Month: December 2004
IMDB webservices, when amazon when?
I was listening to a podcast today from Jeff Bezos at web 2.0, and I heard Amazon were developing there webservice more. So I zoomed over to the Amazon webservice blog and nothing except typepad users can now get there wishlists. Which generally pissed me off and I dropped a bad temper comment, which I wish I didnt. However I did look around for the Alexa and IMDB webservices and instead found this and this which made me feel a whole load better.
Just got home from work and Jeffrey Barr dropped me a email, next time I should think before I comment, as I've now been told!
Thanks for your comment. The Wishlist content is available via our
API. For example, here is a REST request to retrieve my personal
The “1G7V8WTVT8NPP” in this request is the Id of my wishlist. You
can use the Customer Content search to locate any public wishlist,
Using the same API you can also get to a list of all content
(lists, reviews, and so forth) created by the user.
Does this answer your question?
Well yes it does, I cant help but feel this wasn't very clear at the time when I was looking at the Amazon webservices. Anyway thanks Jeffrey for the quick reply, and i'll be using it.
Ravensbourne Audio Lectures on Archive.org at long last
Yes its been a super long time in coming, but finally the audio for the copyright vs community lectures and bbc creative archive lectures have been uploaded to the internet archive for everyone to rip, remix and burn under the creative commons licence of Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0. I've done the best I can with the metadata of the files and also the site content, so please take it easy with the aggresive comments.
It should take a couple of days till the audio is ready to be taken, but I dont foresee any problems with it going through sometime after just new years. By the way, the video is on the way but its going to take a little more time (after new years for sure now). I had huge problems with the firewire drive and imovie (give me moviemaker or premiere any day) which actually meant I lost a load of footage which I had to recover using a linux tool. The copyright vs community lectures are ok but the creative archive footage needs alot more work.
, the creative archive audio is avaliable for download and streaming. Its already been heard 3 times and thats not me.
Ages ago I heard and looked at Audioscrobbler and wrote it off because I didn't like the idea of sharing my preferences in music with the public. However looking at it again almost a year later I'm using it. The fact the data is licenced under the Creative Commons License (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike), speaks volumes to my ear. Plus of course its all anonymous statistics, but it would be nice to get just your own data once in a while. However theres a ton of things I really want to change…
Firstup, what is up with < No Title > in the rdf feed? Why not have the track title or something instead? I was going to complain about the fact the submission engine seems to ignore podcasts but I was wrong thank goodness. Here is the Jeff Bezos (web 2.0) submission, which I was listening to at work today. Its a real shame audioscrobbler cant tell the difference between a podcast and a music track. Will Jeff Bezos ever have top fans? groups? top songs? Dont think so. I only just sorted the itunes audioscrobbler plugin proxy settings yesterday so Adam Curry's daily source code is not listed. I think it would be very interested to see who else is listening. Check out the Gilmor gang and ITconversations. So at least people are listening and audioscrobbler is doing something with it.
Ok next major thing, scream! I only listen to music and podcasts at work from my computer because I cant do it any other way. However at home I listen to stuff through my xbox media centre and when on the go through my ipaq and smartphone. So all that information is just lost, which is actually bulk of my listening! So ways forward, a audioscrobbler plugin for xbmc anyone?. For the mobile devices, theres already talk about capturing this data and then reporting back when the device is synced or online. Dana Greenlee talked about the problem with revenues when comparing streaming against download and she suggested something simular. And i'm starting to think this is going to be a bigger issue soon. Not only for revenue but for the audience and broadcaster. For example, if I the adam curry or mr evil genius knew how many times I fast forward there music, it may have some bearing on the next show? I douht it, but that information to gage how popular a tune could be. Am I right in saying Apple think they will sell another 4 million ipods next year and there will be millions of mp3phones sold next year. Who wants streaming audio on your phone when you can carry your own content with you? Yes I know you can justify your revenue with streaming but lets get creative and do something where all those offline device stats can be taken if the person opts in.
The whole last.fm thing is interesting but also kinda of iffy for me. I know the people behind this project, they were MA students and staff and it started out as a project in the college. And through a little bust-up, the project went off on a commercial tail. What happened next? who knows, who cares. Just gives me a funny feeling about seeing it. I dont think I'll be using it anyway because it relies on streaming which bugs me for the reasons above.
