Thursday, September 28
Featured Video Podcast in iTunes!!, higres version
Bill Streeter of lofistl.com was featured today in the iTunes podcast directory.
And he got some good PR.
riverfronttimes.com | Best Of
Monday, September 25
The ultimate vision is that that one day soon we'll be walking down the street and our portable media device will suddenly beep at us and we'll pull it out and see we have a new video or audio podcast from a friend right there and ready to play.
Ideally this device will transparenly jump on and off any open or trusted network checking all our photo, audio podcast, or videoblog subscriptions downloading any media in the background transparently without needing any attention. We'd then be able to pull it out at any point and be assured that the absolute latest videos, photos or audio podcasts would be right there waiting for us.
Such a device will allow podcasting technology to become untethered.. to go with us out into the world, to be experienced not in realtime, but in web time. Such media will then start to become not just more ubiquitous than traditional broadcasting and entertainment... but also a seemless tool of everday inter-personal communications.
The wifi enabled Sony PSP has been the closest to this vision, but it is not a automatic aggregator... it's simply a browser... and it requires way to much attention to discover, download, and prepare content prior to simple playback. You must be on network to browse media and download individual videos and pieces of audio individually for later playback. In order for such a device to be successful content must come to the device without the need for constant attention and require us only to choose which mp3 or video and press play.
Nokia has been making some major in-roads lately with devices like the n770 and more recently the n93, and now it appears that their latest device the n95 will be out as soon as tomorrow and that it might, just might, finally have full on support for audio and video podcast aggregation!
I'll believe it when I see it! :)
I don't have the exact specs but Steve Garfield just posted about the Nokia N95 which will supposedly be out tomorrow. According to him it will have an audio and video podcast aggregator on the phone.
This is Steve Garfield reporting from the Soho Grand Hotel where Nokia has gathered bloggers from around the world to preview the new Nokia N95, prior to it's public unveiling tomorrow in NYC at the 7th Regiment Armory.
There was an application called podcasting and I asked about it. It's a media aggregator that will be able to subscribe to audio and video podcasts which you'll then be able to watch on the device. It's really a lot more than just a phone. It's a multimedia computer.
I have lots of questions steve (and nokia)! and I want answers! :)
First, I want specs!
- video/audio codecs supported -- 3gp, mp4, mp3 ???
- RSS standards supported -- RSS 2.0, mediaRSS, Atom ??
- memory -- Onboard memory size, explandability, flash card type?
- does it aggregate via any open wifi? what about authenticated wifi?
- does it aggregate over wireless!? i.e 3G
- can it jump on and off trusted and open networks without my attention
- can it aggregate media in the background
- how do i get RSS feeds to the phone? does nokia have an API?
Steve, and Nokia... if you're listening... send me one already for testing!
We over at mefeedia.com have been waiting and prepared to take videoblogging and audio podcasting beyond the desktop computer and "tethered devices" like the ipod... for over a year... just give us basic RSS 2.0 support, some good formats support like mp4 and mp3, a way to get a feed in the device and a simple easy to use aggregator / playback interface we'll do the rest! :)
Steve G's whole post is here: Nokia Test Center Blog: Blogger Preview of the Nokia N95
nokian95, nokianseries, N95
Sunday, September 24
82,978 podcasts and counting
According to Victor that's a ten-fold increase since apple started the directory just over a year ago.
What with all the great podcasting platforms like Odeo, Hipcast, Vimeo, Blip.tv and dozens of directories and platforms like Mefeedia the iTunes directory certainly doesn't contain everything. (In fact i'm sure it has but a small fraction of the total number of video and audio podcast feeds.) However it's a good indicator of how big podcasting has grown and how fast it's growing.
So why is it so important that there are 82,978 podcasters in the iTunes Podcast directory?
Because Apple sent out a cease and decist against Podcast Ready claiming their name infringed on Apple's trademarks. This implies that Apple believes that any name containing "podcast" might infringe on their trademarks and it has got many of those 82,978 podcasters blood boiling.
According to Russell Shaw over at ZDNet this is not simply a case of trademark protectionism gone mad.
According to him it appears Apple is attempting to do a trademark land grab not only around the term "pod", as was previously known, but now also the term "ipodcast".
