Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dailysonic does it again - the revolution of podcasting

Dailysonic is a great Podcast that has news, culture and serial episodes from a young group of talented producers. I have been listening to them for awhile and love their style and hipness. This week they released a new feature that I am sure will be copied within the podcasting world. They are now offering custom editions of their shows where you can mix and match segments into your own version of dailysonic. This news and segment type of podcast is great for this type of distribution.

So what can you do? You can choose from a dozen or so segments they produce for each show and order them as you like. News, weather, science and music segments are mainstays in the dailysonic roster, but you can also throw in Fuck you robot or Whats up with... some clever and entraining segments.

My first experience was great with this easy to use interface. You basically set up an account, create an edition and add segments you want in your edition. I decided to exclude news and weather since I listen to my dailysonic when I get a chance and thus may be outdate. I decided to put Fuck you Robot at the top because it the best segment produced by the dailysonic crew. Once the segments are selected you can get the rss feed and add it to Itunes or whatever your podcatcher is. Subscible, download and listin.

I hope dailysonic gets credit for this innovative way of distibuting podcasts. They are leading the future of user driven media.

Great job guys!!!!

Update: Please Digg this story about Dailysonic. They deserve the press.

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Selling your soul

When I read blogs, I trust the author based on his reputation among other bloggers and who reads his blog. For one to be credible about a subject, I believe he/she should not let economics enter into the equation.

A-list bloggers are getting a lot of attention these days and we will soon see the deluge of offers from companies for "paid" reviews. Scoble has an interesting post on disclosing some items he received. Mike Arrington of TechCrunch writes about being offered money to write a review in his crunchnotes blog. And just today Kevin Burton, in his feedblog, talks about auctioning off a blog post on ebay to
" I'd review your product or whatever you wanted me to look at and add my honest commentary. "
So how honest can commentary be if your are being compensated? Isn't objectivity important in the blog world? Or is it about trading your high traffic ranking to make a quick buck.

I think disclosure is fundamental in blogging and I hope high profile bloggers will carry the torch with integrity.

Why we blog by Hugh Macleod (via crunchnotes)

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
Henry David Thoreau

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's Wrong with Audible.com's web site?

I have been using Audible.com to download audiobooks for over a year now. I value the service and quality of the audiobook selection, the delivery and management via Itunes and the value audible offers for their content.

Their web site experience seems to be a critical component of their success since it is the only way to interface with their customers. Their site design and functionality has always seemed sub-par to me, so I was happy to hear they were to release a new site design which was released in December. My first reaction to the new design was not good. I hated the business of the pages and it was slow as a dog. So I decided to take some time with it before I write an immature review.

Feature wise, the site remains the same with some added components that busy up the page and make it bloated. The wish list, next listen and my library are virtually the same. They also have link to Best Sellers, New Releases and Award Winners. The search capability seems to be the same. I am always able to find content on books and authors with minimal fuss. The Categories are the same groupings, but the presentation of the groups is what bothers me. Instead of sub-catagorie links, they have rows of sub categories and too much content on one page. I prefer a simple interface that you can navigate with speed.

The main complaint I have aside from the UI is that it is just too slow. I use the site on my DSL, Wireless and a T1 connection and it seems to be slow every time I try to navigate.

So the question is can audible grow a business and have success with an inferior user interface and poor experience? As a subscriber, I am disappointed in their effort that was long overdue, but I guess like all new released that come out now the "beta" tag will remain on the page as the ultimate excuse for poor execution.

Am I off base or just too picky? User experience is very individual and I am by no means an expert. What do you think?

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Thursday, January 19, 2006


It has been awhile since I put up a podcast, but I have been thinking about Podcasting alot latley. I habitualy listen to a few podcast's each day depending on my mood. I was listening to more podcast's, but now I have Siruis radio in my car, so I often leave the ipod at home.

My attention is a a premium and I have so many choices for my listening and viewing experience. As I type this I am listening to The Catholic Insider which I enjoy greatly, but it is one of few daily podcasts I don't get to hear that often. So with all the choices we have, how does a podcast producer like myself stay motivated to compete with everyone else? I am not sure how compelling I can be especially since there are so many talented people producing great content. A dilemma I am sure will get worse with more options growing daily.

Sites like Youtube.com and ourmedia.org help the explosion of video and podcasting for the masses and Google Video and Itunes provide good content, albeit for a fee. So what can we expect from my podcast in the future?

I will continue to produce my podcast because I enjoy doing it. I am sure I don't have many listeners, and I know the infrequent nature of my posting doesn't help that. Which bothers me about podcasts I have been searching. Some interesting podcasts seem to fizzle out after half a dozen episodes leaving an interested listener having to search for similar content.

For searching I have been using Yahoo's podcast search. It seems to be the best place to search for those niche podcasts that I like listening to. My taste varies across the board, but right now I am into Catholic Insider, TWIT, The Amateur Traveler Podcast, Rick Steves podcast, and World Soccer Daily podcast. As you can see, there are a few commercial ventures I am listening to in Podcast form. I think this is the best feature of podcasting. Being able to get the commercial content I am used to when I want to listen to it. Some Podcasting purists might think the commercialization of podcasting is bad, but as a consumer I am being better served and I am a happy camper.

I just downloaded Dave Winer's Podcatching client for his OPML software. I like what Dave brings to the table with his ideas of RSS, Reading Lists and OMPL, but I find his software a little to banal. His software serves a good purpose for advanced users who like simple interfaces, but I guess I am too new school to value his approach. I like the integration of Itunes and the podcast catching it provides. Syncing with my ipod is easy, I can easily organize my podcasts and subscription is a no brainer. The idea of being locked in or the Apple DRM model does not bother me. I am happy with Apple since they introduced their updated Itunes with podcasting. I will always try out new tools like Dave Winers, but I haven't seen anything that can blow Apple out of the water (yet?).

