January 2009 Archives


I enjoy reading a little Dutch. WIllem, back in "the old country" is a great communicator even under the most difficult circumstances. Whatever goes on inside his head might not be totally revealed, but we can fill in he blanks.... And he has an unerring sense of humour which is motivating. Of course, there is another payback for me, nurturing a long lost love for the "Nederlanse taal"..

Oh.... ABC, please...

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is one of our great institutions. The best of its programmes stimulate and challenge. I listen to many of its programmes as Podcasts on my iPhone or iPod, at a time of my choosing, in a place of my choosing.

Robyn Johnston has been a long time favourite presenter with eclectic musical choices. This month,on IntoTheMusic she's been playing a series of performances with Richard Gill, helping "discover" music such as Elgar's Enigma Variations. Next week's program is an interview with Leonard Cohen. Talk about my "sweet spots"...

I understand the disruption of the business model for musicians and the recording industry, brought about by downloads. I still pay for my music. Happily, we're seeing some more flexibility by the music industry, but Podcasts which include music are a challenge, still today. So IntoTheMusic is only available as streaming audio, not as a podcast.

But how many of us sit in front of a computer, listening to Richard Gill explaining Elgar's music? C'mon ABC, you recorded it, you must own the rights to this. Australian tax payers paid for it. Podcast it...

[Update 13 Feb 2009]

Just received an email from the executive producer of "Into the Music" with a template reply."Music copyright issues prevent us from podcasting/offering as download at present....".

Hallo... The Richard Gill series was an ABC Recording, ABC broadcast. Elgar's public performance rights must have expired by now.
I can see that there are programs in the series to which the ABC does not have broadcast rights, but at least allow MP3 downloads for your own recordings!

[update 16 Feb 2009]

Robyn from Into The Music just followed up to point out that it needs permission from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps separating the Sydney Symphony from the ABC some years ago was a bad move...

[MC] In the mean time, there is always the  Freecorder alternative to turn the show into the MP3 format

Shoe Porn

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Walking equates to blisters for me and having comfortable shoes is not a luxury, but a necessity. That is tough when you have size 15 (US). Most stores have little choice. But I just cam across endless.com, drool....


Nice interface, great shoes, pity about not shipping to Australia....


It’s the Gas!

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Especially for Craig, here is a picture of the lawn after the Gas Plumbers finished their job.

Happy Birthday Darwin

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DarwinSpecial One of my podcast regulars is Melvyn Bragg’s “In Our Time”, a weekly BBC 4 radio show. This week, it featured a four part special on Darwin to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. Great radio. Unfortunately the BBC doesn’t keep its audio files on their site for long, so hurry and download episode  1, 2, 3 and 4 or subscribe to the program.