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Sunday, July 31, 2005

The other day Adam Curry was talking about people sending mp3 files of podcast promos/etc via email to his GMail account and how sending it as an attachment was a bad idea right now because his GMail account was full. He also talked about how podcasters are running out of bandwidth for their podcasts as well.

Well. That got me thinking, for someone like Adam Curry it would be very helpful to be able to take something like the RSS feed of your GMail inbox and make it so that mp3 files sent to GMail showed up as enclosures in the feed such that Adam could set it up so that mp3s emailed to him automatically were delivered to his mp3 player just like a podcast.

Its like OpenPodcast.org but for GMail.

If only GMail's built in RSS feed also let you download attachments. For now it's just a matter of time before I or someone else finds or hacks up a POP3 reader and converts a GMail pop account into an RSS feed with enclosures.

This also opens the ability for podcasters to serve up their podcasts through their GMail account. Probably against the Google TOS, but it's relevant right now because everyones so concerned about bandwidth.

And better yet, here's the kicker, if MP3s sent to a GMail account were automatically downloaded to people's mp3 players, why not just EMAIL your podcasts to your listeners? You upload the file to GMail once, google internally copies or links the file to all the GMail users in the send list and then each user downloads the file one at a time to their mp3 player automatically.

I think that simultaneously solves the bandwidth problem AND fits in Google's TOS.

Now if only all podcasts were under 10 megabytes in size :) Still the idea is compelling.

Another small rant on this before I wrap up, I wish podcasters would seriously consider using Coral Cache like OpenPodcast.org does. I also use it for this site and for K9 Cast (its actually K9Cast but I'm trying to "stuff" Google). If podcasters used Coral Cache then most of these bandwidth problems would go away. Coral's only restriction is 150gigabytes per day of traffic and that listeners have access to port 8090, which I think most podcasters can handle. Sorry Adam, 150gb/day won't help very much for you :P

And speaking of bandwidth... watch my next post for more on that subject.

UPDATE: For the purposes of the last point (distributing podcasts to listeners via GMail), how about mixing in a little GMailFS and if you email out a podcast with the subject of GMAILFS: foofilename.mp3 [foosize;a;1] then GMailFS users will automatically download the file to their GMail Drive on their computer.

Now its just a matter of dumping these files automatically into an mp3 player. Perhaps a script to generate an RSS feed off of the files in the GMail Drive? It doesn't have to be RSS necessarily either here, but most podcatchers understand RSS enclosures so it'd be an easier way to interface them.

Digg this story!

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Another episode of my ongoing public service campaign to post answers to questions that I had to spend alot of time researching so that you don't have to!

I recently gave my wife a cute green iPod mini for her birthday. Ok not me, the dogs gave it to her (I slipped it into our dog Kyler's collar and called the dog over to us after giving her 'their' card).

Unfortunately when we plugged in that iPod mini into it's charger, the screen immediately turned black! Google only returned something sortof related and Apple's discussion forums, which are unplottable by Google, had something helpful. It turns out that if this happens to you, then you need to do like I did and send in your iPod to Apple for repair!

Now, I think that everyone should be able to find this out by searching Google within the first page of results, which you cannot currently do. So in order to help this process along I've created Answer #4: What to do if your iPod screen turns black while charging / black screen when charging.

For fun you should keep an eye on this google search to see how long before the answer shows up in the search results. UPDATE: It only took 2 days! We're in the top 10. Mission accomplished.

Check out the previous answers and also see that indeed my mission has been succesful in getting these other answers into the google search results:
How to restore missing Standard TCP/IP Port type - Google Search
Disable horizontal scroll bars in an iFrame - Google Search
XP Fast user switching with Novell client installed - Google Search

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Monday, July 25, 2005

I remember, years ago... back in the days when USENET actually had decent conversations, back before the days of home broadband, back when the first "voice over ip" programs started to arrive. I remember how cool it was to chat with random strangers over the internet, how everyone was just so nice and courteous because pretty much everyone was just so pleased to be experimenting with an exciting new technology.

Fast forward 11 years later and now we have programs like Skype. Amazingly the voice quality is still the same! At first I ignored the whole thing, why would I want to skype? I've got Trillian and every major IM network at my fingertips in one program AND I'd have to setup microphones and stuff. Well, now that I'm podcasting I've got mics setup- 2 mics on stands actually and one of them actually looks like a real microphone too :)

So I had no more excuses and then one day, Skype-fate came knocking: A producer of a major podcast emailed me asking for help with enhanced podcasts and asked if we could Skype about it. Of course, I replied, not actually having Skype installed, but wanting to help none-the-less. Installing Skype was a snap and I had a really great time using it! I was hooked.

But then, I started hearing my iPal Oblivion's podcast where he was playing voicemails he got through Skype. It was then that I realized Skype's true power: asynchronous voice communication. HOT! But how was he doing voicemessages with Skype? I didn't see the little "Skype Voicemail" indicator next to his name... and then I realized, there must a program for it! Here's one I found that you may like. Now I've got my voicemail setup for some AVC and I'm now ready to give out my Skype address which is celerityfm, btw :). Though because I am paranoid I have taken small measures to thwart the specter of skype address harvesters with this excellent tool. I use it on my email addresses too. Interestingly enough you can use the "callto://" links to REAL phone numbers as well.

But back to the topic of AVC, I think it was George Carlin who joked that in the age of answer machines we don't call to talk to people anymore but call to talk to the machine! And the reason it's true is because asynchronous communication rocks! Be it voicemail, email, instant messaging, text messaging, irc, blogging[hi!], postal mail, etc. I've always been a HUGE fan of asynchronous communication because of the level of attention it requires, which is to say "barely any"-- I can have dozens of conversations going on at once. For example with this one I'm having with you right now I've also got an IM window open with my brother plus incoming emails from a few others.

