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Shoutouts: FireAnt & Odeo

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  • dave_r_riley
    This podcasting lark seems to offer so many permutations as the envelope is tested and edged forward. I d like to raise a couple of attributes of the present
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 1, 2006
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      This podcasting lark seems to offer so many permutations as the
      envelope is tested and edged forward.

      I'd like to raise a couple of attributes of the present podcast
      culture that I think are exciting from the POV of my experience of
      them-- and I'm no geek as I'm still ruled by ignorance.

      1) FIREANT:
      Everyone must have there own personal preferences when it comes to
      podcatcher programs. I like to have a lot of control over what I
      download, I want to review as much information as I can garner about
      what's on offer from each Mp3 file and I want to clean up easily. So I
      went from Juice to iTunes and then downloaded and tried a few of the
      others on offer.

      iTunes carried a lot of the attributes I was after but it was so
      cumbersome and temperamental especially with the weight of the
      invasive Music Store bearing down on the program --despite the easy
      control it offered me over my subscriptions.

      But I've now discovered FIREANT
      http://fireant.tv/

      FIREANT is projected as a vlogging tool but it is so responsive that
      it captures all media -- such that you can relate to your feeds both
      as blogs/text (and formatted show notes)and as an enclosure for other
      media -- audio and video.With FireAnt you can access the show notes,
      read intoductory summaries of all media on offer, play media or read
      text; click for optional preferences for downloading each feed...AND
      clean up/delete read/played media from the same desktop tool interface.

      I can't synch to my Mp3 player with FireAnt as the project is still
      in development even though the templates seem to be there. But then I
      have to use my iRiver programs for that now anyway.

      Another quirk is that the downloaded feeds aren't stored in separate
      folders so synching can get messy if you have a lot of media to sort
      through --and this media may be stored on your podcast folder with
      annoying file names like:

      5AD29FB1980D76EB0D32777BE8583AEB8DAFAC2E.Mp3

      Although the ID3 tags aren't affected by this when you read them in
      your players, or in FireAnt itself. However, your synch tools may read
      some files -- but not all -- like that.So it can be potluck sometimes
      as to what you are transferring to your device once the file is
      downloaded.

      But if you wanted to trial FIREANT -- it's an easy business to import
      your iTunes feeds across and experiment.

      Don't worry too much about relating to FireAnt's directory of podcasts
      on the web as the site is cumbersome with an unreliable search engine
      geared primarily to video -- but the downloadable podcatcher is
      something else.

      So drop the big iTunes gorilla for a spell and explore FireAnt.

      The FAQs aren't very helpful but there is a sparse Community Wiki at:
      http://help.antisnottv.net/index.php/Main_Page
      and the Yahoo FireAnt discussion groups unfortunately seem only open
      to developers(but you can earsdrop).

      2)ODEO
      I've written about the Odeo commentary option before. I also searched
      this forum for previous exchanges about Odeo without much success as
      the Yahoo search keeps timing out.

      However, Odeo --which is now at two localities:
      LISTEN(Directory): http://odeo.com/
      and
      ODEO STUDIO(Create): http://studio.odeo.com/create
      warrants a lot of attention.

      Odeo has so many attributes that should enthrall podcasters -- free
      housing of files with one click upload being top of the list. I
      consider that Odeo is the very best way to begin in podcasting as the
      recording interface is so easy to relate to. On one site you get all
      you need to start podcasting for free. And you can record for up to 60
      minutes at a time. All you need is a mic for your computer.

      I'm sorry I myself did not start out the Odeo way -- 10 months back.
      My journey would have been a lot easier.

      For those who already own and produce a podcast, Odeo offers use of
      their great flash players which can be imbedded on any web site
      WITHOUT disrupting or influencing the site's RSS/XML feed. You can
      pull any Mp3 file into any of your podcasts and by default be offered
      an alternative feed to the one you may already possess. (But of course
      other websites also offer that).

      In fact you can do a lot with your audio on Odeo except edit it. I now
      produce four (and one half!) podcasts and I value the way Odeo lets me
      mix and match the different audio files I produce(both on my own
      desktop and with the Odeo Studio) and share the audio between my
      podcasting web sites without having to integrate the feeds.

