This American Life Stats

Lately I have been listening to episodes of This American Life faster than they are making them which means I have been going back to the archive for past unheard shows. Their website has a nice user section where you can log in and mark episodes you have heard and your favorites. The archives are arranged by year which naturally got me thinking about the number episodes I have listened to by year. A search of GitHub revealed many libraries for downloading episodes of the podcast but none that were interested in user statistics so I decided to write my own library. I am still very much beginner level with technologies such as passing cookies and CSRF requests which is why I ultimately ended up using Splinter which just lets you automate browser actions. I used that to login and navigate the TAL archives by year. I then used BeautifulSoup to parse the HTML. Finally, I just wanted to visualize the results so I used Mike Bostock’s D3 Bar Chart example.

Pretty basic but it gets the job done, full code here on GitHub