Traditional downloading and beyond torrents
My wife refered to downloading using peer 2 peer networks like kazaa and winmx as traditional downloading in a conversation about Shareaza and bit torrent. I personally think the term Traditional downloading is so funny for all the right reasons, and it should on wordspy under networking or communications. Honestly I can not even start to explain why its funny.
Anyway in other thoughts, I've been looking around for new torrent sites since two of the best have gone offline. Suprnova and Torrentbits went offline at the same time during last week, which has something to do with the raids by the MPAA? Anyway things have moved on and there will be an announcement by suprnova tomorrow at 9pm GMT. I personally think its something to do with Exeem. I mean even the unofficial faq has this flashing lights.
When will SuprNova.org be back?
Never as it was. If it eventually does come back up, it won't feature ANY links to torrents at all.
However theres no mention of Exeem here, and I have yet to listen to the Novastream mp3 which is still sitting on my ipaq after days. But theres tons more links here and theres even screen shots of the beta here. By the way just incase you not read it yet, stop reading and check out the wired interview with Bram Cohen.
On the Torrentbits side of things – theres already movement around a torrentbits2 site but were all too late already… Anyway here's a few sites I've checked out and like so far…
http://www.tvtorrents.tv , http://torrentspy.com , http://torrentreactor.net , http://elitetorrents.org , http://lokitorrent.com and couple more. This list will get you started. I've also found RSS and IRC very useful during this time of unrest in the torrent world. Looking past Bit torrent, there are already people building systems which work in the same way as bit torrent but keep everyones ip hidden. My favourate p2p technology has to be PDTP which looks pretty much like bittorrent but with added bonuses. I mean a piece proxy is a novel concept in its self, I just hope there more protected than trackers in a traditional bit torrent network. Also on the plus side, lets not forget Freenet and darktorrent. As the Engadget guys said today, there are people working on better and faster ways to get information around and Hollywood will not be able to stop them.
Cluetrain #57. Smart companies will get out of the way and help the inevitable to happen sooner
Blogdigger groups World Service feeds
BBC World Service RSS 1.0 feeds grouped together in Blogdigger.
Its quite something to see all the rss 1.0 feeds in one go. Its quite something to search through them in one go too. Up untill now, I've been using rssowl newsreader to search though so many feeds, but this is something else. Here's a couple of searches I've tried already.
A search for IBM brings up a Turkish and Vietnamese story. Of course a search for Bush brings back a load of juicy results. However blogdigger does not seem to do other languages very well for example Americk� spolecnost is turned into this – Americká společnost which obviously matches nothing. and thats only czech. I thought I'd give my favourate language service a go too. a search for CMS.NET finds the correct story, however in the same story �ng Fraser returns nothing and changes the characters to �?ng Fraser. Bit of a shame, but I'm sure it will change in time.
I thought I'd check a couple of other aggregators and syndic8 and it seems the feeds are being polled. With closer inspection it seems syndic8 doesnt like the feeds alot. No metadata? Whats a company to do? Anyhow this kind of information is useful for thinking about what should happen next.
Podcasting with only PocketRSS 2.0
The thing everyone wants to know, does it work? Well I'm glad to say yes it does! This follows on from my post a little while ago when I explained that I am a beta tester for the excellent PocketRSS 2.0. I was able to download Dave Slusher the evil genius chronicles – introduction and disclaimer mp3 file. I did however pick the wrong feed and got 4 extra files which were a couple kilobytes big, which I later identified as torrent files. So obviously bittorrent on the pocketRSS 2.0 is out the question for now (at least – kidding). Tomorrow I will try with the Engadget podcast along with others. But generally it worked well and quick over my wifi connection straight on to the SD card I have. You can set it to anywhere which is great. But theres one thing which needs a little fixing. The file name can not be some random number, it needs to be whatever the enclosure tag specified otherwise your going to run into trouble later down the road. At this moment it uses a random number with rss on the front and .mp3 like this – rss012345678.mp3. This will cause trouble when loading lots of them and also when people start enclosures with pictures and videos. It took me a while looking at the raw xml to work out the other small mp3 files were actually torrent files not mp3s. I'm sure the great guys at happy jack will sort it out. Oh by the way I saw this on http://www.pocketcasting.com.
