Category Archives: Podcasts

T-Mobile Home Internet #1354



T-Mobile Home Internet with unlimited bandwidth may be coming to a rural area near you. I would encourage T-Mobile to really get this offer out in the 49082 zip code area. I am really excited about this as there is simply no way that the incumbent cable providers are ever going to get this done or have the fortitude to make it happen. The 5G speeds that are coming will make this a great alternative for rural customers if the offering is truly unlimited and they do no throttling. Relief could be coming to the millions that do not have broadband in the true sense of the word.

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Continue reading T-Mobile Home Internet #1354


The British Museum Podcast



The British Museum Logo2010’s podcast series “The History of the World in 100 Objects” by the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, is one of the highlights of the podcast genre. Produced by the BBC, each episode tells of a moment in history through a story woven around an object. At times it’s very moving, especially when a tale hits home and resonates with you. People haven’t really changed in thousands of years.  Your problems were their problems.

But that’s old news. New though, is that the British Museum has a podcast of its own, called, err, The British Museum podcast. Doesn’t sound that inspiring and there’s only been one episode so far, but I think it will be interesting. The first episode is called The Suicide Exhibition and tells the story of how the museum responded to the outbreak of World War II.
It wasn’t only people that were evacuated from London during the Second World War. Antiquities and works of art were moved outside of the capital in their thousands. Relocated to stately houses, abandoned tube stations and purpose-built, climate-controlled bunkers – this is the story of how the British Museum pulled off ‘the biggest, mass evacuation of objects in any museum’s history.

The narrator does talk a little fast but give it a go. Americans will get used to the accent in no time. Just search for “British Museum” in your podcast app of choice (Libsyn / iTunes).

While we’re talking about the British Museum, you might want to listen to the latest episode of The Allusionist which discusses languages and the Rosetta Stone, one of the museum’s most famous exhibits.


Sharing Fatigue



socialmediafatigueFor some time, something has been going on with me I’ve been struggling to explain. My motivation to share things via social media has been waning.

When podcasting came along in 2004, and social media was still in its infancy, my motivation to share was strong. For several years, I was creating and posting new content at a furious rate.

However, in the past couple of years, the motivation I once felt has been on a sharp decline. I’ve been wondering, did something happen to cause me to stop caring? Was I running out of energy? What was the deal?

Lately, I’ve been toying with the theory that people have a fixed amount of sharing capacity, and once that is used up, the motivation drops off. To back this idea up, there have been plenty of people that had a large online presence that at some point simply seemed to run out of gas and ended up dropping off. This pattern seems to be common, whether it is with a large percentage of podcasters, or just people posting stuff on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

With me, motivation is everything. I find that if I am motivated to learn something and/or do something, I can bore right through to the center of whatever it is and make it happen. However, if I’m not motivated, I might as well forget it. I cannot force myself to do something that I lack natural interest in or motivation for.

So, this is the best answer I’ve come up with so far. I am currently tapped out when it comes to the motivation to create and share content online.

Will this lack of motivation to share continue? Would it return if I found myself in a different personal situation, such as when I retire? These are questions I currently have no answers for.


One Billion Podcast Subscriptions



One Billion Podcast SubscriptionsWhile some people have suggested that podcasting is a dying art, the data indicates an entirely different reality. Apple announced on Monday, July 22, 2013, that there have been more than 1 billion podcast subscriptions through the iTunes store. Thats a big number!

If you visit the iTunes store today, and visit the part about podcasts, you will see the image that accompanies this blog. It is part of Apple’s special promotion to commemorate the 1 billion podcast subscriptions.

The data from Apple notes that the 1 billion subscriptions are spread over 250,000 unique podcasts. The podcasts are in over 100 languages. More than 8 million episodes have been published in the iTunes store (so far).

Those 1 billion podcast subscriptions do not necessarily equate to the same amount of “listens”. Many people, myself included, have fallen behind on listening to the podcasts that they have subscribed to. Personally, I have more podcast episodes that are sitting in my iTunes, waiting for me to get around to listening to them, than is reasonable. My intent is to get to them all, eventually!


Create Your Own TV Station



One of the problems with watching video podcasts as an alternative to conventional television is that you have typically and deliberately watch one video at a time. On longer videos it’s not as much of a problem, but with short videos that last 5 minutes or less you have to keep manually restarting the next video after the previous one has finished.

I now have three Mac Minis – one is an old somewhat underpowered Power PC Mac Mini that I’m using as a video podcast aggregator. I have that machine’s iTunes database located on a much larger shared drive that’s available to every machine on my home network. I’m subscribed to a variety of tech podcasts, most of them in the highest resolution file sizes available.