Now there's virtually no chance Apple will succeed in maintaing total control over the user of "pod" and especially "podcast" in this space but they sure hasn't stopped them from trying and they sure are pissing a lot of people (and businesses) off.
The ZDnet article: » EXCLUSIVE: Apple Trademark Office docs point to REAL reasons for" Podcast" controversy | IP Telephony, VoIP, Broadband | ZDNet.com
Thanks Victor for the info.
Saturday, September 23
From: Apple Hits Podcast Ready with Nastygram (Wired.com)
Apple Computer has slapped Podcast Ready with a "cease and desist" letter, claiming that the terms "Podcast Ready" and "myPodder" infringe Apple's trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers. The company has been cracking down on use of the word "pod" by all sorts of parties, even though its trademark is for the word "iPod."
Podcast Ready CEO Russel Holliman said he'd consider dropping the name myPodder if he had to, but "Podcast Ready"? If that's infringement, Apple is claiming that it owns the word "podcast." Sure, the word originated with the word iPod, but most people now see it as a general term for downloadable audio shows that isn't affiliated with one brand more than another.
Coincidentally, Apple's letter arrived the day before Podcast Ready unveiled a new version of its software -- one that works with the iPod.
Podcast Ready works by sucking down subscribed podcasts directly to a portable device whenever that device is connected to a computer. This allows you to update your player's podcasts on any computer, instead of just the one running, say, your iTunes software. The latest version of the program works better with iTunes because it adds freshly-downloaded podcasts to your iPod's navigation database without you having to import the podcasts into iTunes first.
It's important to note they're are two different issue here... It's quite likely "myPodder" may be an infringment... However if "Podcast Ready" is an infringement that would make any company who ever used "podcast" in their name an infringing.
I am actually really pissed at Apple... they didn't CREATE or invent podcasting and clearly they're behaving with both iTunes 7.0 and with their trademarks like they own it... it is a "comsumer driven culture" or better explained as "a community created" and "community driven technology" and whatever apple now thinks of the term "podcast" now it's to late for them to try to claim ownership over the term or tech after it was created by the community and Apple has embraced and encouraged the terms general usage for almost two years. The term "podcasting" and the tech for podcasting were around before Apple started using the term and before they added the technology to iTunes... and I'll bet anything if there's a showdown that the technology and term are still around long after Apple and the iPod have gone the way of all other companies and products over the years.
At this point I'm really hostile toward apple on the podcasting front and I wish the blogging community would just get organized and create an uproar and put apple in it's place. We litterally number in the hundreds of thousands whereas apple is just one company.
Apple has with their vertical integration of Podcasting into the iTunes store endoctrinated podcasting, making podcasting rigid, stiffling innovation, and disenfranchising thousands of bloggers, videobloggers and podcasters with their business 1.0 model of vertically integratation and lockin into the itunes store, directory and software.
Apple is creating a golden silo or walled garden to capture and drive traffic and sales in the iTunes Store... greedily grabbing traffic and locking people into the iTunes store with DRM and the iTunes podcasting platform.
With Apple all traffic is inbound, none outbound.
Bloggers and Podcasters everywhere are driving thousands and thousands of users to iTunes via thousands of inbound itunes links... I'm willing to bet we are THE number one driver of traffic to the iTunes store. I challenge you... who else is driving traffic to Apple? Apple is using YOU.
There is not a single permalink or linkback anywhere where our content is being watched and listened. Not one link in the media playback interface back to our own sites! There are plenty of links from the iTunes interface into the iTunes Store.. but no links to OUR websites... where we conduct OUR businss.. sell our content... or just discuss the podcast episode you've just listened to in iTunes.
I'd call it a slick bastardization of podcasters interest... but it's NOT slick. It's sickening... an outrage.
There are no perma-links back from itunes to independant artists... musicians, videographers, or podcast producers whom are strugling to make a dime... to do everything from sell an mp3... to simply get some achnowlegement. Apple has shaped ALL workflow around and within iTunes disconnecting bloggers from their audiences.
As I put it before. All links are inbound to iTunes and NOTHING is outbound.
It's particularly vexing to me because podcasting is based on blogging and RSS.
