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A workaround to sync video podcasts on iPhone 1.0 iOS devices
If your daily downloads of podcasts fits on your iPhone, you don't need this tip. For a 1.0 release, the iPhone has a lot of features and may very well be "the best iPod ever," but it's still missing some functionality that existing iPods have.

One major oversight is the lack of video playlists. On an iPod with video, you can create a playlist to hold recent podcasts, and it will contain both audio and video podcasts you have downloaded. They will all sync to the iPod just fine, and if you go in to Music » Playlists to access those playlists, the iPod will play the audio of all files inside. Allowing "video" files to show up in the audio-only playlist may be a bug, but this "feature" allows you to listen to audio of videos you have without needing to power up the screen (for when you might want to just listen to a vidcast or TV show audio). The bonus is that you can also go in to Videos » Playlist, and then the list will play audio files, but switch on the video when it his a video file.

That might be a useful tip on its own, but on the iPhone, this does not work. On the iPhone, you get a Playlists section, but it contains only audio files. Thus, if you have a playlist called Recent Podcasts that contains both audio and video files on iTunes, it syncs fine and works on an iPod with video, but it will only sync the audio files on an iPhone. (This may be a bug fix or feature removal, depending on how you see it.)

Even if the playlist contained tons of vidcasts, they won't sync to the iPhone automatically. You have to specifically enable those podcasts using the rules of the Podcast tab of iTunes when connected to the iPhone, which is rather limited. (ie, "all unplayed," "recent of specific podcasts," and so on). So if you have the Leo Laporte podcast (which can generate six or more podcasts in a day), using "3 most recent" will miss some of those, and give you extras of monthly/weekly podcasts (which your iPhone may not have room for).

So, for now, there is a simple workaround to get vidcasts in a playlist to appear on the iPhone without messing with the podcast selection.

When syncing to the iPhone, there is a checkbox in the Music tab of iTunes that says "Including music videos." By having that set, the iPhone will also sync files of video type "Music video." They won't show up in the Music playlists, but will appear in their own section inside the Videos section of the iPhone. The workaround is this: Toggle the video type of vidcasts you can sync based on playlist to "Music video." That's all. What I do: I created a smart playlist called Recent Vidcasts, which looks something like this:
  • Match (all) of the following rules:
    • (Podcast) (is true)
    • (Kind) (does not contain) ("audio")
    • (Date Added) (is in the last) ("4") (days)
This creates a list of all the podcasts that aren't audio from the last four days. Warning: If you have podcasts that sometimes attach PDF files, they will show up here, too -- so someone may want to come up with a smarter way to do this via smart playlists). Now that I have a collection of just the Podcasts that aren't audio, I can use Get Info on each, and manually set the video type to "Music Video." Then they will sync to the iPhone without specifically modifying the Podcast list.

Or, even better, I use a script to do this for me -- it just goes through my Recent Vidcasts and toggles them, then I sync. I will provide the script later (it's based on another tip here and I want to get their permission first). So, your challenge: find me/us a better way!
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A workaround to sync video podcasts on iPhone 1.0
Authored by: allenhuffman on Jul 16, '07 03:22:00PM

Addendum: Marking video podcasts as Music Video allows them to sync by checking that box in the Music tab of iTunes/iPhone, or they can be tagged as a TV Show (if you set them all correctly) and they show up that way.

I will submit a script to do this shortly -- a tip posted by Bill Aylward was used as the basis of my modifications, and he's taken a quick look at my changes and given some feedback. I should have it soon.

-- OS-9 Al

[ Reply to This | # ]
A workaround to sync video podcasts on iPhone 1.0
Authored by: allenhuffman on Jul 21, '07 01:03:18PM

Here is the modified script I am using -- it has worked well for the past week, but causes these "podcast" files to appear in other places when you sync to an iPod with video.

Save this file to your Library/iTunes/Scripts folder.

File: iPhoneVidcastToggle.scpt

Script to make podcasts load onto iPod shuffle.
Works by deselecting "Skip when Shuffling" option for all tracks in smart playlist

© G W Aylward 2007

2007-07-10 allenh - modified to toggle "Show" field for video podcasts and iPhone
2007-07-21 allenh - toggles items ins specified playlist to be "music video".
This will allow them to be synced to an iPhone if they show up in a
playlist. (Normally, video items found in a playlist are NOT synced
to the iPhone UNLESS they also are checked off in the Podcase or Video
section; i.e. you manually have to specify that they sync, and you
cannot just use a smart playlist for it. Hopefully there will be a
true "video playlist" option in an iPhone software update, but until
now this is a usable workaround.

tell application "iTunes"

-- Find smart play list called "Latest Podcasts"
set podcastName to "Recent Vidcasts"
set noPlaylist to true

set smartPlaylists to (get every user playlist whose smart is true and special kind is none)
repeat with thisPlaylist in smartPlaylists
if name of thisPlaylist is podcastName then
set noPlaylist to false

-- Set every track to shuffleable
set allTracks to every track of thisPlaylist
repeat with this_track in allTracks
set video kind of this_track to music video
-- set video kind of this_track to TV show
-- set show of this_track to "Vidcast"
on error
display dialog "A vidcast could not be set"
end try
end repeat

display dialog podcastName & " is now ready for autofill"

end if
end repeat

if noPlaylist then
display dialog "No smart playlist called '" & podcastName & "' found"
end if

end tell

If you load it in the Script Editor, you can reformat it to make it look prettier.

-- OS-9 Al

[ Reply to This | # ]
A workaround to sync video podcasts on iPhone 1.0
Authored by: avocade on Dec 24, '07 08:04:22AM

Or download the "Set Video Kind of Selected" script from Doug's Apple Scripts.

Sanity is statistical

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