Sunday, May 01, 2005

iPod Shuffle and Podcasts

In my last post I mentioned my new Shuffle and trying to figure out a way to easily use it with podcasts.

Well, a bit of messing around this afternoon and I've got it solved.

First, set up a playlist with all of the music you want on your Shuffle. Leave enough room so that the Shuffle can also hold whatever podcasts you want to shove on there. Then, set up a smart playlist in iTunes that has two criteria: it includes the songs on your music playlist and includes any song that has the genre "!Podcast" -- the ! is important.

Next, use Doppler, though I assume it'd work with iPodder as well. You tell Doppler to tag each incoming podcast with a genre tag -- the aforementioned "!Podcast", and to stick each podcast into your iTunes library.

Finally, on the Shuffle itself (through iTunes) set the playlist to be sorted by genre. Since you've tagged all podcasts with the !Podcast genre, they'll sort to the top.

Now, go to sleep, let Doppler work its mojo, and in the morning just stick in your Shuffle and sync it, or hit Autofill. It'll transfer your podcasts over and they should be at the top of the playlist. Turn the Shuffle on to sequential mode, hit Play/Pause 3x to jump to the start of the playlist, and you'll have your podcasts all queued up for your listening enjoyment.

If you want to go one step further, you can tell Doppler (and iPodder, as well) that you want to convert the podcasts to the AAC/M4B format. This format allows you to stop a podcast mid-listen and skip to another podcast or song, then come back and pick up where you left off. Again, all pretty simple since you've got the podcasts at the beginning of the playlist. 3 button clicks and you're there.

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