We're currently testing a piece of software that is in the “Alfa” stage of development for Pocket PC's that will download RSS 2.0 feeds and enclosures directly onto your device. I'm currently using it on my device and plan to post an article (with screen shots) in the next few days
If your are interested in testing this software email us. The developer is looking for testers and will send you a developers invite to download the software.
Not sure if its the Happyjack guys or someone else, but it looks like the pocketcasting scene is heating up very quickly! Can I also just say pocketrss 2.0 isnt just the only podcasting client for pocketpc at the moment it seem, but its the best RSS reader… Hey it even has advanced features my desktop rss reader doesnt have like the ability to read a opml file from the web and reload it at any time. Its well worth the money, and i'm not just saying that.
When its set to busy, i am honestly busy…
Ok so first up Tom Coats talks about the weird context shift of IM on mobile devices. and then Ben Hammersley replys with this. And I see what there saying, actually worst than that. I've actually been trying to deal with mobile IM for the last few months. See GPRS charges are getting low enough to be online in between work and home, so I am. However theres things which just dont work, for example.
Usually when I'm iming, I usually have to tell people i'm on my smartphone or ipaq otherwise they wonder why i'm taking so long to reply. Theres also a tendancy to write large chunks rather than tap tap bang tap tap bang, as im conversations up the screen tend to be a pain to scroll when trying to type at the same time. So I end up coming across really busy and distracted, when i'm actually just sitting on a train listening to podcasts. Saying all that, the opposite is also true. Specially when I'm on IM using my ipaq. I tend to turn off the screen and leave the ipaq on to walk, which means I'm on online but actually very busy or not able to talk right now. And just before I consider ways to solve this problem, one of the tricky problems is leaving im on while at a resturant or cafe. Its not as discreet as sms and a real pain in the ass for the other person trying to get hold of you, thinking your at your desk. At least with sms people expect you may not reply instantly. Its a social convention, for me at least…
Ok I'm sure i've been through this before, I use to think it was about presence management. But its not possible to do so without somekind of technological assistance. For example my smartphone has a nice profile called Automatic which automaticly sliences when your synced calendar says you have a busy meeting. Its simple and works. However i dont sync my phone nearly as much as I use to now I've switched to linux. Which leads me to wonder why my ipaq (which I do sync everyday) doesnt have a option like this?
Off the back of the last question, is it possible for the ipaq to send out a bluetooth message to all bonded devices to say Ian is now busy in a meeting? I know it wouldnt work for everyone because not everyone keeps there calendar up to date. But I bet you would if your mobile devices did something like that. I mean it cant be that hard to write something which switches profiles based on a bluetooth message? Saying that, with all the bluesnarfing attacks and closed api's on the windows mobile platform. It isnt going to work is it? Ok so lets forget bluetooth for a moment then. To get on im you need to be online, so why not some service which defaults your im client into a certain presence depending on your ical calendar? Hummm maybe… nahh…
Ben talks about the fact he's not usually online because people dont respect his presence. Well I'm using PSI which doesnt automaticly pop up a window, thank goodness. And I tend to have the same view of IM as I do for sms. Aka leave it till i'm ready to deal with it. I've been thinking how great it would be to tell if someone is really idle by the client following movement on the screen or something, but thats even more scary that anything else I've suggested. I've also been thinking about somekind of in-between solution. For example, I've got a bot called WeatherBot which tells me all the information I need without actually iming it. Maybe theres something in this? I've looked on the other networks and jabber seems to be the only one which does this, however theres lots of news about msn messeger 7 which is meant to copy yahoo's attention Buzz thing. Personally this is still too much, but shows theres grounds inbetween which can be explored. Oh by the way interesing blog about Jabber and Bots. I think maybe a jabber bot which is a conversation summariser would be difficult but damm useful. Thanks for the idea Miles (we were talking about something on top of aggregation for news).
