Saving fav podcast episode info from Overcast to Data Jar with Shortcuts

Hello, I started using Simon’s Data Jar beta to store episode information from Overcast for favorite podcast episodes that I might want to refer back to later.

Previously I was saving these to a draft in Drafts in Markdown format, but Data Jar will allow me to more easily search and create results with links.

Here’s how it works:

BTW, it’s pretty simplistic atm, but I found that while I’m working on getting my regular expressions down for the stuff I’m converting from markdown text to Data Jar dictionaries, it’s nice to have a Data Jar utilities Shortcut.

This is particularly true for me, since for some reason trying to delete things in the Data Jar app itself tends to crash the app on my iPad without actually deleting the item in question. Deleting it through the Shortcut, however, works flawlessly.

This is very cool. Sometimes there’s an episode of a show that’s about a movie or TV show that I haven’t watched yet and I want to get it out of my queue but I don’t want to forget to go back to it. Seems like this would work well for me as a way to save “listen later” podcasts.

As a broader aside, I get the feeling Data Jar is one of those potentially powerful apps but as a non-developer (genuinely I love tech, but I don’t seem to have the head for making techie things) I can’t really get my head around how I would use this app.

For example, I have a feeling I could use Data Jar to save arbitrary items into a database of some kind - say I’m doing research and I want to add items to a research database for easy retrieval and searching. But I can’t visualise how that would work. I could be reading some text and want to save a snippet with a tag, or watching a video and want to save with a time code, or what have you. Is this the right way to think of Data Jar or am I off the map?

I think it’s exactly right. I use it for saving things like favorite podcasts I want to refer back to (iPad Pros is a good example of one that has episodes I want to keep for later) and for an app wishlist that I can save iPhone, iPad, and even Mac app info from the App Store to so that I can hold off on those rare $10+ apps until I’m ready to use them or whatever.

It’s really like the shortcuts dictionary object in terms of how you use it inside shortcuts, but it persists. It also has a nice UI for if you do want to manually browse through things you’ve saved in the app itself. It looks so nice I do that quite a bit, tbh.

BTW, not to toot my own horn, but Tim Chaten of iPad Pros had me on an episode recently and we talked about Data Jar and these use cases.

Never hide your light. Toot that horn!

So… if I wanted to use it for a shopping list, say, what would the flow be like?

A shortcut to add a datapoint, another to read it and mark it as complete?

Hmm. I don’t know if I’d use it for something like that. It seems like a shortcut based approach to a shopping list would get annoying from a UI perspective. You’d have to iterate everything all over again every time it changed, and you’d have to deal with sorting and so forth.

I guess if I did though, I’d try to make one shortcut that had menu options for editing the list, viewing the list, and marking off items.