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Preview: Just a Gwai Lo - podcasting



Weird Segues Into Stanley Kubrick and Baseball

Sat, 08 Dec 2007 04:34:53 +0000

Today I celebrate the 7th anniversary of my starting blogging, first with Blogger, then with Movable Type, then with WordPress, and now with Drupal. This year I've struggled more than any year to write something compelling, and today is no different. Today is also the 7th of the month, meaning it's time to update you on my podcast listening habits.

I unsubscribed from The Talk Show with John Gruber and Dan Benjamin, primarily because their smug nitpicking of Apple's offerings, seemingly endless discussions of the show's format (in at least one show they discuss it for a third of the episode!), the several minutes long paid commercials in the middle, weird segues into Stanley Kubrick and baseball, and my inability to tell either man's voice apart wasn't for me. 12 episodes was enough for me to get the point.

I also unsubscribed from the ChalkedUp podcast not over content, but rather because their feed was broken or missing. As far as I can tell, they're still pumping them out, I just can't get them into my iTunes directly via subscription, and when I sync it up, my iPod. I emailed them and everything. I'll re-subscribe if anybody knows how.

I added two podcasts to my list: recommended by Mason on my Facebook wall, Sound Opinions, offering record reviews and band interviews (the former remind me of Wilson & Alroy, who also sometimes disagree publicly on how good some albums are) and the Sex is Fun Radio Show. It may make me blush a little, but I'm open to the idea that I can improve in many areas and enjoy learning with my partner girlfriend.

(Mason noticed I was playing a lot of Book's Music episodes and wondered why. It's diverse and great, that's why. He knew that I'd been listening to it because he looked at my playlist. Only one other guy I know cares enough about my playlist to remark about it. Something tells me that, as cool as I think is and how useful I find it to know what people in my circle of friends are listening to, that it's not really a big phenomenon. As, say, Facebook.)

Despite yet another hiphop recession for CBC Radio 3, it's the only way I discover great Canadian music. Like Akufen, straight outta Montreal with the chip-chop house sample-based house music. I've been playing the My Way album on repeat for pretty much the last 48 hours straight.

Behind On Podcasts, As With Everything

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 05:23:40 +0000

The list of podcast episodes as yet not listened to has swollen to 70 thanks in due to spending most of last week in Windows as well as having lost my iPod earphones on the plane. (WestJet didn't have them in the lost & found, which surprised me a little, their having raised my hopes by being otherwise generally awesome.) Not to mention I didn't write an update last month. No earphones meant no listening to podcasts while in transit, which is no excuse, since I still have ironing and bill-paying.

I added no podcasts since last time, and even unsubscribed from one, ChinesePod. It was time to admit that despite intentions to do so, I was never going to get around to listening to them. Too much going on in my life to pretend to even have the time to continue learning Mandarin.

It pains me to say this, not having anywhere else to listen to great Canadian music, and knowing people who work in production for the show, but it must be said: I skip the talking bits of the still excellent CBC Radio 3. At least they put those in chapters within podcasts to make it possible: KEXP, can you please do the same? The latter has no talking for their awesome song-of-the-day podcast, so I've moved a few to my regular iTunes Library. "Convert Selection to MP3", despite the podcast already being in MP3 format, is your friend.

More than a day's worth of CITR's The Jazz Show, an afternoon's worth of KEXP's Sonarchy Radio, 6 hours (!) of The Crazy Canucks and a half hour of Planetizen Podcast wait for me to work through. But to Dave, who knows my usual response to his notification of a new podcast is to tell him how behind on podcasts, as with everything, I am completely up-to-date on The Canucks Outsider.

Two Late Podcast Pickups

Sat, 08 Sep 2007 00:02:12 +0000

I've stopped listening to none of the podcasts listed in earlier installment of my monthly podcast subscriptions list, but did add two early this month just in time for this month's rundown:

  • A Buddhist Podcast (podcast feed), but so far haven't listened to any of the episodes. If you know of any complimentary (or better) podcasts, please add a link to them in the comments. I'm looking for light fare, since all I've read on the subject is Buddhism Plain & Simple by Steve Hagen.
  • AP Radio (podcast feed) by The Aesthetic Poetic, a group blog written by Vancouverites Matthew Nelson, Douglas Haddow, Kristen Dyck, William Campbell, and Alex Munro. Favourite episode so far: hiphop butters, with, except for an out-of-place RJD2, very Pete Rock-esque productions throughout.