      I also use Odeo to refer people to my archive.

      Unfortunately the only way to relate to Odeo and get to understand its
      'eccentricities' (or its 'lateral conceptualising')is to sign on and
      put it to work. Claiming feeds is a real hassle and I wouldn't rely on
      your Odeo feed as your core RSS as it can take so long for it to
      update. But as a beginner's exercise this is a great way to start.

      Jesse Thorn puts Odeo to good use on his TSOYA site:
      http://tsoya.blogspot.com/
      as it's a great way to combine media and text

      However, after recording audio on Odeo it can be a pain to actually
      discover the page where your SAVED media is stored. This is not an
      easy site to navigate around -- or understand in way of DIY and FAQ
      -- as it's so different in the way it does business. Someone needs to
      write the text -- "Odeo for Dummies" --as it's a hard learning curve
      in way of harnassing all the attributes.

      While audio recorded on Odeo or uploaded directly as podcasts will
      be stored for free; when these files are downloaded (and only when
      they are downloaded as podcasts)to a Mp3 player, they will lead in
      with a short Odeo introductory promo. Thats' no big issue really
      especially when your audio is a standard 128 kbps Stereo / 44kHz for
      free....

      But if you establish your podcasting activities in partnership with
      Odeo -- and the "Send an audio comment " via recordable audio is
      worth the sign up alone --

      such as this: http://odeo.com/sendmeamessage/RatbagRadio

      -- theres' a lot of bells and whistles on hand that you can put to work.

      I approached Odeo from Blogger (which is still my RSS feed generator
      and website host)and I gather that Odeo is a development in way of
      audioblogging -- founced by a ex Blogger initiator.

      As I get to master the operations more, it does have that same sort of
      interface which lends itself to exploring and hacking in the way
      Blogger is so adapatable (and I guess I've set up 20 blogs on Blogger
      over the past three years). But I'm surprized that podcasting
      commentator's aren't talking about Odeo.

      As I suggest, I would recommend that people also generate their feed
      separately -- as I do with Blogger and Feedburner--& not rely on the
      Odeo feed alone -- but it is a mutually useful relationship you can
      get going by exploiting both platforms.

      All we need now is to someone to write the complete Odeo DIY users
      manual in easy to follow steps and the world would be a better
      place... for podcasters.

      dave riley
    • Joshua Kinberg
      Hey Dave, Thanks for the plug here! I m one of the developers of FireAnt. I ll try to respond below... ... Hey, Thanks! ... Coming first from the world of
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 1, 2006
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        Hey Dave,

        Thanks for the plug here! I'm one of the developers of FireAnt.
        I'll try to respond below...

        > But I've now discovered FIREANT
        > http://fireant.tv/

        Hey, Thanks!

        > FIREANT is projected as a vlogging tool but it is so responsive that
        > it captures all media -- such that you can relate to your feeds both
        > as blogs/text (and formatted show notes) and as an enclosure for other
        > media -- audio and video.With FireAnt you can access the show notes,
        > read intoductory summaries of all media on offer, play media or read
        > text; click for optional preferences for downloading each feed...AND
        > clean up/delete read/played media from the same desktop tool interface.

        Coming first from the world of blogging, we always felt it was very
        important to keep the whole RSS data structure together. Its not just
        a video or audio file, but an object that includes meta-info and
        hypertext.

        Also, one of the reasons FireAnt is particularly suited for video is
        that it plays back nearly any video format, including Quicktime,
        Windows Media, Real, Flash, DivX, MP4. It also supports BitTorrent
        downloads and Streaming.

        > I can't synch to my Mp3 player with FireAnt as the project is still
        > in development even though the templates seem to be there. But then I
        > have to use my iRiver programs for that now anyway.

        We're working on imporving the synching functionality and the next
        version will have much better support for a variety of devices. It
        will also be able to transcode video for playback on a selected target
        device.

