@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
Listen to @Podder Description (MP3)
Summary of System Requirements
- recent Java Virtual Machine (probably installed with your browser).
- User Requirements: sufficient vision
and manual dexterity to handle large font buttons.
Does not (yet) support screen readers
- Recommended: trial or purchased versions) desktop text-to-speech engines and voices
- Recommended more than 2 GB of disk space for growing a podcast collection
integrated currently with Windows XP and VISTA platforms
Design Goals for @Podder
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
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.
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
impaired to use @Podder!.
apodder.org is seeking user feedback and partners on
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:
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
Tips: Getting started -- Playing podcasts with playlists-- Setting
up feeds -- HELP
Advanced: Getting speech --Managing space the Help trees
Launch @Podder from a desktop icon created by a shortcut @Podder1c.jar
- Uh, oh, what if nothing happens (after 1 minute)?
shoot: Missing Java Runtime
- Great! It's on my screen, what
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!).
- Ok, podcasts are downloaded,
how do I play them? The "Play Podcasts" tab
opens and you'll see a list
downloaded files with new podcasts check-marked. Click "Play
Marked" and your Windows
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.
shoot Missing Media Player
- 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
- Do you have subscriptions
from other podcatchers like
Doppler or iPodder? or maybe you've snagged somebody's "podcast
favorites" list. These are exchanged as OPML files (you don't need, or
want to know, about OPML). Save the file into the directory where you
installed @Podder and name the file
exactly imports.opml . Closing and restarting @Podder you'll be
asked about whether to import all the subscriptions or choose each one
and have it validated. You can later delete feeds you don't
want. To add more imports, simply delete or rename the previous
imports.opml file and replace it with the new one. @Podder's feed list
is exported as @Podder-feeds.opml.
- Here are more feeds about
eyesight and podcasting to import
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
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.
progress will also be announced. Turn on the verbose option and parts
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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
Please report installation
and use problems to firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Materials and Source Code