Two More Podcasts

Tue, 07 Aug 2007 07:15:00 +0000

Not much change from the list of podcasts I listen to from last month, but I did add two more since:

  • Book's Music, from John Book, who plays a very wide variety of music on podcast episodes that are exactly an hour long each. I've known about John Book for several years, likely since 1997, when I first subscribed to the Influx mailing list about DJ Shadow.
  • The Talk Show, an awfully-named podcast with an awful website with no show notes or links, and slowly improving production values. Dan Benjamin and John Gruber talk about Apple, Inc., and mostly about the iPhone lately. They've had an interview or two, and after 5 episodes, no women or non-white people have been guests. All that must make people wonder why I even bother subscribing, but I have to admit I think about the stuff they talk about (Macs, digital photography, the iPhone), so therefore I listen.

Also I'm listening to podcasts much more now that I leave my computer at work on weeknights. That was a decision I should have made several months ago.

Fake DJ sets, Weekly Recaps of the Internet, and Language Learning

Thu, 29 Mar 2007 07:15:38 +0000

After buying my second iPod, a svelte nano, I subscribed to some podcasts, unsubscribed from others, which I listen to while commuting from place to place. (And while ironing.) Here are the podcasts I'm listening to these days:

These days I'm wearing headphones more often, trying to listen to Fake DJ sets, weekly recaps of the Internet, and language learning, so I apologize if I'm not paying attention to you. If people don't support this podcasting thing, it might not make it.

The New York Times Magazine Is Not Podcasting

Sat, 24 Sep 2005 00:15:41 +0000

Jason Kottke blows an opportunity to call bullshit on The New York Times Magazine section called Funny Pages. First of all, though, the idea of a section serialized comic and a novella, each from a illustrator-writer (Chris Ware) and writer (Elmore Leonard) who will spend a few months at a time and a column or story from a different author each week (see the editor's introduction for more information on the format) is a really great, prompting me to resubscribe to the magazine's RSS feed. I also have the "podcasts" queued up for a slow day, which weekends always are.

I put the word "podcasts" in quotes not because I don't like the term—I think it's really good—but because they're not podcasts. They're links to MP3 files. The difference is this: with those links, it takes me 3 or more steps to get them from the Internet to my personal digital music player of choice (which happens to be an iPod). The number of steps doesn't matter: it's whether or not the process or automatic that makes it podcasting or not. For the podcasts I'm subscribed to—actually MP3blogs that I made RSS feeds with enclosures for—I got NetNewsWire and iTunes to team up and have the MP3s download automatically at a set time and then go directly to a playlist that automatically get updated on my iPod when I plug it in to my computer. The New York Times Magazine is audioblogging, which is what we used to call 'posting MP3s'.

I'm looking forward to listening to the interviews, which I understand are done in the style of old-time radio drama format. Until those interviews go to my iPod with no manual intervention from users, though, podcasting it ain't.

Take the Radio Out of Podcasting

Fri, 19 Aug 2005 03:59:57 +0000

Colin: “the phonograph and radio drastically influenced the music that was produced, simply by creating new markets. Would 80’s rock bands have worn as much makeup if their faces weren’t being beamed via MTV to millions of homes?”

Pinder joked that “only dorks make podcasts”, and yeah, a lot of the talk-show podcasts I've heard are dorky. But why aren't MP3 sites like Fluxblog—to pick the most obvious example—have a podcast feed? They could tomorrow by selecting "SmartCast™", which puts the first MP3 URL in the post into the enclosure element, effectively making it a podcast. (I created a Feedburner feed converting their Atom feed into a podcast feed for personal use, but due to ambiguities in the specification, it only takes the first MP3 link.) Releasing individual MP3s via podcast makes a lot of sense for bands, since it's an effective distribution mechanism straight from computer to portable digital music player, if you as a consumer have everything setup right, that is, though digital music players are baking podcasting in.

Some music I listen to comes in podcast form, e.g. the MP3s from Fluxblog, the CBC Radio 3 and KEXP podcasts (the latter approaching bands that want their music played but may not necessarily have a record deal), and some sites like Accordion Guy's. I also subscribe to Staccato, though it's a radio show where I would prefer to have a podcast feed of the individual songs played. The radio show format, unless it's a talk show or monologue, which I'm not very interested, doesn't make a lot of sense with a song-based show, since there's nothing really technologically preventing people producing podcasts to give you the individual songs and then make your comments about the song, rich with links and graphics (and maybe video?), in a weblog post about the song. In other words, for song distribution, if you're an artist, take the radio out of podcasting and use it as 'just' a distribution channel for your music.