Sunday, February 17, 2008

Podcast and Audiobook Queue Visualisation

Some screenshots of a little web app I created to visualise my podcast and audio book listening queue:

This shows files currently on my mp3 player. The width of each file represents it's size, the "window width" being 128mb.

Files that will be copied during the next "sync" are indicated with a red dot. Files are copied according to priority, to fill the player and to have only 3 audio book chapters at any time on the player unless there is nothing else to listen to.

Audio book chapters that have been copied/listened to already are highlighted, as are those that have been downloaded but not yet queued.

The displayed title is taken from the id3 tags if possible, otherwise the filename is used. Dates and redundant "book titles" are removed from the title if possible to maximise the amount displayed, and there is a "hover panel" to display other details.

There's also a pretty calendar to provide a gauge of the age of podcasts in different categories.


Audiobook downloads said...

This is interesting.

I gather this is used more on the server side right?

Just wondering if you will be releasing this app? Can it be used by normal people to remember whether the audiobook titles have been listened to?

Tom said...

Thanks, I'm glad you like the look of it.

The application is a Python generated HTML page that I run using Apache on my computer, so while it's not really a fully fledged server app, it's not a little desktop utility either.

Basically the page is showing the contents of a few directories (for high, normal, low priority) and a couple of text files that store a queue of audiobook chapters and a log of the copied chapters.

While I'm more than happy to give the code to anyone who wants it, it's not likely that it would be easily configurable to other people's circumstances without a lot more work than I'm about to put into it in the near future.

Nick Schiffelbein said...

I'm curious as to how you are syncing your podcasts, are you doing it through iTunes or are you using a Linux app that is giving you all this control? These graphics caught my eye and I like you (as far as I can tell) like to have new content pre-arranged for me to be placed on my iPhone and it would be great to have an app setup to do this for me. I'm a CS major at UCI and would love to try and do something similar. On another note, great blog. Lots of really useful Linux tidbits which I'm always looking for. Keep up the great work.

Tom said...

@Nick: I'm using a Python script I created a long time back to fetch my podcasts. iTunes didn't exist back then...

Basically it's just displaying the ID3 tags for .mp3 files in a few folders for high/normal/low priority, so it should be possible to use it with many podcatchers but I think it might be complicated for iTunes as I think it mangles the filenames/paths. And I'm afraid I've no idea what's involved in copying the podcasts to the iPhone, or whether that's even possible without iTunes. Maybe the "smart playlists" could be used to prioritise the podcasts?