Friday Night in Conway

I’m on my own for most of the night, so I’m hanging out at the coffee shop again on the wifi and enjoying the splendor of a pleasant spring evening in Conway SC. Life really is good some times.

Further examples of why I’m glad I live here.

  • I had a guy at a feed store near my house where I was buying dog food (yes, there are feed stores near my house) laugh at me for showing ID when I wrote a check even though I’ve never been in that store. When I got the receipt, it was printed on the back of a flyer for next Monday’s meeting of the wild bird spotting group which will emphasize hummingbirds. Even better, we are planning on attending.
  • I happened across a street sign that informs me that there is a jazz festival under the bridge out of town, like, next weekend. I’ve never heard of it until today, but I hope to ride my bike down to it next Saturday.
  • On my way out of the driveway today, I had a 10 year old girl walk up to me and invite me to a “southern living” party in my neighborhood. I plan on stopping by when I leave here.
  • You can buy a set of wooden blocks of buildings in this town. Oh yeah!

I really need to start snapping some more photos of this place and putting them on Flickr. I think I’ll do that and also put all the style council pictures up there as well.

My Shorter Take on KYOU

Let me try to boil down my unease with KYOU even further with a simile. KYOU’s invitation of podcasters to fill their air signal under terms not at all favorable to the content creators brings the following to mind.

It is like being an average joe in high school when one of the in-crowd invites you to their party. You, of course, are flattered and of course you attend. When you show up it turns out they expect you to serve drinks and bus the tables.

Update: I haven’t listened to this interview yet, but via Mike Dunn comes this nugget from an NPR interview:

hey, one pearl joel [Hollander – chairman and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting] mentioned is that infinity is “not going to charge podcasters to put their shows on the air” – wtf was that?

Here I’ve been thinking it sucks that they want your work for free. Actually now I find out that they are doing us a big favor by not actually charging us for getting our work for free. I’m downgrading my opinion from “Sounds like a bad deal” to “Bite my wang.”

My brother’s advice is to ignore them and let them die a slow death. That’s probably a good idea, so I’m going to try to avoid talking them up too much and giving them lots of attention. Unless something really notable happens, this will be my last post on this ugly subject.

Boned Again by Audacity

Tonight I recorded and edited the episode with the first part of the Paul Melancon interview. I exported it to the AIFF, listened to it, and big portions of the vocal track .. just … weren’t … there. This is the last straw. I appreciate the program’s existence but my time is just too scarce to keep throwing it away on work that Audacity eats. I think I’ll give them a little donation to the project to thank them for the use I’ve had so far, start shopping for an alternative and get the hell away from this thing as fast as I can.

Take your DRM and Shove It

This will be a profanity laden post, because the only way I know how to express the feelings this stuff brings out in me is with a few choice words of Saxon origin. Call me inarticulate if you will, but some jobs need a crowbar.

I keep seeing news stories about Harmony and PlayForSure and iTunes and interoperability, blah blah blah. “The iPod is closed, it should work with music store X, blah blah.” It is all bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about any of it. I don’t care if Real’s shitty DRM interoperates with Napster’s shitty DRM with Microsoft’s shitty DRM with Apple’s shitty DRM with Sony’s shitty DRM. Fuck every one of them, I don’t care. I don’t want any of them controlling how I use the stuff I paid for. They have shown themselves to be bad stewards of their customer’s trust, more concerned with the needs of the fatcat labels than the people who pay them money, dealers in bad faith who will sell you something on one set of terms and then change the deal after they’ve got your cash. That’s why I’ve never bought any songs from iTunes or MS or any of these services. So what if you can’t put music from the Microsoft music store or the Real music store on your iPod? Fuck them, don’t buy from any of them.

There is more good music than you can believe out there on Comfort Stand and other labels that will sell it to you cheap or give it to you happily. When I do pay, it is to Magnatune or some other store that allows me to do what I choose to with the music, to use it on any player I want of any make, to burn to whatever CDs I want, to stream to whatever device I choose. You don’t need to play into the man’s game, this big label “Oh we have to sell it locked in order to protect ourselves from the customers” shuck and jive. Fuck those labels, fuck the music vendors, fuck the DRM, fuck everyone that wants to sell me music on a string they can yank whenever they choose. You don’t get my money, you cocksuckers.

KYOU

I saw the story in Wired this morning about the failing radio station that is switching its format to “all podcast content.” It’s calling the experiment KYOURadio. This is my early take as I’m still learning about it, but I have to say that I’m underimpressed so far.

