Why I Use the New Odeo

Several months ago I realized that the iTunes on my MBP was no longer updating the podcasts to which I subscribe and, well, I could no longer connect to the iTunes Music store. As a lifelong skeptic of the iTunes product (and a devoutly stubborn consumer of only non-Apple mp3 and portable media players and phones) I immediately looked elsewhere instead of seeking some ass-backward solution that likely would have required me to download one of the hundreds of iTunes “upgrades” released each year.

This took my back to an old friend, Odeo, which I remembered to have an easily navigable and fully-loaded index of audio and video netcasts. I noticed a new beta version was being offered and I immediately signed up to find an attractive UI and easy-to-use embedded players and download tabs, as well as new subscription tabs. Now, I still keep my Zune — yes, that’s what I use — updated with podcasts via my PC at work, but when I’m not at work — or when I’m WATCHING on my work PC — I use Odeo. Hey, I also through a bit of extra faith into the product because it was originally launched by Blogger founder (and later Twitter co-founder) Ev Williams.

There are a few things I WOULD like to see on Odeo — I have a login and limited profile. I’d like to have the option to make my profile public and — similar to Last.fm — network with my friends to share recommendations and fave listens and keep tabs on what those in my network watch/listen to so that I can discover new netcasts of interest without having to look too hard. Also, I’ve noticed that Odeo can be a bit slow — quite often i wait around for the Olbermann netcast, only to find it arrive late at night tagged “4 hours ago.”

Do you use Odeo? Have you tried it since the relaunch? What else have you tried as a netcast portal?

Travel Hacks: Oregon Coast Weekend

Today I’m introducing a new section to netZoo called Travel Hacks. I’ve traveled quite extensively (at times) over the past 15 years and in digging through my many notes and recollections, I realize there are quite a few tips, tricks, and secrets that I’ve come across. I’m hoping these posts are helpful to those who read the blog or stumble upon it and I know it will be helpful in digitally archiving the more incredible encounters and experiences of the past, present, and future.

This past weekend I met up with more than a dozen college friends for a long weekend retreat on the Pacific Coast (photos here). We chose Oregon because many of us have relocated to the West Coast since graduating from the University of Iowa in Iowa City between 1997 and 1998 and perhaps more notably, one of us needed to stay close to Portland with a seven-week old (these plans were made in early 2008) and two others were not far in western Washington State.

Continue reading “Travel Hacks: Oregon Coast Weekend”

Google Goes Open Source & CC for Radiohead’s ‘House of Cards’

Google is hosting open source and Creative Commons-licensed code for everyone to remix Radiohead’s latest video from In Rainbows, “House of Cards.”

“In Radiohead’s new video for ‘House of Cards,’ no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects,” according to the band’s YouTube channel.

After hearing about Radiohead’s first-of-its kind video, Google:

[A]greed with the band that it would be great to give you a deeper look into how all of this was done, and even a chance to play with the data yourself, under a license that allows remixing… You can view the video, watch a short documentary about how it was made, interact with the video in 3D, download some of the data, and download an iGoogle theme and gadget – all at http://code.google.com/radiohead.

Radiohead – ‘House of Cards’

Watch The Making of ‘House of Cards” below:
Continue reading “Google Goes Open Source & CC for Radiohead’s ‘House of Cards’”

Fun With FineTune

I’ve been broadcasting via Live365 since 1999, as many of you know, but it’s always fun to check out new toys. FineTune invites you to choose a 45 song playslist — and they’ve got access to lots of songs in fact. It takes forever, however, to choose an entire setlist, and since I’m busy, I only picked about 12 songs and let it automatically choose the rest (basically more songs from the same artists I had already chosen. Below you’ll see how your customized setlist is embedded onto your blog.

I’d have to say this takes the participatory recommendation listening formula of Pandora a big step further. You can recommend stuff, say what you like and discover similar music that you haven’t heard before. But you can make your own mix and spread it — a bit like Last.fm but more advanced.

I still don’t understand exactly how royalties are counted for these systems — I know Live365 has a base rate that they pay and which I chip in towards as a station operator. But, like Last and Pandora, Finetune is free.

See ZDNet
for more on the dev specs of finetune.

TechCrunch recently summarized the pros and cons of all the latest social music players.

Thanks to Whitney at PopCandy for the suggestion — after all, she did it first.

Hypocritical Media Hogs and Their Digital Hang-ups

The other day I blogged about Edgar Bronfman’s disclosure that he spanked his kids (or something) for all the music they illegally downloaded.

Now Reuters’ MediaFile blog details the iPod obsessions of the media moguls who attended last week’s Reuters Media Summit.

The follow-up questions aren’t printed, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that these big-timers took advantage of much of this digital media free-of-charge, and most likely with comped iPods as well. Plus, they’re all hooked on TiVo and/or satellite radio, wisely avoiding the endless spew of lame adverts for, uh, TiVo and iPod (and Chevy). Check these excerpts and ask yourself if these cats have ever dropped a dime on a rhyme:

Richard Parsons, CEO / Chairman, Time Warner: “I like music. I have iPods everywhere. I had the whole bunch of (the Warner music collection) files put on before we sold it….”

Dick Cook, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios: “…For fun, I have a little iTunes and that kind of stuff. The only time I get to read books is when I listen to it so I have a lot of books on iTunes.”

JEAN-MARIE DRU, CEO, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY WORLDWIDE: “…I have five kids, so we are 7 at home and we have more than 15 or 16 iPods in the family.”

Ah, behold the aristocrats pirates of megalomediahackland.

Originally posted in the Set-Top Cop blog on December 3, 2006