> ireTunes

Allo everyone,

Yeah, I know it's been forever. Sorry 'bout that.

As some of you might have noticed, I changed the banner pic about a month ago without updating the post. So, the last post was pointing to a pic that was no longer there and it didn't make any sense, a fact pointed out by an aspiring law-school-Floridian (good luck Ne Ne!). My apologies.

I wish I could catch everyone up on everything but it's a heck of a lot to put down. My version would prolly bore you anyway.

Few things I will say though: I hate my ISP with a passion. And my gas company. And my cell phone company. And my electric company (though my hatred for them right now is going to be pale in comparison to when the summer heat hits).

I'm not happy with a single damn service I get. Whatever happened to "The customer is always right"; "You have a problem we fix it!"; "A Quality Product at a Great Price". All that seems to have been forgotten now... You have a problem, wait in line; and by the way, we're not liable and your product or service is not guaranteed.

It's really gotten pretty disgusting. Everything seems to be broken. People's cell phones never seem to work; it's the only industry that can routinely get away with a 60% disapproval rating. Gasoline and energy costs have gone berserk while the corps get record profits. All this under a government that is not only doing nothing about it, but actually aiding this process.

Ugh. Anyway, enough about that for now...

Santa brought me a 60g iPod video last Xmas. I resisted getting an iPod for years, being a PC guy and all, but I really love the thing. 60g may seem like a lot, but I've filled the sucker up to 50 gigs at the moment and don't even have everything I want on there yet. My only real complaint at first was that iTunes kept crashing on my PC, and the only solution was to format the hard drive (or get a Mac, as the Appleheads would smugly tell me). This solution would only work for a week or two before iTunes would irreparably crash again. I think I might have figured out what the problem was though - codecs.

I use a group of codecs called Ace Media Pack. I've used them for years without any complaints. However, the pack comes with a few codecs pertaining to Quicktime. Quicktime, much to the fury of many internet users (including me), is now part of iTunes - you can't have one without the other (which I'm sure is a court case in the making). Anyway, what I think was happening was the Quicktime codecs were interfering with Quicktime itself and, by default, iTunes. So the last time I installed Ace I disabled all the Quicktime options. iTunes has worked ever since. Mind you, this was on a fresh install - if iTunes is broken you are most likely screwed and will still have to reformat. I don't know if this was really the problem, but it has worked for me so far.

So, since iTunes has been functioning without a hitch for about a month now, I've gotten to check out what Podcasts are all about. Podcasts are basically radio (and recently video) shows that are stored in files and can be downloaded to your computer and media player, usually for free. This may sound like a quirky idea, but in practice it's really really cool. Unlike regular radio you can hear them whenever you want (as well as save them for later, rewind them, etc.), they very rarely have commercials, and you can hear shows that are very specific to your interests.

Podcasts are often made by regular users with a home computer and some simple sound equipment. They can be published independently and cheaply on the internet, without the help of a big company. Therefore, people can do pretty much whatever they want. So you want to make a radio show about gardening with a petunias only focus, but the radio stations don't think there's a big enough market for it? That's not a problem with Podcasts. Just fire up your computer, plug in your mic, and you're good to go. No big brother telling you what to do, no ad agencies to alienate with your programming, no boss telling you to get your numbers up or you're fired. On top of all that, your show is available to anyone on the globe with an internet connection. *Sigh* - I love technology sometimes.

You can already hear the big music companies gearing up for a fight over this - they just can't stand the idea of not making money on something even remotely associated with audio. Hopefully they'll do the right thing and get the hell out of the way, but I'm not holding my breath.

For my next post I'll do a short little tutorial on how to get started with Podcasts (it's really easy, but a little tricky the first time) and point out a few of my favorite ones.

In the meantime, here's a few cool things I came across on teh intarwebz:

Darth Vader breaks the bad news to the Emperor (from Robot Chicken, via Gorilla Mask).

Optical illusion of a Spanish castle (via JohnSadowski.com) This is really freaky...

Here's a couple of Kill Bill vids. They, like the movies, are pretty grisly so I'm going to put a Not Safe for Work tag on them:

Kill Bill in 120 Seconds (NSFW) (via Metacafe)

Gogo vs. Black Mamba with Super Mario dub (NSFW) (via Gorilla Mask)

Lewis Black's entire Black on Broadway HBO special is on You Tube; He's simply awesome. Yeah and he gets a (NSFW) tag too.

That's it for now,

L8r G8rs