Here’s the deal. They are taking podcasts, screening them for profanity and (one supposes) production quality and then airing them over their transmitter and live stream. They are continuing to run their ads. The thing I have not noticed is any statement about how or whether they are paying the podcast producers. My guess is not. So, they are taking citizen media they get for free, airing it on an obscure AM station and getting paid for it.

What an uncompelling proposition for me and any other podcaster. In fact, I urge everyone to not participate unless or until there is something in it for you. Otherwise this is just a Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence stratagem, trying to trick you into to doing their work for them for free. Sounds like they are banking on podcasters being so flattered to be on gasp actual radio that they’ll jump at this shitty deal. I’ve been on actual radio – commercial, college, and nationally syndicated public radio. I’m not in a hurry to get back on airwaves just for the sake of it. I find podcasting way more exciting than radio ever was. Ask yourself why you would want to participate. What would you get that you aren’t already getting out of your podcast?

Folks, be strong. If you let other people make money off you and give your stuff to them for nothing, you just undercut yourself and allow them to devalue your labor. Doing this for love and not getting paid is fine. When you do it for love and someone else gets paid, that is not fine. KYOURadio, wake me up when you have a check for me.

Interviews

The interview Mike Geoghegan did with me for Podcast Solutions is now up. It was fun to do, but I’m not sure how much sense I made. I won’t be relistening to it, but I’m curious what other folks think about it.

In other news, I’m scheduled to be a guest on The Linux Link Tech Show tonight, streaming at 8:30 PM EDT and available via archives or podcast forever more after that.

EGC Clambake Episode for April 25, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for April 25, 2005.

I apologize for being away and talk about why I was; I play a little bit of former Dr. Who Tom Baker acting out; I play a song by Camper Van Beethoven; belatedly remember I have sponsors and giggle my way out the door.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX! Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Life 2.0

My car needs some brake work, so I threw my bicycle in the trunk and dropped it off at the shop. I rode over to a coffee shop/cafe near the shop and my house, where I’m having lunch and am on the wifi. Aaaaaaah.

I listened to an episode of Garrick Van Buren’s show about making good urban places, but I think the small town of Conway SC is one of those good places. Within an easy bicycle ride of my house are all the essentials of life, and even some fringe benefits like espresso and wifi.

Not Quite Normal

Even though I got back home Thursday evening, I’m still tired from the Chicago adventure. I had planned to do a short podcast today, but that isn’t happening. I did talk with Mike Geoghegan on the phone for his book and our conversation will at some point be part of the podcast of interviews for the book. It was a good time talking to him, so whenever he puts that up consider that today’s show.

Raiding The 20th Century

I’m getting to this late because of my busy week last week but Bob’s Slacktime Funhouse last week aired in its entirety a great audio documentary called “Raiding the 20th Century”, which is about remix culture, cutups, sampling and such. I listened to it in O’Hare airport waiting for a plane and I’ve never had a more enjoyable hour in an airport.

This was a partnership with Paul Morley who wrote a book on the subject, and DJ Strictly Kev who had prepared an earlier version and then expanded it after reading the Morley book and included some author readings in the audio. You can currently download this from their website but if you get it from the links below Right Fricking Now you can make Georgia Tech eat the bandwidth bill. Stick it to the man in more ways than one! You have until 1 AM EDT Saturday night/Sunday morning to download this, after which it will be overwritten with the next show, so don’t fart around.

The show starts a few minutes after the hour, so you’ll need all three of these files to get the full show, the last one only having a few minutes of the very end. Stick around and listen to 25 minutes of the anarchic WREK programming to see if you like it. I do.

Note – each file is about 27M, so be forewarned.
First half-hour
Second half-hour
Last few minutes

And you know, if you subscribed to the WREK Subgenius podcast feed you’d already have this.

A Difficult Thing To Say

I can scarcely believe that I’m typing such a thing, but young women of America – I’ve seen more than enough of y’alls lower backs and upper asses. This whole low rise jeans and bikini underwear thing means it’s impossible to walk around public places without seeing little roses and flourishy tattoos right above some 20 year old’s butt cleavage. It makes me feel dirty to even see yet this sight is unavoidable. Ladies, pull up those pants please and help an aging middle-aged man.

