Archive for the 'mp3' Category

New Apple iPod Shuffle is NOT a podcast player?

UPDATE : ‘Fixed’ Thanks to Diego! – but why not read on anyway. Then see the solution. And it’s a doozy. Nopodast Shuffle

OK. So I get a brand new iPod Shuffle out from its box, to use as a demo device to demonstrate podcast subscription etc. from the podcast.com site, as well as other sources of feeds. First I let it charge all night.

Then, once fully charged, I hooked it up to a brand new machine, with a brand new copy of the latest iTunes installed. When I hooked up the Shuffle, it said it needed a firmware update, which I did. Fine.

So, the first thing I do is add a podcast feed I already know about. iTunes adds that fine, then sets about downloading the latest episode. Coolio.

Now I have the podcast episodes download I want, I drag the podcast feed to the Shuffle icon, when it then sets about storing the downloaded podcasts onto the Shuffle. Hurrah!

When iTunes tells me that it’s safe to disconnect the iPod I do so, plug in my headphones to listen to my new fresh and lovely podcasts.

But wait!!! What’s this?? After hitting play, I see blinky lights!! Green – Orange – Green – Green for 2 seconds, which according to the little card which comes with the Shuffle means ‘No music on unit’ !!

Yes, yes I KNOW I have no music on there – I added podcasts (which iTunes correctly detected as such in the ID3 Genre tag as ‘Podcast’)

W.T.F!!! (Originally meaning – not Technorati’s ‘Where’s the Fire’ πŸ™‚ )

OK. So, I tried to go to iTunes podcast section and add a podcast from there. Same process – same result. No Podcasts!!

Then I tried to add a music track. I imported it to iTunes, then dragged it to the Shuffle. It loads fine. Then I disconnected it and hit play. Hurrah! I hear music.

Next track? The same. Next? The same. Next, next, etc. IE: The shuffle still thinks it has only one track on it even though when it is plugged into iTunes, it can clearly see all the mp3 files there on it.

So what gives, Steve?

Are they distancing themselves from Podcasts? The Shuffle is NOT detecting the ‘Podcast’ genre in the ID3 tags by the look of it.

I also note that a recent firmware update on a Nano I have here (I have a Nano, a Video iPod and a Shuffle for testing purposes – so I too can feel the pain. Heh.) Apple have removed the menu option ‘Podcasts’ from the Music menu where it used to be. Now you can only get to your podcasts on a Nano by going to Music > Genres > Podcasts – where it is reading the ID3 tag to filter out Podcasts (though not all podcasters tags their MP3 files this way, as many ID3 writing apps still do not list ‘Podcast’ as a valid ID3 genre)

Can anyone out there shed any light as to what the f*uck is going on over there in sunny California? I’m really pissed off about this as I bought my brother one of these so he could listen to podcasts. Thanks Steve.

ps: I’m reading ‘iWoz’ – Steve Wozniak’s (who more or less invented the personal computer with keyboard and screen attached) autobiography. It’s great! I’d really like to meet him one day. He thinks like I do.

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How Microsoft could win the portable player game

I think this looks like a great product.

I hope it can read an RSS feed directly over that WiFi (like a PSP can)! So I can download podcasts too, over the connection (like PSP can).

As well as wifi connectivity (for download) the killer app, for me, would be the ability to record AND upload too. This could be based on something like Nokias old uploader api (which was very easy to implement in any scripting language). Or a simple/simplified ftp client.

If they (MS) offered storage too, along with their desktop client/shop/aggregator based on the account, then they would have it all wrapped up.

Location agnostic consuming and publishing – desktop or mobile device – listening, viewing, subscribing etc. All synced up the next time the device links to the desktop. Full of real statistics, linkage and relevance.

Bingo! You’d have it all.