I have two other Mac Minis that are of the latest design. I have an “Eye TV” USB HD tuner connected to one that’s connected to a substantial external antenna. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can receive up to 18 channels counting the various digital sub channels. This enables the Mac Mini to function as a DVR.

The second Intel Mac Mini is in another room and the Eye TV software also loaded on it is able to work from the other Mac Mini’s shared recordings.

Today I discovered by accident when playing around with iTunes on one of the Intel Mac Minis that the shared videos show up in the shared playlists from other iTunes databases. So, in other words, I can pick a shared iTunes list from the Power PC Mac Mini’s shared iTunes and a list of video files shows up. Since the videos are in the list just like audio would be, I am able to start a video file playing and when one file ends it will immediately start playing the next video file on the list. This is particularly useful because I can start videos playing as I do other things and it will continue to play just as if it’s a TV station. This is quite a handy capability to have. The lack of an ability to set up continuous video playback has long been one of the Apple TV’s biggest shortcomings.

Periodically I go to the Power PC Mac Mini and delete the video files that have been played, since iTunes keeps a play count, so I always have fresh material to watch.

 


The Future Of OTT TV Apps



I’ve been experimenting for some time with connecting computers to televisions, along with a variety of other set-top boxes. I’m now at a point where I’ve begun to draw a few conclusions.

Are we there yet? The short answer is no. We’ve still got a long way to go.

After living a while with Apps on an Android smartphone, along with apps on an iPod Touch, it has become clear to me that the best apps running on these sorts of hand-held devices give a great, slick, quick-access media-consumption experience.

Apps running on Internet-connected TV’s or set-top boxes are going to be important in the future. However, so far what we have available today is a somewhat frustrating experience.

I’ve got a Mac Mini set up as an HTPC/DVR with an Eye TV USB HD tuner. The Eye TV software fails in a living room setting because the text within the application is too small to be easily read from across the room even on a big screen. I’ve also got the Boxee app installed on the same machine. Boxee does have a growing list of apps. However, many of the currently available Boxee apps still often fall short of genuine usefulness.

I want a software interface that I can read and interact with easily from across the room without having to deal with it as if it’s desktop software. I want software apps that are powerful, easy to use, and give me a consistent experience from one app to the next. If I’ve specified I want only videos, then the software should serve me up ONLY videos, with no audio podcasts mixed in.

The trouble with OTT content is that one size doesn’t fit all. The perfect app should allow me to cherry-pick my favorite Internet video content sources and turn them all into a single channel or series of channels.

The ideal OTT/set top box content delivery system is going to incorporate a system of apps much like either the Apple IOS app store, or the Android app store where the customer can choose from thousands of content gathering and/or content delivery apps. Like my Evo Android phone or my iPod Touch, I will be able to customize MY particular set top box with precisely the apps that I want without someone trying to steer me towards content that someone else wants to push towards me against my will. My iPod is my own, with my own selection of personal content. I want my TV to work in exactly the same manner.


Location, Location, Location



A few days ago I posted an article here entitled “Waxing Nostalgic” in which I reminisced about the original three Podcast & New Media Expos held at Ontario, California and how special they were.

Upon further examination, it’s suddenly become obvious to me what set these three conferences apart and what made them such a success from a social standpoint.

The thing that made the three Ontario podcast conferences unique was the fact that perfect strangers felt very comfortable striking up spontaneous conversations with each other. As a result of this comfort level, something rather remarkable happened. People talked a lot (these were podcasters, remember) and in many instances formed lasting friendships.

When the podcast conference was moved to Las Vegas, an entirely different mindset took over. In Las Vegas, strangers simply don’t feel comfortable approaching each other and striking up spontaneous conversations, even if they see that the other person is wearing a conference badge. The open, spontaneous conversation mindset generated at the Ontario Convention Center was perceived as perfectly normal in Ontario. However, being open and starting spontaneous conversations in Las Vegas would be perceived as weird and so therefore isn’t done.

This is a simple principle, yet it can have a profound effect on whether or not a given conference will be perceived as successful. I could see how conference planners could get caught up with other ideas surrounding where to hold a conference, but forget that the mindset generated in particular places is going to potentially produce very different behavior from the same people, which may or may not be detrimental. If the wrong behavior is produced by an incompatible mindset, it can spell disaster.

I believe the mindset generated by location also extends to and in part explains the old business axiom, “location, location, location” as being important to the success of a business.

Generate the right mindset in part with geography and surroundings to get people in a buying mood for particular types of products and services, and your business has a chance at being successful. Ignore this all-important mindset generation aspect of specific locations at your business’ peril.