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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 3 May 2007

lettuce, elections and Flash...

My first garden produce!I really ought to post more often.. despite working three (soon to be four, tomorrow) seven o'clock starts there's been plenty going on.

This evening, for example, I picked the first produce of the garden - I washed it carefully, and had some tasty lettuce with my (otherwise quite processed!) tea.

Finally, the carrots are starting to pop out of the ground, their spindly leaves showing that at least a few have made it! I was worried for a while that the greedy blackbirds who make short work of the treats on our small bird table had eaten them (as I have the suspicion that they have nibbled the sunflower seeds on the right... there are a couple of shoots, but I've planted more this evening, having stocked up the table with wild bird food!)

It was polling day today, too, although I understand there were some logistical issues; since there is a move away from using schools as polling stations, many of the newly designated venues weren't aware that they were to be used until a couple of days before the event. I also heard that one school had set aside an area to be used, only to discover that they were no longer required! We're electing who, now?

On other matters, during a less-than-inspired evening in the studio earlier this week, I continued my search for a Flash-based shoutcast stream player, much like the XSPF web music player that I've used on this blog from time to time, except handy for such delights as Image FM and many others (well, for as long as they'll last.. see here [thanks, Em] for a broadcaster's perspective on what the money-grabbing 'music' industry is doing to a service which could actually benefit them.. don't get me started!)

Anyway, Draftlight's Minicaster looks good, and is free! However, I couldn't actually get it to work on my Shoutcast stream. Something to play with during a dull moment, I guess.

I would also really like to think about creating a content management system that I can use to upload my music. It should, in theory, be really simple, since I'm putting practically the same thing in every time, but there doesn't seem to be much else out there, apart from the established sites which limit the number of my songs that can appear in one go (some of which don't quite comply with their terms of use, either..)

I'm definitely a fan of the use of Flash as a media player, though - Sky News, for example, seems more 'reactive' than the BBC's news website, because you don't have to wait for a painful Realplayer plug-in to load (or install it at all, which would be even better!), since its videos are - with YouTube as another obvious example - encoded into a high-quality Flash movie right there on their website. There are tools out there - why can't people use them?

Posted by james at May 3, 2007 9:33 PM

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