Tips for better Radioshift-ing

by Gordon Meyer

I've previously written about how I use Radioshift as part of my home automation setup. However, in the last week or so I've been using it as a desktop application, as it's intended, instead.

And frankly, it's driving me crazy. I'm continually running into two problems:

First, the show streams from KGO-AM are seriously messed up. Without exception, about half-way through the recording, the first 10 minutes of the show repeats. Sometimes this happens more than once. After the repeated segment, the show picks up where it was before the flashback. It's frustrating, and I've reported the problem to Radiotime (the provider of the streams), but it is exacerbated by Radioshift's interface.

Which is the second problem. Although Radioshift is sometimes described at "TiVo for radio," it really doesn't offer many playback controls at all. There's no "resume playback" feature, so if you stop listening to a show, you can't get back to where you left off. Not only does Radioshift not remember your stopping point, it does not offer any controls for navigating the recording. No rewind. No fast-foward.

Dock.jpgBut there's an easy workaround that you can use until Rogue Amobea addresses this oversight. Specify QuickTime Player as your "audio editor" in Radioshift's preferences. Then, when you want to listen to a show, click "Edit Audio" to automatically open the recording in QuickTime Player.

This works exceptionally well because QuickTime Player, even without buying QuickTime Pro, provides almost all the playback controls that Radioshift lacks. My favorite is that the fast-forward button, if held down while the audio is playing, allows you to skim ahead and easily skip over commercials.

If you do have QuickTime Pro, you can use the AV Controls to speed up the playback of talk shows. Simply open the AV Controls window, then adjust the Playback Speed setting. I use about 1.5X faster. Then, adjust the Pitch Shift slider until the voices sound normal again. It's really quite amazing and a great time saver.

qt_avcontrols.jpg

Finally, don't forget that you can also skip to points in the recording by dragging the playhead. If you want to temporarily mark a point in the recording for later review, use the "I" and "O" keys during playback to set selection markers in the QT window (QT Pro required).

I hope these tips help you get more out of Radioshift. If you have one of your own to share, please leave a comment.

7 Comments

mdmunoz
2007-11-10 12:27:10
"Although Radioshift is sometimes described at 'TiVo for radio,' it really doesn’t offer many playback controls at all."


The creators never called it "TiVo for radio." It was the echo-chamber blogosphere that did that. You can't really blame a company for lazy link-bloggers that don't bother to actually use their products, now can you?

Gordon Meyer
2007-11-10 12:44:30
That's true, the "TiVo" tag was applied by others, not the publishers. But it's a good measuring rod for any product that purports to "shift" time and media. Thanks for your comment!
Bill Moore
2007-11-10 19:51:43
Thanks for the RadioTime mention, the KGO stream repeating after 10 minutes is weird. We can work with you to isolate why.
Frank
2007-11-15 10:06:10
Sorry to post this here but I wasn't sure where else to post it. Have all the mac dev center bloggers gone on vacation? There have only been four posts for the entire month of November...


Frank

Mark Simpson
2007-11-30 05:28:33
I too have experienced the repeated playback syndrone. I listen to KTCK in Dallas, with wiretap pro. The streaming app requires flip4mac. If my internet connection is weak and the stream can't buffer, i will see the slider move back to the beginning and start over. The latest flip4mac helped a bit, but it still depends on reliability of connection.
After recording with WTP, i then import into iTunes and transfer to my iPod where i skim over the commercials with the scroll wheel. Works just fine.
zorka
2007-12-03 05:06:46
Thanks for your comments. I too have had fits with this software. Perhaps I purchased it too quickly. I am a big fan of BBC Radio and the first issue is that the Radio Guide is wrong in trying to record the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. Instead it records BBC Radio 5's Breakfast program. Secondly, if I try to override it by creating my own link, it never records and tells me I don't have the player installed. I have them all except Radio Shark. There is no online forum, the manual is very little help. I sent my note to Radio Guide about the incorrect link, but since I cannot fix it myself, I doubt it will get done anytime soon.


What I have is essentially a piece of software that won't even hold the door open.


Have any new tips appeared anywhere?

Gordon Meyer
2008-08-04 12:36:14
Just an addendum to my own post. I've heard from several readers who are frustrated with Radioshift because if the source file is in Windows Media format, the recording is often ruined by looping segments of audio. (As noted earlier in this comment thread.) I'm experiencing this too, sadly. Rogue Amoeba tech support says it is a bug in Flip4Mac and that's that. So, if your favorite radio stations stream in WMV format, there's no point in using RadioShift.