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Surviving the festival season...
2009. júl. 6.

I need a program guide in my pocket. Good thing to have an iPhone...

Bigger festivals have many stages, with many performers. Running around with a Pesti Est magazine on BalatonSound is not cool, we need a XXI. century solution. If you happen' to have a smartphone in your pocket, we problem is somewhat smaller: just bookmark the www.sziget.hu/balatonsound/programok page. If it works (currently, the site is down). Also, it's not a bad thing to have WiFi or GPRS reception.

What if we host a page on our own static web-page, perhaps tailor made for mobile-device usage? Not bad, but then we have to deal with making it usable, adding some optimizations, etc...

A (somewhat more) off-line solution would be better. Perhaps an Excel file. We don't depend on a connection - there won't be any reception anyways, so that's good. But, reading a spreadsheet on a small device is a big pain.

How about registering the events in my calendar? Even better, since this is what a calendar is made for. But what if I don't want to cram 100 events into my calendar? And how should I distribute it to my friends?

Enter the iPhone OS 3.0's new feature: the "subscribed calendars". Let's stick to our example (BalatonSound): paste the web-page into an Excel, do our little magic, and we have a stage - driven calendar files (iCal format - RFC2445). Upload to the net, the links are set in the Settings - Mail, Contacts, Calendars - Add Account... - Other - Add Subscribed Calendar on the phone. Here are the complete program of some of the main stages:

The calendar will look something like this:

If there are more calendars, the one of main interest can be selected. You have an option to see all of the subscribed calendars at once, or just one of them - whichever you prefer.

If I were to made a festival homepage, and had energy, I would put up an official calendar, and filling the events' description with Google Map link of the stage, and some description on the performers. I made the first step, dear sponsors, you know my number :-)

The best part is, upon ending the festival, the subscribed calendar can be deleted without disturbing the tightly kept order in your time-scheduler application.

This is it. Elegant, quick, efficient solution. And it looks great.

Okay, enough of work, full speed ahead to Zamárdi!

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