Monday, August 30, 2010

Heads-up for 30 August 2010

Ideas (CBC)
The Morbid Age
In Britain, the time between World Wars 1 and 2 was filled with anxiety and fear. Many thinkers thought civilization was facing a terminal crisis. Historian Richard Overy chronicles those anxious years.
(review, feed)

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
Show 35 - Death Throes of the Republic II
Disaster threatens the Republic, but the cure might be worse than the disease. "The Dan Carlin version" of this story continues with ambition-addict Marius dominating the story and Plutarch dominating the sources.
(review, feed)

Daniel Pink on Drive, Motivation, and Incentives: Daniel Pink, author of Drive, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about drive, motivation, compensation, and incentives. Pink discusses the implications of using monetary rewards as compensation in business and in education. Much of the conversation focuses on the research underlying the book, Drive, research from behavioral psychology that challenges traditional claims by economists on the power of monetary and other types of incentive. The last part of the conversation turns toward education and the role of incentives in motivating or demotivating students.
(review, feed)

Problem with iPod: remove iTunesU files

UPDATED with two more methods - see below (including the BEST method so far)
ADDITIONAL: In iTunes 11 the problem is resolved - How to delete iTunesU files from iPod
If you are using an iPod to listen to iTunesU content you must have already run into this problem. iPod does not handle iTunesU files very well. They are not handily organized and if you want to remove those files after use, you will have a very hard time doing so.

The problem started when iTunes no longer stuck iTunesU files in the podcast rubric and created an independent iTunesU folder for this category. It was forgotten to have an iTunesU folder on the iPod as well. As of that moment you would go look for your iTunesU files on the PC in the iTunesU folder and on your iPod in the Music folder. For playing this might be a bit bothersome, but not ultimately problematic, especially if you use playlist. However, for deleting files, you have to connect the iPod to the PC and use the PC interface to access the iPod. Here is the catch.

Since iPod has no iTunesU folder and iTunes on the PC does not take iTunesU files to be Music files, they simply are nowhere to be found. In case you have put the files on a playlist, they are seen there, but that is not where they sit. Or, in other words, if you delete the files from the playlist, they simply are no longer listed, but they still reside on the iPod. They take up space, but you can no longer find them. As a consequence, over time, your iPod will become clogged with redundant iTunesU files.

Until iTunes fixes this, there is no easy solution to the problem. But there are a few workarounds I have applied with success, although they all have their own drawbacks.

1. Recategorize to Music
Keep your iTunesU files on a playlist. Select them by right-click and choose 'Get Info'. This will open up a set of tabs which contain the definitions for the selected file (multi-selection is allowed). Go to the 'Options' tab and change the category from iTunesU to Music. Save the change and now the files show up in the Music folder in the PC interface. Now you can select and delete the files.

In case you have iTunesU files that are no longer on a playlist, you can use your iPod to stick them back there. Disconnect the iPod from the PC, find the files on iPod in Music and give them a long click with the wheel center. You will be offered to option to add the files to the 'On-The-Go'-list. Agree to put the files on that list and then connect to PC again. The 'On-The-Go'-list appears in the PC interface and from here you can select the files and change their category to Music.

- Some iTunesU files cannot have their category changed - they remain hidden and therefore cannot be deleted.
- iTunesU videos cannot be changed to music. They can be changed to Podcast or Video, but they still will not show up in the PC interface under these folders - they remain hidden and therefore cannot be deleted.

2. Use the file system to access iPod
In stead of addressing the iPod through iTunes, connect the iPod to the PC and browse to it through the file system. Find the removable drive that is your iPod. It sits, for example under E: and then browse through to E:\iPod_Control\Music. Note that this is a hidden folder, so you will have to set your file browsing to show hidden folders. E:\iPod_Control\Music will have a number of subfolders, each containing music files with encrypted names. The trick is to read around the encryption and identify exactly which file is which and then delete the iTunesU files you want to.

- This is difficult. You have to know what you are doing and be able to identify the files. In addition, this is a long and bothersome process.
- Your iPod will soon afterwards require a 'soft' reset as its datafile system has gone mildly corrupted. You have deleted files without the interference of iTunes and so -I guess- some of the indexes have gone wrong. Only after the reset the clogged memory will have been released. There may be some data loss though - I had to redo the synching of my iPod with regards to pictures.
Bottom-line: do not do this unless you have to, you know what you are doing and you can handle the system hick-ups that follow.

3. Hard reset
Restore your iPod to factory settings.

- Not only do you lose your iTunesU files, you lose all the others as well
- You also lose customized settings to the iPod
Bottom-line: this method is clean and effective, but it takes some work afterwards in order to shape your iPod menus and settings back to where you like them and put back all the files you want on the pod.

Do any of you know other ways to tackle this problem? Please let us know.

