Thursday, 20 April 2006

Why Haven’t I Picked up the M-Audio MicroTrack Yet?

I’m putting together a strict list of requirements I’d like from a mobile podcast recording device:

  • 1/4″ TRS & XLR inputs
  • 1/8″ headphone out
  • Recording onto SD/MMC card
  • Big Red Record/Stop button (as the only control)
  • Rechargeable battery
  • That’s it. Nothing More.

Like my quest for a phone with a very specific and limited feature set, the key is what I’ve left out. In this case; a screen, ‘play’ button, and internal microphone are off the table.

While searching for a USB mixer with 4 XLR ins, I re-discovered the M-Audio MicroTrack. Looks like it’s the closest thing we’ve got to meeting my above requirements.

On the down side; it doesn’t have XLR input, records to CompactFlash not SD/MMC, and has more than 1 button.

On the up side; Steve Borsch gives the MicroTrack a great review

Sunday, 8 January 2006

What I Want from Diapers – At a Glance Color Indicators

There are a number of indicators to determine if Cooper’s diaper needs a changing:

  1. Is he screaming?
  2. Does the front of the diaper feel and look full?
  3. Are his clothing, blankets, or crib wet?

As you can see, all the items in this list are what economists call lagging indicators. In addition, two of them have fairly unpleasant consequences.

Continuing my thoughts that diapers should be made for parents, not kids (i.e. 86 the cartoon characters) – I think diapers should change color based their ‘status’. Yes, exactly like those dorky Generra Hypercolor shirts from the late ’80s.

Then, I can see – at a glance if this is why Cooper’s alarm is going off.

Sure, the entire diaper changing color would be nice. I’d also be up for geo-political trivia, where the answer is displayed upon saturation.

Huggies, Pampers, Anything in R&D along these lines?

UPDATE 26 March 2007
Along the same lines:

“I was surprised at changing time with a message on J’s diaper: “My Last Diaper!” — a message from one of her teachers that we needed to bring in another batch of diapers”Sara Brumfield via Parenthacks

Monday, 5 September 2005

Until Audio Hijack Pro for Video, Videoblogging Won’t Take Off

Before I made my first videoblog, I assumed there were 2 challenges video-blogging had to overcome before it could be as be as hot as podcasting

  1. File size for video are a magnitude larger than audio, so bandwidth is that much more precious. Without something like BitTorrent, each additional download is money out of the producer’s pocket.
  2. Videoblogs aren’t portable. Unlike podcasts, I can’t catch up with my videoblogs while on the bike or in the car. For video, I’m tied to my laptop. Less fun for me.

Both of those are somewhat strawmen arguments, I was able to compress my 17 minute video down to something acceptable even by podcast standards. So the bandwidth is less of a concern. The second point will be mute as soon as more portable digital video players get on the market (any day now really…yes, really…holding breath).

The biggest challenge facing videoblogging is the production effort. In podcasting, if I don’t feel like doing any post-production, I have Audio Hijack Pro handle everything for me; recording, ID3 tags, mp3 conversion, and FTP uploading (via an Automator script).

When I’m done recording, the podcast is up.

Over on the video side it was 36 hours from when I shot the video to when I uploaded it. Much of that waiting for the laptop.

I’d love to see something like Audio Hijack Pro for video.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

The Opposite of the Treo 650

I want a new phone. The menu interface on my SonyEricsson T610 is annoying and frustrating. Part of it is T-Mobile (a text message for each voice message isn’t necessary), part of it is SonyEricsson (a 12-step process for writing an SMS?), and part of it is me (highly critical behavior strategist & interaction designer).

I’ve been eyeing the Treo 650 for a while now and if T-Mobile was offering it I’d probably already have it. But they don’t and I don’t.

I’ve already talked about how BluePhoneElite is a necessity in my world. I use it for all my SMS writing and 90% of my phone calls. With BluePhoneElite, I only need to touch the handset to talk – if my Jabra was charged up, I wouldn’t even need to do that.

The more I think about how I use my phone currently (dial-up internet, voice calls, some text messaging, address book and calendar back-up), the more I want the opposite of the Treo.

Rather than a pocket computer, I want a peripheral – something that’s nearly useless on it’s own. I’m thinking of the phone version of the iPod Shuffle.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • No keypad, just a single button for dial/hang-up
  • Bluetooth for voice, data, dialing, address book and calendar synchronization
  • Voice-activated dialing
  • Audio Caller ID
  • No ringtones, just vibrate
  • Call Recording
  • Access call recordings, voice & text messages with a web browser
  • That’s it. Nothing more.

If you’ve seen anything like this, let me know.

PalmOne’s LifeDrive with Skype might be the answer (20 May 2005)