Nothing on iTunes TV

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What a weird bunch of crap Disney is rolling out with its latest expanded TV offerings for iTunes.

ITunes will feature a couple of dozen shows, snippets and shorts from several Disney-owned outlets like ESPN, ABC Sports, Disney Channel and others.

Except for the sports, which I personally have zero interest in, the list includes gems like the 70s kids cartoon “Schoolhouse Rock,” SOAPnet’s biog show “Soapography,” and bits of “Good Morning America.”

Good grief America. The only thing I’d take the trouble to download is Ebert and Roeper, which I never catch when it’s broadcast on TV.

I know on-demand video is supposed to be all long tail and niche, that’s half the point, but where’s the HBO? Or Seinfeld? The Shield? Or anything worth watching?

IPod Jacking: A True Love Story

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Eric Wolfe, a 17-year-old senior, met his girlfriend when he “jacked” into her iPod in a darkened cinema.

IPod jacking is when two strangers swap headphone jacks to sample each others’ music. It’s one way to discover new music, and can be used to break the ice. IPod jacking was a lot easier when iPods were rarer, and the white earbuds signified membership of an exclusive club.

Eric is from La Quinta, California, near Palm Springs. He met his girlfriend, Bailey Smith, at an outside mall called “The River,” which has a movie theater.

Here’s Eric’s story, as told via a recent IM-terview (which I’ve lightly edited to make it easier to read):

ERIC: so i was here at “the river” with a couple friends
i had my ipod on me, like i always do, (it’s as normal as taking my wallet)
and i saw a girl walk into the movie theatre with her friends….. i notice the famous white earbuds and knew she had an ipod.

i convinced my friends to move down a couple rows closer to the screen

so when i was walking down i plugged in my earbuds and put on a cute song real quick i thought she might like….. i sat 2 seats to her side
i waited till she glanced over at me( i was kidna lucky she ever did)
so i looked back at her and put on a small smile and said hi
she seemed friendly
so i asked what she was listening to while taking out her headphone and plugging in mine
she was a little confused at first but then laughed when she realized what i was doing

ME: cheeky

haha yeah…. i was kinda nervous but i pulled it off
we only had a couple minutes to introduce introduce each other and talk about music before the movie started
but that’s pretty much it…. i got her screenname
before we left

ME: what was the song you chose for her to listen to?

hopeless love by daphne loves derby

ME: and what was she listening to?

dark blue by jack’s mannequin

ME: so you approved of each other’s taste in music?

she liked what i had, i wasn’t too fond of jack’s mannequin, but its grown on me since

ME: how long you been going out?

3 months
a little over

ME: you have any other ipod jacking stories?

just one other… i “kinda” knew the girl though
she was an old friend’s little sister
i just used it to “break the ice”… it seemed more interesting than saying “hey, are you josh’s little sister?”

ME: so — you’re a serial jacker?


ME: what kind of music do u like? name a couple of bands.

a thorn for every heart, boys night out, the academy is, armor for sleep, bloc party, brand new, dashboard confessional, the early november, emery, the faint, halifax, hellogoodbye, mae, matchbook romance, motion city soundtrack, northstar, panic! at the disco, park, the plain white t’s, the postal service, silverstein
typical ’emo’ stuff
that was a bit more than a couple, but thats just off the top of my head

ME: so it’s a good way to approach girls?

most definitely

Britain’s Indie Labels Embrace Podcasting

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This is a big deal:

Britain’s independent music labels are about to make music available for podcasts, reports the BBC. Britain’s indie acts include Franz Ferdinand and The Prodigy.

Songs by acts signed to UK indie record labels are to be made available to podcasters on a trial basis.

The Association of Independent Music is selling six-month worldwide licence deals for its members’ music to be used on download radio programmes.

… “We believe there will be huge global demand for the AIM podcast licence,” (said an AIM spokeswoman)

As one of the BBC’s interviewees points out: “I see podcasting and subscription services as playing a big role in where the music consumer wants to go.”

Oxford Dictionary Names “Podcast” 2005 Word of the Year

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The New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen “podcast” as the Word of the Year for 2005.

Podcast will be added to the next online update of the dictionary in early 2006.

EIC Erin McKean said, “Podcast was considered for inclusion last year, but we found that not enough people were using it, or were even familiar with the concept. This year it’s a completely different story. The word has finally caught up with the rest of the iPod phenomenon.”

The runners-up included:

bird flu
persistent vegetative state
squick (“cause immediate and thorough revulsion”)
trans fat

Mac Mini To be Based on Intel’s Locked-Down Viiv?

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Think Secret says at Macworld in January Apple will unveil an online media distribution system for streaming tons of content to the living room, including feature-length movies.

One of the analysts interviewed wondered whether the Mac mini, which Think Secret says will be revamped, could be based on Intel’s new Viiv platform, a set of branded chip technologies for home entertainment devices.

Among other things, Viiv (which rhymes with “five”) provides a secure platform for sharing copy-protected media among devices in the home, as well as out of it — like loading TV shows on handhelds and laptops, for example.

