The PopSci kids tell me they had a little trouble with the posting of our first show, but it eventually made it up there on Wednesday. Just finished the second one, and if all goes well it should be up tomorrow. Podcasting is time consuming, especially when you try to make it sound like radio. I think we’re doing good stuff though, and I got my picture taken with a storm trooper today, so I can’t complain. Do you know how loud it is on the floor at E3? It’s very loud. For an old man like me, it’s a little troubling. I think that the people who run this conference may want to consider making a rule that if you have a booth, you can’t turn your TV up too loud. I bet the Scrabble convention is nice and quiet.
So I’ve seen press briefings for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. I’ve had free hot dogs at the Microsoft party, and enjoyed a few delicious energy drinks, all the while toting my digital recording device and microphone around trolling for content. I must say, the PS3 looks pretty amazing. Xbox, yech, the system will be good and everything, but those Xbox people are gross. Something about their whole marketing technique really creeps me out – it’s more of an attitude thing. As if a bunch of robots from outer space came here, make a game console, and then put on pseudo-hipster clothes and tried to sell it to you, and using words like “radical” and “awesome” and calling you “dawg” the whole time. Nintendo: sheesh, those guys are crazy. Everything’s shiny and round and pretty colored, even the war games.
John and I will be leaving the convention center soon to go back to the hotel room and edit together our first show. Look for it to be posted late tonight east coast time. And please, spread the word. The more people who listen, the better we look.
I’m writing from a hotel room in sunny California (which as you know I hate) where I have flown in order to podcast from E3 for Popular Science magazine. Who did what to the what now? Let me explain: E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo where all the makers of games, and players of games, and models paid to wear Lara Croft costumes come to party. As you know if you have been following every aspect of my life very closely, I have done a few podcasts with my friend John Hodgman that relate to our Little Gray Books show in Brooklyn. I have also done a little writing for Popular Science magazine. As it turns out, these two great tastes taste great together. John and I will basically spend a day interviewing people and walking around and talking about things we see, and then post the whole thing as an mp3 on the Popular Science website. There will be three half-hour shows, and they’ll go up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. These shows may also include some potential Popular Science theme songs, or fragments thereof, if I can stand to make them public.
The plot thickens. Yahoo has just launched their own online music service. It’s subscription-based like Napster and Rhapsody, so if you stop paying your monthly fee, all your songs turn into pumpkins. Napster and Rhapsody are both about $15/month and this is significantly cheaper at $7/month, or $5/month if you get an annual subscription. None of these services work with the iPod, or with Macs.
Strangely, Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow is already up on the Yahoo service, though Smoking Monkey is not. CDBaby doesn’t report sending either CD to them, so I wonder if they just piggybacked off some other service’s catalog. Or something.
It will be interesting to see if people prefer renting music to buying it. Personally I think it’ s important to own your music and be able to play it on any device you want, but $5/month is pretty cheap for unlimited listenings to any of a million songs. This could change the landscape completely. Anybody use and love/hate any of these subscription services?