For me, the conclusion is clear this is a major flaw in iTunes. I have seen quite a number of complaints about this in the Apple user forums, but the developers have yet to respond. So I guess it may take some time for an iTunes update that will solve it. Until then: use iTunesU as little as possible; try to subscribe to its content as Podcast if you can. If not, carefully apply the above methods. Good luck.

I have now learned of a 4th method: synchronizing iTunesU
Here is the 5th method (the best one in my opinion): Subscribe to iTunesU feeds as Podcast

Reported podcasts Summer 2010 - Anne is a Man


I ran into your review site tonight. Very impressive and insightful reviews.

We have an ongoing sociology podcast that we would love to get your feedback sometime. We've been going for about a year and a half and have close to 50 episodes. We discuss recent research done by sociologists and social scientists more broadly and interview researchers who we think are doing interesting work. Our goal is to make sociology accessible and interesting for the broader public.

We're located in the society pages domain and the podcast is called office hours

Hi Anne,

My name is Liam O'Brien and just thought I'd touch base given your interest in all things podcast - I'm over radio documentaries in RTE - Ireland's public service broadcaster - we podcast and broadcast new radio docs every week. All our documentaries are radio stories about real life.

I'm just pointing you in our direction with a view to perhaps being featured within your blogspot?

We podcast at least twice weekly and have a huge variety available of docs available - we currently have over 450 radio documentaries for podcast/listen online and all with no charge - all our material is made available for free as we're a public service broadcaster.
All podcasts are available from our homepage , through our itunes store or via our own dedicated iphone app (which is also free). We podcast 1 new full length doc each week (c. 38mins) and 1 new short documentary (c. 11mins) from our sister series 'The Curious Ear'. In addition, we regularly upload extra podcasts as we trawl through the best of our docs from the archives (we're going since 1987)

We've won countless national and international awards over the years (27 in the last 2 yrs alone), the biggest of which was winning the Prix Europa last year - the biggest radio documentary competition in the world. We were also awarded a Gold Medal at this year's Irish Digital Media Awards for 'Best in Podcasting'.
I know awards only really matter in the 'corporate' world and mean little to the listener/user - it's just to give you an idea of our standards etc

So, if you think you might be interested in featuring us in anyway and/or if you've some questions, please don't hesitate to ask and I'll get back to you asap. All our relevant links are included below.

All the best and thanks a million,


Liam O'Brien,
Series Producer - Documentary on One,
RTÉ Radio 1,


DysfunctionalParrot said...

I guess I'll take a stab at self promotion. In all fairness, I'm somewhat of an upstart production and not really well known...yet!

The podcast covers news,politics,religion and comes from the angle of a cynical, pragmatic Christian worldview.

I'm just looking for some honest feedback.


Hello Anne

My name is Devyn, and i would like to submit an amazing local podcast, that i love, for review.
It is a cast made of a table of "Misfits" all attending UT dallas in different degree programs.
They discuss topics from the news, to life, all the way to answering "letters," and giving advice to listeners.

Each of them have a different view on almost everything, and it helps that they all are funny.
It is a interesting, hilarious, great podcast that i think many would enjoy.

i hope you enjoy. I sure do



I'd like to point your attention towards our podcast, The Chronic Rift, a weekly podcast on news, reviews, interviews, and discussion of pop culture. The show is based on our popular New York public access show of the nineties. Our show is broken down into three types of programs, In Review, Spotlight, and Roundtable with a heavy emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic art. The In Review episode (once a month) features reviews and discussion of various aspects of pop culture. Our Spotlight episodes (twice a month) features interviews and special events (such as Roundtable Awards and Match Game episodes). Our Roundtable episode (once a month) takes one aspect of pop culture where we discuss it with a fan and a professional. We recently began an after show program called The Post-Mortem After Party in which our hosts and any guests continue their conversations and quite often take up new topics. You can only download these episodes (two so far) on the home page.

We are quickly approaching our 100th episode and would love to hear your thoughts on the program.

You can find the iTunes feed here -

Or you can access episodes on our Mevio site -

You can learn more about the show by visiting our home page -

My thanks, in advance, for your time and consideration on the matter.

John S. Drew

Hi Anne!
I like very much a radio program which is also available as a podcast. It is a program called "La Venganza Será Terrible" by Argentinian Alejandro Dolina. He has normally 3 segments. The one I like tells stories about history, in a humorous tone, ranging from Voltaire to BlackBeard and what not. I think the content is amazing, someone should take the trouble to translate it. (feed)

Sergio Fogel

Hey Anne;
My name is Laura May and I'm from Craigsville in Cyberspace.

I have a very sexy, funny, dirty podcast and I would like to invite you to listen to it.

I was a featured podcaster on iTunes for a month and created a bit of a buzz there.

You can find my podcast on my website or -

***Please listen to the introduction then SKIP right to episode #9-15***

Hope you'll enjoy it.
Have an Awesome Weekend!