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  #21  
Old 02-23-2008, 03:04 AM
podcatcher podcatcher is offline
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Default Best Methods: Podcast Sorting

OK - relatively new to zen (couple months of very light use), but so far this is the best forum on zen-specific discussions I've found. I love my zen, and I love that this forum helps people get the most out of theirs. I'm a lightweight mp3 player user -- I mostly listen to audio podcasts. (netcasts, if you prefer, but the terms seems to be sticking when Zune even uses it) I don't listen to a ton, but I do it every week, some that are 60-120m in length. I have some songs on the player, but not many. I have some language learning ones that I plan to permanently store on the player, too. I currently still use itunes for my podcast acquisition, though I just started toying with others. My biggest issue has been keeping my podcasts separate from my music and each other. I don't want podcasts randomly picked when doing music, so at this point, I do this:

1. All podcasts need to get marked as Genre "Podcast" in the zen. Most come in this way by default, but a few have not. Manually fixing this I ran into something odd, but I'll start a new thread on that.

2. All music comes in under genre "Other". (I could have left this as "anything but Podcast" and left them alone. I hate* the range of stupid ID3 tags that show up, and I'm too OCD not to clean them up. To "sort" my music instead, I've done (see next)

3. All music gets put into playlists by genre rather than using the ID3 tags for this. Net Result: For 'casts, I can pick Genre right from the main menu (customized), click "Podcast" instead of "Other", and have a list of artists. (I have had to manually make some corrections here too - where I have a long string of casts I don't want to delete. I'll create a thread on that too.) For music, I can pick the playlists I want.

Questions:

1. Using the CME's "Add iTunes media" option seems to put the files into a folder under "Music". This seems OK, but it does mean I always have to sort by Genre or they're mixed in. Is there a better way to keep audio podcasts and keep them separate? I've contemplated just putting all the podcasts in manually sorted folders on an SDHC card. Seems like a very viable option, but feels sort of... extreme -- plus then I HAVE the synch manually in explorer or write/use a 3rd party app to manage these. Easy enough, though I'm not sure which. Any other options?

2. I have a sense that this playlist and genre means of sorting is going to be cumbersome once I have a large number of audio files -- especially if I have to manually edit the genres in CME. Can anyone confirm that from experience, and explain where the biggest headache will be?

3. Under the video I have Video, TV, and Zencast. The one CNet Video podcast I've tested imports by default as just a "Video". Can someone explain the TV/Zencast options and how they can be used to sort content? Seems clear since Zencast is under the video menu that it can't be used for my audio 'cast needs. Am I wrong?

Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 02-23-2008, 10:24 AM
raster raster is offline
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Default My Solution

I'm in the same boat as you. I have some music on my player but use it mainly for podcasts. I'm also a little OCD and like everything in it's proper place.

Podcasts are not as nicely handled as I wish. A new firmware that distinguishes 'podcasts' from 'music' would likely fix this but, until Creative does this, here is how I cope:

1. Download Ziepod (www.ziepod.com). It's a free podcatcher that has a lot of customization to make the tagging of files any way you want them. There's a pay-for version of Ziepod as well if you want an integrated video player.

2. For every podcast I listen to, have Ziepod re-tag the files as follows:
- change the genre to 'podcast'
- change the artist to '-Podcast'
- change the album to the feed name, eg. for CNet's Buzz Out Loud podcast, I have the album set manually as 'Buzz Out Loud'
- change the title to 'Title' of it's associated post. I'm not sure why I do this one but that's how I have it set up.

All of these changes are made to each individual feed by right clicking on the feed, select 'Advanced' and then 'Customize Overwrite Rules'. It's a bit of a pain but once set up, it works well. I use Ziepod for video podasts as well but I change the directory to where they are saved so my audio and video is seperate on my PC. For video, I don't bother with the overwrite rules.

After all this, I use the Creative Sync Tool to sync my 'music' from the directory where the audio podcasts are saved (you can customize this too btw). Video is also synced from where my video podcasts are saved. The end result is a folder on your PC that has all your audio podcasts in one directory, split into subdirectories labeled as the audio podcasts feeds and all the video podcasts in another directory split into subdirectories labeled as the video podcasts feeds.

