Portishead’s new album Third leaked recently, and, like so many leaks before it, is pretty bad. I’ve only listened to a portion of it but the first track ends abruptly, and the whole thing is rumoured to be a transcode. Nevertheless it keeps getting posted to trackers.
I don’t get where these poor leaks come from in the first place. If someone has this CD at home you’d think they’d take care to rip it properly. Instead I imagine some guy in a back room at the label’s HQ, seated at a yellowed Pentium II with a CRT monitor, running Windows 98 and still used for mailing lists and spreadsheets, fluorescent-lit and surrounded by boxes and manila folders, ripping at 128kbps so that it can encode before he’s caught, then throwing the whole thing on a thumbdrive through the machine’s single USB 1.1 port. Still, why not rip straight to WAV and encode at home? Is it seriously the limitations of USB 1.1?, or is my imagination getting too specific? These are not rhetorical questions, and I’m not complaining, I’m just confused. That said, I want and expect to like this album, so I’m just gonna wait for the proper physical release date of April 29.
We’ve been using MP3s for like fifteen years now; shouldn’t this be foolproof?
Oh and in case you want it, it’s here.
WordPress 2.5 comes out in less than two weeks! I read something about the “Media Uploader” on the development blog, and, curious, I searched for more details, and came across this WordPress 2.5 Beta demo site. The login name is admin and the password is demo.
Aside from the stunning visual overhaul, there are several immediately noticeable vast improvements in some of the features:
- Customizable thumbnail (and medium) image sizes — this has been requested forever, and WordPress finally listened. Used to be that every image you uploaded was copied and resized to a width of 128 pixels for automated thumbnail creation, which made a potentially cool feature virtually useless. Now they just need to introduce cropping.
- Better private post protection — keeping posts private is so unintuitive in WordPress 2.3. The post needs to be marked as “Private” using a radio button, but hitting the “Publish” button instead of the “Save” button after editing a private post stupidly disregards that preference. Now privacy is indicated by a checkbox that flips privacy on and off and keeps it that way.
- Tag management — I guess we all knew this was coming. It seems like the developers were so eager to get tag support out the door that with 2.2 or whatever it was they didn’t mind that you couldn’t edit any of the tags you create when you publish. Tagging a post just threw tags into the dark recesses of the WordPress database, where they became inaccessible except as part of a tag cloud on your site. But now we have an interface to delete, add, and edit them just as we do categories.
It’s pretty sweet. The media uploader is particularly awesome. I can’t wait to install it. The designers still assume all their users can’t read fonts smaller than 16pt. I guess they’re trying to ensure they look Web 2.0 enough. And it looks like the Shuttle Project isn’t going anywhere after all.
Being still very interested in web feeds, both practically and philosophically, I subscribe to them often. Occasionally I’ll find a site that seems as though it should have a feed, but contains no link to one within a meta declaration or within the body of the site. Still, most content generators generate feeds, regardless of whether their users make the feed URLs public. In cases like this, it’s fun to poke around and see if I can’t guess the correct URL.
The same goes for archives; certain Blogger users, for example, apparently turn archive links off, so all that’s easily visible are the last ten posts or so on the front page. But, of course, as is especially the case with something as prefab as Blogger, the archives are accessible through a very predictable URL schema.
And what about comment feeds? These are even more scarcely linked to, but in many cases do exist.
Here are the ones I know so far. I plan to update this post as I discover more. This is as much for my reference as it is for yours. So, bookmark it, and, y’know, subscribe to the comments. If you know of any other schemata, please comment. And if you’d like to create your own feeds from any site, give Feed43 a shot. It’s a bit tough to learn, but I’ve successfully made several useful feeds with it.
- All blog posts: http://blog.myspace.com/blog/rss.cfm?friendID=[friendID]