Evening Reading: 5/28/09

Brawl is All:  It’s always a great day when you get a new episode of There Will Be Brawl.   If you haven’t watched this excellent series, you have a treat in store.

Good Idea, Bad Idea Department:  I’d love a reliable pair of wireless headphones to use for our podcasts.  At first glance these look pretty appealing.  I use a set of Plantronics headphones every day at work and they are great.  But I agree with Kevin Tofel on the proprietary thing.  By using a proprietary wireless protocol instead of Bluetooth, they guaranteed that I will not buy them.  No one should support proprietary when there is a standard protocol that works.  I don’t want no dang ‘ol, dang ol’ dangle.

Burn the Monster:  Here’s the only thing anyone should ever say about HootSuite:  Lose that bloody browser bar.  I will not click on any link posted by anyone who uses HootSuite.  We need to nip this stupid browser bar crap in the bud.  Honestly, I can’t believe there isn’t a massive public outcry over developers tossing this garbage on our screens.

In Other Monster News:  I dislike the RIAA as much as the next guy (and I am a musician who gets occasional royalty checks), but I don’t think it’s productive to assume they are going to be jerks until they act like jerks.  I may be proven wrong, but even the RIAA can’t be stupid enough to tell school kids not to sing pop songs on YouTube.  Can they?

Good Luck with That:  On the rare occasions that he has interacted with me, Om Malik has always struck me as a good guy, so I hope this move of desperation works out for him.  But I don’t think it will.  Blogs- even mega ones like his- simply can’t produce enough unique content to make a pay wall work.  Maybe if we could all go back in time and prevent the news media from giving all their stuff away in the frantic but misguided internet land rush, the subscription model might work.  But we can’t.  If I were going to map out the best hope for paid content, I’d take the Daring Fireball model and charge for full RSS feeds.  That probably wouldn’t work either, but it more closely approximates the Pandora, Slacker Radio payment for convenience idea.  In other words, I’d never pay for “special” blog content, but I might pay for a more convenient way to access content.  If you want to see some brave and righteous spin, see James Kendrick’s announcement.  Again, I hope it works, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Fixing What Ain’t Broke Department:  I don’t really know what Google Wave is or hopes to be.  What I do know is that it isn’t going to “reinvent email” as the nerd herd is saying, because email doesn’t need to be reinvented.  It works just fine the way it is, well, except for all the spam.  We need to fix the spam.

My Kingdom for an iPhone Version:  There is a Windows Mobile version of Live Writer!  I cannot adequately describe how ecstatic I would be if someone did a version of Windows Live Writer for the iPhone.  I would divide my life into the before and after.

Sookie, Sookie, Sookie:  Several people told me that I would love every single thing about True Blood.  It finally came out on iTunes, and I watched every single episode of Season 1 in four days.  They were right.  It’s southern and gothic and scary and cool, with great acting, good music and Sookie.  It’s up there with Millennium as my favorite show ever.  I am counting the days until June 14, when Season 2 starts.  Highly, highly recommended.

Comcast Sucks:  Period.  Lately, my Comcast broadband is out at least half the time.  It fades in and out like a bad headache.  Thank goodness for my ATT wireless broadband modem.  I will dump cable broadband at the first reasonable opportunity.

Fail in Waiting:  So a day late and several dollars short, Sirius XM is about to dump an iPhone app on the unsuspecting world.  And rumors are that they want to charge subscribers extra to use it.  That’s the most disappointing news since the great Slingbox money-grab of 2009.  If Sirius XM charges subscribers extra to use the iPhone app, I hope it accelerates their death at the hands of Pandora, etc.  I don’t think trying to squeeze every possible dollar from your declining subscriber base is the best way to deal with the car problem.

Department of Sound:  Twangville has a take on the excellent new Dexateens record.  HearYa has a take on the new Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) video, in which he is joined by Hacienda.  This particular song doesn’t do anything for me, but most of Dan’s stuff is pretty good.  Hickory Wind has a piece on the Chris Gaffney tribute record.  Finally, Cover Lay Down, the newest music blog in my reading list, has some excellent Mary Lou Lord covers.

Photo GoodnessYahoo image search (which also indexes Flickr photos) now allows you to filter results by Creative Commons license.  That’s a neat feature, but I wonder how many photos have been tagged with licenses.

Apptic Blast:  Among the interesting apps I’ve come across lately are TuneUp (cleans your music collection), Routine Timer (my family badly needs that board game timer), TimeLeft, the AAA iPhone app, Repper (makes designs from JPEGs) and Totally Free Burner (non-bloated disk burning).