Which media server is best?

Streaming media from your computer to the TV is a fiddly exercise. It’s a tenuous and fiddly exercise at the best of times, but well worth it. It means no computers, keyboards or messy wires in the living room, but not without a lot of hard graft. Over the last few years, I’ve tried quite a few approaches. I’ve gone from a Phillips Streamium device to the Playstation 3, which is worth getting almost for the streaming function alone. So far I’ve tried 3 media servers: TVersity PS3 Media Server Windows Media Server Based on my experiences since about 2007, here’s some pros and cons for each. Windows Media Server pros: runs straight out of the box (whether you like it or not) requires very little setup or tweaking fairly reliable Windows Media Player cons: often get ‘no title’ messages when looking for media (I think this is WMP indexing files, but I have disabled it for this reason) can’t play MKVs or other HD formats can’t convert video on the fly to a format friendly to your setup (e.g. HD to standard def) can’t configure when (or how, or how often) it indexes media TVersity pros: It’s free Will convert media on the fly so it’s compatible with your streaming device (e.g. Xbox, Playstation) It’s lets you configure which directories you want to share out, on screen menus etc highly configurable, e.g. how often you want to index media lets you view your media by date added to system (very handy) can let you play internet services through your TV like Youtube and RSS It groups like directories...
Is Shane Smith Lemmy’s love child?

Is Shane Smith Lemmy’s love child?

Lately I’ve been addicted to the Vice Broadcasting Service (vbs.tv). Not only have they been responsible for epic movies like Heavy Metal in Baghdad, but they relentlessly travel the world showing you places you’d never thought you’d see in your life. I’m talking Liberia, the sewer kids of Colombia, heavy metal mobs on Aboriginal reservations; they literally know now bounds! It’s beyond gonzo journalism or ever war correspondence. They take you to places where war technically hasn’t stopped for 50 years like North Korea. Brining very nicely to the point of this blog: Shane Smith. Somehow after years of working for a faceless corporate behemoth, I’ve found North Korea both bizarre and strangely intruiging. Perhaps all those bland grey office partitions have got me in the communist mind set. Whatever the reason, I found a Youtube video of Shane Smith going through North Korea as a clandestine filmmaker. I’m assuming that when he went through customs, he did not have to declare the watermelon sized balls he has on one of those arrivals forms.  It seems at no stage of this journey was there no sense of danger. Posing as tourists, at each corner their minders are warning them of the dangers of their actions. So after seeing the North Korea video a few times (it’s just that out there) and Smith’s trip to Liberia it got me thinking. OK so the guy has watermellon sized balls and thus pretty cool. Then he’s got these features of someone we know and love. So there’s no tell tale warts on the face, but the shortish beard and sideburns and long,...

Rock and Roll Geek vs Nardwuar! Rock!

Some weeks in podcasting are just gold. Michael Butler, the rock and roll geek in his aptly named Rock and Roll Geek show interviews Nardwuar the Human Serviette this week. These two guys are great rock nerds that have been doing podcasts for quite some time. Well Nardwuar has since before podcasts on college radio for decades! But first let’s talk about the relative newbie. For a few months now I’ve been catching the RNR Geek Show through iTunes. Michael Butler [host] is a ‘have bass will travel’ kind of professional muso that focuses most of his efforts on podcasting these days. He’s played in bands such as Exodus and now plays in Jetboy amongst many others. Each week he puts out about an hour long podcast on anything from classic, commercially ignored rock albums to his favorite recipes. If nothing else, he’s very easy to listen to and extremely consistent. As a bass player, his insights into the recording of classic albums makes for good geek listening too. Nardwuar is the master of a bizarre, kind of take-the-piss-and-run style of interviewing. Yet true to his bizarre roots, the quality of his research is often flawless, often flabbergasting the interviewee. He’s an icon in his native British Columbia, Canada and a veteran of plaid clothing! Since 1987, there’s no one that Nardwuar hasn’t interviewed – well no one that matters anyway. From getting dangerously close to offending a still young Henry Rollins, to blindsiding President Gorbachev in a passe press conference. He’s driven several interviewers to take unusual and often confrontation actions, including has been porn mogul Al Goldstein,...

