While the show is designed as an audio podcast, our network This Week in Tech produces the video so anyone can watch too – I have lots of fun being on camera with Mikah.
Being a podcast that’s also “video capable,” I’ve always thought it’s a shame that it’s not easier to listen when you want to, or watch when you want to, with a way to switch between both on the fly.
If you’re on Overcast user, you’re in luck – I’ve solved the problem in one direction, taking Overcast’s “Share URL with timestamp” Siri Shortcut and combining it with YouTube’s timestamps feature to let you jump into the video feed at a moment’s notice.1
The result is my shortcut “Show me this clip” that works well on your Home screen, in the Shortcuts widget, or in Siri. When you run the shortcut, the link from the current podcast in Overcast is converted to a link to our latest YouTube video, with a special parameter to open to just the right time (in seconds).
Sometimes it may be a bit off, but it’s pretty cool to move from the podcast to the video quickly with a simple Siri command.
Other video podcasts that upload their files to YouTube should be able to recreate the same shortcut as well by adding in their own channel’s URL.
Unfortunately, for now, this is limited to people who use Overcast as their podcast player – it’s the only podcast app I’ve found that includes a literal timecode in the shared link. Plus, there’s no easy way to go from YouTube back into the podcast – YouTube also doesn’t support sharing links with timestamps at all, much less provide Siri Shortcuts for sharing the current video2.
But if you’re a smart home nerd who uses Overcast, I hope you’ll listen to our show and enjoy using this shortcut.
This afternoon, @kcjokes asked for a shortcut that can play a podcast based on the time of day:
@mattcassinelli Hey Matt! I’m creating a shortcut to add when connecting via Bluetooth. If time is before 8 pm, play podcast A, if after 8 pm, play podcast B. I’m stuck, can you help? I’m here after 50 iterations. Thank You pic.twitter.com/WfSnEPYgnx
Takes the current time, converts it to 24-hour time, then grabs just the Number value and uses it in an “If” conditional – if before 8pm (or 20), play podcast “A”, otherwise if after 8pm play podcast “B.”
Includes Import Questions for pre-selecting the podcasts.
This is a helpful example of using the “If” action to create conditionals in your shortcuts, letting something different happen each time you run the shortcut depending on how the condition is met. In this, the shortcut uses the current Time values inside “If” conditionals so that something different happens depending whether the shortcut is run before or after a certain time of day.
To be more specific, formatting the Time into a single 24-hour value lets the “If” action’s conditions utilize “less than” or “equal to”-type math to check against the current hour – in iOS 13, the “If” action’s conditions change depending on the type of content used.