Tag Archives: iPod

Podcasting: The Audible Revolution

23 Nov

Podcasts have been an effective and easy way to share audible content ever since their inception in the mid-2000s. The basic advantage of podcasts are simple: they are PORTABLE! Users can listen to what they want, when they want it, and where they want to. Having to plan part of a day around being at a certain place at a specific time to catch a half-hour show when it airs is a thing of the past. Want to listen to the New York Times audio version show from that same morning on your evening flight from Barcelona to Paris? You got it. Podcasting has been so popular and widespread because of how easy it is for all. Almost everyone I know has an iPod and enjoys keeping up with the news, or has a favorite television show, or possesses some sort of interest in a radio program. The combination of the two has become simple: podcasts. Podcasts represent the shift from a push medium to a pull medium: the audience has never had so much control over media content.

In my personal experience, it is equally as simple to create a podcast. Back in 2007, my friend and I recorded ourselves talking on a weekly basis about our favorite baseball team, the New York Mets. Granted, I have forgotten the details of how it was uploaded, but within minutes, we had our content available for all to enjoy (or most likely, ignore) on iTunes. Yes, the same iTunes visited daily by millions of users worldwide. It was astoundingly simple for us to record ourselves in a New York City kitchen and potentially be heard only minutes later by some lone Mets fan riding the bus on the way to work in Taiwan.

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Radio in Spain vs U.S

9 Nov

Following this week´s trip to a radio station in Barcelona, I have been thinking about the main differences I have noticed between the way radio is thought of in Spain and in the United States.  I cannot remember the last time I turned on the radio at home in New York to listen to a program. With everyone in New York having basic cable television, let alone some of the complex additional packages that are on the market today (think: 800+ channels with constant programming), there is simply not much need to even own a radio at home. The only time I can recall recently listening to radio is while driving, and this too is a downward-spiraling trend with the invention of iPod connecting car software. Why listen to a ´hits´station that is filled with a TON of advertisements and a constant repetition of songs when you can listen to any song you want at any time you want?

A main difference I have noticed between the two countries´use of radio is with sports. I have discussed in my Sport + Culture class about how FC Barcelona games often finish sometime around midnight. Immediately upon their completion, tens of thousands of listeners will tune in to various radio programs committed to recapping and dissecting the completed game. These programs continue into the wee hours of the morning! I cannot think of anyone in the United States listening to their radio at 2 am about a game that they just saw themselves on television. In fact, the most popular radio sports talk show in New York, Mike Francesa, is now offered live on television because people prefer to have a picture to see. Viewers would rather sit on their couch and watch a sitting man talk into a microphone than even entertain the idea of having no picture to associate with the words. In Spain, sport has a very distinct culture, present in a lot of different mediums, as evidenced by the publication of multiple daily sports newspapers, non-existent in American culture.

Stations like Catalunya Radio show that radio in Spain is more than a mere supplement to everyday life. It can be, and often is, the main provider of citizens´news, sports, and entertainment awareness. Sure, there are local news radio stations in New York that are popular, such as 1010 Wins, but similar to the sports programming, there is lots of repetition (the same announcements every 20 minutes or so), and advertisements. The only times in New York that I have heard people relying on such a station as their primary source for news is in taxi cabs…

The Influence of Steve Jobs and Apple

10 Oct

Our childhood has seen some pretty drastic and continuous technological changes. I remember the introduction of the desktop computer into my academic career sometime in the 3rd or 4th grade – it was met with awe by all my classmates… and I’m talking about the old, quite intimidating machines that would garner nothing more than a chuckle and scoff today. Slowly, our view of computers changed from a convenient addition to a necessary tool, filled with constantly evolving applications, capabilities, and advances. The more that computers changed, the more that my generation became addicted to them. The more that they changed, the more that we relied on them for everything from academic work to games to social interaction. By the time the year 2011 hit, computers controlled pretty much every aspect of our social and academic lives, and ‘Steve Jobs’ was a household name, much like his revolutionary company, Apple. The changes in technology are so drastic, that I believe we would look back at the state of the technological world a mere two years before and be amazed that we were even able to function without what we have today (repeating this process for every two year period).

One of the amazing things about Apple is that the company makes one realize how seemingly impossible life is without it. Quick example? As I write this post, frustratingly cursing at some provided computer that would bring the words, ‘junk,’ ‘garbage,’ and ‘snail’s pace,’ to mind, I cannot help but think of how I usually write blog posts, since it has become somewhat of a routine: I lie in bed, take out my MacBook Pro, plug my headphones into my iPod, and begin typing away. Should someone happen to contact me while I am working, my iPhone would buzz on the table next to me. Sure, that sounds like a commercial for Apple, but it’s just become a fact: life is easier with Apple and all of its products. Some would even say that life is impossible without them!

In class we have discussed the revolutionary ways in which people are able to communicate and interact with one another via the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs: All these powerful tools of speech are virtually embedded with Apple and Steve Jobs’ creations. Whether it’s tweeting on an iPhone or facebooking on a MacBook, Apple and its co-founder have managed to permanently wield its way into our lives at a startling pace.

Finally, much is made of the remarkable way in which Steve Jobs used to present his company’s products. Jobs paces on a stage, using heavy body language and animated gestures to showcase the capabilities of his newest genius creations. Jobs’ presentation style speaks to the philosophy of Apple: engaging the audience and making them believe that life with Apple is necessary for all. There is now an entire way of presenting known as the Steve Jobs way!

With the tragic passing of Jobs last week, all we can do is try to begin to understand just how much one man influenced everything we know about technology today, and how much his products will continue to evolve and amaze, causing us to question how we could have ever lived without them…