A Podcast Channel on the Cheap

For several years I have used Delicious a lot for social bookmarks, usually every day. For a long time I used Delicious as my home page, but have now reverted to Google ig with an embedded Delicious widget. I thought I knew Delicious well but today I discovered additional capability that seems to have crept up on me.

Apparently since 2005 links to special file types like audio, video and images have had special system tags added, for example system:media:audio for mp3 and Wav files and system:filetype:mp3 for just mp3 files. So all my own links to mp3 files would be http://delicious.com/mrees/system:filetype:mp3. Using additional tags in the usual way I can segregate these mp3 file links into categories. So if I tagged certain of my mp3 files with the podcast tag then http://delicious.com/mrees/system:filetype:mp3+podcast would show only my podcast links. Magically Delicious also creates not just the usual RSS feed in this case but enhances the RSS to the format needed for podcasts. Thus for me, http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/mrees/system:filetype%mp3+podcast?count=15 can be fed into iTunes or any other podcast player software. I now have a podcast channel on the cheap. Neat! Note however, there is little or no control over episode descriptions and show notes. Still all you have to do is upload your mp3 online (I use the free archive.org repository) and store the mp3 file link with appropriate tag in Delicious. Too easy.

Of course I could occasionally look up the Delicious Help pages and click on What’s New. Then I would find another of my personal Delicious discoveries today – inline audio and video. In any list special icons are attached to links pointing to media files that allow a suitable player to appear inline within the list – really useful.

It is really great to see the features of Delicious continuing to expand in useful ways, just when I thought it had calcified.

PS For teachers, use the system:filetype:pdf tag to create a ‘podcast’ for use in iTunes and iTunesU.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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