Jumping Over to the Light Side

I’m becoming increasingly pissed off with Windows. When it works, it works, but when it doesn’t want to work you may as well go and roll into a ball and hum Lordi* to yourself.

This morning I fired up XP to try out Office 2007 beta 2 and get today’s podcast recorded. In theory that should be a relatively easy thing to do; load up the tracks in Winamp, hit record, waffle for 20 minutes and encode as an mp3; Bob is your mother’s brother. Not today, it would seem. It took me over an hour before I finally gave up and went back to Linux.

I think now is the time to really think about getting myself a Mac. I don’t play games or use any software that hasn’t got an alternative on OSX and with a slew of Summer gigs coming up, I could really do with something portable I can take along that isn’t going to flake out on me. Now all I need to decide is what sort of Mac to get; Mac Mini, iBook or Macbook.

*Lordi are the hilariously dressed Finnish rock band that won Eurovision at the weekend. I’ve heard the Angels of rock have been known to help out pissed off Windows XP users in their times of need. Might want to try that sometime.

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  1. Martin (Green Dragon) May 25th, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    Much as I hate to admit it, I’m a confirmed Windows user, ever since the days of 3.1 and to be honest the only unstable version I’ve used was 98, now using XP Pro 64 bit and it’s working fine (*turns around, touches wood and spits on a black cat). The only problem I’ve ever encountered was from 3rd party software such as Audacity and Firefox which occassionally kill themselves. I would dearly like to know why people love mac so much, but there again I’ve never used one.

    Good luck with the hunt for your idea system.

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Phil May 25th, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    You need to spend a day on a Mac, Martin, then you’ll know why they’re so superior for a hell of a lot of tasks. I’d rather have something that just works, instead of something that makes me want to throw the PC out of the nearest window.

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 mark – tartanpodcast.com May 29th, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    My first experience using a Mac was in Caledonian Uni earlier this year; they set up an account on one of their Mac Minis to do some podcast stuff for them. The 2nd time I used the Mini I went out and bought a Mac for myself. That was February and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; podcasting on a Mac is a superior experience. Full Stop. Factor in video editing and managing all your digital media…….it’s just a much better platform for digital creation and managment.

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Phil May 29th, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Each time I’ve experienced a Mac it’s been quick, stable and a pleasure to use – unlike my XP machine. When it works it’s a mediocre way to do things.

    Looking forward to a change.

  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Spook Jun 1st, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Yep. I know lots of musicians who would only use Macs. Mr. S. being one. You should chat to him about the wonders of a Mac and what he recommends. Am sure he’d be accommodating sharing his experiences so to speak.


  6. Gravatar Icon 6 jason (insomnia radio) Jun 2nd, 2006 at 7:47 am

    You know, I just recently installed Office 2007 Beta 2, and it’s halted my system to a crawl. It’s definitely a resource hog. One thing that saps all my cpu power is Groove, make sure you’ve got that thing turned OFF.

    Sidenote: Groove does rock, and has some real potential for bridging the gap between “virtual” workspaces and real ones…

    But yes, I can’t wait to go Mac and not go back. IDeally, I’d still use both. But the mac will be my production machine. The PC will be the one my family can safely screw up ;-)

  7. Gravatar Icon 7 Phil Jun 2nd, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve found Office 2007 to be semi decent so far. There are a lot of good things about it, but nothing that isn’t on the Mac.

    What’s Groove?

A Nice Quiet Weekend

Last week was another draining and noisy week. The back and forth between current UKPA members, prospective members and everyone in between is starting to grate on me (which I know will bring another barrage of comments ;) ).

Here’s my official position and last post for a while on the UKPA;

  • I am not against an organisation of British podcasters to handle negotiations with companies such as the MCPS/PRS and further the public image of British podcasting.
  • I am aware that any artists I play on my podcasts may one day sign up to the MCPS/PRS, meaning that it would be in my interests to pay for such a license.

It’ll be interesting to read about the meeting the UKPA will be attending next week with the MCPS/PRS (I’m assuming audio will also be made available). Representing 250+ podcasters (still no indication on how many of those are part of the UKPA) is quite a big deal, so I wish everyone involved the best of luck.

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6 Responses to “A nice, quiet weekend”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Spook May 23rd, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Hope you are feeling not so frazzled!!!

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Phil May 23rd, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    Not as much as I have been, PC problems don’t help though :(

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Adrian May 23rd, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    “I am aware that any artists I play on my podcasts may one day sign up to the MCPS/PRS, meaning that it would be in my interests to pay for such a license.”

    I don’t think it would necessarily be in your interests to sign up for a licence Phil. Providing you keep on top of it and make sure the tracks you play are genuinely podsafe for every show, you won’t need a licence of any sort. Even if the worst happens and they apply it retrospectively, the worst that will happen is that you have to take old shows out of your feed.

    As long as you keep playing new stuff, you shouldn’t need to worry I think, although buying a licence will give you more flexibility if that’s what you want.

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Phil May 24th, 2006 at 8:14 am

    Thanks Adrian.Old shows aren’t in the feed for long before I take them down, so I should be sorted. The first thing I do is make sure any music I play is podsafe, I’ve been doing that for well over 12 months.

    It’s going to be interesting to hear about the meeting the UKPA will be having with the MCPS/PRS so we can work out their motives for any licensing direct from them, instead of a lot of hearsay.

