Find the best FM freq for your iPod transmitter

MyBestFM Courtesy of PC World, I thought this was pretty cool. My Best FM is a website from Belkin that allows you to plug a location in and get the best, dead spot on your radio to tune your FM transmitter to. Handy if you have one of these things for your iPod or various portable MP3 players.

If you’re like me, then you own a FM transmitter that connects to your computer via USB and broadcasts nicely to a two hundred foot radius. Sadly, their database doesn’t cover Canada, and I’ve just been guessing that the freqs that my transmitter sits on is fairly empty. If not, oh well. I hope those poor suckers like what we crank out from here.

Podcasting reaching its limits

When I first caught word of this post at Digital Podcast, it made me stop to think. Has podcasting reached its limit? I have to agree with Scott Bourne at Podcasting Tricks. No way, Jose.

I’ve been a proponent of the medium since I first heard of it. The potential hit me at that same moment, but I think it’s fair to say that the concept hasn’t been taken to the height of where it can deemed successful or impactual.

Then, I read this over at BoingBoing. It appears that Odeo is up for sale. Instead of just pulling the plug, they thought they would see if someone would want to buy the site. My use and knowledge of their service is limited, but it’s essentially an online podcatcher. If you don’t have an iPod or the ability to download gigs of podcasts onto your computer, you can use their service to keep track of all of your favorites and listen to them from the web, no eating up of your hard drive space required.

This makes me think a little bit more about this idea of podcasting reaching its limits. Remember the dot-com bubble[wiki] of the 90’s? I see podcasting to be a lot like that. There is the surge that is still going on, but a true grasp of the potential hasn’t been seen yet. The whole thing might have to completely tank before it gets better.

For those of us who bask in glowing warm glow of new media and Web 2.0, we get it. For some of us, this is old news. However, I always think back to my friends and family who don’t drink this stuff like water as I do. Are they listening? Are they watching? Are they downloading? How accessible is this stuff, regardless if they know what podcasting is or isn’t?

In the early 20th century, TV went through many trials before it was settled on how everything would work on the technical side. From there, the growth of broadcast signals trickled out across the world, and even the broadcast day went from a few hours to the around the clock monotony that we have today. There was no switch and suddenly we had the Honeymooners[wiki]. It took time to grow, and podcasting faces the same task.

The seven phases of owning an iPod

I caught this on Podcasting News and had to pass it on. posted “The Seven Phases of Owning an iPod – An Illustrated Journey“, and I laughed.

My parent's new iPod NanoThe 7th is completely true. My green iPod Mini has served me very well, even though its battery life is starting to dwindle. I’m content with living in the old school age for now. You cool kids with all your fancy color LCD displays and long battery life can go on enjoying what you got.

Speaking of, my parents just got a new iPod Nano. Adding even more to my jealousy, my dad even picked up the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo for it. I doubt he’s going to start podcasting anytime soon, but that’s a setup that I could easily use for my ventures. He’ll use it more to record voice notes for himself.

This is what we do in my family. We try to out geek each other.

Followup thoughts on Levelator

My initial post about Levelator was more to raise awareness about this application.  As I said before, this is a brilliant concept for podcasters and audiophiles everywhere.  It’s a drag and drop program that compresses, levelizes, and limits your audio, all on its own.  What more can you ask for than that?

Within minutes of making that first post, Doug Kaye dropped by my blog and offered some thoughts on what I can do to make my use of it better.  Ignoring the pretty cool fact that he is one of the orginal podcasters, I thought it was great that one of the main guys behind this application was quick to offer solutions on Levelator.

I have an episode of RadioZoom that I will released later today, if not tomorrow, in which I have my first venture into utilizing this program.  I am very impressed with what it did to a single AIFF of nearly 38 minutes of audio that I recorded with my mic and minidisc.  It was a mobile interview, and this application just cut my editing time by over fifty percent.

The quality is just as impressive.  It gives you solid sound that can take hours of tweaking, depending on how precise you want your audio to be.  I can get pretty picky some times, but this is an answer to that for sure.

