#132 Audio CAPTCHA, iPoddisk, Disclabel, Dictate, Hippstr, Leo Rant

Honda Bob was missing last week (hdabob.com), NosillaCast makes the front page in iTunes (of software how-to), blog.opendns.com figures out how to do audio captchas, iPoddisk for moving music from your iPod to your Mac from code.google.com/p/ipoddisk. Two interviews from MacWorld Expo: Jean MacDonald of Smile On My Mac talking about their product Disclabel, and Cynthia Taylor from MacSpeech talking about Dictate. Victor Cajiao of the Typical Mac User Podcast share a rant about Leo LaPorte going against all we believe in when he encourages a guy to go around Apple’s generous license agreement. Chit Chat Across the Pond – Bart Busschots of bartbusschots.ie and I are joined by Ben McRedmond of hippstr.com.

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[tags]Macintosh, podcast, accessibility, speech to text, MacWorld, social networking, hippstr [/tags] A technology geek podcast with an ever so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday, January 27th, 2008 and this is show #132.

Honda Bob
Honday Bob goofing around under a transmissionI know all of you must be very unsettled because you didn’t get a Honda Bob story last week! I can’t apologize enough – the worst part is that I had a great story to tell! When I was at MacWorld a bunch of podcasters went out to lunch. I’m not sure how it came up, but suddenly Don McCallister of screencastsonline, who is from England says with a wistful sigh…”I sure wish I had a Honda Bob. I love your stories about him!” Then Katie of the Maccore podcast said, “oh man, me too!” I loved it! I actually feel sorry for people who don’t live near Honda Bob.

It must be horrible to have to drive to a dealer, wait in a long line to drop off your car even though you got there at 7am to beat the crowd. then they have to leave their car and if they’re lucky they get to ride in some creepy vehicle back to their house, and of course they’re late for work by now too. Then they have to leave work early, begging a friend or a relative to drive them back to the dealer by some ridiculous hour like 4pm. If they lived near Honda Bob, they could have him drive to their house while they relaxed inside, maybe even being productive, and Bob would work on their cars and do all of the driving! That’s the life I live. if you’re lucky enough to live in the LA or Orange County areas, go out and buy a Honda or an Acura and then you too can enjoy the peace and tranquility that is care by Honda Bob. Give him a call at (562)531-2321 or shoot him an email at [email protected]. If you live too far away, go ahead and enjoy his website at hdabob.com.

iTunes Featured
It worked guys! all your dedication writing reviews on iTunes moved the Nosillacast up to the first page of Software How-to in the Technology section! Ok, so it’s the LAST one on the page, but we made the first page! Thanks to all who wrote reviews – we did it! and if you’ve been MEANING to write a review and just haven’t gotten around to it, head on over to your country’s store and tell ’em what you think! I’m not even asking for a nice review, heck, read what James wrote!

You know that one of my pet peeves is inaccessible websites, right? you know, the places that use those really annoying CAPTCHAs – the squiggly text you have to decipher in order to join in the fun, and which are like a locked door at the entrance for the visually impaired? Well something wonderful happened over at OpenDNS, the folks that provide free access to Domain Name Services for when your ISP is acting up or you want to do some track hiding. These guys have posted on their blog at blog.opendns.com a wonderful message – they figured out how to do an audio CAPTCHA so everyone can play. that in and of itself is not revolutionary, what’s great is they’re a very well known site so this will raise awareness, but also that in the blog post they say that it WASN’T HARD, and that if anyone needs help they’ll be glad to share what they learned! Isn’t that awesome? I think it is. Makes me want to put a CAPTCHA on my site just so I can make it audible. ok, not really.

Margaret has been a listener about as long as anybody, and this week she showed ME a really cool tool. Ok, gotta start out with a problem statement, right? Back in 1986 she recorded some music off of a Holland radio station. she pulled it from the tapes into her iPod a while ago. But then recently she actually got to know the DJ who was on the air during those shows, who is still in Holland and on the air! She thought it would be fun to send him the audio files, so I said I’d put them up on my server so he could pull them back down.

ipoddisk download site on google codeThe problem was that I had to get them back off of her iPod and onto my disk! Well everyone knows you can’t do that…well, unless you have some special tools to do it. I’ve never downloaded any of those kind of tools, so Margaret got to teach me. She hooked me up with a cool tool called iPodDisk which is actually from Google Code! it’s released under the GPL, as in Open Source, as in free! You can pick it up at code.google.com/p/ipoddisk. I love the download site – on the right is the disk image for the Mac (sorry, no windows installer) and a couple of other links, like to the wiki. but on the left, it simply says “If that’s not enough, read this and this. If these still aren’t enough, watch this.” Of course all the “this’s” are links. I don’t know why it tickled me but it made me laugh.