RSS syndication would not even EXIST without linkbacks and permalinks. If syndication didn't drive traffic back to websites it would not exist at ALL!
Permalinks are FUNDAMENTAL. So fundamental in fact that of the hundreds or even thousands of RSS podcatcher and newsreader applications out there I'm willing to bet 99% of them link back to the original blog post... pretty much every single one but Apple!
Perhaps it's time to create an Creative Commons legally binding RSS license and include that anyone syndicating content MUST link back to the original place where that content was posted. You would think it would be obvious wouldn't you!? But Apple's iTunes has had podcasting support for over a year, it's now in it's second major revision with podcasting support and still no trackbacks!
Backing up... I think we're going to see another Streisand Effect over this Apple vs. Podcast Ready thing. And I welcome it. I think it's time for an uproar.. for some outrage in the blogging community. Enough of Apple bending the will of the podcasting community to suit it's needs. Enough. This is a symbiotic relationship, a partnership or it should be not at all.
Fortunately this is great timing and great PR for Podcast Ready, just as they've come out with a new version of their software... I'm sure they'll benifit tremendously from the publicity.
Remember kids... Conflict is good for business... especially if you're the underdog like Podcast Ready and not some big gorilla with plans to embrace, extend and vertically integrate an entire creator's culture into your little schema to take over the media world.
Apple's got to give here... they're doing a crap ass job of courting hollywood and podcasters. Not only is hollywood not buying it but independant musicians and media makers are being squashed on the other end of the spectrum. The entire spectrum of the media free market cannot be represented in a closed market owned by one company. The center of the market mist remain open. Something has got to give... and i'm guessing it's already starting with Apple's reputation as a platform for independant media makers.
As for me... I'm switching to podcast ready today... I'm so damn sick of iTunes bloatware. The latest edition of myPodder couldn't have come out sooner. Nor Apple have spurred publicity around it at a better time. I emplore everyone to take the jump with me... and switch those iTunes subscription links on your site that point to iTunes to people like PodcastReady.com, FireAnt.com, Mefeedia.com, Odeo.com and others whom are actually providing services for the community.
Tip via Yahoo Podcasters group
Friday, September 22
Social Capital (wikipedia)
Where is it all going?
Links via my partner in crime Michael Sullivan.
This is mostly an issue of due cause and crisis management on godaddy's part, but it's much more interesting than just how godaddy handled it.
On Thursday, Godaddy shut down maccast.com without any prior notice1, 2. Apparently the MacCast Podcast had become to popular and was eating up NOT to much bandwidth or storage, but most interestingly to many processor cycles.
This is a new twist on an old theme. The big problem with GoDaddy is no prior notice was given before they pulled the plug. Lack of due process is always a critical issue in said takedown situations. Sure MacCast's processor utilization could have spiked unexpectedly but more than likely this problem could have been spotted weeks or even months in advance.
One thing is beyond debate, GoDaddy better invest some time implimenting some sort of notification system for processor utilization, because Adam Christianson of MacCast had NO way of knowing there was a problem. More thoughts on this later.
Luckily, and I think this is a quick recovery, within 24 hours, possibly do to outside pressures Godaddy's VP of Technology contacted Adam and they got it back online pretty quick. Godaddy err'd yes, but a quick recovery. Adam was lucky.
So, I'm not certain wether people will think this reflects poorly on godaddy or positively. I'm interested, but there's no sense on my debatting it... let's just wait and see what others have to say. For my part I'll just say... they left some room for improvement, but responded suprisingly quick. Overall a B+. Flame away.
The questions I have are these.
1) How are processor cycles specified in contracts? Specifically Godaddy's, but what about other hosts like Dreamhost. Who else is popular and how are they covering processor cycles in their contracts.
2) What good is are these contracts if we have no way to track processor cylces as consumers of their services?
3) Is this increasingly becoming and issue? Because it appears that hosting providers are increasingly beefing up the selling points of bandwidth and storage and perhaps ignoring and underselling server cycles on shared hosting plans.
4) What can we podcasters and video bloggers do to protect ourselves?
I don't have the answers to points 1, 2, and 3... I'm hopping others will jump on them.
What I can say in this... while it may seem like a great idea to put everything on one server for tracking and organizational purposes, just like with your financial portfolio diversification is a damn good idea.
