Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

POPURLS dot com: What a Great Site

POPURLS BannerI was cruising the RSS today and although I had heard of POPURLS in passing I had not visited it until today. I was pleasantly surprised.

This site is a sort of a aggregator for sites that are updated frequently or have RSS feeds associated with them, or some other kind of community contribution on a regular basis. POPURLS summarizes this data into a “all-in-a-view” style. I don’t think that it is everything that comes out of these sites but it is a nice summary. The site has a very nice single page design and you can swap the default white on black to black on white. You can also make the text larger for those of you who are blind. The other cool option is that you can expand the headings to include more feeds or data. Lastly you can hover over a title of an article you get a summary of the article, click on it and a new tab opens with the full text from the site, cool.

POPURLS covers a huge range of sites: digg.com, del.icio.us, furl.net, flickr, reddit.com, tailrank.com, fark.com, youtube.com, news.google.com, news.yahoo.com, newsvine.com, video.google.com, shoutwire.com, slashdot.org, wired.com, odeo.com, nowpuplic.com, metafilter.com.

You will notice that not all the “feeds” are text based. There are video feeds as well and that’s something that average newsreaders don’t do. I think that is a nice addition, so is the fact that there are Flickr photo’s as well. I am not sure what the relationship between POPURLS and the contributing sites is but it makes you wonder how others might get on the list. Just something to think about.

That aside I think this is a great idea and one that finally puts RSS feeds into the hands of “regular” users. While it does not unleash the true power of RSS and aggregation it is a taste and might spark some interest for some people, it also connects you with the information that may enable you to better utilize RSS fully. In addition to these points, even if you were a super geek; it is just a fun site and a great way to have a quick catch up with what is going on in cyberspace and beyond, a cool distraction from whatever it is you are meant to be doing. Have a look you will end up staying a while.

Must Have Firefox Extension!

I must tell you about a great Firefox extension, it also works with Internet Explorer. I don’t think anyone should use Internet Explorer so I am not going to focus on that, damn clunky awful piece of software that it is…

The extension is Site Advisor. As some of you might unfortunately know, these days you only have to visit a site to have something nasty exploit your browser and install some bastard software. It might be a virus or more commonly it is spy-ware or some other rubbish. Or it may be a site that requires registration, for which you register only to find that you start getting about 20 spam emails a day. Or you are unsure if a download contains some malicious software, not necessarily a virus but spy-ware or ad-ware; which in my opinion is no different. But your virus program doesn’t necessarily treat it as a virus. Step in Site Advisor.

Site Advisor DemoBasically what this extension does is places an icon in the bottom right of your browser and the colour changes according to the site’s rating that you are on. There are three ratings, green, yellow and red. You can read the definitions on the link to the homepage. But it is sort of like: cool, worry and panic – get me out of here type thing. The other thing that is excellent is that it displays the rating next to Google searches, with the colour and icon displayed (I do not find this interferes with my searching). Then you can hover over the icon to get the brief information or click for more detailed (the screen capture shows this feature). You can turn off this feature if you wish, but I use it everyday and it has saved my bacon more than once. Click the picture on the left to get the full size.

The good thing about green sites is that it is a requirement that they only link to green sites. So once on a link path of green then you know that you will stay on green sites. So it is a great reassurance. Unrated sites are grey in colour. They may or may not be safe, I have used grey sites as I have known their content. As the system is based on domain names it only takes someone to submit the domain and it is thoroughly checked. As I have had to do with globalgeekpodcast.com; which is currently grey. I have submitted the site and I will let you know how long it takes to get checked.

Of note is the acquisition of Site Advisor by McAffee as of the 5th of April 2006. I hope that this adds to it’s credibility and it remains free to all and continues to provide the safe surfing experience that I have had since installing it.

You do not have to be a user to submit a site and you don’t have to have the extension to manually enter in a site on their homepage to check it. But save yourself the pain in the butt and get the extension. It is my most recommended extension and I find that I love it and so do the people that use it.

It is a mine field out there do something to level the playing field. Also take a look around their site they have heaps of information about the extension, I even read the “why trust us” and other FAQ’s on the main page – worthwhile. I can not recommend this extension enough.

Safe Surfing.