The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Podbothering

Let me start by saying you don't need an ipod to check out the following! Anything that plays MP3s, portable, or static will do.

Did you know that the average Ipod has 4Gb of space used on it? That's average of all ipods, the 4Gb mini-Ipod, the 3G ipods were 10Gb, 20Gb, 40Gb. What to put on it? FM radio doesn't work on the commute (let's face it, it's never really delivered on a walkman or phone unless you live in Norwich). Solution: auto-download your own radio station to your MP3 player each morning.

Just so you have something to listen to while I blether, right click on this and select "Open Link in New Window" (or "Tab" if you're using Firefox) and click "stream lo". I heard it on a podcast. Radio for the mp3 generations, chaps. Read on whilst listening to ole George croon....

Beeb article, what is podcasting? and wikipedia's take on it.

Yeah, it's geeky. But I believe people with pods, rio players, zen jukeboxes, and gargantuan hard drives, etc are getting more willing to try stuff purely cos they want something, anything goddamnit, to fill that gaping hole that is half the 5Gb/20Gb/40Gb hard drive on their MP3 player.

If you decide to have a listen, you don't need an ipod, ITunes (free download), Winamp, Windows Media Player let you do it all on the PC). I reckon ipodder is the rss aggregator to use initially. Easy to set up, simple, and makes sense. Took about two mins to download, install and start using. I think it's straight out of the box for Linux, and works on Windoze as long as it has the .Net framework installed (if it's XP, chances are it has, otherwise nip over to the evil one's site and search it out). JPodder freaked me out cos it didn't seem to work the way it said it would and I wasn't at all patient. It looks like it's got a better feature set than ipodder but was less easy to comprend for a total podcast newbie. Maybe I'll play harder another day.

So, if you fancy a go at doing a podcast, record a wav file, convert it to an mp3 and upload it. Top tip: Headphones work as mics in the line in.

There seems to be quite a few places willing to host rss feeds and mp3s free. Blogger.com hosts "audioblogs" for free, and the rss feed attached to the blog can include an enclosure. Should be disgustingly easy to post a blog and/or audioblog (and therefore a podcast) then. Can also just phone up openpodcast and leave a podcast on their answering machine (seriously) or upload an MP3 to them.

It's a craze just waiting to go nuts man! I think it's started already.

Here's a few podcasts I've checked out (paste the rss.xml addresses into ipodder Add Feed to subscribe):

1. Adam Curry's Weblog - Inventor of Podcasting, chilled out yank sounding dude, used to be VJ on MTV I believe, lives in Guildford. I think someone mentioned he liked a smoke but I may be confused - http://www.curry.com/xml/rss.xml
2. Scripting News - Dave Winer's daily podcast. He was the guy that helped out after Curry had the idea finally got people into it - http://www.scripting.com/rss.xml
3. IndieFeed: Electronica - I have high hopes for decent new music off this one, good so far - http://radio.weblogs.com/0141318/categories/electronica/rss.xml
4. Engadget Podcast - gadget blether. Heavily American, some interesting stuff - http://media.weblogsinc.com/common/videos/pt/rss.xml
5. OpenPodcast.org - mostly harmless weirdos. One bloke occasionally posts his own answer-phone messages. Mostly people telling him he's a c**t. Most amusing. There's another guy reading all of the New Testament in 5 min pops. http://www.openpodcast.org/podcast.xml
6. Slashdot Review - 10 min round up of slashdot headlines for the day and usually some mad music at the end. http://slashdotreview.com/wp-rss2.php
7. Insomnia Radio - Grunge/skateboarder/Hip-hop music. As far as I got cos not really bag. All from Creative commons/Garageband. Depends what type of music you like, but it's worth giving the guy a go. http://webpages.charter.net/jevangelho01/IR.xml
8. Celtic Music News Podast - no idea but thought it sounded funny and I can try and talk seriously to dad about it... or not. http://podcast.celticmusicnews.com/rss.xml (Update: it's totally... er... not my cup o'char.)
10. Shanti's pirate radio - Just cos he sounds like he may be amusing and generally pissed off - http://feeds.feedburner.com/PirateRadio

PodcastAlley has a pretty damn fine list of podcasts, voting and comments against them.

Be interested to see some feedback if any of you have a look at podcasting.

And remems, you don't need an ipod.

I have started trying to convince Yaz at www.risefm.com to post his weekly shows, but I don't think they're podsafe. Not sure how much of an issue that is yet, but will look into.

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