. And that’s just my main collection, I have a few other channels I casually keep up with. When you give it that many feeds updating them alone is cumbersome. Trying to get everything sorted out so it’s easy to use is also a chore. Like you’d likely want the shows that release shows more often up near the top, say Tech News Today, a new show everyday is a nicer to have at the top of the list. Add a bunch of shows after that and you have to start moving things. Yeah you can have it sort based on new stuff but I personally don’t like things moving on me. This wasn’t the deal breaker. Long refresh times were.

Truthfully other then that the app is damn near perfect for me. My love for the features is CastRoller we’re the only real conflict to living in a world oblivious to waiting 20 minutes to update all my shows!

So after the updating moving back to the app with CastRoller I noticed that I REALLY liked having my content on my computer as well as my phone and using Seamless to jump back and forth. At home I could jump form my phone to my computer and push to all my AirPlay devices in the house (which there are many) so as I worked around the house my podcasts came with me. No headphones needed! From the phone you can only play to one device, not a downside for most but something I miss. I wonder if they can use their new iCloud features to build a desktop app, or some weird integration with iTunes to allow playback on a computer and get AirPlay in the mix too!

Take 5 changed how I listen at work great deal. On both the desktop and the phone, I constantly pause playback and never get back to it. If they can build that functionality into the app I’d be one happy podcast listener. Also now being able to star episodes and get them on my phone in no time flat is the best. I hated having to subscribe to a show just to try it out.

Don’t know how things will fall out and how I’ll continue to manage things going forward. Probably switch back and forth a lot anyways, seams that’s my history!


Web Dev on an Air

“First and foremost: I miss the backlit keyboard.”

via Using a MacBook Air for Web Development – Monday By Noon.

Partly just adding fuel to the fire for Will here.

I honestly thought I’d miss it too but, I don’t. I kinda forgot about the feature until after my purchase realized it a week later noticing that I didn’t miss it. I think my use has changed over the last year. I used to do a lot on the couch at night behind the TV. Now I do a lot more things (ie running) at night, sometimes just sitting outside with flesh and blood people.

Either way rumour is the next version will have the feature. Nice to have but I’ll be in no hurry to upgrade.

Oh and I did build the CastRoller App, albeit a small app, in xcode and it took seconds. Bet it’s not a huge deal to write apps on this thing.

The Penalty Box

So, to help me recover from my Social Media addiction, I’ve come up with a way to start easing the pain of my podcast listening. Over the past couple month I’ve become less enthused with some of the podcasts I’ve subscribed to. Some times it’s the hosts I get annoyed with, sometimes it’s just content that I’m no longer finding that valuable.So I’ve set up a channel, using CastRoller of course, to hold the shows that I’m getting close to dropping. I’ve named it the Penalty Box. The great part is I can keep track of them, and even subscribe to the channel in iTunes so I can download shows if I want but they’re not really in my subscriptions. I can easily see what I’ve moved there, and can easily add them back to my collection if I change my mind or remove them from the channel if I choose. Some people might not agree with the podcasts in that list, I know some of the people fairly well too, but it’s just how I feel, I’m doing it partly for my own sanity nothing against the people behind the shows or their listeners.In addition to that, I’ve been looking for really great shows, producing great content that has nothing to do with social media. I’ve been collecting them in a channel I like to call Podcasts for People who don’t listen to Podcasts. Check it out on at http://castroller.com/channels/dontlisten and let me know if there are other shows that you love that you think should be included. I’d love to hear more stuff and get a great collection of content there to hopefully get more people interested in this medium!

CastRoller Launched!

CastRoller Home PageA good friend of mine, Will Spaetzel just launched his new website, CastRoller.com. CastRoller is an online podcast management tool that has a lot of cool features that makes listening to to podcasts a lot more social. On CastRoller, you can see what your friends are listening to using your “homepage” a lot the same way the Facebook News Feed works. You can also share podcast episodes with your friends by clicking on one “Share” button. And all of your contacts will receive the episode in their CastRoller inbox. Plus, if they’ve added the RSS feed for the inbox to iTunes, they’ll automatically have the episode downloaded right to their iPod.I’ve spend a lot of time helping Will out with the site, and am very excited about this launch. I hope that lots of people start using the site so that we can start to really take advantage of the social aspects of the site.You can view my profile, and add me as a contact, on CastRoller at http://castroller.com/billdeys. And you can also watch the help videos I recorded for CastRoller here: http://castroller.com/help/gettingstarted

Podcast ID3 Tags

I want to give some advice to all the podcasters out there. It all stems from me not using my iPod much lately as well as the loss of my Mac for a week due to some hardware problems, but that is a whole different blog post to come!.Anyways so I’ve been using my Blackberry Pearl for almost all my media playback. I toss my podcasts on there, which is the bulk of what I listen to, as well as some music so now I carry only my mobile. I’ve found this is WAY cooler for me, I always have my phone so I always have my podcasts. I can play through the speaker phone, my bluetooth headset, regular ear buds or even through the input jack in my truck. I love it!.In doing this I’m learning just how much iTunes cleans up the podcast files. If you’ve never checked, you can name the file anything you want and set you ID3 tags to just about anything and once you put them in your feed and they make their way through iTunes it will have rewritten the ID3 tags and the file name to match the info in the feed. The “Name” tag is set to the episode name (basically the blog post title) stuff like that. This is all cool, most people don’t know and it’s nice to have it cleaned up..Where the problem comes in is now that I’m not using iTunes to manage my stuff, I use CastRoller and manually download items to my phone when it’s connected to a computer, I get the EXACT file that you put out. This is cool for about 90% of what I listen to, some of the best are the “Indie” folks who were in it from the beginning. The big one that gets me is AT LEAST set your Genre tag to “Podcast.” I don’t care if it’s a Rock Music Podcast, IT’S A PODCAST, your a call in show that is nothing more the “Spoken Word”, I’m sorry YOUR STILL A PODCAST. Have I made my point?.Ya see, when I go to the media player on my phone I get a big list of every piece of media on it. It’s all mixed up, the way that I find them is by going to the Genre section and scrolling to Podcasts! Most media players, that aren’t iPod’s, work in pretty much the same way..Well how can I go about doing this you ask. If your using a podcast recording package like CastBlaster, PodProducer or UberCaster, your probably already writing pretty good tags, just make sure your genre is set to podcast. If your not or it’s still not working, you can use iTunes to edit them, just add the file to your library right click it and and click “get info” then go to the “info” tab and fill out the fields. On windows you can even edit the tags right from the file browser, find your file right click it and select properties, then go to the summary tag, if you click to the right of the filed it will open a text box you can edit the details..Simple stuff that some of the biggest and most listened to podcast simple ignore when releasing audio. It’s totally amazing to me that these “professionals” are screwing it up like this. I don’t want to name any names but it’s not hard for you to find who is and isn’t using what I think is just part of Podcasting Best Practices!.