Catching loose MP3s with Greasemonkey and

You encounter a link to an MP3 file but it takes ages to download before you can even start to listen. You probably even haven’t got the time to sit down and listen right now, so you’d want to save it on your MP3 player without too much hassle – the way you do with MP3s in a podcast. Recognize the situation? If so, here’s my MP3 lifehack for you:

(The quality of the above screencast might depend on your bandwidth. All links mentioned are in the following text as well.)

  1. Get Greasemonkey.
    If you haven’t heard of this Firefox extension (or still don’t see why you’d even need to switch to Firefox!) check out a previous posting on Greasemonkey
  2. Install the MP3 userscript.
    Like lots of userscripts, this is a “Greasemonkification” of an already existing javascript, in this case the “ Playtagger“, that lets webmasters insert an inline Flash player automatically for every linked MP3 url: Playtagger
  3. The result: on any webpage with linked MP3 links, the power of Greasemonkey makes the inline player appear, exactly like in the playtagger examples. Now you can listen to the audio right away, and decide whether you want to have it on your MP3 player for off-line listening. If so, click the “tag this” button and save the MP3 link to like you would do with any other link – use e.g. the tag “tolisten” as a reminder (analogous to the often-used tags “toread” or “toprint” in :-) ).
  4. Now filter your account with the “magic” tag “system:filetype:mp3”: filtered with mp3 system tag
    Not only you have the list of all your mp3 files, the corresponding rss link<username>/system:filetype:mp3 under the icon will be a full-fledged podcast (= with mp3 enclosures) you can feed to your podcatcher (=podcasting client).
    You do not need to assign this “system” tag yourself in order to be able to filter on it – infers them from the file extension – did you know has similar tags for video, images and documents as well?
  5. By refining your selection with your own tags (such as “tolisten”, or “jazz”, or “interview”, whatever), you create your own shareable playlists.

Update October 23d:

  • Jon Udell’s referral to the screencast reminded me of another trick to collect a series of loose MP3 links on a page in one swoop: see Jon’s screencast on how to use the Webjay page (and bookmarklet) for this
  • I replaced the self-hosted flv video file with a version hosted by Revver. I have been comparing video sharing sites to host screencasts, and I’ll post my evaluations soon.
    [tags], mp3, podcasting, greasemonkey, lifehack, audio, screencast, syndication, inlineflashplayer, playtagger, inline+flash+player[/tags]

9 Responses to “Catching loose MP3s with Greasemonkey and”

  1. Screencasting: online video sharing sites compared (1) Says:

    […] A screencast (a video capture of your screen) is a powerful way of explaining how to use an application, or perform a task – just by showing it. Apart from the difficulty of recording a screencast (and editing it into something presentable), there’s the issue of hosting the files. Over the past month, I’ve been experimenting with my mp3 screencast on several video sharing sites. In a following post, I’ll list all of the services I tried I and their evaluation. I found two services to be great, two almost OK, and 10 others not fit for the task… Here’s how I proceeded: […]

  2. Loose MP3s - So Good, I Did a Remake — And He Blogs Archive Says:

    […] Many thanks go out to Pascal van Hecke and Jon Udell for pointing out a great technique for creating a “personal podcast” using, Firefox, and Greasemonkey. When I saw Pascal’s screencast, I was blown away. I decided to add some details, and try to document the process from start to finish. I then did a full-blown production within Camtasia Studio. If nothing else, I hope this screencast serves as an homage to Pascal’s work in documenting this technique. […]

  3. testing . . . testing » links for 2006-10-28 Says:

    […] Catching Loose MP3s With Greasemonkey and Delicious (tags: greasemonkey mp3 podcast screencast) […]

  4. nickythegreek Says:

    this doesnt work on google reader though. To be able to parse my music blogs with an inline mp3 reader would be super sexy.

  5. Jnbn Says:

    Thanks a lot… This’d be very nice..

  6. Stijn Says:

    That’s one script I didn’t have yet. Thanks.

  7. aurélien Says:

    thanks for the tips !!! very useful to make a podcast :) in one click

  8. Presentations for the Future of Web Apps - hAudio microformatted Says:

    […] to the mp3 files, but there’s no structured way to subscribe to the audio – so I went on collecting the mp3 links into a podcast using with this annotated list and corresponding RSS-feed with enclosures as a result. Now there must be […]

  9. Creating a “personal curriculum” podcast with « Slapdash Kills Says:

    […] to listen to on to my iPod. While researching the Jon Udell link, I found someone else was here long before me too. Though we came up with different refinements, we both used the same […]