Rose Tattoo interview with CMS

The Classic Metal Show (CMS) have done another corker. They’ve got a good long interview in the can with none other than Angry Anderson of the Rosie Tatts. Chris and Neely of CMS and Angry seem to be pretty kindred spirits. Angry even went as far as anointing one of them as his angry deputy! Angry tells some great stories about anything and everything from hanging out with Slash on Sunset Strip whilst recording his solo album, to taking the piss out of Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil. To be honest, I was really nicely surprised to see that the Rosie Tatts and Angry as lead singer, DO get the recognition they deserve stateside. Especially when so many Americans hear with shock and awe that AC/DC aren’t from the US! Yup, they cut their teeth in good old Australia. Unfortunately you have to give a black mark to the CMS boys though. Although Rose Tattoo are clearly well known in US metal circles, they weren’t aware of Angry Anderson the media celebrity. It might come as a surprise to some non Aussies to find that Angry has done heaps for various charities. In one current affairs show at least a decade ago, he used his cebebrity and clout to get a K-Mart store to ‘donate’ $25000 worth of toys on the spot. By donate I mean walking into the store with cameras and taking them. No one says no to Angry! And this week just past, he got his boat race on a bush fire telethon quicker than you can say ‘tits up’ – which he in fact did!...

Tommy Chong’s pimped Prius

Well if you don’t know who Tommy Chong of the legendary comedy duo Cheech and Chong is, good luck to you. You suck. Much like the Toyota Prius does. And people apparently agree with me. Not only is the Prius recently announced the seventh least stolen car in the US of 2008, it looks like an environmentally friendly hatfull of busted organic arseholes. So clearly I’m not a fan. But what could Tommy Chong possibly bring to the mix? Well thanks to him and the guys at Hippie Motors, clearly banking on his celebrity, he has quite simply the only cool Prius in the world. It might not go any faster, but it’s lowered, tinted and it just doesn’t get any blacker. It’s like it’s had emotherapy or something. At one point, Tommy reckons that he had hydraulic low rider suspension, but had it removed because the ride quality was hideously bad. The interior is bespoke too. One thing’s for sure, if I had to drive a contrived eco celebmobile it would be this one. Thankfully, I think only Tommy can get away with it. Both Cheech and Chong were recently interviewed on the Jonesy’s Jukebox podcast. In the hour and a bit interview, Tommy talks for a few minutes about the beast amongst other things! We can all only hope that when we’re in our seventies, we can be as cool as Tommy. Maybe then I can pimp my mum’s four cylinder...

6 brilliant podcasts

Hey y’all. Podcasts just rock. It’s pure, concentrated radio magic without waiting all day for the one cool program. Often it’s all the stuff you’d love to hear on radio that’s just far too out there to broadcast any time of day. As much as iTunes is rigid and inflexible, it’s by far the easiest way to get into podcasting. So use the iTunes keywords to search the iTunes store for these podcasts and subscribe. 1. Jonesy’s jukebox. Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols makes LA bearable. Not only does he keep the septics real, but he brings in a steady stream of English expats in Hollywood and special guest hosts. His Jukebox Jury episodes about anything and everything are not to be missed. Oh and for good measure, there’s regular jams with top shelf musos from Sweet to E from the Eels. Itunes keywords: jonesy’s jukebox (comes up as Indie 103.1 FM podcasts) | Jonesy’s web site 2. Joe Strummer’s London Calling. Joe was possibly the coolest eccentric punk rock warlord that ever lived. During his brief tenure as a BBC host, he covered the world of music several times over. In this series the music is relived and rock legends and former mates alike remenisce their memories of Joe. A truly memorable, albeit finite podcast. iTunes keywords: joe strummer – london calling 3. The Classic Metal Show. Neely and Chris are like the jaded, seen it all Seinfelds of metal. They dissect, antagonise and generally take the piss out of everything metal and ofter the poor schmucks who dial in. By and large, it’s hilarious and always...