        MP3s are much easier to deal with than video though. If you are using
        the iRiver, you should be able to "sync" to it just like copying files
        onto an external memory card. In FireAnt's Library, you can
        right-click a file and select "Copy To" to save it to any desired
        location.

        > Another quirk is that the downloaded feeds aren't stored in separate
        > folders so synching can get messy if you have a lot of media to sort
        > through --and this media may be stored on your podcast folder with
        > annoying file names like:
        >
        > 5AD29FB1980D76EB0D32777BE8583AEB8DAFAC2E.Mp3

        This will be changed in our upcoming release. We will be naming files
        corresponding with the blog post title and storing them in a separate
        folder for each channel.

        > Although the ID3 tags aren't affected by this when you read them in
        > your players, or in FireAnt itself. However, your synch tools may read
        > some files -- but not all -- like that.So it can be potluck sometimes
        > as to what you are transferring to your device once the file is
        > downloaded.

        Yep, that's a problem. Hopefully this next release will make some
        improvements there. Please stay tuned.

        > But if you wanted to trial FIREANT -- it's an easy business to import
        > your iTunes feeds across and experiment.

        Thanks for the plug. And if you do check it out, please let us know
        about your experience so that we can continue to make FireAnt better.

        > Don't worry too much about relating to FireAnt's directory of podcasts
        > on the web as the site is cumbersome with an unreliable search engine
        > geared primarily to video -- but the downloadable podcatcher is
        > something else.

        Our website is also undergoing a massive overhaul. Expect more here in
        the future. We are currently implementing a much more powerful and
        robust search engine. It is geared more towards video though...
        perhaps we should consider changing this?

        > The FAQs aren't very helpful but there is a sparse Community Wiki at:
        > http://help.antisnottv.net/index.php/Main_Page

        Improving the FAQs is also on the agenda. Its a little tough since
        we're still in beta and its kind of a moving target. Expect things to
        change. Also, that wiki is outdated and should probably be taken down.

        > and the Yahoo FireAnt discussion groups unfortunately seem only open
        > to developers(but you can earsdrop).

        Our FireAnt user groups are open to anyone, though they are entry by
        moderator approval. We discuss issues, respond to feedback, and
        occasionally release new versions of the software there early for
        testing. Please join. We welcome your feedback:

        Mac users: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FireANT_for_Mac/
        Windows Users: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FireANT_for_PC/


        Thanks again!

        -Josh

        http://FireAnt.tv
      • dave_r_riley
        Thanks Josh, I didn t expect a response from the FireAnt s mouth...[By the way, where I live here in Australia those nasty little bitey ants have recently
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 1, 2006
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          Thanks Josh, I didn't expect a response from the FireAnt's mouth...[By
          the way, where I live here in Australia those nasty little bitey ants
          have recently jumped ship and it's war in the trenches and ant
          mounds...Kill 'em! Kill em ! Kill all the South-American-via-Texas
          ants! because we kinda apprciate out outdoor bar b ques and the flies
          are the only insect we've learnt to put up with! And besides we don't
          much like the Cane Toad ( Bufo marinus)the Ameicas sent us.]

          However, on this:

          > MP3s are much easier to deal with than video though. If you are using
          > the iRiver, you should be able to "sync" to it just like copying files
          > onto an external memory card. In FireAnt's Library, you can
          > right-click a file and select "Copy To" to save it to any desired
          > location.

          No. There's no "Copy To" option that way that I can find. Other
          options 'right-click' are available like "Save As" --- but no "Copy To"...


          Anyway, there's one other feature of FireAnt that I really
          appreciate--and that's its natty clicklet. You can set one of these up
          anytime by visiting the FireAnt website and getting the HTML that when
          clicked offers the visitor to your site the option of downloading
          FireAnt the way boutique versions of Lemon are offered with your feed
          already included in the package (or at least I assume thats' what is
          on offer). By combining a feed subscription with a podcatcher -- this
          must be one of the most accessible tools for those who come upon your
          site and are interested in listening to podcasts for the first time
          with their own free download aggregator.