Intel has been busy signing up dozens of partners in consumer electronics, as well as Hollywood and the music biz, according to the WSJ (registration required). Tivo is a partner, as is British Sky Broadcasting and Movielink, a joint movie-download service from five major movie studios.

Viiv works with Microsoft’s Media Center and the upcoming Windows Vista, but could Apple also be involved, basing the new Mac mini on Viiv?

Either way, publications like the Enquirer and Hardware Analysis, think Viiv is bad news for consumers.

The technology will allow content to be locked down, limiting what consumers can do with movies or music they buy in digital format, even if it’s within their “fair use” rights.

In addition, “unauthorized” hardware like homebrew Linux boxes will be locked out of the legitimate digital content market. As I suggested before — this is the real reason Apple is switching to Intel — so that it can sell copy-protected digital entertainment securely online.

It may not be all doom and gloom. Intel says Viiv will play unprotected content.

According to the WSJ: “With Viiv, Intel tried to make sure that consumers can still use unprotected content — such as CDs they rip — as they can now, Mr. Corbett said.”

But note the telling phrase: “Intel tried to make sure that consumers can still use unprotected content.”

TV on Demand From NBC, CBS — But Not For IPod

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Two more TV networks will begin offering primetime shows on demand for a buck a pop, but not through iTunes online store, reports Reuters, because of fears of digital piracy.

“NBC and CBS unveiled separate plans on Monday to make some of their hottest prime-time shows available for viewers to watch at their leisure — without commercials — for 99 cents an episode, throwing open the door to “on-demand” television,” the Reuters report says.

NBC will offer “Law & Order SVU” and “Criminal Intent,” “The Office,” and the cable show “Battlestar Galactica” to viewers with a DirecTV Plus DVR.

Likewise, CBS will offers four hit shows on demand — “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” — to Comcast digital cable customers in various cities.

Both platforms are pretty well locked down, with no easy way for owners to get video off the settop boxes and onto file-sharing networks.

In a seperate Reuters report, NBC said it will offer movies and hit shows online only when watertight copy-protection mechanisms are in place.

“We can’t provide them (Google, yahoo and presumably Apple) with content unless they can adequately protect it,” said NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright.

The Burgeoning Business of Podcasting

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BusinessWeek looks at the rapid commercialization of podcasting:

“In February, Volvo agreed to pay $60,000 for a six-month sponsorship of the monthly podcast of Weblog Inc.’s Autoblog, as well as advertising on the site itself. Over that period, the show was downloaded 150,000 times.

Because the number of listeners is changing fast, a flat-rate sponsorship can end up being a bargain or a bust. KCRW, the public radio station in Santa Monica, cut a deal with Southern California Lexus Dealers for a sponsorship this summer, when the station was getting 20,000 downloads a week. Since then the number spiked to 100,000. When the Lexus deal ends, KCRW plans to charge $25 per thousand listeners. “Once we get out of this sweetheart deal, our goal is to cast our net as wide as possible,” says Jacki K. Weber, KCRW’s development director.

The rates podcasters are getting are attracting attention. Although there aren’t reliable figures for the whole field, the $25 per thousand listeners that KCRW plans to charge seems to be about average for popular podcasts. That’s pretty lofty, considering a New York City morning radio show charges between $12 and $15.

…Podcasters are experimenting with ways of pulling in money without advertising. This Week In Tech, an indie podcast with over 200,000 listeners, asks for $2 donations per month and rakes in around $10,000 a month.”

‘One More Thing…’ Special Event Not About PowerBooks, Power Macs

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The big flaw in ThinkSecret’s fun-spoiling story that next week’s special event will about PowerBooks and Power Macs, is that Apple doesn’t hold special media events for these kind of upgrades.

Incremental upgrades of existing products are usually ushered in with a press release, or a Macworld mention at best.

Oh, and now ThinkSecret’s saying it is about the iPod, but not the video iPod. New iPod–but not video–on next week’s itinerary.

Sorry, but I’m not convinced.

CherryOS Trial Version Rereleased

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A trial version of the CherryOS Mac emulator is once again available for download from the Maui X-Stream website.

The $50 Windows software purportedly emulates a G4 processor, allowing a Windows XP machine to run Mac OS X.

The CherryOS was a source of some controversy last year.

It’s initial release last October was greeted with a mixture of excitement and skepticism, given the claims of its supposed developer, programmer Arben Kryeziu.

Kryeziu claimed to have written the complex application from scratch in just four months, and that it performed almost as fast as the host processor — two pretty unlikely claims.

Then programmers discovered CherryOS contained unacknowledged code from a similar open source project, PearPC. Under the rules of PearPC’s license, any borrowed code should be acknowledged.

Kryeziu denied using PearPC code and promised the software would be rereleased in Q1 2005. It seems he kept his promise — at least part of it.

The CherryOS still contains PearPC code, according to a report at BetaNews:

“CherryOS boots up in the exact same manner as PearPC, and its error messages and source files are nearly identical. The emulator also includes MacOnLinuxVideo, which is the same driver used by PearPC to speed up graphics. The CherryOS configuration file also closely mirrors that used by PearPC.

According to tests by BetaNews, CherryOS launches a second process and covers the window within its own display. Thus, when CherryOS is running, a second taskbar entry appears without icon.”