New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 28
Sharewood Picnic is Robin Good's weekly basket of goods, tools and services found in the last week. Including several newly-released resources, these little gems can help you better understand and utilize the independent publishing revolution we are witnessing.
Photo credit: Adriano Franco
Feel free to download, test and try-out any of them. They are all free and readily available for immediate access. This week's list contains a number of new items with a lot of potential.
Here is this week's list:
- Podcast search engine using voice-recognition technology
- Podcasts download to mobile phones
- Video podcast directory
- Legal, Creative Commons-licensed BitTorrents
- VoIP and video tool
- Geo-based social networking tool
- Free personal publishing portal
- Tag visualization and mapping service
- Connection speed test
- Open-source video production, gathering and distribution software
- Literary question search engine
Podzinger is a powerful search tool able to look into the audio of a podcast to find the words you search for. Built using speech recognition software from BBN Technologies, Podzinger essentially transcribes a podcast into text - allowing users to search like they would for ordinary internet content. Podzinger even highlights the exact segment of audio in which the keyword occurred lets users listen from that point in the podcast. There are also controls for rewind, pause, or fast-forward. Free to use.
Mobilcast allows users to download and listen to podcasts from their mobile phone. Effective only for US users, it allows individuals on their mobile phones to log onto the Mobilcast network, select a podcast and have the service play the podcast requested as soon as it is downloaded. The service has a search feature, separates podcasts into categories and even lets you see podcast notes. All downloaded podcasts are then saved so you can listen to them whenever you want. Users can also syndicate their podcast feed through the service. Mobilcast is only supported on select phones by Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. Although the service itself is free, data transfer costs still apply.
- PodCast Videos
PodCastVideos.org is a directory of video podcasts (aka vodcasts, vidcasts or vlogs). Broken down into several categories, PodCastVideos.org provides links to a small but growing list of video podcasts that anyone can add to easily. Free to use.
- Legal Torrents
LegalTorrents delivers exactly what it promises: totally legal BitTorrent media files. From music to films to books, LegalTorrents' directory contains only creator-approved, freely distributable files available under a Creative Commons license. Although the site cannot currently deliver as many torrent files as an illegal one, LegalTorrents is a great way to find new media files for use on the web. Free to use.
YakToAnyone is a newVoIP service based on the Ineen engine. Similar to Skype, YakToAnyone offers long distance service from computers to phone numbers within the U.S. and Canada for $.02 per minute and computer-to-computer calls for free. The telephony service requires no monthly commitment and users can buy credits directly from a credit or debit card. International calls can be as cheap as $.02 per minute to first-world nations but rates can escalate dramatically when calling third-world or remote nations. YakToAnyone also offers video phone services and accessories that make your existing phone compatible with the service.
Frappr is a unique geographic-based social networking tool that lets users create a map of people with similar interests. Registered users can select from a huge number of categories (or create their own) and meet new people in their area. Built on the GoogleMaps API, Frappr is a useful tool for meeting and connecting with people in a new city or even in your own neighborhood. It is still in beta and does not yet have a large member base, but the site has potential to be a very popular service. Free to join.
TagWorld is a free new service that allows anyone to create a personal web site, blog, and to easily publish images while becoming part of a growing web of social networks of like-minded people. String emphasis on tagging and freely sharing textual and visual content. That is what TagWorld is intending to be: a one-stop shop for user-generated web content. Easy to use and free.
TagCloud is a tool for easily creating visual tag clouds for your blog or website. These are just like word maps that let you see where the larger or newer parts of your content are stored. By visualizing a dynamic map of the words characterizing the topics you cover you make it easy for readers to see at a glance what your site or blog is all about. Free to use.
- Speed Test
InternetFrog Speed test provides a fast and reliable way to assess your Internet connection speed in terms of both download an upload bandwidth actually available to your computer. This can tell you whether your Internet provider is really giving you the bandwidth promised or just a fraction of it. Easy to access and use the service shows visually your upload and download speeds in seconds. Free.
LULOP2 is an "Internet news gathering" platform, i.e. an integrated platform meant to perform - in an open publishing environment - the logistic and transaction stages of "news gathering" in the specific meaning that the broadcast news industry gives to the term (see ENG). LULOP2 is an open-source software platform made to facilitate the typical task of moving over the Internet large digital video files in compressed formats, handling server-side post-processing of such video files, allowing its web publishing with appropriate meta data and equally appropriate delivery methods, and finally enabling an Internet marketplace built around the concepts of automatic trading and dynamic pricing of such video news content. LULOP2 uses and supports RSS for notification, BitTorrent for effective distribution and ffmpeg for video encoding.
Acatopia is a free site to pose questions about any book. Users just type in the title, author or ISBN of a book and Acatopia will guide you to a page where you can post questions about it or answer other people's questions. Ideally, the site will create a user-generated literary dialogue. Though the site has a lot of potential, there don't seem to be enough users involved yet to make it the extremely useful "academic utopia" it is meant to be.
blog comments powered by Disqus