Share podcast episodes from iOS podcatchers directly to Huffduffer

Written by on in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

This articles explains how to share podcast episodes from iOS podcasting apps to Huffduffer using the Workflow app.

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What’s Huffduffer?

Have you ever wanted to put together a podcast of audio files that you’ve discovered on the web? It isn’t as easy as it should be. A podcast is an RSS file and making an RSS feed by hand is a pain.
Huffduffer takes the pain out of podcasting found sounds.
https://huffduffer.com/about

I stumbled upon Huffduffer a few years ago when I wanted to listen to an mp3 of an interview on my iPhone. At the time the way to do that would involve downloading the file to my Mac, adding it to iTunes, syncing it with the iPhone and then listening to the interview using the ‘Music’ app.

With Huffduffer I would simply create an RSS feed that contained my audio files and then subscribe to that RSS feed using one of the many podcasting apps available. That not only got the file on my phone much quicker but it also gave me the comforts of podcasting apps like bookmarking, play speed and a sleep function.

Only later I discovered another great feature of Huffduffer: the community. As soon as the audio file has been added to Huffduffer, everybody else can “huffduff” it or subscribe to your feed. Tags and descriptions add more facets to searches which again can be subscribed to. For example this feed contains all audio files that adactio - the creator of Huffduffer - has tagged with “science fiction”.

These functions make Huffduffer a tool for content curation aimed at audio files. You no longer just subscribe to individual podcast series and listen to each episode when they are published. Instead you subscribe keywords that interest you or follow people whose interests you share.
This brought in new variety to my listening habits.

Huffduffing made easy using share sheets

Subscribing to content on Huffduffer is straight forward, however adding content - especially from a mobile device - is not. Ideally I want to listen to an episode using my favorite podcatcher and, while listening, hit a button, that then automatically huffduffs the episode.

With iOS 8 this dream has come closer to reality, because it opened up APIs that allow applications to work together closer. Workflow is a product of the new possibilities of iOS 8. It allows you to create automated workflows using “actions” and hook them into the system-wide share sheet.

I created a Workflow that works with Overcast, Instacast and Pocket Cast. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Install Workflow. It’s not free but worth the money.
    download
  2. Download the Huffduff it! workflow (3kb)
    workflows
  3. Open the file via Workflow. The action extension will now be available to you using the share sheet.
  4. Open Safari and log into your account at huffduffer.com
    sharesheet
  5. While listening to an episode using Overcast, Instacast or Pocket Cast , hit the share sheet symbol and choose “Run Workflow”. If necessary, activate it using the “More” option and enable Workflow.
    sharesheet
  6. Once the Workflow has run, Safari will open with the Huffduffer form already filled out for you. Add information as needed or simply hit “Huffduff it” to publish the episode.
    huffduffit
  7. That’s it! Return to listening to your episode.

Please note that you need to be connected to the internet while executing the workflow.

How it works

Overcast, Instacast and Pocket Cast are compatible with this workflow, because they all use the same method to share episodes: They generate a custom website and link, that contains the title and audio file of the episode. This custom URL is then handed over to the share sheet.

My workflow then scrapes the HTML of the website and parses out the title and link to the audio file. These values are then passed to the URL of huffduffers submit form:
https://huffduffer.com/add?popup=true&bookmark[url]=$URL&bookmark[title]=$TITLE

Other players

I tested 5 others players that do not work with this workflow because they handle sharing episodes in a different way.

Apples Podcasts app

Apples podcasting app gives you a link to their public podcast directory. That website contains all episodes of the podcast so parsing out the right data would require some more REGEX skills that I currently possess. It could be done though.

Downcast

Downcast actually does it right. It hands over the title of the episode, the link to the audio file and the description of the episode. One could easily write a new workflow just for Downcast.

iCatcher

Like Downcast, gives you all you need: episode title and audio file link. If you use iCatcher, you could write a workflow yourself.

Castro

Does not have a share function.

PodWrangler

Hands over the title of the episode and the link to the episodes website (e.g. the article associated with the published episode). This makes it very difficult to get the link to the audio file since every website is different and there is no guarantee there even is a direct download link to the file.