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Ric Raftis Consulting

How To Take Notes on Podcasts and Integrate Them To Your Obsidian Notes For Free

Ric Raftis consulting logo

Introduction

I find it so frustrating when walking or driving that I can’t take notes on podcasts that I am listening to. After all, podcasts are a great way of feeding your brain while doing other things. Well my frustration appears to be over as I have found Snipd which is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based podcast listening app. Read on to find out why this is so exciting for your brain, your notes and your Obsidian vault(and other PKMs).

What is so Special About Snipd?

The exciting thing about Snipd is that is allows you to take “snips” from podcasts and store them. You can then export them to Obsidian and also Readwise, Notion, Logseq, Bear or just plain Markdown. With the Markdown export, you could import this to journal software like Day One for example that use this format. This technology is really a game changer for podcast enthusiasts like myself. I listen to them every morning when I go for my walk.

What About My Subscriptions?

You can import your subscriptions from some other services. I have been using Google Podcasts of late and I couldn’t find a way to export my subscriptions from that service. I contacted Snipd about this and informed that you could not import from Google. Another question about subscriptions I queried was if the import brought all your listened podcasts through. Unfortunately the import does not so you might have to go through and tick the ones that have been completed. It seems that, based on Snipd’s advice, that what will be imported is determined by what the other platforms are prepared to provide. Naturally, I would not expect them to be providing a really seamless process.

How it Works

The Snipd player is virtually the same as all other podcast players except for the inclusion of the “Snipd” button.

Simply play the podcast of your choice from your subscriptions or search. As you are listening and something interesting comes up, there are a couple of ways to capture the particular moment.

  1. You can simply tap the “Create Snip” button on the screen and the app will capture that moment along with a couple of key highlights.
  2. You can also tap your headphones to capture the Snip. This may vary with the brand of your headphones, so you will need to check your manual.

The Snip will then be created and saved for processing when you have the time. The following screenshots show the two screens you will see to access the saved Snips and then the editing screen.

Processing Snips

Now we get to the good part where we actually get to revisit those captured moments and share and record them in our notes. On the screen, you will see an icon at the bottom for “Saved”. This is where all your saved snips are located from the podcast.

Exporting Snips to Obsidian and Elsewhere

When it comes to editing and work of any description, I am not a fan of mobile phones. Give me a keyboard and a decent size screen any day. The process of exporting to Obsidian is better explained with images rather than text. But, once I started that I thought that even that was getting a little complex so I decided to do a video of the process.

As I will explain in the video, you have a couple of options when exporting the Snips.

  1. Export to Obsidian on your mobile device
  2. Export to Obsidian on your mobile device which is synced to all other devices
  3. Export to Dropbox, Google Drive or One Drive for import as a file to Obsidian desktop.
  4. Integrate to Readwise and other services

Concerns and Suggestions

My only concern with the app when it exported to Obsidian, and I imagine other apps would be the same, is that the Transcript was still in HTML instead of Markdown. I intend to send the devlelopers a query on this and will edit this article with a response. I also noticed a considerable drain on my phone battery as a result of using the app. Mind you, the screen is on all the time and as the Snips are taken there would be processing power used to save them.

In terms of suggestions, I would like to see a web application where you can log into your account and manage your subscriptions and handle your exports and snaps instead of on a phone.

EDIT: I have had a response regarding my concerns and publish them here for information of readers:

I noted that the Transcription was still in HTML when exported to Obsidian. Is this normal? Did I do something wrong? Are there changes to fix this so it goes to Markdown.

This was actually by design to make the transcript easier to read in Obsidian. Obsidian supports these simple HTML tags in their Markdown reader, which is why we thought it would be valuable. However, we do realise that this also comes with some drawbacks, so we might change this again in the future. I will add your vote to this feature request.

I noticed that there has been considerable battery draw on my phone as a result of using the app. This doesn’t concern me, but some disclosure would be appreciated. I go through the day expecting my phone wll last and have now been caught twice with running out of power in the afternoon.

This is something we’re actively working on to improve. We have already identified a couple of inefficiencies that are fixed in the test version of the app. We expect to be able to release these improvements in the beginning of March. They are coupled with some other changes that we’re working on, which is why we unfortunately can’t release them earlier.

Are there any plans to extend the website to allow users to login and administer their accounts. Personally, I’m an old fart and hate trying to type and do admin work on phones.

Yes, there are. We don’t have a date for this yet as we first want to nail the mobile experience. But we do want to offer a web-version in the future.

Conclusion

I found this to be a great app and really helpful for remembering those pearls of wisdom and gems that often come up in podcasts. There is a learning curve in getting used to it, but I found my speed and confidence grew quickly once I started using it. The app is completely free at the moment, but given its potential and power I imagine a premium version will evolve as the app develops. Pricing is always a factor for takeup of such apps, particularly when the costs are always in US dollars and currency conversion factors can have a negative impact.

All in all, the app is highly recommended, has great potential and great integrations for note making.

Here are the links to Snipd and also for an extra free 30 days on a trial of Readwise as mentioned in the video.

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