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Current Events

IT Conversations – Jon Udell & John Buckman

Listened to a great IT Conversations podcast the other day in which Jon Udell and John Buckman (founder of Magnatune) had a great exchange on the future of online music.

Once the iPhone 3G enables all-you-can-eat streaming for music, the ipod becomes just a local cache, a hard disk buffer for music that you would normally stream on-demand. Once you can get whatever music you want wherever you are, then availability of music is not the friction, it’s management of your collection and navigation interface (Udell calls it the namespace) of whatever device you’re using to access your collection.

Will iTunes’ crowdsourced playlists and smart folders become the ubiquitous method to interface with your music?

Have a listen.

Categories
Current Events

Sparkletack is Back!

sparkletack.jpg

My favorite podcast , Sparkletack – the San Francisco history podcast, as told by a distant relative of Mark Twain, is back after a longish hiatus. If you, like me, have a long commute and are looking for something to listen to and enjoy a good tale, subscribe to Richard’s podcast.

The latest episode, The Crocker Spite Fence, is about the 40-foot tall fence built by the railroad baron Charles Crocker around the one fellow who would not sell so that Crocker could build his hill top mansion on Nob Hill.

Categories
Current Events

The Value of Editorial

In this world of automated aggregation engines we can really appreciate the value of someone taking the time to pick through a selection of material, dust off what’s forgotten, and otherwise hold up to the light something to be celebrated.

I listen to Salon.com’s Weekly Download podcasts and while I enjoy the selections, the adverb and simile-rich descriptions by Thomas Bartlett are just as entertaining. Here’s his intro to Brittle Britches by Quien es, BOOM!

Austin band Quien es, BOOM! (the name references Billy the Kid’s purported last words before being shot, “Quien es?”) makes music centered around lovely interlocking guitar parts and intricate — sometimes too intricate — drumming. They clearly put so much thought into the instrumental lines, the discreet but delicious bits of electronic ear candy and the way they interact that it’s a surprise when, two minutes into this song, they bother adding a vocalist (although the vocals are, in fact, quite nice, and in a fittingly fastidiously phrased style).

Brittle Britches by Quien es, BOOM!

 

Categories
Office

Nokia delivers a podcatcher

I see that Nokia’s shipping a piece of software that in hindsight is so obvious, it’s amazing no one thought of it earlier. As onboard storage gets larger and larger (the new Nokia’s have 4GB!), the viability for the phone to double as an iPod substitute makes more and more sense. Sony played around with their memory stick but it’s a pain to have to copy files from your PC over to the stick in what’s basically a glorified floppy disk.

While I have a pretty steady collection of favorites in my Nano, I primarily listen to podcasts. Basically, updating my podcast subscriptions & recharging are the only reasons I synch up my iPod on a daily basis. What if we were able to break the cord? 

MobileCrunch reports that Nokia announced development of new software that will pull down podcast subscriptions into the phone. We all have cell phones charging up on our bedside table. What if you could set it up to make a call in the middle of the night (when bandwidth is cheap and fast) to download your multi-megabyte podcast subscriptions? The phone companies are going to be psyched because they can put their excess bandwidth to use while using up your minutes and you’re going to be happy because maybe you can leave your iPod behind every now and then.

Nokia Podcasting 

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Current Events

Found with Davy Rothbart

While my normal commute hour is filled with podcasts from the usual tech talk shows and NPR highlights, every now and then I dip into the vast archive of talks over on itconversations.com and pick a few interesting lectures.

Today I found a gem! Davy Rothbart runs Found magazine and speaks at Pop Tech about the weird and wonderful ephemera people find on the streets of America.

Davy Rothbard @ Pop Tech 2005 (about 35 minutes)

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Current Events

Recommended Podcast – Sparkletack

One of the great things about podcasting is that it’s bringing back the art of story-telling. I drive about and hour each way to and from work and this time in the car is my time when I can either get ready for the day or decompress on the way home so sometimes the stories I listen to can set the tone for the day.

This morning I heard the tale of Luisa Tetrazzini, the turn of the century Italian soprano, and how she brought hope to the city of San Francisco as it was finding its way out of the rubble of the 1906 earthquake. I’ll admit I’m a bit sentimental – the way the tale unfolds is quite moving and it’s told masterfully.

If you get a chance to listen, do! It’s great stuff.

Categories
Current Events

Blogs by Mail

I was listening to the This Week in Tech (TWiT) podcast this morning and Dvorak called the whole Web 2.0 conference “groupthink.” Yes, the hype meter was turned up higher than last year and at $2,800 a pop, the conference weeded out the starving developer types and favored the MBA & Biz Dev folks which many view as not in tune with the central message. Was AOL’s purchase of Weblogs Inc. an attempt to purchase some Web 2.0 juice? It looks like we’re headed back to the echo chamber debate (it seems like this debate comes up every year, right after all the October conferences) so and I’m looking forward to a visit with my relatives in Tennessee for a reality check.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to bring what’s going on in my online world to the wider world of my offline friends. Qoop is a cool service that will print & bind your blog (beta) or Flickr stream. Last year I gave each of my inlaws one of those beautiful, hardcover bound iPhoto books. Another cool idea is a subscription service that turns each of your blog posts into a “meatspace” letter which gets sent to your internet-challenged grandparents.

Categories
Current Events

Podcast at 30,000 feet

In what has got to be a first, Jason Calcanis “Planecasts” from 30,000 feet about John Battelle’s new company, FM Publishing.

Categories
Current Events

General Motors gets mileage from blogs, now Podcasting

General Motors created a lot of excitement and gained serious cred in the blogging world when they launched their Fast Lane blog several months ago. Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz hosted Michael Wiley, the sponsor of the the program in one of their podcasts.  Neville is a huge fan of Podcasts and I guess it rubbed off because now GM is podcasting and, according to Christopher Carfi who took time out to listen, has kept the “behind the scenes” feel right through to the podcasts which is great and should continue to draw car enthusiasts to their site.

Looks like the team at GM has done it again and broken another precedent in the world of corporate blogging. All good stuff for the world of blogging and good for GM too!