#471 Alpha Geek Radio, Roku Better Than AppleTV, RHA MA600i Earbuds, Mind Mapping with David Sparks

NosillaCast is now on Alpha Geek Radio at mobile.alphageekradio.com. What would make a 30 year Apple Fan Girl choose Roku over AppleTV? RHA MA600i Earbuds review by Donald Burr of otakunopodcast.com. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, David Sparks of Mac Power Users and MacSparky.com joins us to talk about how he uses mind maps to write books.

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NosillaCast Now on Alpha Geek Radio

30 Year Apple Fan Girl Chooses Roku Over AppleTV

Review of RHA MA600i Earbuds by Donald Burr of Otaku No Podcast

Link to the RHA MA600I earbuds

Problem to be solved

  • Needed a new pair of earbuds
  • Been using the Apple in-ears, and they are “ok”, but I managed to lose the rubber ear pieces
  • Bought a few cheap pairs but they sucked and broke
  • Heard about the RHA MA600i earbuds on before you buy, they got favorable review, so decided to try them out
  • Cost is high ($90) but I figured since you get what you pay for and you shouldn’t throw good money after bad, they might be worth it
  • And I was right!

What I was looking for

  • In-ear style earbuds that are comfortable and fit my ear – Apple ones don’t, even those new EarPods where they supposedly scanned 10 million ears or whatever (apparently they never scanned mine!)
  • Good audio – I listen to this alien “music” stuff after all (but I also want good audio for my podcasts)
  • Remote and mic like the Apple one
  • Reasonably good microphone audio quality
  • Durable – I tend to wad them up in a ball and shove them in my pocket (This is where a lot of the cheap ones failed)
  • The Product

  • Really well made
  • Earbuds, remote/mic and plug are made of aluminum, very robust
  • Cord is covered with plastic – so it’s a bit stiffer than most earbud cords, but that’s a good thing – prevents it from getting super tangled up. Also because of this there is a bit less of that cord rubbing noise, and it comes with an optional clothes clip to help minimize this.
  • Right angle plug – mildly annoying; was OK when headphone jacks were at the top of iDevices, but with them on the bottom it makes the cord jut out at a weird angle
  • Excellent build quality – I have abused them quite a lot and they have held up well
  • Comes with a huge assortment of ear tips – I was easily able to find a pair that fit perfectly
  • Also comes with a nice travel case – it’s stiff so that it won’t get crushed, and it holds the earbuds, clothes clip and ear tips
  • The remote controls are clicky and responsive, and easy to manipulate. Mic audio quality is a little bit better than Apple’s, which I am OK with.
  • Only complaint is that the mic/remote is a bit large and cylindrical, normally not a problem, but if I am wearing a shirt with a collar, like a polo or whatever, it tends to get caught on it since it is at neck level (which is where you’d want the mic to be), but this is a minor complaint
  • What about the sound quality? Excellent! Crisp and clear highs, well defined kids and rich but not overpowering bass. I like bass in moderation and these are perfect.
  • Overall impressions

  • There was a lot to like about these earbuds, and only a few very minor annoyances
  • One more minus – the price. At $90 it may seem steep, but then I realized, hey, good quality speakers or on-ear headphones cost a lot too, and again there’s that whole “you get what you pay for” thing, and in this case, you definitely get what you pay for. These are well worth it.
  • Definite Buy!
  • Check out otakunopodcast.com if you are at all curious about Japanese anime, manga, travel, food, culture, …


    When Todd Whitehead of Alpha Geek Radio approached me to see if I wanted the NosillaCast on one of his channels, I was delighted to say yes. I sent a note back asking if I simply send him the link to the audio stream that I’m already piping over to the podfeet.com/live page and to the NosillaCast app and to iTunes Radio, but he said there was more to do that just that. He and I connected on Skype and we were immediately geek friends for life. He actually had the exact same metal poster on his wall that someone put up on my door at work – it’s an official membership in the National Sarcasm Society poster, with the motto, “Like we NEED your support.”

    Anyway, he started taking me through a process to create a whole new audio feed using a free and open source tool called butt, which stands for “broadcast using this tool”. It allows me to capture my audio feed and instead of sending it to the Icecast server like I do for the other services, it sends it to his Shoutcast server and then he can have his way with the audio. It started to look a little complicated so while we were chatting I whipped open Clarify and started taking screenshots. I told him what I was doing and he was immediately intrigued by what Clarify could do. I only had to sing a few bars before he was a convert. It was great he had this attitude because it meant I could ask him to hold up while I threw in an annotation of something I’d be afraid I’d forget and he was very patient waiting. He knew that in the end HE would be the beneficiary of this document because for the NEXT guy he’d have a tutorial!