          Remember that folks -- the day you downloaded your first podcatcher!
          Hmmm...brings tears to the eyes it does.

          dave riley
          ratbagradio@...

          PS: By the way, I got onto FireAnt after a recommendation on OurMedia.
          I hadn't found it referenced elsewhere.
        • Joshua Kinberg
          ... Ooops. You are correct. The function is called Save As . Same thing, different name. My mistake. -Josh
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 1, 2006
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            > No. There's no "Copy To" option that way that I can find. Other
            > options 'right-click' are available like "Save As" --- but no "Copy To"...

            Ooops. You are correct. The function is called "Save As".
            Same thing, different name. My mistake.

            -Josh


            On 6/1/06, dave_r_riley <dhell2@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks Josh, I didn't expect a response from the FireAnt's mouth...[By
            > the way, where I live here in Australia those nasty little bitey ants
            > have recently jumped ship and it's war in the trenches and ant
            > mounds...Kill 'em! Kill em ! Kill all the South-American-via-Texas
            > ants! because we kinda apprciate out outdoor bar b ques and the flies
            > are the only insect we've learnt to put up with! And besides we don't
            > much like the Cane Toad ( Bufo marinus)the Ameicas sent us.]
            >
            > However, on this:
            >
            > > MP3s are much easier to deal with than video though. If you are using
            > > the iRiver, you should be able to "sync" to it just like copying files
            > > onto an external memory card. In FireAnt's Library, you can
            > > right-click a file and select "Copy To" to save it to any desired
            > > location.
            >
            > No. There's no "Copy To" option that way that I can find. Other
            > options 'right-click' are available like "Save As" --- but no "Copy To"...
            >
            >
            > Anyway, there's one other feature of FireAnt that I really
            > appreciate--and that's its natty clicklet. You can set one of these up
            > anytime by visiting the FireAnt website and getting the HTML that when
            > clicked offers the visitor to your site the option of downloading
            > FireAnt the way boutique versions of Lemon are offered with your feed
            > already included in the package (or at least I assume thats' what is
            > on offer). By combining a feed subscription with a podcatcher -- this
            > must be one of the most accessible tools for those who come upon your
            > site and are interested in listening to podcasts for the first time
            > with their own free download aggregator.
            >
            > Remember that folks -- the day you downloaded your first podcatcher!
            > Hmmm...brings tears to the eyes it does.
            >
            > dave riley
            > ratbagradio@...
            >
            > PS: By the way, I got onto FireAnt after a recommendation on OurMedia.
            > I hadn't found it referenced elsewhere.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • dave_r_riley
            ... I m hearing ya. It works fine. I see that I can bulk transfer/synch. Another thing too, I ve been exploring your Yahoo search option -- a lot of fun to
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 1, 2006
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              --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Kinberg" <jkinberg@...> wrote:

              >
              > Ooops. You are correct. The function is called "Save As".
              > Same thing, different name. My mistake.
              >
              > -Josh
              >

              I'm hearing ya. It works fine. I see that I can bulk transfer/synch.

              Another thing too, I've been exploring your Yahoo search option -- a
              lot of fun to grab some video or audio so quickly and then I can play
              it quick with PREVIEW.

              I've been grabbing the kids and showing them what this toy can do.

              I also indicate that you push the bar with mutimedia and I'm trying to
              work out how best to approach, as a podcaster, this optionality you
              offer. You are making text> audio > video potentially a seamless
              integrated process such that blogging and audioblogging and vlogging
              become related in the way some sites -- but not really that many --
              are currently engaged for theie audience. The habit is to separate
              these different mediums into different feeds,or functions, although
              vid and audio tend to be clumped together on the one feed when they
              are both utilized by the initiating podcaster.

              As you know, iTunes is a dead letter when it comes to text or
              referring back to the source web site. And with iTunes forget full
              show notes capability.

              You've got a great tool there and I think it transcends everything
              else I've used in the podcatcher department.


              dave riley
            • Bill
              I know the african toad sounds like a defective pump motor but have you even tried licking one of their backs? ... http://rainforestinn.libsyn.com The Sounds
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 4, 2006
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                I know the african toad sounds like a defective pump motor but have you even
                tried licking one of their backs?


