Radio Free Brea

My friend Andrew Grumet is one of the principal authors of iPodder, a
popular RSS aggregator/ client for subscribing to podcasts. 
Extending things further, Andrew also built Gigadial (using OpenACS
of course).  Gigadial is a service that allows anyone to set up
what amounts to their own radio station on the web.  People “tune
in” by either visiting the site and listening to the audio feeds by
clicking on them (the old way), or by pointing their podcast
aggregators like iPodder at “stations” they like, so new recordings get
downloaded automatically and they can then listen to them on their PC’s
or on their iPods and the like (I believe the generic term is “personal
media player”).

So to figure out how all of this works, I’ve set up Radio Free Brea
on Gigadial and have published or further syndicated a couple of
programming items.  One is an interview given a couple of weeks
ago by Jeffrey Rayport, whom I’ve gotten to know recently.  The other is a recording of the talk I gave in Madrid last week.

Setting all of this up was extremely easy and cheap.  I recorded my talk on my laptop using a software utility from XAudio Tools.  I published my audio file for free on the Internet Archive’s audio collection using CC Publisher,
a small pc-based program that walks you through the process in an
idiot-proof way.  I set up my station on Gigadial, then manually
added the recording by providing the talk’s mp3 url on Internet
archive  and, as a feed, the url of the blog post where I link to
this mp3’s url.

What is the significance of all of this?  Just as blogs
democratize publishing for good and otherwise, all this does the same
for audio content of any kind.  And video blogging isn’t just
coming, it’s already here
Telco’s have to be cheering, since all of this rich media flowing over
the web begins to use up the vast quantities of dark fiber they have in
the ground right now.  (I read recently that BitTorrent accounts
for 40% of the traffic — measured in volume — flowing over the
Internet right now.)

As they say, supply sometimes creates its own demand.  I think the
existence of all of this content will create demand for intermediaries
that help us filter it for what we need.  In the past, I’ve
described the possibility of optional RSS extensions that would give
authors the option of tagging their content to classify it.  Of
course, rather than allowing free-form, user-driven categorization, the
popular blogging services like Typepad could extend their current
categorization capabilities with ones that use not user-driven schemes,
but canonical ones like SIC code classification.  Typepad could
provide drop-down list categorization, off a table that itself could be
kept updated via web services/ XML-based integration from a canonical
source.  Then I could tell my iPodder client to aggregate all
podcasts about “software”.  Still too general I know, but you get
the point.

Now what I really want, but haven’t figured out yet, is a way to get my
XAudio mp3 recorder to record my Skype calls via my laptop.  It’s
possible today because my laptop’s microphone picks up my voice and the
voice of the other party(ies) coming out of the laptop’s speakers into
the microphone, but that’s pretty lame.  If anyone can help me
figure that out, I’d really appreciate it.

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