# 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:

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

http://feeds.feedburner.com/5by5-afterdark


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.

## 8 Responses to “Stealing ideas”

1. I’m surprised that you are willing to use Yahoo Pipes to solve this problem. I thought you had a personal rule not to use a technology that was a one of a kind solution (see Keyboard Maestro). I’m really not being snarky. I’m interested to know how this could be replaced by some other solution when Yahoo realizes it still exists and kills it.

I was a huge Pipes user long ago. I eventually became too concerned with depending on Yahoo for so much of my workflow so jumped ship and abandoned it all.

2. So you don’t listen to Build and Analyze either, huh?

3. :(

4. I have only two pipes at the moment, Gabe: this one and one that filters out Twitter summaries from Andy Ihnatko’s blog. And I’m pretty sure the latter isn’t doing anything anymore—tweet summary posts are an experiment he probably shut down years ago (as did I).

If I felt this one were important, I’d probably write a script to do the filtering on my own computer and pop the result onto my server every hour or so via launchd. RSS is just XML, so simple filtering like this shouldn’t be too hard.

As for the future of Pipes, if it goes, it wouldn’t affect me much. I am, however, banking on Yahoo’s fortuitous combination of technical skill and business incompetence to keep it running for a while longer.

5. Oh, Marco, don’t take it so hard. I stopped listening to B&A because the overlap with TTS kept growing. When I decided I had a problem and needed to pare down, Gruber’s show won out because his misanthropic mean streak appealed to my worst instincts.

In other words: it’s not you, it’s me.

6. Fair enough. No hard feelings.

7. I listen to Build and Analyze instead of The Talk Show because I enjoy the chit-chat about coffee and home appliances. So there’s that for Marco.

8. I’ll throw ifttt into the ring as another option, though for this particular task you’ll also need an account on some other service since you can’t get feeds out of ifttt itself.