Friday, March 12, 2010

Ah, Venice

I took a little tour around the world today.  Actually I brought the world to me.  In my car.  As I was doing 65 (ok, maybe 75) from Rockville to home so I could make it in time for the funeral.  And not so much the world, but a small part of it from a few thousand miles away.

It seems the intriguing Mr. Wheaton was going to be doing an interview this morning on the radio.  Unfortunately the reason for his interview was the Emerald City Comic Con, taking place in Seattle this weekend.  Wil will be signing autographs, running a DnD game, and putting on a Rock Band concert with attendees.  A true celebration of geek culture, which all of us are now a part of (more of that perhaps in another post soon).  Of course, this means the interview was being done in Seattle by local radio host DJ Shey.  I felt reasonably sure the broadcast would probably not reach us here in Maryland.  And I was going to be in my car driving home right when the interview was being hosted, so streaming from their web site wasn't a possibility.

Of course, there's always the iPhone.  iPhone, oh iPhone, how do I love thee... let me count the ways.  Nah, that will take too much time.  Instead, here's what I did.  First, I tried to just launch the site on the iPhone, but because the live broadcast uses flash which is blocked by Apple's Safari browser, that would not work.  But the station did also broadcast over Flycast, and it turns out... they have an app for that.

One download later, find the station, run it over my radio speakers using the FM broadcaster I have in my car, and now I'm listening to the interview from start to nearly finish (I got home before it was done, and had to change and immediately head to the funeral home so no time to listen to user questions at the end of it).  Isn't technology wonderful?  Just five years ago this would not have been remotely possible.  I might have know there was an interview, and maybe later I could have found a copy of it online to be streamed, or even listened to it online.  But in my car while speeding heavily down I-95 in Maryland?  Nope... not a snowball's chance in hell that it could have been done.  And not only did I get to listen to it, but it was every bit as sparkling and clear as listening to a nearby local FM radio station.  No balking, no jitters, no pausing to buffer the stream.

Loved the interview, too.  Wil is a funny and intelligent speaker, and had plenty of great points to make about the shifting landscape of geek culture and its almost universal acceptance now.  DJ Shey also seemed to be an old school geek (born in 1960 and a comic book fan from birth) who remembers what it USED to be like when we were kids.  But I digress... more on that topic later as I already mentioned.

Now that I can get Seattle, I'm going to shoot for some Japanese radio stations.  Maybe I can catch a live interview with Miyamoto Shigeru.  I just wonder if I can find a Japanese translator for my iPhone, too.


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