Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

The Hackett File: Exploring Huffduffer

I, like many of you I imagine, listen to a lot of podcasts. I may go several weeks without seeing a single episode of TV or a movie, but I’m get some podcast listening in almost daily.

Due to my job, I often myself listening to one-off episodes of random shows I am not subscribed to. My iOS podcast client of choice is Overcast, and it makes it fairly easy to download a single episode of a show without subscribing, but Huffduffer makes it even easier.

It’s easy to think about Huffduffer as “Instapaper for Podcasts.” Once you sign up, you gain access to a bookmarklet that you can fire when viewing a podcast episode’s webpage:

Huffduffer
Huffduffer

The bookmarklet will crawl the webpage and load in the title, description, MP3 URL and any tags it finds. Some podcast websites obscure the MP3 URL, so you may to do some digging around to find it, but the bookmarklet window lets you manually add data, which is great.

Once all the data is populated, click the orange button, and that episode will be added to your account.

Here’s where the magic happens. Every Huffduffer account generates its own RSS feed that you can plug directly into your podcast app of choice. This means that everything you add to the service, regardless of its source, shows up in your own personal “Huffduffer” podcast in Overcast, Pocket Casts, etc.

Because Huffduffer just needs an MP3 URL and some metadata, you can use it as a way to get any audio into your podcast player. For example, if you recorded a talk or meeting, you could upload that file to a server somewhere and feed it to the bookmarklet. It’s a great way to sideload audio into a podcast application.

Others online have built tools to get content into Huffduffer. My favorite is named “huffduff-video.” Paste a video link into the free website and after a little bit, the audio from the video will be in your account. I’ve used to this to listen to presentations I’ve found on YouTube several times, and it works quite well.

My only real complaint about Huffduffer is that it is also a social network of sorts. You can search for people, shows and tags, and the service will even show you what other people have added to their accounts. I’d love to have a way to make my account private.

[Stephen Hackett is the author of 512 Pixels and co-founder of Relay FM.]


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