THEN if your reading AND writing/publishing tools support the core content and organisation XML standards for podcasts of RSS and OPML, PLUS additional support for microformats such as FOAF etc AND OTHER community APIS (though this could be done by any developer community or group of widgetwelders)

If Microsoft did this, they would win – imho

By ‘closing the content loop’ (by effectively flipping one end and connecting it to the other) – publish to receive : AND discover/navigate : subscribe , it would be like APple where things ‘seem’ to be locked in, they wuold have the opportunity to turn the whole network inside out, exposing all the data needed – all the ‘neural’ connections – all the paths, all the people and all the content.

This would ‘connect’ the owners of such devices to eachother, creating the community feel, but also prove they are not going to create a ‘walled garden’ of content – for devices that don’t know (much) about anything else.

[given that i am talking about ‘open’ podcasts here – user generated (argh) – as opposed to music/video/protected shopping/purchases with their own DRM.]

You don’t have to be able to read the ZUNESTONES to see it. Do you?
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ps: When are Google or Yahoo! going to produce a device? They should! πŸ˜‰

pps: people who know me personally, will know that I am a huge love love and passionate user of gadgets. I have been on this crusade for a while. πŸ˜‰

Apple’s (brushed aluminium) handcuffs

Unninovate reports on one of the new ‘features’ of iTunes 7.0

Bend over everyone, Steve’s got an upgrade for you. πŸ˜‰

Podcast.com Upgrade

Well, after ages of thinking and and coding, I have managed to do a huge overhaul of the podcast.com code, mainly in the directory / feed folder rendering department.

Ever since I built the first rendition of the renderer. I knew I’d have to rethink it somewhat, to cope with many, many users without losing the very cool functionality that I have put in there (for good reason).

Now you will find that the site loads ALOT faster. A quick peek at the OPML for each folder (see the red opml icons – which may change – when you open a feed folder) will show you that we use inclusion at every level now. This helps the whole system to scale.

Also, this means that one user can now link easily to another user’s folder without breaking the ‘tree’. It works with internally generated and managed ‘feed folders’ (creating OPML) as well as external OPML.

When you view a feed, you will also notice with added a link to show ‘where’ this feed appears in our users’ folder structures. (OK.. not so many users as yet, but we hope to add to them by the end of October) Also, you’ll see a button to show single-click subscription methods will a list of chicklets.

Another cool thing you should see is that EVERY folder has a permalink url – also with some links to add to del.icio.us or digg

We want the data here to work EVERYWHERE. We have an opportunity to work with EVERYONE.

We love you guys. Now I gotta do me a podcast! πŸ™‚

PixPix RIAA Secret Agent Honeypot?

Another link from the Scobleizer about a new site called PixPix, which lets you bookmark all sort of things on the web including music mp3s, video and images. All this is wrapped in a digg-like ‘social network’ interface for rating and whatnot.

While I think that sites like this are fun and reveal loads of things out there on the web you might not find otherwise, they have made the job of the RIAA etc very very easy indeed. The urls to the copyrighted files and material are there for all to see.

Some bright spark at the RIAA needs to write a script which monitors their RSS feeds (here’s the one for audio) and notes down the value of the ‘guid’ element. This will harvest a huge list of hosts of potentially infringing content.

It wouldn’t surprise me if one day the folks at the RIAA, MPAA, PRS etc create a site just like this and thus create a huge honeypot for their investigations. It just takes one smart cookie in the bag.

Evan’s Podcasting site roundup feedback

Evan Williams, founder of Pyra – which became Blogger.com and head honcho of Odeo has got some Alexa results of podcasting sites out there and provides some feedback.

Good job. Nice to see Libsyn pumping away at the top. I really like those guys.

So, I’m not surprised to see the results for podcast.com πŸ˜‰

We opened up the doors of the site back at the end of May, as an ‘alpha’, based on some of the early foundation technology we’re building, simply because we couldn’t bare to look at the old horrible greenish page that used to be there any more πŸ˜‰ The feedback we’ve had has been positive.

