Talking iPod and iTunes on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide

This week is the 10th birthday of Apple’s iPod and the sixth anniversary of the launch of Apple’s iTunes store in Australia. Yesterday morning I spoke about those things with Keith Conlon and John Kenneally on Adelaide radio 1395 FIVEaa.

I’ve also included the talkback caller they had just before speaking to me, since I refer to his comments.

The audio is ©2011 dmgRadio Australia, but here it is ‘cos it hasn’t been posted on the radio station’s website. Besides, this is a reasonable plug.

The Geekery of Linux on an iPod

Photograph of iPod Photo with partial installation of Linux

I’ve finally found a use for that iPod Photo 60GB that’s been languishing in my desk drawer. I’m going to use it as a field recorder for my podcasts.

The resale value of an iPod that’s bigger than a postage stamp but doesn’t play video is, presumably, three-fifths of bugger all. However it can record sound.

Apple deliberately crippled the iPod’s recording functions to mere 8-bit quality — OK for recording dictation and the like, but not good enough for snarfing surreptitious bootlegs of a Silverchair concert. But running Linux on the iPod unleashes its full 16-bit glory.

After a couple hours’ work I now understand the process of Linuxing a ’Pod. But to get it to work, my MacPod (that is, an iPod formatted for Mac file systems) has to be turned into a WinPod (one using Microsoft’s file systems). I won’t bother explaining why, but it’s yet another example of that old phenomenon…

In general, Macs can read Windows file systems, but Windows machines can’t read Mac file systems. Sigh. I’ll finish it on the weekend.

To podcast or not to podcast? Podcast!

Photograph of Sennheiser 825S microphone

You’d think that with more than a decade’s experience in radio I’d have started podcasting ages ago.

Three years ago I bought an iPod so I could listen to podcasts. It’s languished in a drawer ever since because, to tell the truth, I don’t like blocking out the world and living within a music bubble. Life does not need a soundtrack, but it does need more people paying attention to the reality around them.

I’d also resisted podcasting because as a (former) broadcast professional there was creeping perfectionism. I wanted any podcast o’mine to be really good, lest I be judged by my former peers. But no more.

This Internet thing looks like it’s actually going to catch on. The time has come to start using my production and presentation skills. So, a podcast… How and what, exactly?

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A Tale of Two Cults

Gaping Void cartoon: I like to pay double for Apple products because it makes me feel Closer to Steve

They must put something in the water at places like Google and Apple.

I mean, isolating everyone at a “campus” even to the point where they only eat with each other is one of the classic cult-creation techniques. And both have a personality cult thing going with Steve Jobs and Larry Page and Sergey Brin

But check this Google software engineer gushing over the chance to do menial work in the kitchen:

How often do you get to cook fine cuisine for 800 people — especially while learning from some of the finest chefs in the business? Our Google chefs offer a limited number of culinary internships, and I was lucky enough to win one. So one fine Thursday morning I got to spend 4 hours in the Google kitchens working with, and learning from, our amazing culinary engineers.

Like so many software people, Dave MacLachlan seems amazed that other professionals actually have systems too, and know what they’re doing.

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iPod-powered Vibrator

OhMiBod Music Powered Vibrator The promotional copy tells you everything you need to know:

The OhMiBod vibrator is a whole new way to enjoy your iPod® or any other music player. Everyone loves music. Everyone loves sex. OhMiBod combines music and pleasure to create the ultimate acsexsory™ to your iPod.

What’s especially impressive is their use of iTunes playlists:

OMB users can instantly (and anonymously) become part of a fun, hip community called CLUB VIBE, where other OMB aficionados write about their experience, trade tips, share their favorite playlists, and more. Log into iTunes and search “OhMiBod” under the iMix section and see what music is turning other people on and purchase those songs quickly and easily! Regardless of the musical genre you are sure to find new amazing music here. If you don’t see something that tickles your fancy, upload your own iMix and share with others what works for you!

Oddly enough, the fine print says this product isn’t endorsed by Apple…

If Microsoft made iPods

Microsoft iPod parody videoCan you imagine Microsoft making something as sexy as Apple’s iPod?

I didn’t think so.

And neither does the creator of this parody video showing what Apple’s sleek, minimalist iPod packaging might look like if it were redesigned by Microsoft. And the version I’ve shown in the thumbnail image (right) is just the start — watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

Humour aside, this is a beautiful illustration of how two very different companies approach the task of packaging — one with class, the other with all the grace and style of a drunken hippopotamus.

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