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How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry Apps
Recently, I found a link to a website offering classic novels (Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, H.G. Well's Invisible Man, etc.) as podcasts through iTunes. The problem is, I have my podcasts set to only sync unplayed episodes to my iPod, so I wouldn't be able to listen to the books (they are split into chapters) whenever I want without some trouble.

I then tried several ways to get the episodes to show up in iTunes' Music sub-library instead of the Podcasts sub-library. I eventually accomplished this using these steps:
  1. Copy the files out of their normal directory. (Your desktop is a good place, as this is temporary.)
  2. Delete the podcasts -- don't just unsubscribe. When iTunes asks, tell it to move the files to the Trash.
  3. Go into iTunes 7's Parental Controls and disable Podcasts. (If you don't do this, they will reappear in the Podcast sub-library.)
  4. Add the files back into iTunes with the normal method (command-O).
  5. iTunes will realize that you are adding podcasts, and will ask if you want to turn them back on. Say no. iTunes will continue adding the files; they simply won't be podcasts.
Note: I did this separately with two "albums." The first one worked the same way as outlined here. The second one added itself back to the Podcast directory. A conversion from MP3 to AAC (which I was planning to do anyway) worked to finish the job. I also changed the genre of the tracks from Podcast to Books & Spoken -- I don't know if that made a difference.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, and I'm not sure if there's an easier way to do this or not.]
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How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: dan55304 on Dec 06, '06 07:42:03AM

Hey, where's the web site. I want them too ;-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DougAdams on Dec 06, '06 08:05:19AM
This may not be the best alternative, but you can convert (Advanced/Convert Selection to...) the selected podcast tracks to another format or even the same format at the same bit and sample rate (your feelings about audio quality may come into play here) and they will appear in the Music library. Then you can delete and/or trash the original podcast episodes, if you want. I do this fairly regularly using the Quick Convert AppleScript. Your encoder settings must be set beforehand since bit and sample rates are not 'scriptable.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: synosure on Dec 06, '06 08:34:46AM

Okay, this is definitely the easiest suggestion so far, but I do worry about losing some audio quality. I subscribe to the They Might Be Giants Podcast (as should you all), which is little more than 30 minutes of awesome free music every couple of weeks. Converting mp3 to mp3 has to lose some quality. The iTunes MP3 converter sucks, which is why so many of us use the iTunes-LAME applescript for CD imports. For a 'standard' (aka speech) podcast I wouldn't care, but this is good music...

As for the original post/suggestion, does anyone know whether turning off podcasts in the Preferences (albeit briefly) causes you to lose the 20+ other podcasts that you actually still want to be subscribed to?



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Dec 06, '06 09:34:34AM
The iTunes MP3 converter sucks,


No, actually it's very good. I run the online music store for a somewhat well known, somewhat underground singer, and we use iTunes for some of the conversions (Spark XL is used for the rest), and I've A/B'd them with the original tracks, and I can't hear any difference 99% of the time.

Personally I like the sound of AAC better than MP3, but we post MP3's on the site for compatibility (for the minority of people not using iPods). ;)

---
G4/Digital Audio/1GHz, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.4.8 • www.david-schwab.com

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DougAdams on Dec 06, '06 10:22:15AM
[I truly did not want to introduce this sort of discussion with my post, but...] Correct me if I am wrong: An MP3 is not an audio file, it's a file that contains compressed audio that an MP3 player extracts. Re-converting at the same bit and sample rates should produce no noticable loss of quality. I've always thought of it using the Lawn Mower Analogy: you've already chopped off the tops of the blades of grass; going over the lawn again won't chop any more off; there's nothing to chop off. Try it yourself. Convert an MP3 file in iTunes using the file's bit and sample rates; convert that converted file with same; then convert that converted file...and so on. Hear any difference?

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 06, '06 04:18:04PM

If you used exactly the same MP3 conversion algorithm, this might be true. However, using a different algorithm most likely will chop off other tops of the blades of grass.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: derrickbass on Dec 06, '06 08:32:10PM

Although, in theory, you could write an MP3 compressor that would adhere to the "mowing the grass" analogy, in practice every time you compress an MP3, even with the exact same algorithm, you lose a little more quality. (If you have some time on your hands (or Doug's scripting ability), compress a file over and over 10 or 20 times with iTunes. You'll hear the difference!)

The trouble is that with mowing the grass, there's only one parameter, length, whereas with MP3 compression (or AAC or any other lossy scheme) you're taking raw audio and doing complicated math on it to produce thousands of numbers, then deciding which of those numbers to throw away and which to keep. If you feed the now modified audio back into the compressor, and do the complicated math again, you get a somewhat different set of thousands of numbers, so you'll probably end up throwing some away that you didn't before, and even the ones you keep will be a little different than they were before.

"Lucky" for me, I have a tin ear, so it takes three or four recompressions before I can hear any difference, even if I'm explicitly listening for it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Dec 08, '06 08:30:20AM

Think of JPEG compression. If you re save a JPEG as a JPEG, it will re compress the file, and since it is lossy compression, you will lose data.

