@Podder 1.5 Experimental (Beta)

Skip Instructions and Install self-extracting Portable @Podder Skip Instructions, download self-extracting file, and update to @Podder 1.5

Install or Update

(October 2007)

Listen to @Podder Description (MP3)

Summary of System Requirements


Design Goals for @Podder

@Podder's design aims to assist partially sighted users benefiting from "large print software"@Podder's simple interface provides the core functionality of podcatchers in tabbed panels with few buttons. While not (yet) supporting screen readers, @Podder uses off-the-shelf low-cost desktop text-to-speech tools to provide voice feedback and read aloud useful description of feeds and podcasts. @Podder also mirrors its database of feeds and podcasts in HTML that can be browsed, searched, and shared. Tags (keywords) are also supported for annotating and classifying podcast collections. @Podder's value as a podcast collection builder is demonstrated in a library on topics related to vision loss, over 1000 podcasts culled from 3000 downloads from feeds and audio searches. This library is referenced in the "As Your World Changes" blog on adjusting to vision loss. @Podder offers a comfortable alternative to media devices and interfaces designed for youngsters or assuming full visual capabilities. Of course, you don't have to be visually impaired to use @Podder!. apodder.org is seeking user feedback and partners on the comfort and effectiveness of this design approach and implementation.

Install or Update

@Podder is a portable application that will run on your primary or attached hard disks as well as a USB drive. Download the self-extracting zipped installation file. Extract the @Podder files at your preferred location and create a desktop shortcut by selecting the executable file @Podder1c.jar using "Send to desktop shortcut". Download self-extracting Portable @Podder Zipped files (1.5 MB) Additional audio files recommended:

Update ONLY

Unzip into the directory where @Podder was installed, defaulted to Program Files, preserving communityTags.txt if changed, and setting up new help files, project background, and opml imports. Download self-extracting (.5 MB) files update @Podder 1.5 Also download audio files for help listed above.

Details, Tips, Tricks, Trouble-shooting

  1. Launch @Podder from a desktop icon created by a shortcut @Podder1c.jar
  2. Uh, oh, what if nothing happens (after 1 minute)? Trouble shoot: Missing Java Runtime
  3. Great! It's on my screen, what now? @Podder comes pre-loaded with a welcome message and interesting podcast feeds. Click "Process" (or, use keyboard PERIOD then letter R) and @Podder will begin processing feeds and downloading podcasts. In your first processing session, @Podder will download at most two podcasts for each feed so you won't be inundated with mp3 files from the past year. You're free to remove feeds or mark one at a time for processing. Your first session might take 15 minutes or so - use Cancel All after 1 or 2 podcasts are downloaded to continue on to the next step. It's pretty slow downloading, how long do I wait? Yes, you're retrieving files typically 20MB from busy servers and your local connection may be slow at times. We've timed the download on a cable connection taking about 15 minutes. Your choices are: (1) take a walk, get coffee, break, ..., (2) read the @Podder HELP, (3) browse href="PodcastLibrary">our VISION podcast collection, (4) after the 1st file download, click Cancel All to go into the Play Podcasts mode, (5) check out some of the text-to-speech tools (you'll love them!).
  4. Ok, podcasts are downloaded, but how do I play them? The "Play Podcasts" tab opens and you'll see a list of downloaded files with new podcasts check-marked. Click "Play Marked" and your Windows Media Player should appear with these podcasts starting to play. Also, check your browser for the compiled show notes with links and podcast descriptions. You can also play mp3 files directly from the compiled show notes. Nothing happens? Trouble shoot Missing Media Player
  5. How do I set up my own feed list? Go to Podcast Alley or other directories to locate interesting new podcasts. Look for an i(con that says "RSS" or "Podcast" feed (ignore iTunes) and copy that link using right click and "copy shortcut" or "copy link location". Then click the "XML>>>" button to copy the feed URL into the box. One more step, "Add Feed" and @Podder will tell you whether the feed looks like it's working.
  6. Want @Podder to speak descriptions of podcasts and feeds? Any tool that does text-to-speech reading from the clipboard will (mostly) work. We recommend (14-day trial, $30 shareware) CoolSpeech from ByteCool Software. First turn on the @Podder option "Clipboard Speech" and then configure CoolSpeech voices to read from the clipboard. Then, whenever you click an @Podder table item, you may ask to hear its description. Download progress will also be announced. Turn on the verbose option and parts of the screen will be described. You may want to change the voice if you're stuck with "Microsoft Sam" using other voices available (we prefer ATT Natural Voices, $30 each). Good alternatives (which include the improved ATT Voices and writing speech to files) are Ace-High Text Reader and TextAloud. However, these latter readers require more configuration and synchronize less well with @Podder. These tools are great for everyday use to read web pages and other text files.
  7. The HELP tab will give you more information and definitions for podcasting. Click the Listen link to hear the page spoken using the media player.
  8. Need to delete podcasts to save space or because you've lost interest? Use Mark-Delete in @Podder's Play tab, or Open Folder and delete the usual Windows way. @Podder will remember you've downloaded the file and never retrieve it again. Deleting feeds also offers the option to remove all associated feeds and records of them. You can also delete mp3 files from Media Windows Player.
  9. Want a routine to accumulate podcasts to listen to every few days? Use Windows Media Player auto playlist. Create a new auto playlist and set two options: Date added after (yesterday/week,whatever) and filename contains "@Podder". Also set the Library to monitor the @Podder/mp3 directory for new files to add. This playlist will track the mp3 files downloaded by @Podder. You might also set up another playlist for mp3 files you rate within Media Player. Ratings can also be used to artificially mark podcasts you want to come back to, e.g. long or important ones.
  10. One more extension is to define your own tags. It's easy, just use the OPEN DATA button and edit the text file named communityTags.txt. Here are lots of tags about eyesight.
Tips: Getting started -- Playing podcasts with playlists-- Setting up feeds -- HELP Advanced: Getting speech --Managing space the Help trees



Please report installation and use problems to feedback@apodder.org

Other Materials and Source Code

h3>Site Navigation:
About  Download   Features  Library  Contact  Blog