It’s actually a fortnight since the last one but … this week’s Podcast of the Week is The Guardian’s excellent Tech Weekly podcast. Every Wednesday, regular host Aleks Krotoski along with regular contributors Guardian Technology Editor Charles Arthur and Digital Media Reporter Jemima Kiss, discuss the big technology news items of the week.
I agree to some extent with Jack Schofield (Apple’s Safari gives Windows users another problem, Guardian Technology Blog, 30th May 2008) when he states that “Apple’s ability to program Windows is a bit of a joke.” There are at least three things wrong with iTunes (especially on Windows Vista):
- the arrogance of the assumption that when you import your media library you want it to translate all your Windows Media Player files into AAC files! This both doubles your storage requirements at a stroke and fills your alternative media player’s libraries with duplicates.
- the complete failure over several release cycles to cope with Vista’s User Access Control and create a usable version that doesn’t break permissions on every update.
- the adoption of the updater as a trojan horse to install the Safari (web browser) for Windows.
The latter was the straw that broke the camel’s back and my reason for uninstalling iTunes a couple of months ago.
However, that said, there is one feature that I have not been able to find in other media software; that is the slick way that podcasts are linked into iTunes and more especially apple’s iPod players. Why can’t other media players do what iTunes does and synchronize the new podcasts to my MP3 player and delete the ones that I’ve listened to on the next update? That feature (which presumably only works on iPods) and the announcement (reported by your correspondent elsewhere) of the availabilty of some selected Open University courses on iTunes U make me think that it may be worth giving iTunes another chance. Perhaps it would be worth getting an iPod too; especially now they do movies (for rental and download)! Plus the iPod touch looks so sexy. Just like an iPhone but without all that redundant phone stuff!
In today’s Guardian and Media Guardian there where three articles about how Web technologies are having disruptive effects on traditional media and even (in one case) on one Web 2.0 poster-child technology itself. Here’s a quick summary with links to Guardian On-Line:
- In the Financial Pages Katie Allen discusses the potential effects on sales based on downloading might have on the DVD. In short, it might go the way of the VHS in as little as 10 years!
- In the Media Guardian, Gareth McLean discusses how the BBC iPlayer is transforming television.
- Also in the Media Guardian Jeff Jarvis comments on the Google FriendConnect service and it’s possible impact on Facebook (who controversially refused Google access to Facebook friend lists). Again in summary: by refusing to be open, Facebook may end up being a dead-end.
Seen in today’s Guardian is news of the impending July 27th release of the BBC’s new content-on-demand iPlayer. Unfortunately, acording to the article and Guardian blogger Bobbie Johnson, it won’t run on Vista which adds it to a growing list of essential software (which includes Quicktime and iTunes) which won’t run on my newly upgraded laptop. Still, we still have XP on the computer at home so next time we miss an episode of Dalziel and Pascoe because of a recording clash on the Sky+ box, all will not be lost!