Bittorrent Experiment Continues

For thems what care, here is the RSS feed for the Bittorrents. If you can use this, that would be quite cool. I’m curious to see how well it works. I know that get_enclosures will not do anything with this – it will download the .torrent seed file, but will not invoke the download of the actual file. Do any of the iPodder variants download the torrents? Ray Slakinski seemed enthused about this feed, so maybe pyPodder does.

Audioblog for Sept 17, 2004

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the audioblog for September 17, 2004. In this episode, I talk about Mark Topham’s iPodder article, tell you to upgrade get_enclosures if you have it, and talk more about the Gentle Readers

Links mentioned in this episode:

Audioblog for Sept 16, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 16, 2004. In this episode, I talk about getting excerpted by Adam Curry, clarify a little about my thoughts of Big Media and the RIAA, tell an anecdote from the Reality Break days that illustrates why the episodes that I think are the worst are sometimes the ones other people think are the best.

Links mentioned in this episode:

I’ve gotten a few inquiries about the theme song. As a refresher, the song is called “Last Day at the Office” and is by the fabulous band Gentle Readers from their album Hi Honey. While that particular song is not available online as an MP3, there are three other fantastic songs available from that link above, including “California”, which is my favorite song from the album. At that page, you can go to the Flat Earth Records store and order the album. I’m refreshing an offer I have made before. If anyone that reads this follows the links above or goes to Amazon and buys this album on my recommendation and then does not like it for any reason, I will buy the album from you. Ship it to me and I’ll send you a check for what you paid plus shipping. I think it’s that good that I’m offerering a personal money back guarantee on it.

Radio Shack Microphones

I recorded my Sept 15 audioblog before hearing Adam Curry’s from the same day. Synchronistically, we were both talking about Radio Shack microphones. He was talking about the cheapish mikes that sound OK for the price. The ones I am using are the same ones I used for my radio show, the PRO 3004 models. You probably don’t want to record your next album with these, but for the audioblog and even the radio show they sounded plenty good enough and are only $40 apiece. I’ve been happy with mine.

Audioblog for Sept 15, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 15, 2004. Today I apologize for my absence of the last few days, discuss my new audio setup (iMic and real microphones and mixers, wow!), the Slashdotting of, and talk about the community audiobook of Lessig’s Free Culture.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Audacity Lesson

Thanks to a quick writeback from Jay, I found out that today’s audioblog entry was boned. For reference, although you can mute individual tracks in Audacity when you have a multitrack project, when you export it to MP3 apparently those play anyway. Yikes! I had a chunk that I decided not to use but wanted to keep anyway, so I just left that track in and muted it. Until I got Jay’s writeback I hadn’t realized that track was exported anyway. Live and learn. If you got the MP3 in the first 30 minutes or so after I published it, it was screwed. If you like the screwed up one, hey, cool. Otherwise, the new one will be up shortly. Sorry!

Audioblog for Sept 7, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 7, 2004. Today is an atypically silly entry, as I’m in an odd mood. I talk about how the best panel I was ever on at an SF convention seemed like it would be the worst, Achewood and Bootsy Collins, Toots and the Maytals, and how the disappearance of the Dictaphone brand ruins my favorite joke.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Achewood – in particular this strip and this one

Audioblog for Sept 6, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 6, 2004. Today I discuss Kiss Me Judas by Will Christopher Baer, some constructive criticism on ways to sound more natural when reading a big chunk of copy into a microphone, my techniques to improve my interview style, the notorious “Technorati bomb” I orchestrated earlier in the year, and how the poor quality of Windows Media Player made me drop the Creative Commons licensing experiment.

Links mentioned in this episode:
The Importance of Law and IT – a program on IT Conversations
CCTag – a program I sadly won’t be using anymore
Kiss Me Judas – a novel by Will Christopher Baer
The Contortionist’s Handbook – a novel by Craig Clevenger
The “Technorati bomb”

Update: Doug Kaye emailed me with some of the technical rationale of Ernest Miller’s copy reading (which I talk about in the audioblog), namely that what you hear in the show is something that had to be redone for technical reasons and the second time around was less peppy than the first. That’s natural enough, it’s hard to muster the same enthusiasm every time (and why voiceover artists get paid the big bucks.) The editing on it is slick enough that I’d have never known if Doug hadn’t told me. That’s the magic of digital editing. Now when I make a flub in the audioblog that is egregious enough to need to come out, I just stop to leave a few seconds of silence (so I can find that spot easily later), and then repeat what I was trying to say. I’ve found that I can take out the flub and the silence and the edit is imperceptible. 5 minutes after I edit it, I can’t even remember where it was.