Podcasting is a great use of technology to give consumers choice and producers the means to reach an audience. I am glad it continues to grow and hope to grow my podcast as well.

Monday, January 16, 2006

West Wing

Like RSS guru Dave Winer, I enjoy the West Wing. I have been watching from day 1 and am enjoying this season build up to a new President. This weeks episode focused on the White House instead of the race between Santos and Vinick. It seems with most of the favorites in the white house are out or fired, the CJ and the Will Bailey banter is getting old. I love the series and hope it stays on in the future, it is just hard seeing a group that you loved to follow break up. John Spencer, who passed away in December will surely be missed.

Mini Holiday Break

Long weekend thanks to the Martin Luther King holiday. Took the opportunity to get out of town and relax. Been unplugged for a few days so I need to keep up on my feeds. Decided to go to Palm Springs for the weekend. Great trip and some photos to post later. Trying to catch up on the West Wing and the Italian league football. Thanks to Tivo, I can have a life and watch what I missed during the week whilst I post and read RSS.

Post weekend wrap up to come tomorrow. It's nice to be back home and tapping my wireless signal.

Movies I saw this weekend:


Match point

I liked Casanova. Lasse Hallstrom did a good job of bringing the legend to the screen. Jeremy Irons is in classic form and Oliver Platt is excellent as well. Sienna miller and Heath Ledger round up a good cast. I like historical comedies and Casanova is a great story.

Woody Allen never ceases to amaze. At one point you write him off with his lackluster showing over the last few years (he has the luxury of making a film a year) but this years effort, Match Point is a deviation of his cookie cutter style and it is a good one. The classic simple titles that cost about $2.50 to produce and the catalogue operatic score that I am sure was in the public domain, starts the film in the usual woody style. But we can see he is not in the film and it is not set in NY. Aside from the move to new locations, I feel Match Point has thematic elements and the Woody feel. The plot reminded me of "Crimes and Misdemeanors" with a refresh of a young cast that lack the power of a Landau/huston punch. The cast is on point and if were not a Woody fan, you probably would not catch the Woodyisms of the plot.

I like the change of scene. Is London the new New York? Is Europe going to be the Woody Allen domain? Have we had enough of New York movies?

I hope Allen continues to explore his craft as he gets older. I think we can see some interesting movies from him.

A post script to this is that Allen put himself in the movie without acting. How? He casted Ewen Bremner, the Scottish actor who played Spud in Trainspotting. He has a very Woodyesq quality that I think made the film not so dramatic without taking the power from it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

How Intel got into apple

Here is a funny video of Intel inside apple.

Enjoy [youtube]

Monday, January 09, 2006

Football (Soccer), Folks and Fun

I have a dirty little secret that many don't know about me. Nothing for the page 6 crowd, but I have been a football fan for awhile now. Since I am sitting in North America, I will have to qualify the word football to mean Soccer. I have always liked soccer, but I haven't really supported a club until recently. The casual match on TV would catch my interest and when the world cup was here in USA I was really into the football world, but I recently went to a match in Florence and am now a Viola supporter. Seeing a game in the smallish Fiorentina home stadium is amazing especially when they are playing to a sold-out crowd and sparring with the Rossineri (AC Milan). I instantly took to Italian football. It was an amazing game with the Viola supporters being vocal and the action thick. I decided since my love of Florence has grown to an obsession, I will adopt Florence and support the Viola.

Since my return from Italy I have found GOL TV and Fox Soccer channel on my cable box. Tivo is now my best friend; I can now record the live matches and watch them when I get up. I have been following most of the games in the Italian League (Seria A) and catching up with the English Primer League (EPL).

The Viola (Fiorentina colors are purple or violet hence the "Viola") are my favorite team in Italy, but I also like Intermilan and Roma. I been catching alot of Chelsea games and I am impressed with their run. Of course everyone loves a winner, but I have also been routing for Aston Villa, a mid table Birmingham London team who play at villa park Highbury. Don't ask me why I like AV, but I every game I have enjoyed watching them play.

Update: Thanks to comments from Simon for the correction on Aston Villa's location and field. I need to do more research if I am going to be a true supporter.

Spanish football is world renowned with all their large talent pool of international players. I like watching Real Madrid because they have so much talent. Like all high profile teams, they are in the middle of a self implosion. Fifth in the table, they seem to be sliding this year. But hey who doesn't like Ronaldo or Beckham?

Most of what read and do is focused on technology or database applications, but I love my FFF. Football, Folks and Fun.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Brand New Year

Years seem to go by faster now that I am of an adult age. I remember sitting in school on a nice spring day wishing for summer break and then Christmas break to come. Each year is now marked by the passing of the holidays and some form of year end party. This year was a good year. I accomplished much of what I wanted in 2005 and look forward to a rewarding 2006.

My passport saw more action in 2005 than it has in the last 8 years I have had it. I went to Europe twice with the newfound travel bug to continue in the new year. Travelling is to my being these days as ice cream is to a hot day. Refreshing and rewarding I plan to gather frequent flyer miles in the year ahead. 2006 is also the year for me to write more. 2005 saw more blog posts than the last 3 years combined. I really hit my stride with blogging and podcasting in 2005 and I want to continue that trend.

New Years resolutions often dont stick, so I will put a general "Do more Stuff" statement out. I want to write more, exercise more and be more creative. I think 2006 will be a fun and productive year. There is a lot to do, so I better get to it.

Cheers and happy new year to all.