                On 6/1/06 9:53 PM, "dave_r_riley" <dhell2@...> wrote:

                > And besides we don't
                > much like the Cane Toad ( Bufo marinus)the Ameicas sent us.]

                http://rainforestinn.libsyn.com "The Sounds of the Rainforest"

                / / \ \ \ \
                / / / \ \ \ \ \
                / / \/ O O \ \
                / / / \/ O\ \ \/
                / / \/ \
                \/ \/ \
                \/ \
                __o \/ \
                `\<,_ \/ \
                (*)/ (*) \/ \ http://www.rainforestinn.com
              • Nicole Simon
                ... eeh - how about just naming the files with their real file name?! I absolutly hate it when people change my filenames which are there in exactly that way
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 4, 2006
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                  "Joshua Kinberg" <jkinberg@...> wrote:
                  >This will be changed in our upcoming release. We will be naming files
                  >corresponding with the blog post title and storing them in a separate
                  >folder for each channel.

                  eeh - how about just naming the files with their real file name?! I
                  absolutly hate it when people change my filenames which are there in
                  exactly that way for a reason.

                  Nicole


                  --
                  blog (d): http://beissholz.de
                  blog (e): http://crueltobekind.org
                  podcast (e): http://useful-sounds.de

                  conference podcasts and more:
                  http://bloxpert.com

                  Media Slave - Life in permanent Beta
                  http://media-slaves.com/
                • Joshua Kinberg
                  ... Not always. You d be surprised. People often use file uploading services that will name files with a random hash string. Sometimes people will name all
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 4, 2006
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                    > eeh - how about just naming the files with their real file name?! I
                    > absolutly hate it when people change my filenames which are there in
                    > exactly that way for a reason.

                    Not always. You'd be surprised. People often use file uploading
                    services that will name files with a random hash string. Sometimes
                    people will name all their files the exact same thing (even though
                    they are different media files), but have them in separate directories
                    so that the URL is different but the filename is the same.

                    Unfortunately there is wide variation such that it can be difficult to
                    design a system that works 100% of the time... and even if it does,
                    that may not be how people want to use it.

                    -josh


                    On 6/4/06, Nicole Simon <nisi@...> wrote:
                    > "Joshua Kinberg" <jkinberg@...> wrote:
                    > >This will be changed in our upcoming release. We will be naming files
                    > >corresponding with the blog post title and storing them in a separate
                    > >folder for each channel.
                    >
                    > eeh - how about just naming the files with their real file name?! I
                    > absolutly hate it when people change my filenames which are there in
                    > exactly that way for a reason.
                    >
                    > Nicole
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > blog (d): http://beissholz.de
                    > blog (e): http://crueltobekind.org
                    > podcast (e): http://useful-sounds.de
                    >
                    > conference podcasts and more:
                    > http://bloxpert.com
                    >
                    > Media Slave - Life in permanent Beta
                    > http://media-slaves.com/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • andrew clarke
                    ... This is also the same reason that put me off using FireAnt. At least provide an option to turn off the feature that locally renames files, perhaps on a
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 7, 2006
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                      On Sun, Jun 04, 2006 at 06:46:18PM -0700, Joshua Kinberg wrote:

                      > > eeh - how about just naming the files with their real file name?! I
                      > > absolutly hate it when people change my filenames which are there in
                      > > exactly that way for a reason.
                      >
                      > Not always. You'd be surprised. People often use file uploading
                      > services that will name files with a random hash string. Sometimes
                      > people will name all their files the exact same thing (even though
                      > they are different media files), but have them in separate directories
                      > so that the URL is different but the filename is the same.
                      >
                      > Unfortunately there is wide variation such that it can be difficult to
                      > design a system that works 100% of the time... and even if it does,
                      > that may not be how people want to use it.

                      This is also the same reason that put me off using FireAnt. At least
                      provide an option to turn off the feature that locally renames files,
                      perhaps on a per-feed basis.

                      I now use PeaPod...
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