Steve’s Media Blog

Archive for the ‘general media’ Category

Bear with me – this post is largely just my train of thought on the subject of radio broadcasting and podcasting.

So the other day I co-hosted a live radio program with a friend on community radio.  It was fun – I used to host my own show in college in the radio broadcasting program (and although the music was pre-selected, it was pretty cool music and we could talk about virtually anything), as well as some university radio elsewhere.  I have a lot of fun doing it, and part of the fun is playing my own choice of music and just talking over the air to anyone who’ll listen.

I’ve been told before that I’m good at the whole talking over the air thing – and that’s great, but personally I feel that I’m at the hobby level.  I don’t think I could get paid serious money to do it, or at least paid enough to live comfortably.  And even though I enjoy commercial radio, doing a show for a proper radio station that’s in it to make money is not entirely the same as putting your own music together for an hour or two and just playing around.

For various reasons it’s difficult for me to find any time to volunteer for on air shifts at the university stations.  So my only outlet for this kind of thing is to put together a podcast.  The only problem is that I don’t think I have an audience – at least, I have an audience of maybe 2-3 people.  Which is not a big deal, I’m sure I had less listeners than that when I was actually on radio airwaves.

The biggest problem with doing a podcast is that I really only CAN distribute it to close friends, or else I face legal issues from the likes of SOCAN and RIAA or whatever the Americans are.  Unless I pick music that is 100% free, like Creative Commons stuff.

Who knows, I might end up doing just that – digging through 100%, legally free and distributable music to find some hidden gems and yak about it into my terrible, terrible microphone.

You know how they say April showers bring May flowers? That saying is accurate enough, but I think it’s more appropriate to say that April showers bring May blockbuster movies!!!!!!$$$$$

Starting with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this summer is looking to be no different.  There are so many big ones that Wolverine flew completely below my radar.  Star Trek is the one that’s going to get the biggest attention from me, I think, because it’s always really cool to have a Trek picture on the big screen.  Even if it’s as terrible as Nemesis.

Here’s the list of major blockbusters coming out this year:

May 1: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

May 8:  Star Trek

May 15: Angels & Demons (sequel, I guess, to The DaVinci Code)

May 21: Terminator Salvation (hoping for the best, expecting mediocrity)

May 22: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (looking forward to this, liked the first one)

May 29: Drag Me To Hell (I believe this is a Sam Raimi horror picture, and it looks appropriately ridiculous)

June 24: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (did people really hate the first movie?  The one that was only supposed to be an action movie with a loose plot?  Really?  Definitely seeing this one)

July 1: Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (there’s three of these already?)

July 15: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (gotta be among one of the bigger ones!)

August 7: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (okay seriously…why didn’t anyone tell me this was coming?)

August 14: The Time Traveler’s Wife (it’s got time travel, gotta be good)

August 28: Final Destination: Death Trip 3D (I don’t think this even needs a comment)

October 16: Where the Wild Things Are (I know, not technically a summer blockbuster, but a very big movie nonetheless)

October 23: Astro Boy (see above)

*sigh* my wallet will take a beating I think.

That’s what new service LendAround proposes.  I found out about this service from a post on Lifehacker, which makes the service sound really promising.  You make a list of the DVDs you own, and lend to people around the world (or the US only, I’m not clear on that yet); and then you can borrow from other people as well.  It’s sort of like a free Netflix.

Unfortunately I see a few issues about this service.  For one thing, can’t you already borrow DVDs from the library?  I’m sure this is the case, at least at my own branch.  However my main issue is the that of theft.  What kind of system is in place to prevent someone from borrowing your DVD and never sending it back?

Sure you could harass them by e-mail and report them to the website, but really couldn’t they just use a temporary e-mail and suffer a fate that doesn’t affect them in the least?  Namely, they get banned.  Then they might find a way around the ban and get back on and steal more DVDs.

I don’t know.  I really don’t mind lending movies to my friends who live in the same city, but I would be really hesitant about lending to a complete stranger.  It’s bad enough that I’m still missing Bubba Ho Tep from a friend who moved to Ireland (she’s coming back soon) that I lent at least two years ago…I wouldn’t want to lose my movies to someone potentially across the country.

What do you think?

There’s no denying that over the years iTunes has become more and more bloated than ever.  While I love the program as a music managing tool, it plays havoc on my system resources and I find that it doesn’t handle playing music very well as a result.

Unfortunately, as an iPod Touch owner, I’m limited to iTunes for synching my iPod.  Not anymore!  Thanks to a link I found from a blog (which apparently is just two posts long), I have discovered a possible solution for playing my music in a lighter program and synching my iPod in another.

I don’t know yet if I’ll go through with it on a long-term basis, because as I said I really enjoy itunes for music management.

