Vista DOES HAVE Podcasting! (but it’s a bit ugly). The RSS screen saver is built in too..

Regular readers (if I have any) will know that RSS is one of my interests. So I noticed Robert Scoble’s post “Windows Media 11’s lack of Podcasting gets noticed” which in turn followed up a post on Geek News Central

For background:

  • Podcasts are just RSS feeds with Enclosures.

  • Internet Explorer handles finding and downloading RSS feeds including Podcasts

  • Applications – certainly Microsoft ones – should use the IE service and NOT implement their own RSS

  • To look at Windows Media Player, it appears that the Windows media Team have never heard of podcasts.

So how do you get a Podcast into WMP 11 ?

  1. In Internet Explorer 7: Find and subscribe to your podcast..

  2. Still in IE, click the "Favourites Center" (Gold star) button, select "feeds", and right click your podcast feed and choose "properties"

  3. In the feed properties make sure the “Automatically download attached files” option is checked. If have to check it you may also need to refresh the feed at this point. You may also want to limit the number of stored files.

  4. Click the “View files” button, a file explorer window will open. Copy the path from the file explorer

  5. In Media player, click “Library”, the “add to Library”. Press “Add” and paste the path you just copied. Hey presto. Media player now has your podcast

If your feed is pictures then you can choose the photos screen saver and paste the path in there too.

By the way, this 5 line VBS script is all that is needed to get a list of feeds and their folders.

Dim rssMgr
Set rssMgr = CreateObject("microsoft.FeedsManager")
For Each rssfeed In rssMgr.RootFolder.Feeds
   If rssfeed.DownloadEnclosuresAutomatically then _
      wscript.echo rssfeed.Name & "is stored in " & rssfeed.LocalEnclosurePath

MEDIA TEAM IF YOU’RE READING. There is no excuse for not putting this into Media player directly. Let's see it in there before RTM eh ?

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    VBScript: IE7 を用いて RSS Feed の相対パス、名前、入手元を列記する

  2. Anonymous says:

    So, the feeling is that Microsoft’s lack of

    action will slow Podcasting Growth.

    James O’Neill has…

  3. Todd Cochrane says:

    Is this a joke? I am a geek I understand everything you just explained but try telling that to someone who is not a geek. They are gonna say forget it.

    Integration aka complete intergration is the only way that Microsoft is gonna save face on this one.

    What you have described is a hack and playlist and players will not get updated in the dark of night with that hack. Podcasting is being able to dock your mp3 player before you go to bed and then undock it in the morning and have it full of new content. I dont want to do 20 steps to get the content on the player.

    Apple got it right. I plug in my iPod walk away and the next morning it is full of new content. 1 click subscription and im done.

    That sort of inergration and nothing less is what needs to happen.

  4. James ONeill says:

    Not a joke. All the hooks are there, this is a beta product, and betas sometimes NEED hacks to get them to do the job properly. That’s not acceptable in a released product.

    I said "there is no excuse for not putting it into Media player directly": once normal users are using it it, a hack just won’t do.

    It looks for all the world like the WMP team doesn’t get podcasting and, as you demonstrate, people will extrapolate from them to the whole of Microsoft.

    I can think of several ways they can improve device handling too. However you’d expect apple to be more device centric, wouldn’t you ?

  5. Dan Wissa says:

    Maybe Todd Cochrane can enlighten us all further by explaining the intricacies of "inergration".

  6. Steven Youell says:

    I see only two possible options:

    Todd Cochrane doesn’t understand the purpose of a beta release and therefore isn’t really qualified to comment.


    Todd Cochrane is pretending he doesn’t understand the purpose of a beta release in order to satisfy some sort of personal agenda.

    Either way I won’t be logging onto his site anytime soon.


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