Diggnation live in Amsterdam

First of all, a confession.  I was aware of the fact that there is such a show (or video podcast) – Diggnation.  I was aware of the fact that it is somehow related to the Digg web site.  And I think I even remember watching a couple of episodes a long time ago.  But, all of that was in my passive memory.  I wouldn’t remember what the show was about, if it was funny at all, or even who or how many of the hosts there were. So, when I was checking the agenda for The Next Web Conference 2008, I couldn’t have imagined what the “DIGGnation, live recorded from Amsterdam!” entry at the end of day 1 was all about.

The situation started to change when I noticed that at the end of the day there was a stream of new people in the conference hall, and that many of them were wearing Diggnation t-shirts.  That kind of looked suspicious – are they all coming specifically for the show while avoiding the conference as a whole?  It turned out it was indeed so (I later spoke to a few people who came from all over Europe just for Diggnation).

Diggnation live in Amsterdam

The Diggnation live in Amsterdam episode is up and you can see yourself how it was.  There was also a live stream during the recording, and the whole thing was somewhat longer with preparations and closing of the show, but it will give you an idea of how it went.  There were indeed a few rounds of free beers for the audience, and there was indeed this awesome dude with two joints for the hosts.

I enjoyed the show so much that I actually watched a few episodes back and will probably watch the new ones now and then.  If have a very sensitive sense of humor, you should probably skip.  All the rest – you’ll have a blast.

Entering the wonderful world of podcasting

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve officially became a podcaster. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately and decided to try to make one of my own.

My Pod Voice – is my new podcasting project.

I haven’t yet decided on the format and regularity for this show though. That is because such decisions need more information than I currently have. I am just sort of getting it out of the door and will improve it along the way.

The first episode has no music or any special sound effects. I’m just talking about my, myself, and my projects. (I was surprised to find out that I can talk for more than half an hour on such a simple subject.)

This whole thing is still pretty rough, as I am really a newbie in this area. If you have any ideas on how I can improve either the website or the podcast, or any suggestions on the direction that I should take, please let me know. Thank you.

I am busy, yet I have too much time on my hands

Paradox – I am busy, but I decided that I have too much time on my hands. Actually, I didn’t specifically just decided it. What I decided was that I am going to do a couple of other projects, although I am already pretty occupied right now.

I have a reputation of a starter, you know. I enthusiastically start a lot of things. But I rarely finish them. In most cases, the moment I can imagine the end of a project, or the moment I fully understand how it works and how to implement it, I lose interest in it.

I am surrounded by zombie projects. Yet I will start two more.

The first one has something to do with podcasting. In fact, it has everything to do with podcasting. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently, and my inspiration was building up. I am going to do my own podcast. This will be mainly for two reasons – to improve my spoken English, and to teach me more about podcasting in general and sound editing in particular. And, the truth is, if I really want to do something – I don’t need any reasons to do it. And I want to podcast.

The second one is about photography. I decided that I became way too lazy with my photographic equipment and skills. I have to re-enthusiate myself. ‘Picture of the week’ project has been done, and I am not interested in another one. What I am interested instead is something similar, but different enough to get me focused. I will do a project on Cyprus (Limassol mostly) for which I’ll be taking pictures of people. Not only this will push me forward in my studies of photography, but it will teach me some psychology – street photography (and that’s what I am going to be doing) takes a lot of nerve. If you don’t believe me – try it yourself. Or ask any other photographer.

I am not starting any of these projects right now. I’ll need a day or two to think them over and decide what’s the best way to proceed.

Safer driving with podcasts

I made an interesting observation – listening to podcasts makes me drive safer.

In fact, previously, I was driving safer whenever there was a good show on the radio. I was driving slower because I wanted to listen until the end of the show before I’d get to my destination. I’d pay more attention to the road because I were thinking that radio can disturb my focus. My braind would be more active processing the stuff I was hearing.

But since there just isn’t a great choice of radio stations in my area. And since my reciever can get only on decent station – catching a good show was a rare occasion for me. So rare, that I couldn’t notice the pattern in changes of my driving behaviour.

With podcasts though it became obvious. Podcasts are like a personal radio program. I choose exactly what I want to listen to, and thus every show is interesting for me.

I also noticed that I started to use more features of my mobile phone – my podcast listening device. I installed more new software, learned more ways of the old software, etc. But that’s a total other story, isn’t it…

castogg.sh – make podcasts smaller

As you might know, podcasts are like radio shows recorded and distributed digitally (read: mp3 and RSS). Since pretty much anyone can record a show and distribute it over the Internet – everyone and their brother do that.

The file sizes of some podcasts are huge. There are shows that last for more than an hour and include pieces of music and stereo special effects. I’ve seen this eat up more than 50 MBytes each.

Since I only have a 128 MByte memory card (and about 20 of those MBytes are eaten by software intallations and other data), I was looking at ways to minimize the file sizes of the podcasts that I wanted to listen to.

Continue reading “castogg.sh — make podcasts smaller”

Podcasting is cool

I knew about podcasting for some time now, but I’ve got the chance to try it only since a couple of days. 128 MByte memory card for my mobile arrived in the recent order and I’ve also got myself a card reader to speed up those file copies.

I have to say that I really like podcasting. It’s one of those things that you don’t think you need until you get it. Then you just can’t live without it anymore.

It is surprising how much time there is, if small intervals can be counted in, when you seem to be doing nothing, yet being occupied. Like when driving, or eating alone, or in the bathroom. This small chunks represent a really large period of time, if combined together. And they can be combined by listening to podcasts.

The whole thing reminds me of the time when I stopped smoking. Suddenly I found a lot of free time on my hands and I really didn’t know what to do with it. Now I have the realization of all this time and I rush to choose the worthy podcasts to listen.

I really suggest you try it. You’ll be amazed yourself, I promise you.

iPod did some good too

I am trying my best to be objective and open minded. I am not always good at it, but at least I’m trying. The other day I wrote a somewhat negative post about iPod. Ok, and a few negative comments too.

Because I try to stay open minded and because I don’t want to become an always complaining gramp, I try to find positive sides too. I thought about the iPod issue a bit and I think that obviously there is a good thing about it too. And not just some theoretical crapy good thing that is good for some abstract iPod user, but a really good thing for me and you.

iPod hype has increased the popularity of podcasting.

What good is in podcasting? Well, I happen to think that podcasting is a good idea by itself. It is one of those applications that make Internet more popular with the masses. And that’s a good thing. Podcasting, in turn, increased the popularity and common knowledge of such modern technologies as feeding (RSS and Atom) and audio compression (mp3 and ogg). That’s another good thing.

So, with iPod, as with any other thing there is good stuff and there is bad stuff. I found both. Now is your turn.