And for the record I don't think there's anything wrong with calling to speak to the machine really- sometimes you just need to "vmail" something to someone :) So feel free to "vmail me"!

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

10:41:00 AM K9 Cast
K9 Cast has been coming along real nicely. Our latest episode was really tough because we read a sad, yet poignant listener email from Chris Doelle about his dog Samson whom he had to put to sleep recently. It made us cry and it made our listeners cry, but Tara said it best: "We're actually really lucky, the fact that we miss them so terribly when they're gone means that they meant so much to us while they were here."
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Monday, July 18, 2005

I'm excited to announce that independently produced Enhanced Podcasts have finally hit the big time! Make Magazine's Phillip Torrone has posted an extensive tutorial on how to make enhanced podcasts. Even if you've already read the wiki on how to use the chapter tool you should read the article too, I wrote most of that wiki and I still learned some new things by reading the article.

Already we are starting to see a slew of independent podcasters beginning to adopt the technology- in the past week we had 3 major podcasts begin using Enhanced Podcasting technology: Mommycast, Spacemusic and now MAKE: Blog. If you know of any other podcasters using this technology please write in and let me know!

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

I just had to get this whole pCommerce thing out of my system, so taking Adam Curry's "strategy cast" concept I've created a podcast that talks about and demonstrates true pCommerce technologies. NOTE: This Podcast is an Enhanced Podcast and therefore at the very least you'll need an AAC capable audio player like iTunes or an iPod to listen to it, but if you want to see the pictures and links that I've included in the cast and to be able to view the demonstration of this technology you'll need to listen to it using iTunes 4.9 (a free download) or a color iPod with the latest iPod firmware installed.

So here it is, direct download it here: CelerityFM pCommerce Strategy Cast

Hope you find it informative and if you know of any podcasts using this technology or have any questions/comments about pCommerce or enhanced podcasts, leave a blog comment about it so I can talk with you about them :)

Shownotes:

00:00 (Chapter 1) Intro
00:08 K9Cast
00:20 Celerityfm.com
00:55 Curry.com
01:25 Adam's Amazon Affiliate link for the Senseo coffee machines
02:09 iTunes New Music Tuesday podcast
03:56 My Jabra Headset Amazon Affiliate Link
05:19 Dave's Lounge
06:28 Harry Potter/My Amazon Affiliate Link
09:00 How to do it in your podcast
11:18 Podcasts with dual AAC/MP3 feeds
12:45 Other enhanced podcast examples/Mommycast
15:00 Ongline Podcast
15:33 Escape Pod
16:55 Dawn and Drew
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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Though it was probably more of a "how can I spam this person's comments" thing because the person came in off of a google search for post reply -php -sorry, which is pretty smart, it filters out comments systems that require registration by removing "sorry" from the results, here I was just thinking they were semi-apologizing! They attempted to add an embedded iFrame to show a really funny but horribly not work safe and incredibly offensive, to most people atleast, YTMND called "Ridin Spinnaz". If you want to see it just search for it over there, it makes me laugh but you may not find it so humorous. So maybe they weren't spamming, maybe they were just trying to play a prank for fun? I dunno. But the best part is that you can see that they actually got frustrated with their failed attempts because eventually they just banged out "asdfdsaf" and gave up. I'm leaving their "asdfdsaf" on the last visitors list in memory of them.

I was also pleased to see this person used Firefox and that they listened to one of my audio blog notes on the site after they were done trying to mess with it. Hope you liked it :) I've been debating about whether or not to send a letter to their ISP's abuse address or not but since they didn't specifically target us, rather coming off of a google search, I don't feel like it merits fighting back per se. Also it made me realize that my homebrew "last visitors" app needs to be a little more secure, so thanks for that, I guess.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Just wanted to chime in and tell everyone what the weather is like over here on the west coast of Florida. Basically its on and off as squalls from Dennis come in. So far it looks like we're escaping it this time. But its only July!

Here's a current webcam pic from by backyard.. the signal from the wireless X10 cam that I have is pretty bad right now for whatever reason so please forgive the quality. It updates every minute. Here's a page with the last 5 shots and automatic refresh turned on in case you are super interested. :)

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Thats it. Its all over now. I was updating a tutorial on the Apple Podcast ChapterTool that I created and in the middle of it I had a realization. Apple's new ChapterTool allows for something brand new to podcasts: True Podcast eCommerce! Instantly a phrase came to mind: "pCommerce" - check out what I wrote about it here: pCommerce: Podcast eCommerce and according to Google it seems that I've coined both of those phrases! Of course people may have talked about it in a podcast but, unfortunately, there is no "podcast audio search" yet.

I cohost a podcast about dogs and have already implemented this chapter technology in the podcast. It would be dead simple for me to grab an affiliate id from some pet supplies place and place links in my podcast using that id to their sites to get cuts on sales and clickthroughs for products discussed during the podcast. Google should get in on this, "Podcast Adwords" is not too far away, I promise. The question is, is this what Apple intended? Their New Music Tuesday podcast features links directly to the iTunes Music Store where you can buy the song you wanted, so maybe so!

(Edit: Apparently p-Commerce, with the dash, refers to commerce over mobile phones)

Now time to bust out some blog tagging sites and see if I can get the ball rolling on the discussion on this!

Here's some technorati tags to get the ball rolling: | | | | |

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