Useful Tools: Podcast URL Extractor

If you like listening to podcasts, you might have run into the following problem: a friend recommends a certain interesting podcast to you, but it is only available on iTunes. That is an obstacle if you do not own Apple products or have the iTunes software installed on your Windows PC. On some operating systems, such as Linux, iTunes is not even natively available. You might try using WINE, but it is not optimal.

To add an iTunes podcast to a random podcatcher program, either on your computer, or on your smartphone, you need the rss feed address of the podcast. Luckily, there is a nifty website that extracts the rss feed from the iTunes page of a particular podcast.

Simply copy and paste the URL of the iTunes page of the podcast into a form field and get back the rss feed address to copy into your podcatcher.

You can also enter keywords, which will result in a list of related podcasts that may or may not be of interest to you.

Here is the page:

http://itunes.so-nik.com/

This is how it looks:

Happy podcast listening! Why not enlighten yourself with a good program while doing chores or sports?

Useful Tools: PDF Split and Merge (PDFsam)

Most people who write texts on their computer and export them to PDF format come across this problem every once in a while: how do I merge two different PDF files?

You might run into this when you have written a term paper and want to attach a fancy cover page to your text or, like me, need to merge all of your documents (cover letter, resume, diplomas, etc.) into one file for a job application via email.

Fear not, help is on the way!

A while ago, I discovered PDFsam (short for PDF Split and Merge), a free open source tool available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. There are two versions, a free basic version, which I use, and an enhanced version with some more features that requires a donation of your choice.

If you just need to glue several PDF files together, split, or rearrange them, the basic version is just fine. Have a look at it, try it out, and donate to the project if you can.

Screenshot of PDFsam
A screenshot of PDFsam on Linux Mint 12.