Off hand there are three things that can save your butt... not just with hosting issues... but also with DMCA takedown notices... if you're pushing that legal edge of fair use.
1) Host your website on one provider.
2) Host your media on another host.
3) Use a 3rd party for your feed such as feedburner.com.
If these things aren't self evident then let me just say... that all these things have seperate and VERY specific needs.
1) Your website is most likely to use processor cycles unless it's a blogger.com site... or some static HTML. Most platforms like Moveabletype and Wordpress are getting better at scaling with traffic, but processor cycles will always be an issue. If your blog is hosted on livejournal.com from Moveabletype, or wordpress.org or blogspot.com from blogger... those aren't bad cheap solutions.
2) Meanwhile your media has two major requirements, server space and bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth. On a side note, it might be nice to have all your media hosted on a nice domain you own so you can mirror it if any problems... like say media.yourdomain.com. But don't be putting it up at simply yourdomain.com/media Even small time or beginner podcasters and videobloggers can quickly run into problems. Better to have a $5-10 a month blog... and a $10-20 a month media hosting server than a $20 a month server hosting everything.
3) Finally, a service like feedburner is a given... not only do they provide excellent added services and added value, but even if your site is down you can STILL get a show out and people using aggregators or directories like itunes will still be able to find and subscribe to your feed and and people using search engines will still be able to download your episodes when they stumble on them. If your feed and website are on the same domain and your domain goes down, so does your feed, and potentially if you're using tracking or redirection on your server so does all access to the media even if it is hosted elsewhere.
Also a great read on MacCast. My Word with Douglas E. Welch: On Podcasting: GoDaddy.com - Web hosts that don't host
Saturday, September 16
UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is launching a call for submissions of video podcast proposals for a series of production grants.
The organization wishes to produce and distribute a series of video podcasts for all audiences, but especially young adults (20-35), aimed at increasing understanding of the development and societal issues identified as priority fields by UNESCO, namely:
- Human Rights;
- Fight against discrimination, based on race, gender or other issues (e.g. HIV status);
- Millennium Development Goals, particularly poverty-alleviation and gender equality and women empowerment;
- Freedom of Expression;
- Intercultural communication.
More info: Video Podcasting News ? The United Nations Needs Video Podcasters
Friday, September 15
I've endlessly been frustrated by their lack of improvement (ironically much like blogger.com)... particularly in services for podcast consumers.
It seemed to me to be architectural or systemic of their culture.
Here I am using the core consumer features of Odeo and yet there were huge bugs and glaring errors like tremendous duplication of podcasts when I aggrgated them in iTunes which wastes huge bandwidth... podcasts that would come through days late, weeks late... sometimes never. These two problems in particular have persisted for over a year, possibly a year and a half with little to know improvement.
I found myself asking the question... are any of odeo's people even using this?
And then I saw this post by Om Malik.
Last year Williams wrote a widely read, much-bookmarked post titled ?Ten Rules for Web Startups.? ?Be Narrow,? he said, ?Be Tiny.? Today, he flat-out admitted ?I was working on Odeo at the time I wrote that, and I was ignoring most of those rules.? Incited by excitement about podcasting and an early demo at the TED Conference leading to a front-page New York Times article (behind pay wall), Odeo got unfocused and bloated, according to Williams.
Williams went through a tidy list of the top five Odeo screw-ups:
?Trying to build too much? ? Odeo set out to be a podcasting company with no focus beyond that.
?Not building for people like ourselves? ? For example, Williams doesn?t podcast himself, and he says as a result the company?s web-based recording tools were too simplistic.
?Not adjusting fast enough? ? The company thought its comprehensive web-based strategy would win out over the competition, primarily Apple, in the long term. ?It turns out long term is not soon enough for a startup if you?re trying to get a foothold.?
?Raising too much money too early? ? Williams seeded the money with $70,000 of his own money, and after the TED excitement added another $100,000. After he tied up over a million in angel funding, a term sheet came through from Charles River Ventures at three times the angel round valuation. They took the money.
?Not listening to my gut? ? ?When you?ve got a bunch of money and you?ve hired a lot of people and you?re talking to your board and you?re talking to reporters, your gut can get drowned out.?