  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Dean Whitbread May 27th, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Phil

    What’s that quote about OS’s? Mac OS for productivity, Linux for stability, Palm OS for mobility, Windows for Solitaire….

    I agree with Adrian. Right now you don’t need any over-arching license. Or even a licence. Does anyone care that the word license/licence is correctly spelt both ways? it’s the same with UKPA or Non. Does anyone care beyond the very small circles of self-involved podcasters who seem obsessed with being pro or anti? No. But that doesn’t make it irrelevant. I agree that the pettiness is exhausting and time-wasting, but it’s inevitable because people feel territorial. I don’t – but clearly some people do.

    My personal take is that the wonderful world of podcasting is a big and various and there’s room for every shade of opinion and that UKPA is but one grouping, set up for specific reasons. I see the formation of UKPA in purely functional terms. It’s a pragmatic response to a situation which if handled correctly should give us some influence for the good of all. Beyond that, it’s up to the membership what they make of it.

    FYI there is no intention to record the meeting with MCPS-PRS and I am sure it would alarm them hugely if we set up mikes in order so to do. Not every discussion is helped by being recorded and made public. My feeling is we’ll get further and they are likely to be more forthcoming if they know that every slip or mis-phrased comment WON’T be held against them – they have already suffered for that.

  6. Gravatar Icon 6 Phil May 27th, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks for commenting Dean.

    If it isn’t recorded, I’d at least like some minutes to be taken that people can see what’s discussed (whether members only or otherwise).

    Good luck with it, shame I won’t be able to make it.

Today’s the Day

Sponsorship of bitjobs starts today. It’s been a few months in the making, but I’m very pleased to have finally got it all sorted at ready to roll. The original deal was going to be a blanket sponsorship of all the British shows in FTM, but due to a few issues we had to change it all at the last minute to just a singular sponsorship of my show.

Now it’s not as if I’ll be taking the same amount of sponsorship as the whole network would have been getting, this has been cut substantially from the initial figure which was agreed on back in February. However, it will be an interesting experiment into how advertising on podcasts is going to work.

More details on today’s show ;)

Linked Media Ltd is Launched

Looks like Neil and Adrian have been busy ;)

I have teamed up with Adrian Pegg to create a company which will focus on nurturing new opportunities for podcasters to reach new audiences in new ways – that means looking for and opening new routes rather than just jumping on the same bandwagon everyone else is… we are genuinely trying to push new ideas and frontiers.

Initially they’ll be ‘exploring the potential of mobile phones’. This is something that a lot of us have been discussing over at Britcaster and privately for a while. The amount of people that have mobile phones in the UK is enormous, so for podcasters companies like Linked Media will be a Godsend if they can negotiate with operators to allow us to have our content available to their users.

More details to be released soon at http://linkedmedia.co.uk

Right now it could be done, but the cost of mobile bandwidth is still a little too steep to make it worthwhile for people to check things out. A MB of data transfer on Orange is around £4, with the average podcast around 30MB if encoded at CD quality, that’s a hefty price to pay for something you can download for free using a computer.

At the moment the whole medium is still very much in it’s infancy, so it’ll be interesting to see how companies such as Linked and Pinnacle (newly formed company of Paul Pinfield and Nicholls) will get on.

To answer a question that came off the back of yesterday’s show;

Yes, I’m currently thinking about doing something with podcasting that would allow me to do it full time.

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New month, new phone

A Bank Holiday usually involves one of three things; insane boredom, copious amounts of beer or a mixture of the two. Determined not to let waste a day away from the office (both the physical and virtual) I decided to venture out to the local shopping centre and see which new gadget I could invest some hard earned wonga* in.

My ratty old Motorola v600 had been giving me a headache for a while, so naturally I was on the lookout for a replacement. Strolling into the Orange shop (yes, it is Orange for those of you in the States – do you have Orange too?) I eyed up some of the latest new releases. There was the ever so slightly chavvy Razr, a Sony Ericsson and a Motorola (SLVR) L6 sitting in the very first display. I’d been impressed with my trusty old Motorola during the year and a bit that I’d had it, so the fact that I could pick up the Razr’s less chavvy cousin for under £100 was the deal clincher.

It’s slim, it’s sexy, it does what I want it to do and it isn’t pink. All in all, a good day. Nice and fresh before the real work begins again tomorrow.
*I haven’t used the ‘wonga’ online for a while or even in everyday conversation now that I think about it. For the uninitiated it’s just a slang term for money. There’s a PDF file here that includes a load more definitions. Don’t you just love English slang?

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Yay for Feedburner

After around three weeks, my host has finally admitted there was a problem with it blocking inbound traffic from certain ranges of IP addresses. It seems that it wasn’t just Feedburner that it was blocking, but also a few visitors to the range of sites that are hosted on this account, which meant people couldn’t subscribe to my podcast, download PodcastUser Magazine or even read this blog. Everything seems to be sorted now, but why it took three weeks of back and forth with their support team and Joe from Feedburner to get it resolved is something I can’t get my head around.

I’ve now made a few changes to the site, so that if anything happens in the future my subscribers should still be able to receive content. Using a Feedburner plugin for WordPress, I can now advertise the default feed URI as my main RSS feed, while still allowing me to use all the funky features I’m used to.
So our lesson today is simple; when support people say there definitely isn’t anything they can do, keep trying we’ll give up…eventually ;)

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