Monday, October 15, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How Much Did You Pay for 'In Rainbows'

Our answer: Five pounds.

The download version is released tomorrow morning. We're sure we'll be too busy or lazy to get around to reviewing it here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Goodbye, iTunes Music Store

In some ways, Apple is just as evil as any other corporation.

I've never liked buying tracks on iTunes. It has a great UI and a strong selection, and is dead simple and lightning fast. But the songs are DRMed, and that makes them almost completely worthless in my opinion. When I buy a song, I want to own it dammit, not be told when, where and on what devices and computers I can listen to it or how many times I can burn it to a disc or turn it into a ringtone, etc. Of the more than 7,500 songs I currently have crammed onto my laptop harddrive, just 352 of them are iTunes purchases, almost all via gift cards I've received or from Pepsi bottle cap credits. Occasionally, I might buy a song, but only out of laziness.

Never again.

Until iTunes drops DRM completely, I am an Amazon man.

I downloaded my first Amazon mp3 today, Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens (it's also the theme song from Extras). I had to download an additional application, but it was a relatively smooth process, the mp3 cost 99 cents (albums are $8.99) and the bit rate was twice that of iTunes. And no DRM.


Monday, October 01, 2007

I Am Ninja Too

Figured I should wrap up the podcast expo blog so that the InterWeb can rest easy. I arrived back in New York in the wee hours this morning, and I return to the office tomorrow.

On the last day of the conference, I only had time to attend one session -- a basic video podcasting using iMovie course (I was there when he filmed this) -- and the keynote, where I met the Ninja from Ask a Ninja and had a grainy cell phone camera shot taken. The two guys behind possibly the most successful video podcast there is, Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, spoke about the show and the show's new community portal Ask a Ninja Fans, which I believe launched that very day. Their keynote was the best of the conference, as the two guys are extremely funny (no surprise) and really got into the history of the show, which was a real shoestring affair in the beginning. Actually, the original idea was for an animated comedy about a whole series of Ninjas, which asked the question, "Everyone wants to be ninjas. What do ninjas want to be?" The answer: to be like regular Joes. Accountants, high school students, whatever.

It turned out to be too elaborate and failed, which I believe was one of the reasons behind the main tenet of Ask a Ninja's production: keeping it simple. One camera, one actor, simple costuming, no background or special effects. Davina seems keen on green screens -- following Alex Lindsay's model -- but I'm not sure if that's really necessary.

To sum up, I learned as much as I could, considering the fact that no one really knows a) What they're doing, b) How to make money doing it or c) What the future holds. But man, podcasting has come a long way since I started listening back in 2004. For one, some people ARE starting to make at least a little bit of money. And, perhaps even more importantly, more than a few dozen people in the world now know what the word "podcast" even means.