After the sync, all the audio podcasts are then stored under one artist (-Podcast) and one genre (podcast) on my Zen. I set the shortcut button to go to Artist so it's just 2 clicks to get to my podcasts regardless of what I'm using the player for (since -Podcast is the first artist to show up). All the feeds are 'albums' and each podcast is just a track in the album. The video podcasts are under Video->video

It's not perfect, but it works well for me and much better than the ZENcast software. Hopefully Creative will update the firmware to treat podcasts as something other than audio or video and then I won't need this makeshift solution.

I hope this rambling is clear. I don't check this forum very often but I'll try to answer questions when I can.

Good luck!
Raster
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  #23  
Old 03-27-2008, 11:46 AM
skaz skaz is offline
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Default Is is possible for zen to remember where I was in the zencast.

Hi,

New to the site and the zen , took the plunge on the 32 GB version after hmmm almost 3 years of first gen nano ownage.

Totally love it as an mp3 player and video player BUT pod/zencasts are wrecking my buzz somewhat .

Basicaly, (speaking in hushed tones) I want it to work more like the ipod

What exactly do I mean ...

Biggest annoyance is the zen not remembering where I am in the podcast. It seems the zen treats them as videos, and only has the capability to remember where you are in 1 video at a time. So if I take a break from the zencast to watch a video, or another podcast, I have to search back to where I was.

I know it is possible to import the zencasts as audio rather than video, but I haven't tried this yet. Does this mean the podcasts are mixed in with you music ? (personally I like to have them in 1 place). I guess if I import them as audio I can use bookmarks to get the place keeping I'm looking for.

Another problem I'm curious if other people have, zencasts refusing to play once they are 30 seconds to a minute from the end of the file i.e. they stop early and if I attempt to replay and fwd to the part I missed, it just drops out.

Sorry for the long post.

Great site by the way, has become a regular source for my apparently
insatiable appetite for media player news

Cheers
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  #24  
Old 04-07-2008, 08:23 PM
threemaples threemaples is offline
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Default Zencast Organizer not auto syncing to Zen

Hi All

Crossposting here as well as Zencast forum.

I am using by new Creative Zen with my Zencast organizer for video podcasts.

I want the organizer to download all the latest updates each morning at 4:00 am and then automatically sync them to my plater.

I seem to be able to get the automatic updating done at 4:00 am, but syncing (and the prerequisite video file conversion) does not start after the update.

Under SETTINGS -- PLAYER , I do have the box checked for to AUTOMATICALLY SYNC ZENCAST CONTENT WITH PLAYER... checked

I have to manually push the TRANSFER button. This is not ideal, because video conversion usually takes some time and I just want to grab my player in the morning and run.

Am I missing something here ?

R
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  #25  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:48 PM
Pumaman Pumaman is offline
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Default Problem w/ podcasts shutting off early

Hi all,

I just got my new Creative Zen, and I have a question about listening to podcasts. I've noticed that most, if not all, of my podcasts automatically shut off with about 30 or so seconds left in the podcast. It's not a huge deal, but it is slightly annoying. I'm currently using zencast to organize and transfer my podcasts to the zen. If anyone has had this problem and has any suggestions as to how to fix it, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jamie
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  #26  
Old 04-11-2008, 03:40 AM
skaz skaz is offline
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Default

I had the same problem.

Is zencast converting your podcasts to videos ? Mine was set to do that, I didn't try changing that setting in zencast though, as I decided to ditch zencast altogether and use a program called ziepod to download my podcasts.

Do a search for ziepod here and you'll probably find the post. Ziepod gives you total control over auto tagging of podcasts, so you can tag them so they will be easy to find as mp3's on your zen. Works great for me, get ziepod to put
all your podcasts under the same directory then have the zen sync tool sync from that dir.

Also, probably saves some battery life as playing podcasts as videos is kind of wasteful (especially since the screen doesn't switch off when you lock the buttons).

Hope that helps ......
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  #27  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:53 PM
weaver4 weaver4 is offline
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Default Zen and Podcast

I use an ipod now because my main usage for the ipod is to listen to podcast. I looked at a zen at the store the other day but did not see a major function item for podcast like the ipod has (music, video, radio and such). Does the zen support podcast as nicely as the ipod? Does the zen software (what ever it is called) allow you to select podcast, download those podcast, and sync them with the zen?

Zen's website does not even mention podcast, and the word "podcast" does not even appear in the Zen's user manual that I downloaded. So I assumed it did not even support podcast, but I thought I would check here (maybe some 3rd party software or something).


