Coast to Coast Podcast (Follow-Up)

May 11, 2005

I finally got five minutes to go look at Coast to Coast AM’s new “podcast” offering.

I knew I was in trouble when I seemed to distinctly hear Alec Guinness say “This is not the podcast you are looking for.”

Um… Yeah…

I can’t seem to find any sort of forum for bitching complaining about this, so ‘scuse me while I drag up my soapbox.

This thing is much less “podcast” and much more “automatic downloader”. Which is appreciated, actually (I get tired of going and doing “save as” four times for every show), but it’s a damn long ways from what I expect from a Podcast.

I don’t know how Podcasts are done over on the Windows side of the fence (never bothered looking), but on the Mac I’m pretty happy with iPodderX.

Unlike the “Coast to Coast Media Center” you have to download and run to get the Coast to Coast podcast, iPodderX is completely interfaceless once you’ve configured it. Podcasts are automatically added to iTunes, in the playlist you specify, and even converted to AAC and made bookmarkable if you like (a very handy thing for spoken word audio).

In fact, the only way I normally know a new Podcast has downloaded is the little “ding” telling me that iTunes has finished converting one to AAC.

Dear Premier Radio;

While I appreciate the automated downloader “Coast to Coast Media Center”, please figure out a way to follow through and do a real podcast, so that we can use some of our nifty podcast handling tools on it.

I realize that authentication is probably one of the big issues (and I really don’t mind paying for streamlink) — perhaps you could allow us to pass our user IDs and passwords in on the podcast url.

I realize that this isn’t the worlds’ most secure mechanism, but the insecurity would have to be offset by not having to maintain and support your own podcast software.

Please give it some thought.


– Chuck

Update — Apparently Bitpass, Inc. is all set to provide tools and services for paid subscription podcasts — there you go, an off-the-shelf solution…

(via The Blog Herald)

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3 Responses to “Coast to Coast Podcast (Follow-Up)”

  1. keltoi on June 2nd, 2005 2:05 pm

    I’m with you. Its a bit misleading to say they’ve got podcasting now, but what they’ve really got is a download tool that has zero interaction with iTunes. I had less patience for the 4 piece mp3 download so I cancelled my subscription, but signed up again when I saw podcasting. IMO its a bit misleading to say that this media center tool is podcasting, the same thing could be accomplished by offering me a 1 file, 4 hour .mp3 that I have to go to the site to download. It really matters not whether I have to go to the site or go dig in my music folder to add the “podcast” to iTunes, its way too many steps for a “podcast”. I suppose there’s an AppleScript to be written or some other such geeky avenue for making the podcast available in iTunes with my other ones (some paid subscription based that behave just like a free podcast), but I’m not really that much of a coder, nor should I have to be for a paid “service”.

    Hopefully there’s a solution soon. I’ve been addicted to the show for years, but my years are growing and my bedtime has become earlier so listening at 1pm is far better than listening at 1am! 🙂

  2. Chuck on June 4th, 2005 12:00 pm

    I hear you… It’d definately be a step in the right direction to make it a single file (or offer us the option).

    My current process is

    1) Drag the files onto the iTunes dock icon
    2) Go into iTunes and use a track splicing applescript to create a single file (at which point I have to type in a new name),
    3) Delete the four “hour” files from iTunes
    4) Delete the playlist I had to make to do the splicing.
    5) Go to the Coast to Coast site to get the proper name of the episode.
    6) Set the file metadata (I set the name appropriately, the Artist to “Coast to Coast with ” (Art, George, etc.), and the Album to the Month, Day, Year and Day of week. This way I can easily tell on my iPod which is which, and find an Art or George if I’m more in the mood for one or the other.
    7) Convert the file to AAC
    8) Delete the leftover MP3
    9) Run a script to make the AAC “bookmarkable”.
    10) Add it to the proper playlist (I do a playlist for each month).
    11) Delete the originally downloaded files.

    All the “Coast to Coast Media Center” accomplished was skipping a first step of going to the site and downloading the file — which is handy, because I often get behind, and if you fall more than 90 days behind, you have a problem (it was much worse when the cutoff was 30 days).

    What I’d really LOVE would be if the thing brought down a single file, with the metadata set appropriately – it doesn’t have to be the way I do it currently, but the name of the episode, date, and host are important (to me anyway) and need to be in there.

    If it did that, AND was an actual PodCast, then this process would be entirely automatic for me, as I could let iPodderX add it to iTunes, set the proper playlist, convert it to AAC and make it bookmarkable.

  3. iTorrey on July 24th, 2005 5:33 pm


    Create a folder action for the folder where you download Coast at. Or instead of creating one just download this one

    I edited that one slightly so that it doesn’t display a message telling me that it was successful on _every_single_mp3 import….. anyways.. after enabling that folder action on the download folder any mp3 that gets dropped into that folder (or downloaded) will get imported into iTunes automatically. Now from there all you need to do is create a Smart Playlist in iTunes that only shows entries for “Coast to Coast” and just like that every time their lame downloader downloads the latest files they are instantly in your iTunes playlist.

    Svweeeeeeet 🙂

    Here is my modified version of the one above.

    — set filetypes which you want iTunes to import
    property myFiletypes : {“.mp3”, “.aiff”, “.aac”, “.wav”, “.mov”}
    on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items

    — successReporting variable is used to report whether or not it was a successful import. 0 is off. 1 is on.
    set successReporting to 1
    — get items
    set myFinderItems to added_items
    tell application “System Events”
    set allItems to every item of myFinderItems
    end tell

    — loop
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of allItems
    — get an item
    set myFinderItem to (item i of allItems as alias)
    — check if it is a folder
    tell application “Finder” to set myItemIsFolder to (kind of myFinderItem = “Folder”)
    — if it isn’t a folder…
    if myItemIsFolder is false then
    — see if the file has the right extension
    tell application “Finder” to set myItemExtension to “.” & (name extension of myFinderItem) as string
    if myFiletypes contains myItemExtension then
    set mySongName to myFinderItem as alias
    — add track to iTunes
    tell application “iTunes”
    add mySongName
    end tell
    end if
    end if

    — check if user requested a positive report. defaults as 1 – reports shown.
    if successReporting is 1 then
    –display dialog “Your track(s) has been added to the iTunes Library.” —do we really need this??
    end if

    on error
    — if there was an error report regardless of successReporting
    display dialog “Could not add file to iTunes library”
    end try
    end repeat

    end adding folder items to

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