I have 2 new babies to tell you about:
1. Gnome Simple Stateful Music Player which is a music player that just stays out of your face, playing music off your hard drive without making a database or anything like that. It uses GNOME/GTK, GConf and gstreamer and is written in C, which is great fun.
I think C and Python are actually very similar: they are direct languages that are designed to be simple, and allow you to specify what you want to happen in a very straightforward way.
GSSMP is nearly ready for a 0.1 release – it’s simple, but it does most of what I want. Its killer feature is that it remembers what you were listening to and continues from there when you restart. Sounds simple, I know, but sorely lacking from some music programs. It also starts quickly, as opposed to, say, slowly or, for example, very slowly.
2. Another one:
I use a modestly-modified BashPodder to download my podcasts (Internet radio shows) automatically every night, and sort them into different directories. If anyone is interested in my modifications, do ask and I can send them to you. I haven’t sent them to Linc since there seem to be a million modifications, which probably do everything mine do, but better. The only modestly interesting thing I added was the ability to convert from m4a format to mp3 automatically, and that doesn’t seem to work, and the Adam Curry PodFinder show is so bad that I realised I didn’t want to be able to do it anyway (note no link since it’s really not worth it).
Anyway, that brings me on to my main point, which is that I have subscribed to a lot of podcasts, and unsubscribed to a lot too. I have now honed my list to ones that I really like, so why not share?
- LugRadio – excellent Linux show that even my wife enjoys (she is not in the least interested in Linux) because the four (British) presenters are really funny.
- Poker Diagram – two British guys playing online poker and talking about it. I’ve learnt a lot about poker from this, and really enjoy listening to it. Of no interest to someone who doesn’t know Texas Hold’Em poker pretty well, as it’s tricky to follow just by audio description.
- The Linux Link Tech Show – US Linux show that is broadcast live, and then podcast unedited. Not in the least professional, but entertaining if you are interested in Linux and/or like listening to the ramblings of some totally ordinary Americans. It’s not so often that you get to hear from real people in America, instead of TV stereotypes, and I like that aspect of it as well as some interviews with interesting people.
- Mark Kermode – really funny film reviews originally broadcast on the UK’s Radio 5 (which I would never listen to, since all my radios are permanently tuned to Radio 4). I really trust his opinions, and I love to hear him destroy bad films. It’s remarkable that a true horror fan has managed to get himself a show on national radio, and not just reviewing horror films, but all films. He, as he is the first to admit, is always right.
- From Our Own Correspondent – fascinating “personal reflections” by BBC correspondents who are living in all kinds of interesting places. Journalists, who often have to hold back poetic thoughts to be impartial, are allowed to do whatever they like on this programme, and the results are often very moving, and almost always the kind of thing you talk to people at work about the next day.
- Mashup Town – because I am in with the kids. Occasionally has a really good song e.g. the mashup of Eminem with The White Stripes that was amazing and I accidentally deleted. Email it to me if you’ve got it.
Basically everything else I’ve listened to is almost completely not worth it.
Look out this year for loads of corporate AdvertCasts and avoid them.
Now that my Christian youth holiday is over, I’ve got just one more major job to do before I can get back to working on FreeGuide: my thesis corrections. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but it will certainly be painful. It might be best to avoid me for a few weeks if you don’t like “grumpy Andy”.
I really must get BashPodder working, not only to download my two favourite Linux shows TLLTS and LugRadio but also because Radio 4 has started making Today and the best radio programme out there, From Our Own Correspondent available for podcast download.