I know I wanted to try and stay away from link posts to try and write something more substantial, but I really need to get these links across.  They are not in any particular order.

  • Guitar Hero: Metallica’s track list was announced.  Thought I would mention this, if only because it’s Guitar Hero-related.  I doubt I’ll get it but I do like the list of other tracks, which are Metallica songs done by other bands.  Honestly I’d rather get Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
  • Another track list, non-GH related, was released by Joel Plaskett.  His new album is out March 24, and is called Three.  I like Joel’s sound, and I enjoyed Ashtray Rock, so hopefully this is just as good.
  • Some disappointing news, unfortunately, about K’NaanTroubadour was supposed to be out this month, but has been pushed back to February 24.  From what I see in that link there was no real reason for the date being pushed back, but man just check out that guest artist list!  I see now that his first tour date is January 30 at the University of Ottawa – which sucks for me because Friday is not a pay day this week.  Oh well.
  • Exclaim.ca calls Steve Martin a “disappointing family bore” – which may be true for his disappointing family movies, but I still love me some Steve Martin.  Anyway he’s got a new banjo album called The Crow, out yesterday.  So put together the fact that I like banjo music and I like Steve Martin, this sounds like a fun CD.

I’m not usually a fan of reality TV shows (unless we’re talking American Gladiators, here), but a certain TV channel has “sliced” its way into my Sunday nights.  Okay if that wasn’t obvious enough, I’m talking about Slice.  I don’t know too much about the channel other than the fact that it seems to be all about showing shows about life in general – a lot of weight loss programs, some food programs, and money-related shows.  And yes, I do know at least that Slice is geared to women, but when you’re living with a girlfriend, you have to give if you want to watch man shows ;)

Anyway Sunday nights seem to be the night I spend the most time watching it.  Man, I remember when Sunday nights was devoted to The Simpsons (and then later to no TV at all, thanks to road hockey in the summer).  But I digress.  Here’s the line-up, and a bit about each show.

  • Rich Bride/Poor Bride.  I’m still not 100% sure of the premise, but basically the show follows a couple planning their wedding and their ups and downs as they figure out what they have a budget for.  I get a kick mostly out of how ridiculous the bride’s demands are (“I have to have fireworks for a grand entrance!!!!!”)
  • Til Debt Do Us Part.  Probably my favourite show of the night, and also likely the most well-known of the bunch.  Gail Vaz-Oxlade (I think that’s how you spell it) takes over the finances for a floundering couple and tries to right their ship.  The couple has to do three challenges over the course of the month in order to get up to $5,000 toward paying off their debt (and they usually get another little gift from Gail).
  • Wedding SOS.  Again another wedding show, but this one is a little more interesting than the other one.  A British wedding planner grants a couple three wishes to get their wedding in order, and usually turns some pretty pathetic wedding plans into something really cool.  The work she’s able to do in short notice is also pretty amazing.
  • At The End of My Leash.  My second favourite program.  It’s all about the dogs in this one; dog trainer Brad Pattison repairs relationships through dogs as he takes poorly behaved pets and turns them into something slightly more respectable.  The results he gets are almost unreal – and I wish this show was 60 minutes rather than 30.
  • Spoiled Rotten.  We don’t watch this every night, but on occasion.  Basically a rich, spoiled family is brought down to earth, usually working on some kind of farm, and they get taught family values and learn to earn their worth.

It’s like I said, sure two of the four shows I listed are definitely girl shows, the other two are pretty cool too.  I do enjoy the wedding shows a little bit, but again like I said, it gives me some leeway in watching shows like Stargage Atlantis (though that’s done), or Dexter or Battlestar Galactica.  Give and take ;)

Links for Today:

I found this from Credit Withdrawl‘s “Festival of Frugality“: How To Stock a Bar.  The link comes from the website Lazy Man And Money.  (Sorry about all the links, had to get them out).

Ignoring the fact that the site is pretty cool overall (just browsing through the articles now), this particular article is something close to my heart.  Well, close to my liver, I suppose.  Anyway, as anyone of the age of majority knows, alcohol can be pretty expensive.  If you’re mixing drinks with liquor, you really don’t need to get anything pricey – but it’s hard to know which cheap brands are actually any good.

I’m hoping that the LCBO here in Ontario has the brands that LMAM suggests buying, because he’s set out a list of what basic liquors to get and which brands are the best value.  He even suggests brewing your own beer, which is something I’d definitely like to try one day.  Especially since the LCBO decided to raise the lowest legal price from $24 to $25.60.

What’s missing though is instructions to build your own cheap bar.  That’s what I would like to do before I start trying to build a bar, or at least stocking a liquor cabinet.  I’m not good with carpentry at all, so step-by-step would be nice.  But I guess I could just stick with a liquor cabinet for now.


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