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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More access for Podiobooks?

Following up on a Twitter post from the other day...

I listen to a whole lot of audio novels from Podiobooks.com. I've gotten a bit spoiled, maybe; with a couple dozen podcasts I follow, and with podcast novels, I rarely sit down with an actual book. Nice thing about this, I never have to figure out what to do with a perfectly good book I'm never going to read again.

Anyway. Podiobooks.com podcasts the parts of the novels. Rather than listening to the whole book at once, their site will create a personalized RSS feed for you, and once a week (or whatever interval) your feed aggregator will grab the next available section. Very convenient.

I prefer to listen to the whole thing at once. This can be done, manually downloading each separate file from the webpage for that novel. Very inconvenient, IMHO. It's time-consuming to download file after file after file. And for the last couple books I've downloaded, I've only gotten partial files in a couple cases -- and had to go back and play the files directly off the website, just to hear the end. Even more inconvenient.

True, if I just Got With The Program and used the feed as intended, it'd probably work fine. But for me, old-timey computer guy that I am, I'd prefer to at least have the option of downloading via FTP (File Transfer Protocol, one of the oldest functions of the Internet).

The site does have an FTP server set up for authors to upload new episodes. Downloads wouldn't be a terribly stressful addition. FTP is specifically designed for transferring files, and works quite effectively. And with an appropriately configured FTP host, I could tell my FTP client to just "grab all the files in this folder," walk away to grab a cup of coffee, and come back when it's done.

It might just be me that would want this ability. But since the server itself is already there, I don't think it'd be an impossible, arduous or expensive process to add this capability.

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