TL:DR Some improvements for listens to Radio EDUtalk including some scheduling. We have an very varied and rich set of content on edutalk contributed to by a wide range of folk.

Over the Summer I’ve got a few things I want to work on. A couple of, to me, big ones. ScotEduBlogs is one, but more of that later on. First I want make a few improvements to the Radio EDUtalk stream.

Until today the stream just plays random pieces of audio from the archive files we uploaded. The files sit on the server.

I had just been creating 64 kbps versions of any files submitted to the podcast and uploading them. the 64kbps files are fine for voice and keep the cost down. Unfortunately this process, or the way I carried it out had stripped the tags from some of the MP3s which meant that the information displaced on the webpage was not great.

For the last couple of days I’ve been sorting out all of the files I’ve gather over the last couple of years in a haphazard fashion. For the Radio Edutalk live shows this was easy, I’ve exported these at 64 kbps and tagged them in a reasonable fashion, eg they are titled, in the Radio EDUtalk album etc.


Some other files I had exported at 64kbps without tags. I had to add tags to these files, a couple of hundred. To do this I used a combination of SuperCard, applescript and a couple of shell commands, exiftool and id3tool

The same tools were used along with lame to export lots of other audioboo files and add the tags back in. The only problem is with id3tool which can only handle short ID3 version 1 tags, so some longer titles are truncated. (if you really want to see this in action check a quick video. I’ve deleted a chunk of this post which gave details, in the unlikely event anyone else needs to do this sort of thing, get in touch.)

This is not perfect but gives a bit more information to the viewer about what is playing on the radio.

We have space for a couple of GB of mp3 and I have more files than that. The idea is to start a rotation, where I’ll swap out a subset of audio every month or so. Took overnight and a bit to get the first rotation of 370 files up.

Organising a Schedule

Having files with a better set of tags on the server has allowed me to create some playlists which will play at certain times.
For example at 8pm we will have a random episode of the live show, or on alternative days at 7pm Ian Field and Leon Cych will take over for half and hour. The Eduhacking Daily is mostly some teknoteacher with some other contributions. These three folk have contributed the most to edutalk.
Going through the files had an added bonus for me, I now appreciate even more the varied and rich set of content we have.

The Schedule

  • Drive Time 5pm 60 minutes a random selection of shorted episode, eg, not the Radio EDUtalk shows.
  • TeachMeet daily 6pm
  • Radio Edutalk 8pm, one random track from the live shows.
  • EduHacking Daily 9pm 30 Minutes, mostly @teknoteacher
  • Purposed Daily 10 pm 30 minutes
  • IanInShefield Mon Wed Fri 7pm 30 minutes
  • Eyebeams Tue Thu Sat 7pm 30 minutes

I’d love to get some ideas for different selection that we could schedule.

More Info

The changes also mean we can provide more information on the Radio Page, just like this:

Current track: Loading…

An invitation

An invitation to listen to edutalk audio is always open, as I am not responsible for the quality of the content I have no hesitation in saying it is great. I’ll be posting more about differnet ways to listen soon.

There is also an invitation to join in and contribute to the site, in several ways:

  • Record and audioboo or ipadio and tag it edutalk.
  • Record audio anyway you like and email it to
  • Let us know if you are interested in joining in a live show as a guest by emailing or
  • Let us know if you would like your own live show, we have lots of time in the week.
  • We are open to any other suggestions too.

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