Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Apple Podcasts doesn't recognize my iPod Shuffle

Well, after the most recent upgrade to macOS Catalina my iPod Shuffle is not recognized by Apple Podcasts, so I have no way of loading more podcasts on it. This is a pity, because it was the only mp3 player that I actually liked, though I liked the second generation one better than the fourth generation. It had no screen, which is an advantage since I mostly listen to podcasts in the car. The controls were very intuitive and were designed to be easy to operate without looking at them. They were also reasonably hard to press by mistake. I shall miss it. Oh, cruel modern world to have cast it out!

I also had what appears to be an atypical workflow for the Shuffle. In iTunes I would manually pick the episodes of the podcasts I was interested and download them, then copy them manually to the Shuffle. After I listened to them on the Shuffle I'd delete the download manually in iTunes. I never automatically synced the contents of my Shuffle from iTunes. With the second generation Shuffle I could copy the files onto the Shuffle in the specific order I wanted. The reason I didn't like the fourth generation Shuffle was it organized the files alphabetically by podcast name and then by episode date released, and you had to hit a specific button and listen to it enumerate the podcasts to move from one podcast to another.

I have another MP3 player, a SanDisk Clip Sport (manual) which I tried some time ago and didn't like as much as the Shuffle. My main problem with it was that it was harder to operate without looking at it: it has a screen, which you have to look at sometimes, and its controls are not as easy to use without looking at them. The controls are also much more sensitive to pressure than the controls on the Shuffle, so it is easier to activate them accidentally. (I've fast forwarded when my arm accidentally touched the controls while carrying something near my chest.) And, of course, the interface for copying podcasts onto the Clip Sport is just copying files onto external drive the Clip Sport shows up as, into the proper folder for podcasts. So the “listened to” status and the time into each podcast you've reached is not something the podcatcher application can help you track. And the Clip Sport itself doesn't keep track of where you were in a particular podcast, though it does remember which one you were listening to, and where in the podcast you had reached. It's really easy to mess up with the forward button and move on to the next podcast and when you use the reverse button to move back the Clip Sport has forgotten where in the podcast you were. Sigh.

Oh well. I guess I'll have to give the Clip Sport another try. Luckily I had exported my podcast feed from iTunes before I converted to macOS Catalina — I had 122 podcast subscriptions. I installed gpodder on my macOS laptop to manage the podcasts. (I was glad a version of it as a macOS application was available.) It told me that several of my subscriptions didn't have valid feeds any more, or simpler weren't there, so now I have 105 podcast subscriptions. To download a podcast I can right click on the episode name in the episode list and choose “Download”. (It would be convenient if the not downloaded/downloading/downloaded indication icon was an active button to download it with one click.) It has an option, when you right click on a podcast, to open the download directory for that podcast, which makes it easy to copy the files to the Clip Sport. Of course, they end up on the Clip Sport alphabetically by filename, and some podcasts have really weird names — I'd swear some of them were UUIDs. There is a gpodder option to rename the files to the title of the episode, which is good when episodes include the episode number in the title.

Print Friendly and PDF


Comments powered by Disqus