Friday, March 15, 2013

Living without Google Reader and Listen

Since I got my Android phone, I've been using Google Listen to listen to podcasts. I really liked this solution since adding another podcast to my collection was as simple as adding it to my 'Listen subscriptions' folder in Google Reader. All from within my browser, all at the click of a button. Awesome.

Listen may not have been the best podcast player - it didn't let you speed the playback up and didn't have a sleep timer. But it was simple and worked. Pity it was discontinued last year.

Now Reader is on its way out I've had to find a new solution to consume my podcasts. And I've found it in Pocket Casts. This does allow you to speed up playback and set a sleep timer - something particularly useful since I've found podcasts distract me so much I can fall asleep very quickly. I've imported my Reader OMPL file by doing the following:
  1. Read how to export Google Reader feeds here
  2. Now email the subscriptions.xml file to yourself
  3. Open the email on your phone and save the subscriptions.xml attachment to your phone - if you are using Gmail you might need to use something like GMail Attachment Download to save the attachment
  4. Use a file manager like ES File Explorer to move the file into the /PocketCasts/opml_import directory
  5. Go to Pocket Casts settings and select the Import & Export option, then click on the 'Import OPML file' option and let it do its stuff.
I really would like it if they had a web interface where I could add and manage subscriptions as easily as I did with Reader - hopefully they'll get there.

To get the subscribed podcasts to automatically download, I had to create a playlist, containing All Podcasts, with 'Auto Download' and 'Only on WiFi' selected.

For RSS consumption, I'm trying Feedly - so far I'm impressed by the presentation and its across all of the platforms - web, Android and IOS.

Organizing your photo collection

Know How podcast Episode 35 has some good tips on organizing your photo collection.

My problem was that I had EVERY photo I'd ever taken over the last 12 years! I've never deleted anything - or looked at them. I've backed them up on to 8 BluRay Discs so far.

So I needed a way to shrink my collection to a manageble, share-worthy collection. This isn't a one day job, more like something thats going to take months - so I wrote a program that would index my collection, identify duplicates, and let me step through the unique photos one at a time and tag the good ones - then I can export to a date based folder structure.

Now my collection is a more reasonable size, and structured well on the disk - I'm exporting it as I go, and loading it up in Picasa and sharing on Google+. BTW, if I exit the app, when I reopen it I can continue from where I left off.

I've got over 50000 photos, turns out nearly half are duplicates, but I'm over 20% of the way through my collection and my family are finally getting to see the photos!


PhotoSorter 0.4 available

PhotoSorter 0.4 is now available.

This is a small incremental release with a couple of changes:
  • 1 - Skip all untagged photos in the directory that the current photo is in enhancement
  • 2 - Choose to order photos by date, ascending or descending
  • 5 - Cache upcoming images so they can be stepped through quicker
  • 8 - Add '.thumbnails' to default excluded directories
  • 12 - Menu item to link to web site for information
  • 13 - Export photos to directory in format 'yyyy/yyyy-MM'
  • 14 - Remember the export directory
  • 15 - Show timestamp for photo
For more information, see

Let me know if you find this software useful, and discuss it on the group.