Since then, we been going like the clappers, not sleeping much, slowly but surely bringing together a whole load of features you haven’t seen yet. The list of subscriptions in the directory there are basically *mine*. As in my user account. There’s two actually – a user called kosso curates the canada.podcast.com directory and the secondlife.podcast.com directory (they’re actually folders within koz.podcast.com). Soon you’ll be able to create your own version of the site and have access to a load of tools and info to get you going in podcasting, whether it’s as a listener or a podcaster. We have publishing tools too – and some pretty nifty urls and data for you to play with. Some original content too! (I can’t wait to let you in on all that πŸ˜‰ )

I often use the analogy of the book industry to describe what we’re up to:

To start, we want to help people find books they want to read and let the author know what they think. Moving along, we want to help people build bookshelves to put all these books on. Then give people the tools to build whole libraries – and connect them together.

Back the other way, we naturally want to help people publish books. And help promote their hard work. Then back, we want to help teach people how to write a book and provide nice and easy tools to do so. Even further back to the core, we also want to help people make paper and ink and even research new types of paper and ink, which might make a book easier to read or understand and hopefully more popular!.

As the people running the generic domain, we intend to DO THE RIGHT THING. What else would you do with the generic domain? I left the BBC to work on this, as I’m incredibly passionate about podcasting having fiddled with building tools and systems since it started. Becoming a podcaster (but not as frequently as I would like – that’s why I’m builfing tools πŸ˜‰ ). Meeting the likes of Dave Winer and Adam Curry last year was a real motivator. Still is. Respec’.
I really didn’t want the site to end up squatted or parked or simply wasted. I’m on a mission (from pod). ‘With great domains comes great responsibility’. We have some interesting things coming up soon which might perk up your ears πŸ˜‰

I’ve just got back from Boston after a great time with the rest of the boys – making sure we’re all on the same playlist and getting the new hands on deck up to speed with the system, ethos and roadmap for the whole place. It’s been very reassuring.

We still have alot to do to get the site open as a public beta, where people will be able to join up and have a go at using the tools we’re putting together. It won’t all come at once. We intend to listen to what you think and iterate. We think it’s going to be an exciting resource for anyone interested in podcasting.

It’s going to be a few more weeks, but now we can all see the next checkpoint. There is no finish line πŸ˜‰

Are Apple rewriting your podcast MP3 ID3 tags??

On today’s Daily Source Code, Adam Curry mentions that when a podcast gets downloaded and synced through iTunes, Apple are rewriting the ID3 tags in the MP3 file – editing it and replacing some fields with info from the RSS feed.

WTF?? – Was my initial reaction. But I do wonder what people think about this, if it;s true. It’s clearly just as bad as the feed manipulation Podshow were seen to be doing.

At least poshow fixed it. I doubt Apple will.

What do YOU think?

Apple still make it impossible to copy and paste a podcast RSS feed (hidden behind the ‘i’ icon, AFTER you susbscribe using iTunes) so you can subscribe using a different reader. I suppose the only thing to do is use another podcast feed reader (podcatcher).
The KoolAid effect around the iPod is staggering. No one who owns one has any idea how the rest of the world without an iPod or iTunes is doing things. It’s like AOL’s early walled garden kidding users that there was not a world wide web out there. So many people think that to get podcasts, they need an iPod. So many people are forced into using iTunes, which is one of the worst bits of software I have ever been forced to use. I mean it.

I got an iPod to just see for myself what all the fuss is about. Sure, I too can get swept off my feet my a lovely, well-built gadget but the user experience with iTunes and the iPod has been awful. I wonder if it would be different if I didn’t know as much as I do about the alternatives and freedom available.

I’m amazed Steve Jobs didn’t announce an iPadlock at yesterday’s WWDC. Foolproof lockin for the masses.

I do love my MacBookPro though. Can’t wait for the winter. Mmmm, toasty. πŸ˜‰


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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