Firefox’s RSS auto discovery needs fixing
Just been putting OPML subscriptions into some of the BBC world service sites using auto discovery. Theres a really nasty thing firefox does with autodiscovery which was unexpected. It seems to search for all link rel's with RSS or ATOM in the title attribute. This is fine except when you try to put something like
RSS subscription list as a title attribute for a opml file. Then Firefox tries to load it in as a live bookmark, which when I first tried it, I thought was very cool. But of course it breaks. After some googling looks like no one else has hit this issue before. So here it is for all to see. By the way, OPML is now available in beta form for the 35 rss 1.0 languages we do now. It works like this – http://www.bbc.co.uk/ [language service] / rssnewsfeed.opml. For example – http://www.bbc.co.uk/czech/rssnewsfeed.opml. You should start to see auto discovery link elements for them coming over the next few days, and I hope to clean up the default exported opml files with more information in the near future.
Podcasting in xbmc using python scripts
Ok another post to the xbmc forums, this time for podcasting on the xbox media centre.
How come no one it seems has picked up on podcasting for xbmc? If you do not know what podcasting is please read this wikipedia defination – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting. The basic idea is, that a RSS feed has an enclosure element which points to a location where to download media (typically a Mpeg3 or Torrent file). There are already 100's of podcasts from radio stations to homebrew broadcasters. But theres no douht that its a great resource of media and video wont be that far behind in the near future.
Usually a little program like ipodder or doppler reads the RSS feeds every few hours and collects the content from the enclosure element when it comes across one. I can imagine this being very easy to do as a python script in xbmc, maybe as a background task while you watch films or listen to music not from the internet. Actually I believe ipodder is actually written in python already!!! I've already seen two python scripts which can do pretty much what i've said they just need to be put together. YaRSSr.py and download apleasure_zip.py. Its just a shame i'm not a python programmer…
Seriously if I had the time, I would hack it together myself, I've looked at the source python scripts which I mentioned and I think its possible even for me. Right now I have ipodder running on a machine which dumps all the podcasts media into a shared directory which the xbox reads when loading up, then I'm using the script startplaylist.py to automaticly play a the engadget and daily source code podcasts. Not ideal because I have to add them to the playlist myself, hence why I turned it off and just navigate to the podcats share now. Anyway I hope so one picks up on the idea and takes it somewhere I wasnt even thinking.
Listening to podcasts without a host machine
Off the back of the engadget how-to where pureblue wrote this in the comments
Are there any podcast clients out there for the Windows Mobile or Windows Pocket PC devices? It would be handy to leave my iPaq on when connected to WiFi and it copies over my subscribed feeds in the background. This would cut my desktop computer out of the loop, meaning I'm not reliant on having to go home and sync up to get content. It would also be good when I'm listening to a Podcast that mentions another feed to be able to subscribe, rather that jot down the address and remember to subscribe when I get home.
Fear not, its coming soon. I've been beta testing a great new application called PocketRSS. The current version 1.42 doesnt support podcasting but is the best RSS reader for pocketPC out there at the moment. However the beta's of version 2.0 do support podcasting directly on the device, removing the need to have a host machine at all. Happyjackroad, say there going to be launching version 2.0 soon enough, and I would say the beta i'm using is more like a Preview release than beta. Seriously version 2.0 is great and can be totally operated one handed while taking a very busy train into work every morning. I want to also point out that it has many simple features which other mobile RSS readers dont. Like the ability to copy and paste text, see the url of the link and handle over 100+ subscriptions without crashing and burning. Well worth the 10 pounds I spent on it (who says I never pay for software?).
No, you can not have it all…
I was listening to Barry Schwartz's Less is more presentation at poptech today on the train in to work. Oh my goodness this is great listening. And honestly sums up alot of what I've been thinking recently.
The [clip] idea of closing some doors to walk through others is a nightmare that I have alot. And dont even go there about working [clip]. Theres so much to do and I keep getting new ideas and projects to consider working on. And all while trying to balance equally or more important parts of my life. I would hate to be a mono person because theres so much to learn and be engergised by. But if the massive amount of choice is doing more damage than good, maybe I need to strike even more balance.
But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves here, some choice is good. Just not 500 ice cream's worth of choices. I learned recently that everything made in nature is made of 92 different types of atoms only. Yep from Whales to Humans to a single ant, all the same 92 atoms. And it gets better than that, the same 92 atoms are used across the whole universe. Whats this got to do with choice and having it all? well in constraints comes creativity and innovation. Stewart Butterfield did a great presentation along time ago explaining the almost endless possiblies there are in 5k. If that is mindboggling alone, over choice is a pain in the ass and does make for a difficult life.