You should really read the whole post: GigaOM - Evan Williams: How Odeo Screwed Up
That said... I think it's pretty big of Evan Williaams to speak so candidly of himself, and I have great... even renewed hope for Odeo.com.
Thursday, September 14
Rushkoff on Videoblogging
Ok, so I'm always talking about the failure of Current TV, and the great potential to build a new media network for the internet age, like what CNN was for the age of cable and satelite. I thought I should quote a little source on this. So when I stumbled on this little interview Johnny Golstein did with Douglas Rushkoff I thought I'd post it. Vloggersations at their finest.
"Rushkoff on Videoblogging"
Watch movie (Quicktime, 4.5 min, 17.8 MB)
Watch the video I recently had the pleasure of speaking with bestselling writer Douglas Rushkoff about his latest projects "Get Back in the Box," and "Testament." At the end of our interview, I couldn't help asking him for his take on videoblogging.
So what is "the failture of Current TV" and what is "this future media network"? My opinion might vary from Douglas Rushkoff's a bit, but the failure of Current TV in my opinion that they had the opportunity and certainly hyped the idea of making a user generated channel. A true participatory medium. However when it came right down to it and they created the Current TV cable channel they used the same old top down editorial mechanism used for the last half a decade.
Instead of encouraging people to create their own channels, find their own voices... and create a sustainable and decentralized ecosystem of media and then filtering or aggregating the very best of that media Current TV became just another "contest".
The difference is while one is sustainable and empowers users giving them their own platforms on which to speak and their own audience.... the other says... make us videos... and maybe if their really really good... you'll have a one in 10,000 shot of them being actually seen by another real human being.
Current TV didn't connect the mases, empower them and give them a voice and hence profit from the huge cornicopia of creativity. What they did was create another MTV. It's the same old s*** with a new label. Send us your best stuff and maybe we'll put it on TV... maybe it'll be seen.
Real change is not a new marketing angle... real change depends on architectural change. Ted Turner of CNN fame understood that the change in architecture from broadcast TV to cable and satelite would allow him to do something revolutionary. Today CNN doesn't seem that revolutionary. There are thousands of niche cable channels. But when Ted Turner started CNN with the idea of having 24x7 around the clock news people literrally thought he was a kook. He stood amongst the giants of NBC and ABC and said I want to do 24x7 news. It's hard to imagine that time. But amongst those generalists who at the time would have thought that there would be enought people in the world interested in just news?
Who want's to watch 24x7 around the clock news!?
The anwer to that was pretty much the entire world.
Well right now I pose you this riddle.
Who want's to watch high school girls talking about their latest crush on crappy quality web cam?
Who want's to see an old man tell his life story?
Who want's to see videos of a guy walking down the street talking into a camera on his way to the grocery store?
Well, believe it or not I already know the answer to that.
The answer is their friends, their family, and their peers.
And when you consider that everyone has friends, family, and peers doesn't that litterally mean that the potential audience for such a network is pretty much everyone in the whole world?
You bet your ass it does.
So is youtube this network of the future? Is videoblogging this network of the future?
[About youtube] I don't know. But I don't think so, for one thing this network can't be owned. I think they're pieces of the puzzle.
This network can not be incorporated like CNN. Sure parts of it can.. and maybe Youtube is one part of that... maybe. But it can't be owned because it's made up of people, not just one class of people... but eventually and ideally pretty much everyone on the planet.. Noone can own this network, the capacity of this network is not determined by pipes and bandwidth. It's capacity is litterally determined by the capacity of the people themselves. Their interest. Their passion. The number of friends, family and peers they have. Their ability to be the filters and propogaters of media for those friends, family, and peers around them.
The internet is a vastly different network than cable or satelite. And so much like the kooky visionary that decided people would be interested in watch the news 24x7. I believe that yes..the world does want to watch the ramblings of everyday ordinary people. And why not, they being everyday ordinary people themselves have a LOT in common.
As Francois Truffaut said... and as has been cited enclessly by vloggers.