Announcing a new podcast: The Crazy Canucks

A few months ago, Rebecca[miss604] and I brainstormed an idea for a podcast that seemed too good to pass up. With the friends that we have been making in the world of blogging and podcasting, The Crazy Canucks was born.

We’ve brought together Vancouver Canucks Op Ed, the Canucks Hockey Blog, the Canucks Outsider, Miss604, and my adventures with RadioZoom into a podcast that is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before, and nothing like anything I’ve ever been apart of. And you don’t need an iPod to listen!

The Crazy Canucks

[krey-zee, kuh-nuhks]

Local Canuck Bloggers to Host a Weekly Roundtable Podcast this 06/07 NHL Season

Current album art: The Crazy Canucks podcastVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (October 2, 2006) – Coming this October is a podcast the likes of which Vancouver has never seen. It will be a collaboration of hockey bloggers and the brainchild of a podcaster who all have one thing in common: The Vancouver Canucks.

The Crazy Canucks will be a weekly podcast about the team, the players, the organization and the league. Our goal is to have a fan’s point of view, since we’re not cable TV and we’re not local sports radio. Agree or disagree, leave us a written or audio comment and tell us how you really feel.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast, which will be available weekly on

For more information contact: feedback [at]

Look for the premiere episode to debut this week as the Canucks kick off the regular season on Thursday. Subscribe or listen directly on the website. It doesn’t matter how you hear it as much as it matters that you come be apart of the podcast. Afterall, we’re fans just like you.

I might be at the Portable Media Expo

My immigration status is still unchanged. That means I cannot go to the Portable Media Expo in California, at least physically. In fact, it’s already started by the time I make this post. The keynote is over and people who claim to know more than you about podcasting are beginning various sessions about different topics, mostly how to make money off this stuff.

Dave Slusher is one of those guys. He speaks for the trees. Er, I mean hobbyists. Amateur podcasters that do it for the love and not the money. He also put out a call for URLs, logos, and a voice comment regarding why you podcast and would you keep doing it if you knew, tomorrow, that you were never going to make a single dime from podcasting. He’ll be using these things in his session with a goal of highlighting those who do this for the love, not the dollar signs.

I gave him all three, and he emailed me to let me know he got it. If it wasn’t for the fact that I listened to Ted’s latest edition of Island Podcasting, I would have never known that he was doing this. My listening to the Evil Genius Chronicles got a little backed up. Even though I emailed him the stuff yesterday, I got in “right under the wire”.

So if you saw or heard of RadioZoom at the PME, be sure to leave a comment and let me know.

Podcast Ready vs. Apple vs. the telephone game

It’s been interesting to watch this unfold over the past few days. There are some folks that have been waiting for the moment to jump on Apple over everything they are doing within the world of digital media, DRM, copyright, trademarks, and so on. This is no exception.

Apple Computer has slapped Podcast Ready with a “cease and desist” letter, claiming that the terms “Podcast Ready” and “myPodder” infringe Apple’s trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers. The company has been cracking down on use of the word “pod” by all sorts of parties, even though its trademark is for the word “iPod.”

Podcast Ready CEO Russel Holliman said he’d consider dropping the name myPodder if he had to, but “Podcast Ready”? If that’s infringement, Apple is claiming that it owns the word “podcast.” Sure, the word originated with the word iPod, but most people now see it as a general term for downloadable audio shows that isn’t affiliated with one brand more than another.

Coincidentally, Apple’s letter arrived the day before Podcast Ready unveiled a new version of its software — one that works with the iPod. [wired]

The full version of this letter to Podcast Ready can be found on their site here. The debate is beginning to subside, and the way it has unfolded opens up a couple of observations.

The majority of folks reporting this took this as Apple making the move to trademark the term “podcast” so that no one can use it without their permission. Upon reading the full text of the letting from Apple’s lawyers, this isn’t exactly what this action is intending to do. However, people jumped on it and began bashing the move without getting the full story. In fact, the words “cease and desist” never appear. That didn’t stop the bloggers and podcasters from slamming Apple’s legal action against Podcast Ready.

