November 24th, 2005


Invasion of the Music Snatchers!

Podcasting is getting more common all the time. Being on dial-up, I seldom download music, and podcasts of course take even longer than individual song files. But it looks as though once I get a high speed connection, I'm going to have a goatload of podcasts to choose from. In anticipation, I've been reading a bit about what's going on in podcasting. One interesting source of information, particularly about the legal ramifications of podcasting, is the weblog of Colette Vogele from The Center for Internet and Society, at Stanford. She's in the process of creating a legal guide for podcasters, to be posted on The Center's web site in early December.

One interesting link she posted was to The Association of Music Podcasting, which maintains a small music library of mostly independent acts who allow free use of their work to podcasters, and links to a few dozen podcasters who belong to their organization. Somewhat more ambiguous is IndieFeed, which generates a lot of podcasts of its own, but I can't tell if they provide content for other podcasters to use. A lot of stuff on their list is from bands whose names I recognize, and I suspect much of it is covered by conventional copyright, but other stuff appears to be available under Creative Commons licenses.

Both the record industry and the radio industry are worried about podcasting. They should be. They are in a similar position to that of the manufacturers of ice boxes and the producers and distributors of ice at the time the electric refrigerator became widely available and fairly economical. A lot of them probably won't survive the transition. It's going to be interesting to see how events unfold over the next few years.

A bit of haze formed overnight, and by early light I see a few clouds drifting about. The days might soon return to a more autumnal cast, just in time for the beginning of the annual chaos of the shopping season. I'm unlikely to be doing any shopping myself, so I can sit back and enjoy the gray and rainy days to come.

Feels Like Sunday

The absence of sunlight caused me to oversleep today, so I missed much of the gray afternoon. I did get out in time to see an unusually large flock of migrating birds, flying extremely high, so that they looked like lines of ants crawling across the mottled clouds. Despite their great height, I could hear their calls. They were headed more west than south, so I'm guessing that they may have spent the recent mild days fishing at Lake Almanor and were now fleeing the increasing chill of the high country for the warmer climes of the marshlands and rice fields along the rivers between Chico and Sutter Buttes. There were so many birds in the flock that they were unable to maintain a single "V" formation, and their lines broke apart, forming multiple, fluid, subsidiary chevrons that wavered and rippled as their journey proceeded. I watched until they blurred with distance and were no longer recognizable as birds, but had become only a vague shimmer in the darkening sky.

Then I had the traditional holiday feast of chili relleno casserole with salsa fresca and succotash to celebrate the 146th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. There was Sierra Nevada Porter, too. Happy Darwin Day, everybody!

I was just thinking how ironic it would be if George Bush ended up catching the bird flu from the pardoned White House turkey.

Also: Brad DeLong almost mis-attributes to Wilde a clever retort of Whistler's. The comments are totally gay. I wish I'd made one of them.