Downloadable Internet Radio

In a previous entry, I mentioned Your Mac Life, an internet-only live radio talk show. At the time, I was contemplating the marketability of such an effort. Recently, I came across some others who have taken the concept and added a twist–one I really like.

Steven, at Acts of Volition, has produced and DJ’ed several 45 minute radio sessions available for download in mp3 format. For each one, he’s taken a different theme and picked several songs that fit it. I think it’s great–the shows are entertaining–much more entertaining and informative than having someone just recommend a few songs.

It looks like a couple other sites have done the same thing. Mathcaddy just came out with a show and there’s a new site, LugRadio where four guys produce a downloadable talk show on open source software.

This type of entertainment–informative and fun at the same time–is almost destined to success. It’s something that’s not too hard to produce but could potentially generate a wide following. The only obstacles will be 1. bandwidth (at least for a lot of people), and 2. the RIAA or their equivalent in whatever country you might be. Personally, I feel that if it came down to the artists themselves, most would be in favor of this, but unfortunately in the backwards world that is corporate music, that is not the case.

Kudos to those of you producing radio in this format (Incidentally, what?s it called? iRadio?), keep up the good work and if you need bandwidth… well, maybe I can help.


Around the World in 80 Days – Movie

I finished Around the World in Eighty Days today and also discovered there’s a movie coming out about the book. To be honest, I can’t imagine that the movie will be all that good. The story was interesting, but not amazing.

In the movie, Passepartout (the main character’s servant) will be played by Jackie Chan, which seems strange to me since in the book he’s a young Frenchman, and Fogg (the main character) will be played by Steve Coogan and there will be appearances by Rob Schneider, John Cleese, Johnny Knoxville, Kathy Bates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wim Wenders, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson and Richard Branson… there’s a trailer here if you’re interested.

It doesn’t look like they’re taking much from the book other than the character names. In the book Fogg is not an inventor, there are no airplanes, air balloons or other strange contraptions (with the exception of a sail powered sled). Fogg in the book plays a character that does not ever show emotion rather than a passionate man set on making history as he’s portrayed in the movie. There’s also no sight of Fix in the trailer, the detective who, in the book, chases them around the world, but I can’t imagine they’d leave him out.

It does, however look like they’ll remain true to the Jules Verne’s completely inaccurate and error-filled portrayal of Mormons (if not in good taste, at least in good humor), and who better to play the part than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.


Marketability of Online-Only Talk Radio

I’m listening to Your Mac Life, a live radio show that is (as far as I know) only broadcast online. The show quality is great–it’s entertaining, the audio is clear and crisp, and really, it’s comparable if not better than a lot of what you hear on talk radio, both AM stations and morning shows. (Here in the US).

I’m not aware of any similar, web only, talk radio shows, but from all I can tell, they are probably making a profit on this. It seems like a feasible business model–they are targeting a very specific, tech-savvy group of listeners who most likely fall into a high income bracket. They appear to have quite a few sponsors on their site, and the commercials (there aren’t many at this point) seem to be professionally done.

Lots of people are looking for a way to make money online, and I think that this is one of the few content delivery areas that has yet to be saturated.

I found their site from a link to the Pepsi iTunes giveaway superbowl ad. You can see it in it’s entirety on their site now. Check out the ad. It’s cool (Quicktime, a few Mb).


Defining Moments in TV

You have to love Spike TV… “The first TV network for Men.” Tonight they’re playing the Star Trek Episode that first introduced the Borg. Over Christmas and Thanksgiving they had Bond marathons and pretty much everything they show is spot on–aimed at the male audience. It’s great. I read the other day that Star Trek will probably be cancelled this season. It’s a shame that it’s going to happen, but with the direction they’ve taken the last couple seasons, I’m not really surprised. It’s gone downhill for sure. On Slashdot, there was a comment that pretty much defined the recent formula of Star Trek as:

:06 – Mystery discovered
:26 – Solving mystery becomes critical to survival
:48 – Mystery is solved/enemy defeated
:58 – Moral lesson learned and crew rejoices in victory.

Something like that anyway, and it’s basically true. The good thing is that there are so many old episodes to see and re-run it’s bound to be on TV for a long time to come.