Stealing ideas

Tonight I saw these two tweets from Jason Snell and smacked my forehead. Of course!

The “Smart Playlists” feature in Instacast 2 isn’t smart. I’d like only @5by5 After Darks from certain podcasts, but it can’t filter that.
  — Jason Snell (@jsnell) Mon May 14 2012
(Solution: I made a Yahoo Pipe that takes in the After Dark feed, filters by show title, and then outputs a new RSS feed.)
  — Jason Snell (@jsnell) Mon May 14 2012

The After Dark feed includes After Darks from all the 5by5 shows. This is probably a good way for Dan Benjamin to introduce all his shows to those who currently listen to just a couple (and it’s certainly easier to manage one After Dark feed than a dozen), but I’ve had to declare podcast bankruptcy1 more than once and don’t need any more suggestions.

Hence the value of Jason’s tweets. Yahoo! Pipes, which was big news four or five years ago, is still there and still working, but I never would’ve thought of it, even though it’s absolutely perfect for this sort of situation. It’s hard to imagine how Yahoo! makes any money off of Pipes, but as long as it’s there, we should take advantage.

I’m not privy to what Jason’s After Dark pipe looks like, but here’s mine:

5by5 After Dark Pipe

This is about as simple as a Pipe can get. The original feed is

and I allow only those items whose titles contain the key title words of the podcasts I listen to. I should probably add Mac Power Users to the list, even though it’s never had an After Dark—there’s always a first time.

Sometimes you don’t need chapter and verse; just a word or two is sufficient. My thanks to Jason for providing the words.

  1. You know, like email bankruptcy, but with podcasts.