Tis the season for drinking… let it be over please!
This is a difficult thing to put across. I dont know what it is about myself but I really dislike drunk people, please dont take offense everyone! Let me at least try and explain.
From a early age I've always been a clubbing/raving person. I actually disliked pubs, and when I mean pubs I mean the real old english style pubs with brown wall paper, smoking stains and no music except a dodgy old jukebox attached to a wall. I'm sorry but I would rather spend a night in Easyeverything. However a good bar isn't as bad but its the people which I still dont like. Dont get any funny ideas about me being scared of drunk people. I just get into this mood of feeling sorry for people who are drunk, like there lives are so sorry that they need to drink to the point of forgetting what actually happened that night. I know its not like that, but my from my view – I wouldn't go out and get so pissed that I forget bits of what happened that night. Once again i'm only analysing my own thoughts not passing judgement on anyone.
I remember when I was young (like 13-15) buying drinks for friends and friends of friends. Yes its against the law but I was young and looked like 18 or even 21. (Some would even say acted like it a bit) anyhow we would spend time in the field drinking cheap booze and laughing about silly stuff while trying to get it going with girls from other schools (we honestly thought all girls from speedwell were so umm, similar in nature). Anyway, all i'm saying is things have not changed much from those days… Maybe I had not thought this out enough, but I was thinking the older you get the less, getting legless and would be appealing. Actually come to think about it, what is it about getting off your face which is fun or worth doing over and over again?
Ok backpedling or digging myself a even more deeper hole. I actually do drink but I dont drink any kind of Beer, Stout, Ale, etc. I do however like a nice red wine while eating and anything with vodka when out for the night. Which would include all those alcopops, yumm yumm. But seriously, I drink very slowly and take it easy. It also helps that Vodka doesnt have much of an effect on me, so I will never have a hangover or throw up because of it alone – specially when mixed with something soft. Anyway where was I going with all this? Oh yes – you can hardly tell when i'm drunk because I dont become this nasty staggering not making sense temporary burden to other people which other people can be.
Anyhow, I hope this has all made some sense, and i'm not pointing at anyone or any groups, just generally saying I hate the anti-social mentality of drunks and honestly if push came to shove. Like the anti-smoking debate I wouldnt never ban drinking it wouldnt make any sense to do so. But the idea of seperate places is appealing to me at least. I would rather go to a cafe or a juice bar where it wont be filled with drunks falling over each other. Ok enough, i'm sure people will either hate me, be worried to talk to me or think i'm really nasty for saying what I said. But seriously if you've read this and have a comment please write it on the blog, email me or even stop and talk to me about it. Dont feel like i'm talking about you… because trust me i'm actually not.
Re-design of the garden
Just recently I've been thinking of changing the design of cubicgarden.com. The design your use to has gone throught many tweaks but the main thrust was at a time when blojsom's default template had tables still. Looking Asual for example the default template actually looks and feels better than mine. So I'm going to use it as a base and tweak on top of that. So if you notice things changing each time you refresh, you now know why…
xbmc has support for the digital audio access protocal?
Yes so recently I upgraded my xbox media centre to a november cvs version and found some interesting new features. The biggest change comes in the way of apple itunes support. Using the daap which is used by itunes 4.x, xbmc is able to not only play everything in the library but also all the different playlists. Which I have to say is pretty awesome and has prompted me into downloading itunes on to my tabletpc. If only winamp had support for this too, i would consider switching because itunes is a beast on cpu usage and does not have the plugin support like winamp. Anyway some more screen shots are here and here.
Some other interesting things have also been better intergrated and updated. The great xlink kai client has been updated so now you can type in a chat room using the onscreen keyboard or if your like me, you can use an usb adapter and a real keyboard. So pretty much now the xbmc xlink client is equal to the win32 client. You still need to run the kai engine on a pc or another device but hey you cant have it all.
Like the daap:// protocal there is now a shoutcast:// protocal too which basiclly goes to shoutcast.com and cache's the top 500 shoutcast broadcasts. Another screenshot at 500. Shoutcast being intergrated into xbmc is great and I'm hoping to see more intergration with some of the new scripts poping up. Oh by the way its good to see someone else in the bloggerosphere is keeping up with xbmc. Oh by the way we play here