Money and music

I just picked up the latest twist on micropayments from locke61dv…. My problem with requiring micropayments before showing content to the user is that it places information behind “walled gardens” and leaves it inaccessible to those who cannot pay. Besides, it just creates annoyances and headaches… it’s very frustrating if you can’t look at your favorite web page because you have to feed the meter again. Ultimately you’ll probably just go visit some other web page that doesn’t require the effort.

indieKarma isn’t so much about micropayments as microdonations. The content is there, free to read and enjoy… it just displays an ad banner inviting you to join the indieKarma network, an ad which disappears once you join this microdonations collective. From then on every time you visit a web page that is part of the network, they get 1 cent from you. This is probably less objectionable than Google ads, really, if they can make the ad banner less annoying. Right now it’s very annoying and pops up on every web page on your domain name if you put it in your website template. Once they tone down the annoyance level I’ll be happy to put it on one or two of my new sites which are under development.

In the meantime, go sign up now! The first 5,000 users get $1.00 free to use with the service.

In other news, I thought my computer was breaking this weekend, b/c audio was only coming out of one speaker… but it was a false alarm. It turned out that somehow I had just panned my speakers all of the way to the left in System Preferences. How do preferences change themselves like that? I don’t remember doing that and I can’t imagine why I would do that.

At any rate, in my panic over possibly having to leave my laptop at the Apple store for repairs, I bought an MP3tunes subscription, so that I could back up my music. MP3tunes is a music locker service which allows you to back up your entire digital music collection to a website, with unlimited space, and then allows you to stream remotely, sync your computers with the website, etc. If you know your internet history, the last time Michael Robertson tried to start a music locker service at, he got sued into oblivion… here’s to hoping this one doesn’t run into legal trouble. Interestingly DVD Jon is employed by MP3tunes, so that company has more than one troublemaker under its roof.

Two projects that need to move more quickly

I am waiting for:

(1) Kiko, an online calendar, to get iCal syncing. Once it does, I am going to start using it… unless of course Google Calendar or some other service gets iCal syncing first, in which case I’ll use that, but Kiko seems to be the closest. I really need syncing… the only reason I use Gmail is that I can use it with my POP mail client, Thunderbird, which means I can access it when I’m offline. (Note: I won’t *necessarily* use iCal, I may switch to Sunbird or something, but let’s face it, Sunbird is not getting the attention it needs, and Chandler is so alpha as to be ludicrous. There is no good open source calendar, at least for Mac OS X.)

(2) Songbird, an open source media player that is supposed to integrate with websites, to get a working Mac OS X build. Once it does, I will switch away from iTunes, b/c Songbird supports Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and everything else natively.

The best way to find out when these features come out is probably to watch their respective blogs… but I’m not really interested in anything that they have to say on their blogs until they have these vital features. Phooey… I guess I’ll subscribe to their feeds anyway.