Tools: my holiday wishlist

This is really an addendum to my piece on blog posting tools. I have been catching up on blogs and podcasts over the holidays, working mostly offline. This has allowed me to discover a few issues or annoyances that ought to be addressed eventually by these tools providers.

  • TypePad: I have been using the comments/trackbacks moderation made available through the new version (1.6). It is a very useful feature, but it would be a great to add the notion of “certification” (for lack of a better word) of a source of comments or trackbacks, i.e once someone’s comment/trackback has been accepted then it is possible to register that source as “straight through”, not requiring a new moderation. Also, for people using TypeKey as the authentication mechanism, I would point to their TypePad blog as a home page as opposed to their TypeKey home page (or I would seriously refine that one).
  • Odeo: for the record, I might have been a bit unfair in my initial assessment of Odeo (which is now officially released). I have been using it to download my favorite podcasts, and on a Windows XP machine running Windows Media Player 10, it is actually quite good. There are a few issues that would be great to fix though:
    • I would like to setup an absolute priority amongst podcast feeds so that new podcasts are added to the download queue according to this priority
    • OdeoSync should pick up changes made to the download queue during a sync operation, or it should be possible to stop/restart a synchronization
    • Odeo needs to setup a ping beacon so that podcasters notify them of updates – too often do I find myself forcing a feed update (because I received an enclosure in my RSS reader)
    • Speaking of RSS reader, Odeo needs to develop the equivalent of chicklets to easily subscribe to a feed or a podcast
  • Windows Media Player 10: I have been using it to upload automatically my (Odeo-delivered) podcasts to my phone, and it works quite nicely. However the management of synchronization priorities is cumbersome, and I would like to be able to move podcasts up/down in the queue without using the Up and Down icons when editing a Sync List. Not trivial, but feasible. In order to change the priority order in which podcasts are saved on a device: Click on Library Options and select "Show List". In the newly displayed list pane on the right of the Windows Media Player window, select "Edit Playlist" and point to the playlist you are using for your podcasts. The playlist is then displayed in the pane and you can select individual podcasts to order them according to your own priority. Re-sync with your device in order to have this order be used.
  • it would be great to have a way to bookmark when offline. My current approach is to mark a post with a yellow Outlook flag (remember I am using NewsGator) and then do a bookmark when I am back online. Which means that I almost never do it.

To vendors of these tools listening to their users through watchlists, do let me know if you have any question.