MP3's (as well as AAC) are the same way.

---
G4/Digital Audio/1GHz, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.4.8 • www.david-schwab.com



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: graemeaustin on Mar 15, '07 06:06:43AM

The Convert to AAC method worked for me!

No script, no messing, just got a Grinderman podcast track into my library so that the podcast can be deleted once I've had enough of it.

Cheers to everyone - and respect to Douglas Adams as always.

Graeme



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DocMan on Dec 06, '06 08:09:32AM

Wouldn't it be easier to just leave them as podcasts, but create a playlists with the pieces of the audio book and sync that playlist to your iPod?

Even if your iPod is set up to not sync playlists at all, putting podcasts on a playlist and setting the iPod to sync that playlist will load the podcast onto the iPod and keep it there for as long as it is in the playlist.

Doc



[ Reply to This | # ]
Easier way
Authored by: terceiro on Dec 06, '06 08:55:29AM

1. In iTunes, drag podcasts (the audio files themselves, not the folders) into a playlist.
2. In iTunes, on the playlist view, select the playlists to keep and control click. Select "Do Not Auto Delete"
3. There is no step 3.

I do this every day before I leave the house. Since I listen to a number of short podcasts every day while driving, and because I do not like trying to navigate my iPod screen while moving at nearly 80 miles per hour surrounded by nearly two tons of metal, I create a playlist of podcasts. After one podcast ends, the next starts automatically. If I get bored with the one I'm listening to, I can hit the "next" button (without looking down at the iPod) to move onto the next one. Me: safe. Podcasts: much easier.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Easier way
Authored by: dr_turgeon on Dec 06, '06 01:37:24PM

Thanks for this tip!



[ Reply to This | # ]
What about the other way?
Authored by: quentinsf on Dec 06, '06 10:30:35AM

I have some podcasts which pre-date the iTunes podcast support; they came from another app and they just appear as normal audio tracks.

I'd like them to be listed as podcasts in iTunes... but I don't think I can do that.

I guess I'd need to 'attach' them to a feed somehow... perhaps create my own local RSS file which listed them as local file URLs and subscribe to it..

Mmm.



[ Reply to This | # ]
What about the other way?
Authored by: DougAdams on Dec 06, '06 10:55:01AM
Re-Add Selected Tracks as Podcast

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: Yuckandmuck on Dec 06, '06 03:43:41PM
I found a solution for this a while back. I wanted to create separate copies of certain podcasts as regular mp3 files that I could hang onto, yet leave the original podcast files in place and not mess with their auto-delete settings, etc.. I also wanted to be able to do this in one step.

After researching a little, it seemed clear the only difference between a podcast mp3 and a regular mp3 was certain fields in the header. It seemed a waste (at least of time) to use the "Convert selection to..." option, when all I really needed was the mp3's header data fixed. This earlier post turned me on to id3v2 as a means of dealing with the mp3 header information. After installing that and fidding around with the options, I found that the only way to reliably remove the header info that identifies an mp3 as a podcast was to blow away the header entirely using id3v2 -D filename.mp3. I then wrote an AppleScript for iTunes to do the following:

  1. save the header tags and other file settings I wanted to preserve
  2. make a copy (copy.mp3) of the selected podcast mp3 outside of iTunes to work on
  3. blow away the entire mp3 header of the copy using id3v2 -D copy.mp3
  4. add the headerless mp3 back into iTunes
  5. apply the saved header tags & settings to the copy, exept for the genre, which I change from "Podcast" to "xPodcast"
  6. set the new track as bookmarkable
  7. remove the external copy
I've trimmed out my other customizations and the resulting script is below.

Note that I borrowed some ideas from Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes but I can't remember which parts. Thanks for the great site Doug!


try
	tell application "iTunes"
		-- get a list of track references
		set these_tracks to the selection of browser window 1
		if these_tracks is {} then error "No tracks are selected in the front window."
		set these_files to {}
		-- get the file path of each of the selected tracks
		repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_tracks
			set orig_Track to (item i of these_tracks)
			set origFile to location of orig_Track
			tell contents of orig_Track
				set orig_Name to name
				set orig_Album to album
				set orig_Artist to artist
				set orig_Comment to comment
				set orig_Year to year
				set orig_Startpos to start
				set orig_Stoppos to finish
			end tell
			set pfile to quoted form of POSIX path of origFile
			set output_file to "/tmp/copy.mp3"
			
			do shell script ("cp -f " & pfile & " " & output_file)
			do shell script ("/opt/local/bin/id3v2 -D " & output_file & " > /dev/null 2>&1")
			
			set ofile to (POSIX file output_file) as string
			set new_Track to (add ofile)
			
			tell contents of new_Track
				set name to orig_Name
				set album to orig_Album
				set artist to orig_Artist
				set comment to orig_Comment
				set year to orig_Year
				set genre to "xPodcast"
				set start to orig_Startpos
				set finish to orig_Stoppos
				set bookmarkable to true
			end tell
			
			do shell script ("rm " & output_file)
			
		end repeat
	end tell
end try
Compile this in "Script Editor" and save as an application (maybe call it "Convert Podcasts") under [username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/.