"The film of tomorrow appears to me as even more personal than an individual and autobiographical novel, like a confession, or a diary. The young filmmakers will express themselves in the first person and will relate what has happened to them. It may be the story of their first love or their most recent; of their political awakening; the story of a trip, a sickness, their military service, their marriage, their last vacation...and it will be enjoyable because it will be true, and new...The film of tomorrow will not be directed by civil servants of the camera, but by artists for whom shooting a film constitutes a wonderful and thrilling adventure. The film of tomorrow will resemble the person who made it, and the number of spectators will be proportional to the number of friends the director has. The film of tomorrow will be an act of love." — François Truffaut, published in Arts magazine, May 1957 Source: Miami New Times
(video via Mefeedia)
Wednesday, September 13
National Geographic is Video Podcasting
In case you haven't noticed National Geographic is video podcasting. Quite frankly they are some of the best quality and most interesting podcasts I've ever seen. The vision of bringing that same exotic look into world cultures is alive and better than ever. Video podcasting seems to me a natural extention of the vision of those first national geographic magazines to use pictures. It's an interesting point of perspective with 100's of thousands of videobloggers on youtube and throughout the web. To me these videos illustrate how far we have yet to go before the world truely becomes the global village so talked about in the past. THey're a far cry from teenage girls sitting in their bedrooms talking about their secrete crush or viral videos of people lipsyncing lyric to crazy pop tunes.
"Unusual Food: Fried Rat"
Watch movie (Quicktime, , )
The thought of eating rats would be disgusting to many people, but there are areas of the world where a grilled rat is considered a yummy treat.
To bad national geographic doesn't even have a decent web page. But you can see their posts on mefeedia, http://mefeedia.com/feeds/18639/
Monday, September 11
Blackberry or Crackberry?
A bit of media zen from the medianipple. It just made me laugh. Reminds me of breakfast cerial.
Have you had your crackleberry cerial today? :)
"addiction to technology"
Watch movie (Quicktime, 1.1 min, 5.8 MB)
BlackBerry or CrackBerry? These five videos look at how technology and addiction is often presented in broadcast media. Addiction is bad of kids, but good for adults? (Click image - and links below - to view Quicktime video.) This post will not address the realities of technological addiction – if there even is such a thing – and instead we ask these questions: Why is addiction always fearfully presented when describing adolescent usage? And why is addiction always presented like some funny naughty habit with adults? On TV, adult media addiction is like chocolate. If there is tech-addiction, isn’t it bad for everyone? If we believe that kids should not be immersed in technology for extended periods, why is it funny when adults exhibit these same obsessions? One thing is true, if there is no legal stand for adult tech-addiction, there will also be none for kids. And why should there be? The main purpose of media is to self-promote. Media begets more media. And addiction begets more addiction. Go buy some more, who can resist? Consider visual literacy and grow better media communication. tags: VLOG visual LITERACY television MEDIA communication CULTURE
Videoblogging, is it art?
Better Bad News takes on videoblogging.
"Better Bad News: ARTISTS, PROGRAMERS AND ACTIVISTS CONSIDER A GENERAL STRIKE: BUT IS IT ART?"
Watch movie (Quicktime, 5.6 min, 17.6 MB)
vlog: http://www.betterbadnews.com feed: http://www.betterbadnews.com/rss20_xml comment: http://www.betterbadnews.com/65
Friday, September 1
To share a little of the sentiment from some discussions I've been having to encourage co.mmments.com.
One day we?ll be able to follow the conversation from blog post to blog post and comment to comment across the entire blogosphere.
I see co.mments future as a tracker and aggregator of conversations.
As of yet the conversation still exists in the BBS?s the About.com?s and on in the comments of sites like NYTimes. however the blogosphere and services like co.mmments will gradually gobble these old corporate hierchies up and allow the reorganization of conversation in brilliant new ways. One of which is that conversations will no longer be tied to the brand or corporation?s domain space which sponsored them. Words and comments from all over the web and hence world will intermingle in natural threads. You?ll have only to favor or filter your favorite places of discussion wether that be slashdot and metafilter, or your favorite blogs?. and filter by language? or even geography to see what people are saying near you.
Threaded conversations like tagging, and trusted models like blogging (before them) will become a major new facet aka. dimension of the internet.
From: co.mments.com ? Blog Archive ? E-Mail Alerts
More conversation on this subject can be found on intermediated.com and Video Vertigo the video blog developers mailing list.
Keywords: information architecture, vloggersations