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10.4: Use Automator to ease podcast preparation work System 10.4
Tiger only hintSal Soghoian, Apple's AppleScript Product Marketing Manager, has done some cool stuff with Automator. On the web site, he's got a bunch of resources for using this nifty new tool in Tiger -- a brief tour, a set of links to additional resources, and, most interestingly, a few examples of putting Automator to use.

One of these, Automate Podcast Preparation, really eases the workload for those interested in creating their own podcasts. Note that this is not a tutorial on how to create a podcast; the assumption is that you've already read Apple's tutorial on how to do just that using GarageBand. But once a podcast has been created, how do you take your podcast and get it ready for distribution? That's where the Automator action comes into play. Now, I'm not a huge podcast fan (understatement?), but I am quite interested in Automator, and this action really shows how you can do a bunch of relatively complex things with it, without too much work. Sal walks you through each step of the action, explaining the settings required for each step, which really helps with the learning curve.

Note that this particular action requires a special set of actions for podcasting (downloadable from the site), 'Enable access for assistive devices' must be enabled in the Universal Access system preferences panel, and you'll need QuickTime Pro to export to MPEG audio.
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