Normally I would just save this as a script (*.scpt), but for reasons I haven't been able to figure out (probably an applescript bug), it only works via iTunes' script menu when saved as an app.

Once in place, you can select the podcasts you want to convert, then run "Convert Podcasts" (or whatever you called it) from iTunes' script menu. The copies should show up in the Music section of your iTunes library.

Anyway, this works for me. Hopefully it will be helpful to others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: Yuckandmuck on Dec 06, '06 09:59:34PM
Using id3v2 via my script above, there's no need for lawn mowing whatsoever. That is, there's no converting being done to the audio at all (hence, no potential loss of quality). Only the header info is changed. Yes, there's a little up-front effort involved in installing the id3v2 tool, but it's not all that difficult.

Darwinports is one way to do this. To use darwinports, you need to have Apple's Xcode installed if you don't already. You can then download darwinports from here. The installation may take a few minutes to complete, but once it's done, you can input a few simple Terminal commands to download, build & install id3v2 as described on this page. Once installed, you can access it via the Terminal command line or through scripts such as the one above.

There may be an easier way to install id3v2 or perhaps there's a pre-compiled version out there somewhere. There may also be other tools that can wipe out the mp3 header info (to unmark as a podcast), which could be used instead of id3v2 in my script above.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: DougAdams on Dec 07, '06 06:24:28AM
Excellent. I was never sure if iTunes maintained the "podcastness" of a track in its own database or whether this info was stowed in the file. Results of experiments were ambiguous (copy file of podcast episode to Desktop; delete original track and file; re-add copied file back; it shows up in the Podcast playlist; how'd it do that?).

Anyway, thanks for the trick and the nice words about my site.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

What about the other way?
Authored by: Steve Hoge on Jan 13, '07 04:29:18PM
I've used the excellent AtomicParsley command line tool to manipulate the "podcastness" of AAC (.m4a) files. AtomicParsley operates by editing various tags in MPEG-4 files (sorry, no MP3 support).

After processing the file with AtomicParsley you must (re-)add it to the iTunes library. iTunes will use the track's Album name as the Podcast name, creating a new directory by that name if necessary in the iTunes Music/Podcast folder and placing the file there if you have iTunes Preferences ->Advanced ->General -> "Copy files to iTunes Music Folder when adding to Library" checked.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: artypop on Jan 02, '07 10:15:20PM

Hi,

great script, but I have a strange problem, perhaps anyone can help : it seems (on my computer) to work until it should copy the new file to the library : it does not. So the script correctly add a new entry which is tag xPodcast but the file is nowhere... (if I delete the rm line ("do shell script ("rm " & output_file)") then I can go to /tmp/ and copy the file but it's boring as I need to do one file by one file...

So if anyone can help, I would be really happy !



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: geerolla on Apr 16, '08 10:06:41PM

This works great at converting them to the library, thanks! However I'm not sure if Leopard has broken some of this script, because the rewriting of the ID3 tags doesn't appear to be happening. The conversion does work, however only a blank MP3 (named 'copy' of course) imports into the library. Anything that can fix this?



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 06, '06 04:22:15PM

Now, the playlist solution is probably the easiest. But if you do not want to use playlists for some reason, simply cmd-I the podcast, change type to e.g. Spoken, drag it out off and back into iTunes.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sorry
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 06, '06 04:47:51PM

My just described 'solution' makes the podcast show up in my 'New stuff' smart playlist but it does not get synced to the iPod.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: hypert on Dec 11, '06 11:18:05PM
!WFM

I tried this w/ the Official Lost Podcast (audio) and Tiki Bar (video), and when I dragged them back into iTunes, they still showed up in my Podcasts section.

I've used the id3v2 mentioned above, and that's worked great. But, for another iTunes-only suggestion, try converting the ID3 tags to version 2.2 or lower (from the Advanced menu), and then dragging the file out of and back into iTunes (deleting it from iTunes in between!).

WFM! :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Installing ID3v2
Authored by: djd on Jul 08, '07 11:46:18AM

If anyone out there can offer some reasonable directions to get IDv3 installed it would be much appreciated. I've been fooling around with fink and darwin ports all freaking day and have only managed to get id3lib installed.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to convert a podcast into a normal iTunes entry
Authored by: rebmamber on Oct 06, '09 10:23:22AM

There is a much simpler way than has been discussed here.

1. Select files in podcast.
2. Go to "Get Info"
3. In Options Tab, change Media Kind to Music
(If you want it to no longer skip when shuffling, change that also, same goes for remember playback info)

The podcasts are now in your library. This works for the most recent update of itunes (9), not sure about earlier versions.



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