odd-lot thoughts

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Podcatching with Otis

Sometimes, you just have to work with what you've got. I have two small devices which can play MP3 files: my Audible Otis, and my Tungsten T3.

For some reason, my T3 seems to balk at playing larger MP3 files, so I use that for my Audible.com downloads, which are in a secret format only Audible knows, and for my regular tunes.

I use the Otis for podcasts. While I can't do the slick sync that iPod users can do, I can get darn close. And I don't have to hack the software to delete files, either.

Here's how to get this to work:
(As stated in my last post, I use Doppler to download the podcasts.)

  1. If you wish, created a folder (such as "podcasts") for those podcasts in Audible Manager Personal Library by right-clicking on "Personal Library" in the folders view on the left, and selecting "create subfolders." Note: Once you have created this folder, go back to the "audio" folder. You'll see why, later. Or you can just use the already created "Audio" folder.
  2. Tell Audible Manager to watch the Doppler folders for new content and add it to the podcast folder, like so:
    a. On the menu, click "Tools," then "Watch Folders." This brings up the Audible Manager options box.
    b. Click the "add folders" button and browse to the folder with the MP3s you wish to import.
    c. Once you've selected the folder to watch, change the location of the folder the files will be imported to. The default is "audio." If that's ok, you're fine. If you created a new folder, click the "change" button to navigate to the new folder. Note: If you don't get an "ok" button once you've selected the folder, you've found a bug in the software. You need to go back to the note in step 1.
  3. Click "OK" to finish.
Now, whenever you open the Audible Manager, it will import the new podcasts you've downloaded through Doppler into the Manager. From here, you can add them to your Otis in the same fashion as the regular Audible files.

One last note about Otis and podcasts -- I've found that if I stop a podcast, I'm back at the beginning when I re-start, unless I hit "pause" instead of stop, and then press and hold the stop button until Otis shuts off completely (about 5 seconds). That's the only way I've been able to save my place.

It ain't pretty but it works.


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