I want a zen over my ipod because of 16Gig and it will play my DivX movies.
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2008, 01:46 AM
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Default

Check for the keyword "Zencast".
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2008, 04:41 PM
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agarig agarig is offline
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Default

if you're going to be using wmp to sync you can try this:

you can keep using itunes to download podcasts, then set up an auto playlist in wmp with the genre set to "podcast"

then sync this to your player

the downside though is that you have to manually delete them from your computer after you've listened
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  #30  
Old 04-21-2008, 07:35 PM
Smitty Smitty is offline
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Zen cleanup is pretty poor. I'll tell it to just keep the recent or last two podcasts and it still keeps tons of old podcasts that I've already listened to on the Zen.

If anyone knows how to fix this it would be great.

Also, it seems most podcasts I sub to are all audio. The 'video' is pretty much a few slide type screen. The problem with this is it runs the battery down for no reason. Is there as way to easily just transfer the audio?
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  #31  
Old 04-22-2008, 04:45 PM
Dave_C Dave_C is offline
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If you want audio only podcasts, don't use Zencast
What I do is download MP3 using a firefox add-in (Wizz RSS) as a podcatcher
Then manually sync to the Zen media library using right click from Windows Explorer
(Or use itunes and Windows Media Player as suggested by agarig above.)

Now the podcasts are in the music section of the zen where:
genre= podcast
artist = author
album = book
track = episode

All can be playlisted/searched/bookmarked etc. as normal music.

HTH Dave
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  #32  
Old 06-06-2008, 06:14 PM
ackbar11 ackbar11 is offline
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Default The ZENcast audio to video problem

If you use the zencast organizer to sync your podcasts you probably use to convert audio casts to video casts option, well I do at least. Problem is the player stops playback about 30-60 seconds before its over.

I've done some experimenting and concluded this:

1 Normal video podcasts do not suffer this problem, even with conversion

2 normal videos also play fine

3 media players such as WMP can play the converted file (reverse synced from the player) fine

4 the podcast plays fine if you don't convert it to video


From this I have concluded that the ZENcast organizer uses two different converters during sync; one to convert video to video and one to convert audio to video. The problem must lie in the audio to video converter. The only solutions I see are:

1. downgrade to an earlier version of the organizer that still has the audio -> video option and see if that works

2. If it uses a plugin or external software to convert get a new version of that

3. wait for creative to get off their asses and fix this
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  #33  
Old 06-07-2008, 09:34 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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I think the issue may be related to this. Maybe adjusting some encoding settings or trying another encoding program may give better results.
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  #34  
Old 06-17-2008, 02:29 PM
mp.3.guy mp.3.guy is offline
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Default Zencast Query

What are Zencasts?

Is it a free service? Can I acquire movies from it?


Clarity on the purpose of Zen/Podcasts will be appreciated.
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  #35  
Old 06-17-2008, 03:21 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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Zencasts
Podcasts
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  #36  
Old 06-20-2008, 07:04 PM
WeenieDog WeenieDog is offline
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Whenever I try to subscrie to a ZENCAST using their software/website it says that it cannot make a connection. Anyone else have this problem?
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  #37  
Old 06-20-2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Whenever I try to subscrie to a ZENCAST using their software/website it says that it cannot make a connection. Anyone else have this problem?
Make sure you don't have any kind of firewall or network issue on your end that would prevent it from connecting. You can also try another program like Winamp to verify that the issue isn't with the current Zencast software you are using.
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  #38  
Old 06-20-2008, 09:44 PM
WeenieDog WeenieDog is offline
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Ok, I'll try that. Thanks.

EDIT: It's not the firewall. It isn't even running.
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Last edited by WeenieDog; 06-20-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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  #39  
Old 06-20-2008, 10:07 PM
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No problem. Update the thread if you get a chance. Curious if there is a more serious issue....
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  #40  
Old 06-23-2008, 09:56 PM
threemaples threemaples is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinkk View Post
Hi!
Which software do you guys use for your video podcasts?
Basically, the ZENcast organizer is great, but I dislike the fact that video podcasts ("vodcasts"?) can only be transcoded to wmv just before transferring them to my zen. This takes me the opportunity to syncronise my player in the morning (transcoding takes too much time in the morning). Is it possible to automatically transcode video podcasts immediately after the download?

Any solutions?
Any luck with this...I have the same desire...I have set it up to automatically sync to zen after updating and converting in Zencast, but it doesn't work. I also want to pick up my Zen in the morning with recently downloaded video podcast already converted and synced. Tried Mediafly...no love...

Rog
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