How to create enhanced audio podcast episodes featuring images and chapters (How the itunes:image tag really works)

Since I released the latest version of Podcast Generator (which includes the support for embedded images for individual¬†podcast episodes), ¬†one of the most recurring questions has been why iTunes and the iOS Podcast app don’t show the artwork associated to single audio episodes yet keep displaying the main podcast artwork/cover art.

Apple’s technical specifications for podcasts¬†state that the¬†iTunes-specific tag¬†<itunes:image> allows to associate a cover art to the podcast feed but also¬†at the episode¬†level.¬†However, this information is currently not fully implemented by Apple since¬†it works only for the general podcast cover art, but not for single episodes, i.e. if an image is specified using the tag¬†<itunes:image> for a single episode (<item>), this is simply ignored by iTunes and the iOS podcast app, which keep displaying the general cover art.

To the best of my knowledge, the only way to show artwork (one or more images) associated to a single podcast episode is to use¬†GarageBand¬†for Mac¬†and create an “enhanced podcast”.

To do so, simply import your audio files using GarageBand (optionally, you can edit them by adding jingles or sound FX etc.) and directly drag an image on top of the audio track. This will result in the creation of a Podcast chapter that can be moved along the timeline to be shown at a specific point during the reproduction of the audio file. This operation can be repeated to create more chapters for the same episode, each of which will consists of its own image and title:Creation of enhanced audio podcast with chapters using Garage Band

 

Once the enhanced audio podcast is ready, it is possible to export it by selecting Share -> Export Podcast to Disk:

Export audio podcast with chapters and images to disk

 

The enhanced episode must be compressed using the AAC Encoder (which will produce an .m4a audio file).¬†Be sure also to select the option “Set artwork to recommended size for podcasts when exporting”:Export podcast file from GarageBand including artwork and chapters

 

et voilà! You will obtain an enhanced audio podcast episode!

This is the result in the Podcast app for iOS (iPhone):

Enhanced audio episode in iOS podcast app

 

You can download our example enhanced audio podcast episode (embedding 3 different images and chapters)and try it yourself. To do so, feel free to use the demo of Podcast Generator: there you can upload test files and play without limitations. Once you have uploaded your test file, subscribe to the demo feed using the podcast app for iOS and see the result :)

Do you need help to publish your podcast? Check out¬†my web-application called Podcast Generator. It’s free, open source and very intuitive to use. Many hosting and NAS services worldwide offer Podcast Generator¬†as a preinstalled package in their control panel so no effort is required for the installation.

Happy Podcasting!

This post also appeared on LinkedIN.

Esercizi sui fogli di calcolo: Openoffice Calc ed Excel


Tempo fa avevo confezionato una serie di esercizi progressivi sui fogli di calcolo (Openoffice Calc ed Excel) per la preparazione all’esame di informatica degli studenti dell’Universit√† di Bergamo.

Ho deciso di metterli a disposizione di tutti coloro che desiderino migliorare le proprie conoscenze sui fogli di calcolo.

E’ possibile scaricare liberamente tali esercizi in versione Openoffice Calc oppure in versione Excel (esportata dall’originale in Openoffice): il file contiene tutti gli esercizi in ordine progressivo, comprensivi di suggerimenti, unitamente alle soluzioni finali in un foglio separato, che serviranno a verificare i propri risultati.

Il materiale qui distribuito è rilasciato attraverso una licenza Creative Commons By-Nc-Nd, e secondo tali criteri va utilizzato.

Di seguto una lista delle tematiche trattate:

  • operazioni aritmetiche elementari
  • somme e calcolo dei totali
  • calcolo della media e dei valori massimi e minimi
  • operatori di confronto
  • operazioni su celle ed aree contigue o non contigue
  • ordinamento dati e creazione di grafici
  • calcolo percentuali
  • calcolo percentuali e proporzionalit√†
  • funzioni, arrotondamenti decimali e grafici
  • gestione ed elaborazione dei dati
  • gestione bilancio
  • utilizzo riferimenti assoluti
  • moltiplicazioni, riferimenti relativi e assoluti
  • formule, proporzionalit√†, percentuali e riferimenti assoluti

Scarica gli esercizi:

Puoi scaricare Openoffice.org, suite d’ufficio libera e gratuita (comprendente foglio di calcolo, programma di videoscrittura, presentazioni etc…) all’indirizzo http://www.openoffice.org.


Super simple Text to MD5 Converter

Text to MD5 converterYep, I know, there are tons of web-based MD5 encryption tools out there, however some of them store the associations between strings and their hashes into a database that allows eventually to “decrypt” in real time (no bruteforce) any string previously entered…

For this reason, I decided to dedicate one minute in writing “yet another text to md5 converter“, which I can use in my own server!

Nothing special, just a few lines of PHP code, ut prosim!

<?php
echo '
<h1>Text2MD5 super simple converter</h1>
<p>Type a word or a sentence below:</p>
<form method="get">
 <input name="string" type="text" id="string" />    
 <input type="submit" value="Convert to MD5" />
</form>';

if (isset($_GET['string'])) {    
$str = $_GET['string'];
echo '<p>The MD5 hash of <strong>'.$str.'
</strong> corresponds to:<br /><strong>'.md5($str).'
</strong></p>';
}
?>

Download md5-convert.phpTry it online