That brings up some more advice to those of you doing interviews for audio use. If you have technical problems that lose part of your interview, do not just reask the same questions that you lost. Take my word here, what you will get is an unenergetic rendition of what was said the first time, but with much more sighing and audible (visual, if you are in the same room) discomfort. The first interview that really made me step up my skills was with the fantastic Alan Lightman, MIT professor and author of Einstein’s Dreams. For the first 10 minutes or so of my talk with him, the tape was rolling but a bad mike cable connection meant that nothing was being recorded. The beginning was the easy stuff (from my list of questions, natch) and on the spot I had to come up with different things to ask him based on what he had been saying in the first, lost part. Mostly, I asked him variants on the originals that dug deeper and/or approached the material from a different direction. After it was over, he and I both agreed that the replacement interview was better than what was lost. He was also sympathetic, as he once drove out to someone’s house and talked to them for hours in book research and came back to find blank tapes for all of it.

Problem Resolved

For those of you who were having problems listening to the audioblog files of the last few days with Windows Media Player, it should be fixed now. As best I can figure, this application is the only one that has problems with the Creative Commons tagged files. Altogether now, “Thank you, Microsoft!” 10,000 programmers and they can’t put out an application that deals with standard formats as well as apps written by two kids in their mom’s basement.

As much as I hate to have the tail wag the dog, I don’t care as much about the CC experiment as making the audioblog usable by everyone that wants to hear it. As of now, the experiment is suspended. I won’t be tagging any more files with the license, and I republished the last three without it. Sigh. I apologize to those of you who use tools that will now download the last three files because they have changed on the server. Blame Microsoft.

Thanks to Doug Kaye, Josh Jacob and Jay for helping me out with a little field QC on a holiday weekend. I appreciate it greatly, compadres.

Testing 1, 2, 3

I’m getting reports from folks using Windows Media Player 9 that they haven’t been able to open my last three audioblogs. Oddly coincidental, that’s when I started embedding the Creative Commons license. As an experiment, if you are one of those affected folks, please give this version of the September 4th audioblog a try. It is identical to the other, except for the CC license. If that works for y’all, then I’ll republish the last 3 MP3s without the license, spout some strong obscenities about the absolute crap products Microsoft puts out, and go forward without these licenses. Sigh.

Audioblog for September 4, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 4, 2004. Today I discuss more about MP3 metadata and name names of some prime offenders who don’t fill it out, reiterate my appeal for a little help with AppleScript, talk about how the iPod platform machinery could be used professionally to augment or replace satellite program distribution and give a little shout out to the Netherlands.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Christopher Lydon’s Interviews – brilliant but tagless
ccTag – a GUI Creative Commons MP3 license affixor gizzwhickey
AppleScript – I hate this language

Audioblog for September 3, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 3, 2004. In it I talk about the iPod platform as it relates to CDs, capturing streams with RadioLover, a spin through my radio show list, and a possible professional radio use for the iPod platform.

Links mentioned in this episode:
RadioLover – stream capturing for OS X
PublicRadioFan – a database of public radio shows by station and air times

Audioblog for September 2, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 2, 2004. In it I reintroduce myself to the many people who have only recently started listening to this audioblog, tell an anecdote about how the late great Thomas Fuller cajoled me into national syndication for my radio show, and include an excerpt from the exquisite madness that is KRVS’ show “Zydeco est Pas Sale.”

Links to things mentioned in this episode:
Atlanta Radio Theater Company
KRVS – Radio Acadie
Reality Break, my old radio show

Audioblog for September 1, 2004

Here is the audioblog for September 1, 2004. In it I discuss Maciej’s “Audioblog Manifesto” and how before we had this “iPod Platform” terminology I was suggesting that Air America radio programs use it.

Links from today’s entry:
Air America Radio Network
Air America Place – the more technically savvy fan site
My original post suggesting that Air America make their shows downloadable

Audioblog for August 31, 2004

Here is the audioblog for August 31, 2004. I discuss Paul Graham’s talk for IT Conversations with a brief digression into my checkered past with Lisp (and why programming language snobs are really tedious), the term “bundles of passion”, still more on enclosures and the imminent return of Reality Break to the radio airwaves.

Links mentioned this episode:
Paul Graham’s talk on IT Conversations
Reality Break – my old radio show
Hurricane Frances

Audioblog for August 30, 2004

Here is the audioblog for August 30, 2004. I discuss different ways of assembling audioblogs, of how the myth of effortless brilliance impedes success, of the short stories of Theodore Sturgeon and the oddness of XM Radio cracking down on Time Trax.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Hugh MacLeod’s Gaping Void
XM Radio Leans on Time Trax
Lucas Gonze on Enclosures
The first volume of the Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon – The Ultimate Egoist

Audioblog for August 29, 2004

I’m caught back up, so here is the audioblog for August 29, 2004. There are two posted today, but really the first was yesterday’s. I discuss swearing on the audioblog and how I can recite George Carlin’s “7 dirty words” with as much or better ease as the Pledge of Allegiance (complete with demonstration), discuss an email exchange with IT Conversations producer Doug Kaye, and tell an anecdote from the Reality Break days about how getting underwriting caused me a minor ethical crisis.

Links mentioned in this episode:
IT Conversations