Podcast411 released a special, soapbox episode[listen] about this issue, and it digs deep into the issue. In fact, Rob did his research, got a copy of the letter, talked to people at the U.S. Patent Office, and reviews how media organizations poorly reported this news. I had a feeling that there was more to this story, and this appears to be the truth. Adam Curry examined the issue as well on a recent episode of the Daily Source Code[dsc#468] and echoes what Rob said on Podcast 411.

Simply put, Apple is defending their right to what they have legally trademarked. “Podcast” is not under threat, and no one can trademark something that exists in the public doman. That’s like someone trying to get a patent on “television” or “radio”, and there is no way that will happen.

There are some folks that take issue with the word “pod” itself, as Apple claims trademark over it. To that, some say the name for the medium should change. I’m sorry, but “netcasting” is the worst thing I have ever heard. It sounds too similar, in meaning, to streaming. Podcasting is what it has come to be. You’ll be hard pressed to change it now.

The last thing I take issue with is the way that so many reporters took up this story without getting all their facts in check. posted a follow up to the story above, with a copy of the letter to Podcast Ready. Not once did they mention anything about getting clarification on the matter by actually seeing a copy of the request from Apple’s legal team. There’s poor journalism going on here.

Regardless, Podcast Ready now has more publicity than it could have ever imagined.

Taking a look at the Global National Podcasts

Global National PodcastI was originally thinking of making this a W.I.L.T., but the Global National Podcast isn’t something that I’m regularly checking out. I’ve caught enough of their commercials to gather enough interest in seeing what they’re doing.

A basic background to the program, Global National is a half hour news program that is broadcast across Canada. Kevin Newman is the guy behind the desk, and I have to add that the guy is huge. He must workout between commercial breaks.

There are two ways you can get the program in podcast form. The video version makes the most sense because, afterall, this is a television program. If you would rather get your daily dose in audio, you can do that as well. The interesting thought here is that the audio is exactly what you hear on the video version of the podcast. Basically, it’s TV without the pictures.

They promote this podcast with the slogan of, “Missed the Global National newscast on television? Now you can watch or listen to Global National on your portable media player!” This stands to reason because you are getting a carbon copy of what they aired on TV. At the same time, this is a lot of content to be pulling down everyday, and being national news, there is a lot more that you can get from surfing into a couple of websites, like the Globe and Mail or CBC, in the amount of time it takes to download just one of these podcasts.

This is another example of big media trying to get into the realm of what’s new and independent. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but there seems to be poor elements within Global’s effort. Kevin Newman might be pretty to look at on your iPod, but do you want to spend time staring at a head on a screen telling you the news? There are much more effective ways to have this done, but to each their own.

A lot of chatter about a Microsoft, “iPod killer”

A lot of sites have been reporting on this for the last week, but the rumors are turning more factual. It won’t be too surprising that by the time you head out to do you Christmas shopping this year, Microsoft will have their own portable media player trying to empty more cash out of your wallet.

Music companies are apparently leaking some details about Microsoft’s plans, according to a Times story that cites sources close to the project. As the story goes, Microsoft is not merely developing one product aimed at dethroning the iPod. It is developing a complete line of Xbox-branded digital media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service.

Microsoft has code-named the project “Argo” in honor of the huge warship used by the Greek mythological hero named Jason, the Times reported. Microsoft executives were not immediately available for comment. [macnewsworld]

The friendly geeks, I mean folks, over at Engadget have posted a photo of the yet to be revealed device, saying that the source is some one working very close to the project. Being a companion to the Xbox brand, this might not be the only device of its kind released. Only time will tell, but “wireless” is the buzz word surrounding it.

But will this be an iPod killer? I wouldn’t bet on it. Based on a post from MacRumors, this product, or products, is likely to be utilized much in the same way that Apple uses the iPod and iTunes music store. Obviously, Microsoft is pushing to get their own contracts for their service, whatever it might be.