Sometimes you want to listen to a specific episode of a podcast without subscribing to it. Sometimes you've been pointed to an audio file out on the Internet and, while you can't listen to it immediately, want to save it for later. And sometimes a mean ol' podcast producer will do what I did recently and post an audio file outside of the podcast's usual RSS feed. (Mine was an enhanced AAC version of my podcast's special radio-drama episode.)
What's a podcast fan on a mobile device supposed to do with these files? iOS users could add them via iTunes, so long as they're still syncing media via iTunes regularly. Users of some podcast apps, such as Downcast, may be surprised to discover there's a place to paste in file URLs.
But there's an easier way, a service that is to audio files what Instapaper and the like are to podcasts. It's called Huffduffer, a free service created by Jeremy Keith.
Here's how Huffduffer works: You sign up for an account and drag the Huffduff It bookmarklet into your browser's toolbar. (There's also a Safari extension.) When you visit a webpage containing an audio file you want to save, you click the Huffduff It button, add some optional metadata, and press the button. You can also just visit Huffduffer.com and add any file URL manually.
Clicking the Huffduff It bookmarklet brings up a new window that lets you enter information about the file you're adding.
The other piece of the puzzle is your own personal Huffduffer podcast feed. That's right, Huffduffer works by creating a podcast feed containing all the audio you add to Huffduffer. Subscribe to this feed from your favorite podcast app, and all of those miscellaneous audio files you want to listen to will now have a single home.
I've been using Huffduffer for a few months and it's now my go-to service for saving audio to listen to later. It integrates perfectly with my podcast app of choice (currently Downcast) and lets these random audio findings live right alongside my regular podcast subscriptions.
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