Sunday, September 10, 2006

Player Pianos, Podcasts and Internet Radio

I remember listening to Chick Hearn broadcast the play-by-play Laker games on the radio. The high mountains around the city where I moved to, prevented getting a good TV signal. But radio, and Chick, did just fine.

Earlier, I would listen to KPFK radio on friday nights and listen to "Hour 25 with Mike Hodel--The Hour That Stretches", a very good radio talk show that covered All-Things-Science-Fiction. When Michael passed away, the show lost its focus. And it too had a tough time going over the mountain ranges that blocked radio content from the Big Cities and stations with the limited power of public radio.

If anyone has talked to me about computers recently, they would quickly see that I am not a big fan of Apple or the IPOD. I can't honestly believe anyone needs to carry around 15,000 of their favorite songs. Now, really!

I'm not anti-music.. I Like music! Heck, I even like radio, when they're not trying to sell me something. I even like Podcasts. You don't need an IPOD to listen to them. They are mostly just MP3 files.

Well my latest toy, the PSP (Sony Playstation Portable), with firmware 2.6, has podcast reception over WiFi. My PSP has recently been HACKED to HomeBrew statu.

Letting it run all kinds of Homebrew Apps, including Internet Radio (also Wifi). For times when I'm not within range of a WiFi signal, I have on the memory stick a few prerecorded mp3 songs and LQRadio Podcasts. One of the songs was the Maplestreet Rag by Scott Joplin. My PSP had become a New Incantation of a Player Piano. The Tech Podcasts are a new version Hour25, a place between There and Here and going someplace Else.
A book title by Hemingway springs to mind: "A Moveable Feast".

Yep, that is pretty much what it is, and Radio will never be quite the same.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Tube Choosers

TV just took a hard left and ran into the WEB.

The Network Suits are frantic to Webify their CONTENT. Old USA network showed them how harness the audience of web-surfers that want to vent about their favs. Even the likes of movie drivel like "Snakes on Planes", showed how Web Buzz can make something out of nothing.

Give Apple a nod here. They showed that a market exists for the 99 cent Store.

For $1.99 you can download an episode of "Lost". And even PBS's Charlie Rose has Program Videocasts that are downloadable. Free, of course. It is PBS.

The Big Frog in this Dippy pond is YouTUBE, which was nothing until Bill the star-maker, mentioned them in that fateful article in the WSJ. That unsolicited annointment brought channel surfing to the mass audience of Looky-Lous.

And coming to a cell-phone real soon.