anyway, you download the s/w, drag to your Applications disk, and then plug in the iPod you want to snake stuff from. If you make sure the iPod is set up for disk mode, then you can launch iPodDisk and you’ll suddenly be able to see all the audio and video content on your iPod. How cool is that? Well, it was cool for a minute, just long enough to see the files I wanted, even let me play them, and then it crashed! Oh well, I messed around with deleting the app, reinstalling, deleting plists, and all that, but nothing would make it “go” again. Finally I rebooted, reinstalled and then it worked like a champ. I sure don’t want to slam the s/w because it worked great in the end, but I did want to warn you that it could act hinky from time to time. I checked the wiki how-to notes and it did say it hadn’t been tested on Intel Macs yet. Oh, and it also said i should install something called MacFUSE, but like, well, there was reading involved, and I already got what I wanted… So in any case, if you’re on a Mac and need to get some files off of your iPod, give iPodDisk a try!

Interviews from MacWorld
Here’s the two interviews I promised you from MacWorld last week. The first is with Jean MacDonald of Smile On Your Mac talking about their product Disclabel, the second is Cynthia Taylor from MacSpeech talking about Dictate.

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disk label icon
DiscLabel with Jean MacDonald of smileonmymac.com

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macspeech logoDictate from Cynthia at macspeech.com.
I’ll be really curious to see how Dictate works with short snippet conversations in the final release, it obviously still needs some work in that part. Still very impressive but it was fun to find something it couldn’t do. One other thing – I was confused because I heard some people calling it iDictate, but Cindy and the MacSpeech website both said it was Dictate. I noticed on The MacObserver website they were calling it iDictate, so I asked them about it. Dave Hamilton and Jeff Gamet checked into it and this is what Jeff wrote back:
Dave asked me to do some followup on the iDictate vs. Dictate thing, and here’s what I found: MacSpeech did have a product called iDictate — a stripped down version of iListen — that was to launch back in early 2002. Turns out that it never shipped even though it was demoed at Macworld Expo that year. Now we have Dictate coming out as the successor to iListen… what a difference only one little letter can make in a name.

Wow – no wonder I was confused! ok, it’s Dictate and I don’t want to hear any of you messing that up!

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Ben and Bart holding the NosillaCast logo at the science fairIn this episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart and I talk to friend of the show Ben McRedmond, also from Ireland. Ben and some of his friends are launching a revolutionary new social networking site that will aggregate information from the independent social networking sites like Flickr and Youtube for example. The site is Hippstr.com and will be launching in a month or two. Ben promises when it goes live to an invite only audience I’ll be given 20 invites to distribute.

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Looks like I’ve gone way over my time – I guess I’d better wrap things up for this week. I want to thank all of you who have written to me, and I really want to encourage more of you to join in the fun by emailing me at [email protected]. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

5 thoughts on “#132 Audio CAPTCHA, iPoddisk, Disclabel, Dictate, Hippstr, Leo Rant

  1. Lynn - January 28, 2008

    I have used DiscLabel for several years and versions now and have been very happy with the results.

  2. Gazmaz - January 29, 2008

    Allison reference to your rant…….. SPOT ON… I heard that to and was also amazed, in fact a few people I’ve spoken to over the pond here have said to me that they don’t listen to said gentlemen because of him being so self opinionated, I at first thought no this mans great, but having heard a few of his recent “casts” he also it seems to me does not take much care about how he portrays some of his listeners.
    I for one am thinking of slimming down the number of podcasts I listen to, it maybe that those form him go first, which is a shame theres lot of respect out there for the man.

  3. […] Earlier last week I was interviewed by Allison Sheridan and Bart Busschots on the Nosillacast podcast. Talking about HiPPstr. If you want to check it out head over to PodFeet.com. […]

  4. Connor - January 30, 2008

    Allison its smile on MY mac not smile on Your mac.

  5. podfeet - January 30, 2008

    Connor – oops! I can’t believe I did that! At least the link is right – what did I actually SAY?

    Gazmas – I wouldn’t drop Leo over this. I think he’s a really good guy, I’ve talked to him many times and he’s really kind to people, and genuinely loves all this tech stuff. I think he just screwed up. I’m sure if I could talk to him about it he would realize how he messed up. And far be it from ME (see Connor’s comment) to not forgive someone for a mistake!

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