jon udell’s LibriVox script

by Hugh

I did a podcast interview with Jon Udell about LibriVox, for ITConversations (I’ll let you know when it’s available). Was a great talk, and part of our discussions were about the still-significant barriers to accessing good audio on the net. There is great stuff out there, but for many not-so-net-savvy people there exist many problems with knowing about audio, finding it, choosing it, downloading it, getting it into a media player (and then getting it into a portable media device).

all of these processes are harder than they should be still (collectik is an effort to solve some of them), and I’d wager that the main audience for audio (especially the LibriVox, public interest, public radio type) is not as tech savvy as most net video watchers. Yet this is an important market – in part because of the value of the information available this way. This is a new sphere for public discourse, and should be made as simple as possible.

With LibriVox we often get people wondering how to get the mp3s they have downloaded into their ipod. A simple task for most of you, but not obvious to many people who would like to listen to LibriVox books. There’s an easy solution to this problem: generate an xml file of our catalog pages, that will be read as a podcast feed by iTunes, and allow for the one-click iTunes “subscription” to that book.

So Jon whipped up a python script that can do the job, eg. click on this:
itpc://jonudell.net/librivox/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles-by-arthur-conan-doyle.xml

iTunes will open, & you’ll get subscribed to this book – you may have to “get” all the files to download them. This eliminates some complication for people.

We’ll have to figure out how to integrate this – ideally the script could work in tandem with a wordpress plugin, that would work in our catalog page template. So that each page would generate the right link.

Evan did something similar a while back, with his PodPager… but the tool seems to be disabled.