A Review of RunKeeper

http://d2b4ufapzmnxpw.cloudfront.net/build/2346/static/kronos/images/logo-hp.pngI decided that I needed to exercise so I started walking this week. Being a geek though I couldn’t just start walking I had to have an app that could track my miles, route and progress. However I also didn’t want to carry another gadget along with my iPhone, so I started looking for an app and I found several, but for now I have decided to use a free app called RunKeeper Pro for the iPhone. It is very easy to set up, you tell it the activity you are going to be doing whether it is running, walking, cross-country skiing, elliptical training to name a few. You then input the route you are going to take, you can choose a public route that someone else has enter or use a previous route you have taken. If you want you can add your route to the public data base. You can then add an iTunes playlist if you want. This morning I used Pocketcast and had a podcast playing in the background and that worked fine also. Finally you can decide if you want to be coached or not. If you do decide to use a coach, you have three options, target pace, intervals or fitness class. Finally when you are ready to go hit start activity. In my case I was walking, about every 5 minutes it would let me know how far I had gone and the pace I was walking at. When you are finish, it will let you know the time, distance, pace and how many calories you burned.

All this information is then uploaded to the RunKeeper Web site. If you want you can share the information publicly or with just the people you are connected to on the site through Facebook or Twitter or you can keep it private. You can share all or part of the information with whom ever you want. For $4.99 a month or $19.99 a year you can become an elite member. With elite membership you can enjoy real-time tracking and the ability to broadcast your activities live. You also get a 50% discount on the fitness classes. Fitness classes are programs that are devised by fitness experts. These programs can get you ready for a 5k, a marathon or to lose weight. If you are an elite member you also get advance fitness reports and alerts.

The one negative about RunKeeper is that all it’s fitness classes are targeted toward runners. So although you can use it for other activities at its core it is true to it’s name RunKeeper. Despite this, I like using RunKeeper, it is great for keeping track of my progress. If you exercise how do you keep track of your progress, do you have a favorite iPhone, or Android App.

Listen To And Record Radio With Tapin

If you loved it when radio stations came online and just wished there were a DVR for them, then you may be in luck.  I frequently open music in a tab of my browser while I am working, and sometimes there’s something coming up that I wish I could record.

Tapin Radio is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 32 and 64 bit.  It’s a user-friendly Internet radio player which allows you to tune in to various radio stations worldwide.  The web radio is available in both portable and installer versions.  You can select your favorite channels and it can automatically update on startup.  It supports most Internet formats including wma, mp3, ogg vorbis, and aac.  Users can select or switch between their favorite stations easily.  They can also add radio stations to their favorites list.  The selection menu makes searching more reliable as users can key in a genre or station name or pick from a list of categories.  Another feature which should make the program popular is its recording ability.  You can record songs you like and play them back later.

Features

TapinRadio is simple, reliable and just works.

Main features are:

* Plenty of stations to choose from
* Supports most of the internet radio formats – mp3, wma, ogg vorbis, aac+ and so on
* Quick and reliable search
* Smooth switching between stations
* Record what you are listening to – including separate song files
* Automatic checking for software and stations
* Runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
* Show your favorites in groups
* Sleep timer to shutdown TapinRadio or even your computer!

All completely free.

Storify An Attempt to Curate

In the past the record of an events was kept in newspapers, magazines and letters. which are all semi-permanent. Today however events are recorded not only by newspapers and mainstream media, but also by normal people who are not only observers but actual participants in the event. The first report of the airplane landing on the Hudson, was a tweet sent out from someone, who just happened to be in the area. Many Americans first heard about the Chinese earthquake through twitter. The problem is that tweets are by nature fleeting, they roll down a virtual page and disappear, there is nothing permanent about them. So the question becomes first how do we collect this information. Then how do we separate the information about an event that is important from that which is not. Finally how do we organize it. Another words how do you curate it. This is a problem that sites like Storify, Datasift and Curated.by are trying to solve. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to try both Curated.by and also Storify this past week. I decided to use them to try to curate what was happening at Techcrunch Disrupt, where they were both being introduced. However, because Storify is farther along in its development it I ended up using it and will review it.

Storify is available at Storify.com it is invite only beta. Once you receive your invite code, you can use Twitter to log in. The initial page is very simple it has your name and then the line “tell a story” with a plus next too it, click on the plus and it brings you to page where you can add the information. On the far left hand side there are tabs for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Google and a link symbol. Across the top are indicators, like timeline, search and favorites, these indicators change depending on what you are accessing. Once you find a post, picture or video that you like you drag it over to the right hand side. If you want to add a note then just click on the little T above it. You can then rearrange them how you like. Storify also offer a bookmarklet, so if you find an article that you want to add to the record just hit the bookmarklet and its added.

So far I like what Storify has done, but there are somethings I wish they would add or change. I would like to be able to take someone else curation and then add and subtract from it to make it my own. I want to be able to curate directly from a desktop application such as Seesmic or Tweetdeck. If that is not possible, then at least let me curate directly from Twitter, surprisingly this is one thing that Curate.by does already. Although I like the bookmarklet, the one thing I don’t like about it is when you click on the edit button within it, it takes you back to the Storify website, I wish it would let you edit within the pop up instead. It would be nice if the thread was on autosave, as it is now if you have to close down the page you have to manually save it. Another problem I ran into is the connection between Storify and Twitter went down at times, another reason to allow curation directly from Twitter. The final problem I ran into is the lack of date, time and location stamps on some post. I want to know if someone is actually at an event or not. I may still add the post if they are not, but I would add a note too it. I know this isn’t something that Storify can solve but it is still a problem.

Despite these short comings I think Storify is heading in the right direction. Is this something that you are going to use everyday, no. However if you want to keep a record of an event that you are observing or participating in, this is a nice way to do it. I will continue to use it and Curate.by to see how they improve overtime.