Resume Normal Life

Trade show over (for me, at least.) Resuming normal life approximately 12 hours from now. Exhausted but optimistic on this end, so all is well. Thank you for your patience. Expect another podcast this weekend, some light blogging before then. Perhaps I’ll be able to read some of the 100 unread emails and 500 unread news items on a plane tomorrow. Or, perhaps I’ll sleep. Either way, normalcy is imminent.

My So-Called Life

In Chicago. Work, work, eat, work, work, occasionally sleep, work, work, work, work. Expect few or no blog posts and even fewer (probably none) podcasts in the next week. Aaaaaaah, this is living!

The Ethics of Soundseeing

I’m listening to Adam Curry’s current Daily Source Code on which he is doing a soundseeing tour of the Waldorf Astoria. He’s talking to folks and recording them but unless I missed something few or none of them know they are being recorded. I have a problem with that. I think it is uncool to engage someone in a conversation you are planning to distribute to tens of thousands of people without their knowledge or consent.

He says he uses his cellphone as cover so that folks don’t give him the stink eye for talking to himself. I think the ethical thing to do in this situation is to use a big ol’ stick mike with a cube on it such that it is obvious that the conversation is being recorded. People that have an issue with it will avoid you and it will be obvious to all that they are being recorded. My main problem is the assymetry of it all. You have a power over the other person and knowledge that they don’t have access to.

Update: I see from the comments that I’m not the only one who felt this way. I in general believe that anyone who is part of your podcast should know that they are and agree to that before you record them. Specifically, Adam talked to someone who is probably recognizable by the details she gave about the job she had landed and where she was at the time. Supposing she said something that was considered untoward by the casting agent and that happened to get back to them, she might lose a job over this. It’s one thing to walk up to interesting people and start conversations. When you are then widely distributing that conversation, you put the person’s well-being at risk and they don’t even know it. That’s a big big problem. If they knew this conversation was on the internet, they would at least be able to be on the proper level of guard for what information they reveal..

Theater of the Mind

Folks that deny the value of audio because it isn’t text just plain don’t appreciate the theater of the mind. I love it and have basically my whole life. I love radio dramas, becoming interested as a child in the 70’s. At that time, CBS radio had a revival of Mystery Theater which frequently featured Mason Adams. In fact, any time I saw him on Lou Grant I thought of him as the “Mystery Theater” guy.

Yesterday while I was doing my work, I listened to an old episode of Hopalong Cassidy that came down from the Sentinel’s Ward podcast feed. I don’t know if that’s still a going concern or if it has changed URLs or something but I haven’t gotten anything down that feed since January. I love old time radio and even new time radio, such as ZBS productions and the Atlanta Radio Theater Company and Seeing Ear Theater.

A few years ago I was involved in a group that did CD trees of old time radio on MP3s. In fact, when I bought my iRiver SlimX it was these CDs that were the primary driver. I even took some of the CDs with me to test it out at the store of these MP3s at weird bitrates and such, and when it played them all I bought it. I ultimately resigned in disgust from group, because I had a dispute with the organization. They were preparing a distribution of Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe from ZBS Productions. In every CD tree I ever participated in, the shows were things that are no longer commercially available. In this case, the organization that produced the shows is still in business and still selling copies of those shows. I found that inappropriate and when no one else seemed to be bothered by this, I left the group. I do love the form though, and I’m delighted to be able to listen to some OTR whenever I can.

Law of Conversation of Gate Time

I’ve noticed that no matter when I leave the house for the Myrtle Beach airport, it takes me just long enough to get there and get through security so that when I get to the gate, the plane is boarding and I don’t get to use the free wifi there. Whether I leave an hour and a half before the flight or 50 minutes, it works out the same.

George Carlin Insight of the Day

I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass has grown through a crack in the concrete. It’s so damn heroic.

– from the George Carlin Day Calendar for April 14, 2005

Brian Buck, RIP

Brian Buck recently lost his long struggle with cancer. I never met him, but I worked with and am friends with his brother and read his weblog for years. The last post there is sadly one from around the holidays last year about how Darin made him a custom controller with big buttons to allow him to use the computer in his declining health.

May he rest in peace.

EGC Clambake Episode for April 12, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for April 12, 2005.

We have a winner in the iPodderX contest! I talk about living in Conway SC and buying used cars from psychics; I relate my hopes about creating a whole alternate media system; I lay out the Paul Melancon Interview Roadmap; I’m a sucker for sad songs and I play (with permission) a sad song from Camper Van Beethoven; bye.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX! Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

Links mentioned in this episode: