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  Podfading:  Out With a Whimper  
 
 
Posted 2006-02-08 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Wired.com runs a Steve Friess story on "Podfading," a term intended to describe the process of giving up on one's podcasting hobby. Friess talks to several former podcasters. One in particular echoes my initial predictions about podcasting's challenges:

"'Podcasting is one of those things that's cheap and easy to begin to do but takes a tremendous amount of time to keep going with no payoff,' said freelance writer and blogger Brian Reid of Alexandria, Virginia, former host of the gender-issues program Sex Talk, who quit in August. 'There was no money in it and it did nothing to push my career forward. I've got a lot of other things in my life, paying work being one and my family is another. It's not like blogging, where you can do it for 15 minutes at a time and get away with it.'"
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  Deloitte Trendwatch:  Girl Games; Digital Divide Deepens  
 
 
Posted 2006-02-02 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications team has made a batch of predictions for 2006 concerning online applications, games, and society. Among the predictions:
  • Search will displace email as the most-used online application due to greater functionality, faster connections, and improved interfaces.
  • Devices will become services, dependent on remote administration and upgrades.
  • The "digital divide" will deepen between developed and developing countries.
  • Video games will seek new audiences, "most notably young girls," in order to sustain the growth of the industry.
  • Mobile TV will bomb.
  • Radio will become subscription-dominated.

I'm in general agreement with the predictions, but I believe the digital divide will increase domestically as well as internationally; free podcasts are likely to compete with subscription-radio; the game industry is more likely to target "casual" gamers rather than "girl" gamers.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  PornStation Portable  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the most lucrative use for the small screens of the handheld Apple iPod and Sony PSP is porn playback. In October of this year, San Francisco Chronicle writer Mark Morford predicted that the video iPod would be "The perfect secret titillation device. You do not need any extra gear. You need no space, no PC, no TV, no DVDs -- nothing whatsoever."

Unsurprisingly, Morford was at least partially correct. You will need $4.95 USD to purchase one of several X-rated video scenes from Adult DVD Empire and Digital Playground's "Porn On The Go" series. The company is selling meals by the bite, formatted for iPod and PSP playback. And if you're not appetized by paid porn, SuicideGirls.com offers free, 3-minute nudie-flicks for the iPod. From the theatre to the home and now to the pocket... it's difficult to get much closer to X-rated movies without actually starring in one. As with previous spaces, expect porn to make a killing on the tiny screens (probably more than music or games).
 
     
 
   
 
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  ‘Podcast’: Word of 2005  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
"Podcast" has been annointed 2005's Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, and will be made available in the next update of the online dictionary in 2006. So, what exactly does "podcast" mean? "A digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player." This satisfies only one of my personal beefs with the term--that the only significant difference between podcasts and radio broadcasts is the delivery method--but it still doesn't address the "pod" part of "podcast," obviously yoinked from the iPod, but not addressed in the definition. Apple's pending trademark on the word "iPodcast," will clearly suffer from dillution now that "podcast" is part of every web-geek's vocabulary.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  PSP Now Eats More Media  
 
 
Posted 2005-11-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) mini-console gets a little more media-friendly with the addition of Sony's official "PSP Media Manager" software, available as a paid download ($19.95 USD) or retail box containing a USB cable and other goodies ($29.95 USD). Media Manager establishes PSP to PC connectivity, allowing "most" popular video and audio formats to be transferred, including automated downloading of files published via RSS such as podcasts and video blogs. According to an official press release, Media Manager features include:
  • Video support for .mp4, .avi, .mpg, .mov, .wmv, and "more."
  • Audio support for .mp3, .wav, .wma, and "other formats."
  • Gracenote CD album identification
  • Customizable bitrate options for encoding and playback
  • Image support for .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, and "others."
  • Built-in directory of popular RSS feeds including ACIDplanet.com podcasts.
  • Feed subscription, import, and export
  • Easy drag-and-drop transfer to PSP
  • Photo and video thumbnail preview.
  • Back up game saves on your computer or PSP, move saves between Memory Sticks.

You may notice that the PSP software contains some features that are similar to Apple's iTunes. I know I did.
 
     
 
   
 
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  All Your ‘Podcasts’ Are Belong to Apple  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-15 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
AppleInsider.com reports that Apple has filed for a trademark on the term "iPodcast." If granted, Apple will likely be able to sue the pants off podcasters, who were stupid enough to not only "invent" the term, but to make sure it became an obnoxious buzzword.

Allow me a moment to snicker.

Thank you.
 
     
 
   
 
  6 comments  
  Locked Out Workers Unplug the CBC  
 
 
Posted 2005-08-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Over the weekend, I reported that locked out CBC workers plan to start their own internet media service. It turns out that CBCunplugged.com, originally registered by notable CBC technophile Tod Maffin for his own use, will be the hub of the new service. CBCunplugged is currently operating as a blog with links to various CBC worker sites and podcasts--the new format, if there is one, has yet to be revealed.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  A Finer Point on Podcasting  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Is there a fundamental difference between the content of a podcast and that of a radio program? A podcast might be shorter than a typical radio program, but both are audio-only formats. There's really no difference in the content of either medium--in fact, the same skills are required in creating both radio programs and podcasts. The real difference is found in the distribution methods, but distinguising between radio and podcasts seems pointless considering where traditional broadcast media is headed (TV becomes TiVo). When all radio programs are available on demand, will there be such a thing as podcasts? How is the art of creating a podcast any different from the art of creating radio?

Continue reading: A Finer Point on Podcasting
 
     
 
   
 
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  Podcasting Won’t Make You Rich  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Podcasting for dollars is a losing proposition. Despite this, some podcasters are eyeing it as a potential source of income. I suppose it's heartening to cling to the idea that your hobby might make you rich, but podcasting is more likely to put indie publishers in the poorhouse. Why? In short, there's too much overhead involved.

Podcasts are rich media files, many times the size of an average weblog post. The comparison to weblogs is important, because blogs have also been eyed as a source of income. The harsh reality is that there's really only one proven method of generating revenue from blogging, and that's via Google-provided ads. The more traffic a blog gets, the more potential revenue--in theory, anyway. This model only works with relatively light files, such as blog posts. The cost to host a page gets offset by ad revenue. Except in the case of podcasts, where success can kill you. Too many downloads, and you'll likely be losing money instead of making it.

Continue reading: Podcasting Won’t Make You Rich
 
     
 
   
 
  8 comments  
  How Podcasters Got it Wrong  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-08 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Corante contributor Matt May explains "How iTunes 4.9 got it wrong" from a podcaster's point of view, asserting that "[Apple] didn't invent this community. We did." Insert raucous laughter here. Let me get this straight, podcasters... you "invent" the term "Podcast" based on Apple's iPod trademark; you bandy the term about excessively; you act as though audio files play on an iPod exclusively; and now you're crying because Apple took "Podcasting" back? Apple has failed to properly consult the podcasting community? Podcasters, you invited Apple to assume authority. You have no one but your overzealous, buzzword-happy selves to blame.

Continue reading: How Podcasters Got it Wrong
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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