Rating podcasts while listening to iPod

I love the integrated podcatcher in iTunes, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to rate podcast episodes while listening to them on my iPod. No matter what I do, clicking the select button 2-3 times brings up the show description instead of the rating screen. I can’t figure out a way to edit or erase the show description from iTunes. I even tried writing an AppleScript to erase the description, which compiles and runs, but doesn’t seem to work. I’m beginning to think that maybe Apple rushed podcatching into iTunes a little too quickly. To test my hypothesis, I’m now trying out iPodder. (Whoops, it’s just been renamed Juice.) It has some drawbacks, but at least I can access the rating screen while listening to a podcast on my iPod now!

There are some great features of the iTunes podcatcher that iPodder is missing:

  • Bookmarking–Everything I’ve downloaded so far hasn’t been bookmarkable. This is pretty easy to correct, just set “Remember playback position” setting under track options in iTunes. I’d prefer to have iPodder do this automatically, or at the very least have an AppleScript command for this.
  • Ignoring podcasts when shuffling–Another easy fix, just set “Skip when shuffling” under track options. Again, it’d be ideal if iPodder handled this, or an AppleScript.
  • Auto-stopping at end of show. Sometimes I find this a helpful feature, and sometimes I think it’s a bug. Podcasts that I download via the iTunes podcatcher will auto-stop at the end of the episode. This is handy because it prevents the next episode from automatically being played (and thereby having its status changed from “unplayed” to “played”, i.e. ready for deletion). I’m not too concerned about this yet, since I’m manually deleting podcasts anyway, but this is something I would like to be able to control. I just don’t know what setting handles this.

I’ve written a little AppleScript to take care of the bookmarkable and shufflable settings, but it’s not ready for release yet. If somebody really wants a copy of the current incarnation, leave a comment here and be sure to put your email address on the comment form. If you’re worried about spam, diddle your domain name (e.g. “spam_trap”) and leave your real domain name in the comment text.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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