Ed Cashin <ecashin at noserose dot net>

NOTE: iTunes has gotten smarter since localcast version 0.13 was released, and I don't use localcast on my Mac anymore. It's still an interesting alternative to bashpodder, though.

Download localcast v0.13

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This software is designed for Mac users who want to be able to resume podcast downloads after an error or unexpected sleep. It can also be used without iTunes on Linux and other systems with wget as an alternative to bashpodder.

By itself, iTunes cannot continue interrupted downloads without restarting them from the beginning, even if the download was almost complete before the interruption. The localcast software can resume interrupted downloads and make the content available to iTunes when the downloads are complete.

The localcast system depends on Mac OS X personal web sharing being active. You can activate it under "sharing" in the system preferences. It also depends on wget being installed.

The localcast system is loosely based on bashpodder, with ideas from "Re-Add Selected Tracks as Podcast" for iTunes written by Doug Adams.

Why localcast?

The motivation is that when I get ready for my commute, I download french podcasts that have aired while I slept, but if iTunes has any trouble, by the time I'm ready to sync my iPod, it's too late---Re-starting the download begins from byte zero. The wget tool is much smarter than iTunes in this respect. The problem is that iTunes can't use an external download program directly.

The localcast system creates a local "child podcast" based on the remote "parent podcast," modifying the XML file describing the podcast so that all of the audio files appear locally, and when iTunes subscribes to this "localized" child podcast, it downloads the audio files from the self-same machine where iTunes is running. These audio files were downloaded previously using the more powerful wget tool.

Using bashpodder all by itself didn't give me a way to integrate with iTunes. The "add podcasts to iTunes" mod to bashpodder looks like it might work with an older version of iTunes than the one I use. Even after modifying the applescript enough to run without errors, the added episodes did not appear as podcasts.

Using localcast

Although localcast can be used as a nice alternative to bashpodder on POSIX systems (including Linux) and can be used without iTunes, it is especially convenient on the Mac in conjunction with iTunes.

Mac OS X web sharing is used to allow iTunes to subscribe to a local podcast that localcast creates based on the remote podcast. Every morning in a terminal window on my MacBook I run a command like "~/localcast-0.7/update-all", and the new podcasts appear in iTunes. If there's a problem, I just re-run the command and none of the previously downloaded data has to be re-downloaded from the web. Please see the README file for details.

There is a mailing list for localcast:
Google Groups
Subscribe to Localcast
Visit this group
The mailing list address is localcast at googlegroups dot com. The list is low traffic, so please participate if you are interested in localcast.