    As we went through the steps I realized that there was some one-time setup stuff, but then some stuff that has to happen every time I go live (which Steve “volunteered” to do for me). this was a perfect place to use the new feature of Clarify 2 (still in free beta) which allows sub-steps. I made the one-time only stuff the first big step and the weekly stuff a second big step. It makes it really easy now for Steve to jump to his part and follow along till he gets the hang of it.

    I shipped it off as a PDF to Todd, and I believe his exact quote was something along the lines, of “Holy crap this is awesome!” I’m paraphrasing just a bit but you get his point. This tutorial will save him gobs of time, and will help others he adds to Alpha Geek Radio be able to remember what he’s taught them.

    I used Clarify THREE TIMES this week alone to help other people, and had to choose which story to use for this weeks’ ad. Go check out that free trial of the beta over at the link in the shownotes and impress your colleagues too!

    Chit Chat Across the Pond

    Main Topic – Mind Maps
    David Sparks joins us of the Mac Power Users and MacSparky.com and author of a zillion books, including the iBooks Field Guides:
    Paperless: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/paperless/id520393162?mt=11
    Markdown: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/markdown/id622433972?mt=11
    Email: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/email/id743560201?mt=11 
    Mind Map nerds
    What we use them for
    Which applications we like

    • iThoughts
    • MindNode
    • Anyone still use Mind Manager?

    David and Katie did a Cooking Ideas show on Mac Power Users at: http://www.macpowerusers.com/2012/04/23/mpu-082-cooking-ideas/ 
    Which platform is best?  Mac? iPad? iPhone?
    Import/Export – here’s where David explains his opml dance from Mind Maps to Outlining programs and back
    Outlining programs:
    – King of outlining programs Omni Outliner for $50
    Tree for $15 (Allison bought after David recommended)
    Cloud Outliner – lite version is free, kind of janky and then nagware too.
    Why does David like Markdown and what’s it for?

    That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected], follow me on twitter and app.net @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

    8 thoughts on “#471 Alpha Geek Radio, Roku Better Than AppleTV, RHA MA600i Earbuds, Mind Mapping with David Sparks

    1. Bob DeGrande - May 18, 2014

      David was a great guest. Thanks for the heads up on the new version of iThoughts, I didn’t know it existed.

      On Markdown, there are iOS apps that have an extra row of keys so that you don’t have to remember the Markdown syntax – Writing Kit and Drafts are two examples.

    2. podfeet - May 19, 2014

      Thanks, Bob! I thought I’d seen some iOS apps that had the keys; must have been what I was thinking of when I thought Mardown would have it.

    3. David Allen Wizardgold - May 21, 2014

      I got some good info from the chit chat across the pond with Sparky Man. I found it possible to bring OPML directly into Scrivener and it worked pretty good. Then I tried Tree and the different views you get and the specialist keyboard shortcuts for moving things around was impossible to resist and €13.

      I have been using iThoughts recently and it was weird to have it come up in the podcast after I had been diving into it. I also bought the new version – At that price it was a steal. It is very handy to dictate into iThoughts and it makes it very quick and easy to get the ideas in there.

    4. podfeet - May 21, 2014

      ooh – dictation into iThoughts? That’s really interesting. How does that work? do you say “space space space” to get a child topic for example?

    5. Stefaan Lesage - May 22, 2014

      Finished listening to this episode … darn … now you got me into the whole Markdown thing. I noticed the ByWord has an in app purchase which would allow you to immediately upload / post your test on WordPress. Now that is the one feature that might convince me to start using it.

    6. […] thing I know I’m listening to the NosillaCast podcast by Alison Sheridan and she’s talking to David Sparks of Mac Power Users Podcast who was […]

    7. Philip from Australia - May 25, 2014

      Great. More $$$. And I just upgraded OmniFocus, to.

      Stop making me spend money, Allison!. 🙂


    8. Katie Floyd - May 26, 2014

      Just finished listening to this episode – a little behind. Even though I heard it all before – really loved the segment with David on Mind Mapping. I’m one of those “left brain” people who can’t seem to wrap my mind around the concept of non-linear outlining but downloaded the new iThoughts to give it a try.

      Listening to Allison’s description of her Apple TV problems, I’m inclined to think there’s a problem with her downloads from Apple’s CDN. I’d be willing to bet if you tried to download the same content around the same time from one of your Macs you’d notice the same slowness. This could be caused by many things. DNS problems, firewall, throttling, etc. But I bet it’s an issue between your ISP and Apple’s CDN and not necessarily the Apple TV hardware itself. Dan Benjamin had a similar issue last year and I think his ultimate solution was to swap out his modem.

      I just want to go on record as saying if Allison totally gives up on the Apple TV…dibs…and I want a better deal than Jonathan Cost got!

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