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Trying Google Reader for a week

Google Reader got updated last week, and added enough functionality to make it a contender against the reigning King of Online Aggregators, Bloglines. Gina Tripiani of Lifehacker made the switch, and so did Matt Cutts of Google. Seems there’s something to the new version…

So, even though I’m still a huge Bloglines fans (don’t worry guys – I’m not defecting! :-)), I’m going to try using Google Reader for a week, and document the results here.

I’ve exported my list of 600+ subscriptions as OPML from Bloglines, and imported into Google Reader. The trial started yesterday afternoon.

I’m compiling a list of “Things Bloglines Can Do that Google Reader Can’t” as well as “Things Google Reader Can Do that Bloglines Can’t”. I’ll be posting those this week. Hopefully, if you’re trying to decide between these two online aggregators, this will be useful info. For myself, I’m going to see if any of those differences is a dealbreaker.

I’m an “edge case” when it comes to feed reading. I read a TON of feeds, carefully organized into folders/groups. I read a LOT on my mobile devices, so how well the mobile version of Google Reader stacks up to Bloglines Mobile is going to be a big part of the equation for me.

I’ll keep you updated – so far, it’s usable, which is more than I could say for the previous version. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Video: Boogers are Yucky

It started out as wanting to film Emma reading a bedtime story with Daddy – "Yummy Yucky". She’s a very good "reader" for a three and a half year old.

The best part is about 1 minute in, where we get to the "Burgers are Yummy, Boogers are Yucky" page. We’ve been trying to teach her the latter concept lately, but it’s obviously not working. :-) 

This video was originally shared on blip.tv by Josh Bancroft with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
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R.I.P. “DigitalBill” Douthett, Wizards of Technology podcaster

I noticed a comment this morning on a photo I took at Podcast Academy (at the Portlable Media Expo) last year. The photo was of DigitalBill, from the Wizards of Technology podcast. The comment:

Rest in Peace Bill. You were a Star.

That sounded serious. There wasn’t anything on the Wizards of Technology site, where Bill had posted as recently as a couple of weeks ago. A little bit of digging turned up this post at MacMerc, stating that Bill had passed away a couple of days ago, of apparently natural causes.

Crap.

I didn’t know Bill very well, but I’m very sorry to hear of his passing. He was a smart, funny (walked around PME in a kilt, to make a point about getting people’s attention) guy. My condolences to his family and friends… ๐Ÿ™

Update: Here’s one of the (blurry) photos I have of Bill in his utili-kilt:

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Chris Pirillo/blaugh in Wired Magazine

Saw this little quote/blurb in this month’s dead tree issue of Wired Magazine (October 2006, issues 14.10). Yay Chris! ๐Ÿ™‚

Link to Chris’s blog, and blaugh.com (the blogosphere’s best web comic). Specifically, the Friendster comic mentioned in the article:

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GigaVox Levelator – the most important thing to happen at Portable Media Expo 2006

I didn’t make it to the Portable Media and Podcast Expo down in Ontario, California this year. I went last year, and had a great time. Met a ton of people at various stages of their podcast careers. Some have faded away, and others have found success. I came home with lots of thoughts about my approach to podcasting, and ultimately, because of all that, shifted to an occasional podcast when appropriate, like Dave Winer’s Morning Coffee Notes, rather than holding myself to trying to do a regular “show” like Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code.

At any rate, I’ve been following PME via the blogosphere this year. Paul Colligan has provided pretty good coverage from the angle of someone interested in the commercial possibilities, and the “portablemediaexpo” tag on Flickr has had lots of photos to get a general feel for the event.

Even though I wasn’t there in person, I wanted to write about what I feel is the most significant thing to happen at PME this year – GigaVox Media released “The Levelator” – a free application for Windows and Mac that acts like a compressor/limiter, and does some fancy RMS normalization. Doug Kaye teased us with the promise of an app like this last year at PME, and the wait was worth it.

If you’ve ever recorded a podcast with two or more people, or various sound clips, and tried to get them all to sound equally loud (levels) using something like Audacity or Adobe Audition, then you know it’s a time consuming and frustrating process. The Levelator does all of that for you like magic. Really. Magic. Simply drop your audio file on it, and it will churn out a file with near perfect levels. Basically, it does in software post-production what it would take thousands of dollars of audio equipment and a skilled recording engineer to do “live”.

I’ve tried it on some audio files I had laying around, and hadn’t published because I needed to fix the levels, and hadn’t found the time to do it manually. The Levelator works like a charm. I’m really impressed so far, and I’m going to recommend it to all the people I know who produce podcasts.

If you do audio production, give it a try, and see if it earns a place in your workflow. It definitely has in mine. Many thanks to Doug, Michael, Bruce, Malcolm, Paul, and all the others that probably had a hand in this amazingly useful tool. And thanks for making it free. GigaVox Media and the Conversations Network continue to make enormous contributions to the world of podcasting. You guys rock! ๐Ÿ™‚

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