Showing posts from 2009


Well, loyal readers, I have strongly considered shuttering Underground Media. But, for some reason, I just can't hit the delete button. I will leave it up and accessible indefinitely, and perhaps I will occasionally post something. But for now, consider this blog CLOSED. Too many things to do, and too few hours in the day to get them done...

Why can't Apple share the toys with ALL the kids?

Apple doesn't like to share. From the article: "The latest iTunes update, version 8.2.1, may offer up a few bug fixes, but its real purpose is to prevent the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes. The move isn't a surprise . Last month, Apple warned that future versions of iTunes probably wouldn't support syncing with non-Apple media players." Not supporting is one thing, but updating your software to BREAK that functionality is plain-old mean-spirited. But there are some workarounds. Again, from the article: "So what's a Palm Pre user to do? The easiest option is to avoid upgrading to iTunes version 8.2.1, since the sync feature should still work with older versions of iTunes. Another option is to trying a third-party app like Salling Media Sync , a utility that synchronizes iTunes playlists, music, and podcasts with your mobile device, and it's free for basic use."

Napster: Reloaded

In the beginning, there was Old Napster . It was 1999, broadband was new, and music-swapping had just EXPLODED onto the scene via a peer-to-peer application invented by a college student who coined it's name based on his kinky hair (don't get me started). Those were the good ole days. Search for a song, click on it, download, and listen. If your online life began after 2001, this music model should still sound familiar? It is identical to iTunes. Except that your wallet ends up $0.99 lighter for each click these days. But clearly with the popularity of iTunes and other online music stores, this is how the public wants to consume music. Think for a moment if iTunes had come to market in 1998, BEFORE Napster? In any case, it did not. And instead of innovating, the music industry branded it's customers as thieves and shut down Old Napster in the summer of 2001. But this was not the end of Napster. The brand name was so strong that it re-emerged a few years ago as


The browser wars are in full swing again, and Firefox (the current media darling) better watch out! Google's new browser, Chrome, is bringin the HEAT! Small footprint, fast, and intuitive, but thus far, no Linux version. And that's a dealbreaker for me. Until recently... Chrome's underlying architecture is called Chromium, and it's open source. So while Google has been dragging it's feet and appeasing the Windows masses, the Chromium team has been hard at work developing a Linux version of the browser. It's in pre-alpha right now, so a lot of it is still non-functional. And they don't want people to blog about it yet, so I will not provide a link. But the current Linux version is very fast and stable, although there are no functional plugins like Flash. Watch this space for news!

Head to your basement! There's a Tonido warning!

It just hit me today as I was updating my Facebook page. My boss (actually, my boss's boss) requested Facebook friendship. Hmmm, this could be tricky. Ordinarily I am okay some work-life/personal-life convergence in the online world. Many of my employees and peers are Facebook friends, but this would be the first time that someone I *reported to* would have that level of access. Switching into paranoia-mode, I gave my profile a hard look through the eyes of an employer. Starting with my profile pic, I ended up spending the better part of an hour scrubbing my entire profile by untagging pictures, re-wording descriptions, and resetting some of my privacy settings. Did you know that unless you adjust them, Facebook defaults to a fairly loose set of privacy settings? And those settings allow Facebook to pipeline some interesting information out to internet search engines. For instance, I did a simple Google search of my full name. In the first page of results, I found a link to

Boxee's getting GOOOOOOOD!

In my never-ending quest for the perfect media center app for my HTPC, I have been using the three best available for Linux today. The mighty and reliable MythTV, the stealthy and below-the-radar Elisa, and the wildly popular yet volatile Boxee. Here's my setup: I'm currently using an Acer Aspire 5610 laptop (about 2 years old with the standard Intel graphics, 2 GB of RAM, HDA audio, VGA-out), 42" Insignia LCD HDTV, Yamaha receiver w/ 5.1 surround, and a Microsoft Media Center Edition remote control. Here's what I need: A one-stop solution that will let me watch Hulu, watch TV and movies saved on my harddrive, listen to music saved on my harddrive, listen to internet radio, and browse photos saved online and on my harddrive. Here's my experience so far: MythTV has been my most reliable solution. For over three years it has been THE default Linux media center. (Although it's been around for seven years, it really began life as a TV capture and DVR applic

Evolutionary Television Part 2 - The Studios Strike Back!

So remember how I was telling you all that stuff about the TV studios embracing Hulu (Fox and NBC sponsored the project), and how they had learned from the music industry's crippling Napster debacle? Well, that's only partially true. After a BANNER year, Hulu seems like it's becoming a victim of it's own success. Sometimes it seems like the site is overloaded, and even when using a fast internet connection, shows tend to "hang" for a few seconds while the stream from Hulu's servers catches up. Worse than that, the TV studios have somehow gotten it into their heads that they are losing some of their traditional TV viewers to Hulu. The reason they view this as a "bad thing" all boils down to one simple factor: advertising. Traditional TV advertising is literally the fuel for your favorite shows. Put simply, without commercials there would be no TV programming (PBS and Public Access aside). That is simply the American model. The Brits pay

New underground hip-hop favorite

Please tune into . Yes, 56kbps sucks for quality. But the rotation is so incredible that I've almost stopped listening to . Almost. I think you can subscribe and get 128kbps access. Also, if you have not downloaded the new Aesop Rock album, DO IT NOW !!! I can't stop listening to it...

Evolutionary Television Part 1 - How I cut the cord

"It's been a long time. I shouldn't have left you; Without a strong rhyme to step to." -- I Know You Got Soul , Eric B. & Rakim Sorry for the hiatus, folks. Work travel, moving into a new house, yadda yadda. But I'm back and things should be a little more consistent here on the Underground Media . So where did we leave things? Ah yes, I think we were talking about internet media. My last two posts were about internet radio, so I decided this week to look at internet television. I'm a relative new-comer to the great Southeast mecca called Atlanta. And, as I'm a social creature, I have been known to visit the local bar and live-music scene. Atliens are interesting folks, the music scene here is awesome, and I love meeting new people. Here's the way it usually goes: the wife and I are listening to DJ TBone (local flavor!) and enjoying some drinks; we meet some new friends, and have some laughs. And then, just as everyone is good and buzze

More Twitter nonsense

Using it regularly now. Still weird. But at least I "get" it now...

I sold out

I just signed up for Twitter. Yes, the same Twitter that I have condemned as techno-heresy. Micro-F*CKING BLOGGING?!?!?! What the hell does it do that you can't do with Facebook??? AND Facebook does about 50 other useful things! Twitter JUST DOES ONE! Wait, why did I sign up for this? Oh yeah, so I can review it for an upcoming Urban Thought Collective series I am writing on "social networking". Hohum.