Listen To What I Listen To

Filed under: audio, search — ryan @ 4:09 pm

The live-updating sidebar and archive of things I listen to have been updated to link to Yahoo! Audio Search, except for the few items that are in the Amazon catalog. (I feel bad ganking Amazon thumbnails without linking to them. Plus sometimes people buy music from Amazon which makes me almost eleven dollars a year.)

I’m really happy that Audio Search is finally out. This is what I was working on last summer, and it was so cool I wanted to tell everyone about it. But of course I couldn’t. I had to hold my tongue longer than expected, but I can talk about it now…. Of course my contribution to the project was extremely small, but I’m glad I had a part in it nonetheless.


Hating on Multimedia

Filed under: audio, blog — ryan @ 9:33 am

Maciej Ceglowski has posted an “audioblogging manifesto” (transcript here) that is worth a listen. His basic point, that dictation-style audioblog posts and talking-head-style videoblog posts are boring, a waste of time, and antithetical to the nature of the web, is well taken. But when he veers into a general rant against multimedia on the web, he starts to sound like a crusty old BOFH ranting about how Mosaic ruined the Internet.

It should be clear that images, audio, and video communicate things that text cannot. I suspect that Ceglowski knows this, because his manifesto ironically illustrates the point: hearing someone speak URLs out loud is a far more effective way of skewering that practice than just writing about it. His use of background music makes a point as well: the advent of mp3 blogging has turned writing about music from “dancing about architecture” into something worthwhile.

Some of his other points are just lame: a proper audioblogging system wouldn’t use spoken URLs to link things–it might work more like a driving game. And as for “Google won’t index it”–when did everyone on the web become a goddamn SEO monkey? Sure, keep SEO in mind when choosing between tools or formats, but don’t let it dictate the medium you choose to express yourself. Set aside the GoogleWorship, innovate a bit, and let the high-paid computer scientists worry about how to index your work.

No one is seriously considering replacing text on the web with audio or video. As Ceglowski has shown, text is vastly superior for a lot of things, and A/V content can’t easily be manipulated, quoted, linked to, or skimmed. Personally, I’d rather solve those problems than bitch about them.

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