.: Above The Aether :.

29 Aug, 2007

Yahoo Pipes and my iTunes

Posted by: Dave In: Blog |Podcasts |Technology |Usability |Web

(Web geekery ahead. You have been warned.)

I’ve recently played around with Yahoo Pipes, a feed aggregation and manipulation service provided by Yahoo, (here’s a yahoo or wikipedia explanation of the service) to manipulate some of my iTunes feeds to more easily update my little green Shuffle. You see, I have a handful of feeds I drag into my Shuffle on a regular basis. Normally I would create a smart playlist in iTunes and add a bunch of podcasts to it and life would be all bunnies and tulips. However, I’m a little picky and need to eliminate PDFs from the feed (since some podcasts include them and my Shuffle can’t dispay them). I also only want podcasts that I haven’t listeded to yet (with a play count of zero) in ascending order of release date (so I can listen to them in the correct order).

Here’s where the iTunes “smart” playlists fall down the stairs before prom night.

As far as I can tell, when creating an iTunes playlist you are able to add multiple actions (or filters) to the list; however, you are forced to select a single boolean operator to affect all the actions in the list. I can select “or” to act as the operator or I can select “and.” I don’t get the option to select an operator for each action in the list. Bummer.

It is at this point that my smart playlist has smeared her make-up and fallen down the stairs in her prom dress.

This is when Yahoo Pipes shows up at the door smiling with a giant pink corsage and fresh condoms.

Since I have a yahoo account (for del.icio.us, flickr, email, etc.) by default I also have a Yahoo Pipes account. I logged in and aggregated all of the (13) podcasts I wanted on my little green Shuffle and created one feed to rule them all. I then took that feed and added it to the iTunes “smart” playlist along with the other filters (“never been played” and “no PDFs” and “ascending order”).

Badda bing. A dynamic smart playlist that includes all my favorite audio feeds and no PDFs and no episodes I’ve already listened to and all in ascending order of release date.

If you have a need to aggregate, manipulate or filter feeds of any sort, you might want to consider using Yahoo Pipes.  It uses a drag and drop interface that makes the whole experience very simple.  I haven’t really cracked the surface with Pipes yet, but it seems like it can do some amazing things.

There…now wasn’t that interesting?


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  • Dave: Not sure, Bryan, but I'd love to know where Craig lives.
  • Bryan Hanks: What city were those in?
  • Kevin David Anderson: check out our other wreaths at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150452725264516.391111.360128594515&type=3
  • epiphenita: Like Tom Waits without the music.
  • epiphenita: Reminds me of my good friend's artwork: http://victoriacarlson.blogspot.com/2009/06/untitled.html
  • Dave: I think someone should make some dance music from those "WHOAHs."
  • epiphenita: Oh, Dave. That was tonic to my soul. Perfect. I vote for an exorcism.
  • Dave: Hmm, looks sober to me.
  • Scott: I'm thinking that the guy with the hat might have had a drink or two before this picture was taken. Just a hunch...
  • Scott: There's a roleplaying scenario just waiting to be written based on these pictures. :-)


Stepping over the steaming pile of reality. This is one man's journey into the absurd.

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