Self Flagellation

My criticisms don’t just extend to others. Here’s my own attempt at self-flagellation today.

I fired up my ipod this morning and was listening to my latest show as I came in. I like to do this on occasion, mainly to monitor the technical quality as well as whether I sound like a complete dolt. I can’t speak to the second issue, but bleh. My podcast had some low amplitude noise which polluted the background. As the mp3 encoder shifted from frame to frame, the noise jumps in amplitude in a really annoying way. Yuck.

Two questions for myself:

  1. Why am I not hearing this when I do my post recording checks? (Likely answer: really cheap headset with poor response)
  2. Was it always this bad? A quick scan back through my recent episodes reveal that this one was particularly bad, but noisy recordings have gone out for the last three or four. Likely cause: change in my sound recording setup, mixer levels are perhaps too high.

Apologies for murdering your ears. I’ll have to work on getting this sorted out before my next podcast.

Frustration with two different podcasting clients

I must admit, I’m a little bit frustrated with the current crop of ipodder clients. I don’t know if it is just me, but I’m finding them to be relatively unreliable, and remarkably difficult to work with.

Before I go off (and people respond in kind with flames), I’ll admit it could just be me and/or my trusty WinXP box. But here’s my experience in trying to use ipodder, version 1.1.4.

It mostly worked, but for some reason I had frequent crashes of iTunes when I would run it. Sometimes, this would mean that individual podcasts which had been downloaded would be marked as downloaded and never retried, but even though they were downloaded, they would never get added to my iTunes list. So, I’d have to go in by hand and add them. Every attempt to get ipodder to redownload and add these skipped files (including uninstalling and reinstalling ipodder) resulted in it thinking it had already gotten it. I grovelled around, and found the history file and deleted that, and still no dice. In frustration, I thought I’d give another client a try:

Witness Doppler. Also a nice looking client, but it occasionally errors out while downloading as well, and fails to retry in any useful way. For reasons which escape me, I’m not receiving Dave Slusher’s podcasts, and even my own Cinnamon Bear Podcast has managed to skip three or four episodes. Sigh.

Here’s my wishlist for podcasting:

  1. I’d like a client that is invisible. Never fails. Don’t even know it’s there. Works by magic.
  2. Don’t care if it has directory support. Not even a bit.
  3. On the rare, unforseen occasion when it does screw up, make it straightforward to fix. Allow you to flag items which it think it has already downloaded, and delete it from its history mechanism so they can be fetched again. When you uninstall the program, delete every trace of its previous installation.

Can anyone suggest a client which fufills these requirements?