Podcast Academy 3: Update

We’ve got a few seats left for Podcast Academy 3 at Yahoo! (Santa Clara) on June 15-16, and the curriculum is nearly completed. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 15
8:30-8:45   Registration
8:45-9:00   Welcome
9:00-9:45   Podcasting 101 (Doug Kaye, The Conversations Network)
9:45-10:30   Podcast Gear for Any Budget (Paul Figgiani, The Point)
10:30-11:00   break
11:00-11:45   Recording ad Editng Interviews (Deirdre Kennedy, Animals Aloud
11:45-12:30   Beyond the Audio (Darusha Wehm, The Conversations Network)
12:30-1:30   lunch (provided by Yahoo!)
1:30-2:15   Music Licensing for Podcasts (C.C. Chapman, Podsafe Music Network)
2:15-3:00   Making Money in Podcasting (Michael Geoghegan, Reel Reviews)
3:00-3:30   break
3:30-4:15   Podcast Advertising Sales (Tim Bourquin, The Podcast Brothers)
4:15-5:00   Podcast Publishing (Rick Klau, Feedburner)
Friday, June 16
9:00-9:45   Recording from Telephones (TBA)
9:45-10:30   Podcatching: Directories and Aggregators (C.C. Chapman, Podsafe Music Network)
10:30-11:00   break
11:00-11:45   Using Format to Engage the Listener (Stacy Bond, AudioLuxe)
11:45-12:30   The Secrets of MP3 Files (Doug Kaye, The Conversations Network)
12:30-1:30   lunch (provided by Yahoo!)
1:30-3:00   A Live TWiT Podcast (Leo Laporte and the TWiTs, This Week in Tech)
3:00-3:30   break
3:30-4:15   The Future of Podcasting (Eric Rice, EricRice.com)
4:15-4:30   Final Remarks

My Dinner with Trey

Life is full of coincidences, but sometimes they compound one another to the point that the answer to “What’s the chance of that happening?” is beyond the imagination. Such a compounding of experiences happened to me earlier this month in Italy.

It began innocently enough. It was Sunday, May 7, and my wife and I had just arrived in Florence. As I’d been doing since beginning our trip in Venice a few days before, I sent an email message to our family back in the U.S., telling them where we were. The subject of the message was “Firenze.”

Our son, Warren, an L.A. musician, wrote back, “Firenze?? Yes!!! One of Phish’s early songs is an instrumental, which ends on a 3-part harmony, in which they sing, “Wash Uffizi, drive me to Firenze” over and over again. It makes no sense. Anyway, that’s how I know of Firenze.” I didn’t give his message much further thought.

Later that evening, we asked the concierge at our hotel for a restaurant recommendation, and he gave us three names. We walked to the first one, but it was too busy, so we continued on to Buca Mario, located in the cellars of Palazzo Niccolini since 1886. Good food, BTW.

We were sitting there eating and drinking, when the couple at the next table was served their desert. I looked over and make some silly comment about how good it looked. So we start talking a bit and for some reason I can’t recall, I mention the email from Warren about Firenze, the song. Why I brought it up or even remembered it, I have no idea.

Quite casually, the guy we’re talking to said, “I wrote that song.”

Yup. The guy at the next table was Trey Anastasio, the brilliant guitarist formerly with Phish. And yes, he did indeed write the song. He told us how the song was inspired there in Florence when he was a street musician at age 19.

Trey and his wife, Sue, are super-nice folks, and it was fun to spend even just a few minutes comparing notes on raising kids in New York City, the difference between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, etc. But none of us could quite get past the freakishness of how it came to be that we met there and that I just happened to mentioned his song. A seemingly random event, even by itself.

Of course, I quickly emailed Warren, who wrote back, “If you see him again, tell him ‘Stash’ is only one of the greatest songs ever.” We didn’t see Trey and Sue again. I think it would have been too much to handle.

Can Dave Move BitTorrent?

We’ve played with BitTorrent for some time now. I also interviewed its creator, Bram Cohen, over two years ago. I love BitTorrent, as do most other distributors of popular large files, but its adoption has been slow. It requires a plug-in for most browsers, and to use it properly you may have to tweak your firewall, which is beyond the abilities of most Internet users. What’s really needed is for BitTorrent to be built into all our browsers.

Now Dave Winer has taken up the cause of BitTorrent, and I believe he’s doing it just for the good of the Internet. Dave’s endorsement and evangelizing could be the tipping point for BitTorrent, which could ultimately be as important a contribution as his work on RSS, outliners and content-managmenet systems. Thanks, Dave.

WiFi at 37,000′

Well this is cool. WiFi aboard a Lufthansa 747-400. It’s about $27.00 for the whole flight, but that’s just a bit more than $2.00/hour. Mac Stumbler shows five Agere-Lucent WiFi access points or routers on board. Performance and relaibility are good. Maybe I’ll turn off the VPN and run a performance test later. Glad I brought a spare battery for the PowerBook.

Off to Italy

My wife and I are heading to Italy for a few weeks. That means no (or at least very little) blogging and certainly no podcasting until the end of May.

On the way out the door I squeezed out my latest personal podcast with news from IT Conversations and The Conversations Network.