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Cowboys In Cyberspace - April 2005


Whistles and bells and music wherever you go...

PODCASTING is the latest Internet buzzword and has nothing to do with feeding calves. It involves using portable MP3 players to time-shift audio broadcasts. Any brand of device will do, although the name does derive from the ubiquitous Apple i-Pod. It is interesting to note that even after a shaky start that involved faulty batteries, i-Pod has still dominated the market in portable players, in brand-awareness at least, and the name is becoming synonymous with the type of product, in the same way that Xerox became a synonym for photo-copying.

i-PodThink of it as being similar to video-taping your favourite television program so that you can watch it at a later time or date, only in this case it is an audio program. Going one step further though, as well as being able to download a particular podcast file in MP3 format, with some of the associated software it is sometimes possible to subscribe to a 'feed' (no, still nothing to do with poddy calves), whereby you can synchronise your player by connecting it to the Web via your computer. It will then automatically download the latest program or episode in a series that you have signed up for. Initially at least, many music orientated programs will be mostly chat, due to copyright restrictions, but if the trend expands at the rate it has been, expect the big music corporations to explore the promotional potential of podcasting.

More Country Podcasts:
  • Bluegrass Preservation Society Radio Program
  • Saturday Night Country
  • Not only is the ABC on-line channel DIG running podcast trials, it has also launched a specialist COUNTRY stream. As well as news and stories on its regular channel (that often includes rootsy music), a software player can be launched from your browser that will play country music 24 hours and continually show you what song is being played, a picture of the album cover, label details and often a link to the artist's website.

    Updates and revamps:
    DAVE PRIOR was inducted into the Australian Country Music Broadcasters Hall Of Fame this year and his website has been redesigned to compliment his third album, Barbed Wire Fences. CD cover

    LEE ANN WOMACK has a new look site to match the retro look of her CD, There's More Where That Came From, and that mimics the classic look of early Dolly & Tammy LPs.

    RECKLESS KELLY might be from Austin, Texas but they did name themselves after the famous Australian outlaw. After enjoying the jangly country-rock on their new CD Wicked Twisted Road, pop it into your computer to watch a short humorous 'making of' movie.

    barbed wire
    barbed wire


    DVD cover

    Alan Jackson - Greatest Hits
    Volume II - Disc 2

    This DVD set has been around for a while, but with all the current emphasis on the revival of acoustic and bluegrass music as the 'saving' of country music, it is easy to overlook the preservation of other styles within the genre. ALAN JACKSON sits easily at the top of the crop of artists who have followed in the honky-tonk footsteps of Merle Haggard and George Jones (via George Strait). What separates him from most is the integrity in his work that connects him directly to the 'common man', having never lost sight of his roots, musically or personally.

    Alan Jackson video clips always contain the right images to compliment the songs, whether they are thoughtful, retrospective, or just good fun, without ever over-emphasising the clichés that mar too many artists visual work these days. Little Man is illustrated perfectly with images of the forgotten 'small town' America, while Pop A Top puts a clever and humorous spin on an old barroom tale. The marketing of the DVD is a little unusual, this being the second of two separate discs that each contains 6 songs. Even at a budget price, a full length single DVD would have been better value, and a few more credits wouldn't have gone astray. 'Various Video Directors' is hardly sufficient for what is a set of top quality clips, by anyone's standards.

    Arista 82876-55240-9
    (via BMG in Australia) 25 Mins

    Until next time, happy surfing!

    Bob talked to Barbara Morison, Sat 9th April @ 5.45am on 2SER 107.3 FM about this Cowboys In Cyberspace column plus Canterbury Country.
    LISTEN in listen with Windows Media PlayerWindows Media™ or listen with RealAudioReal Audio™
    Courtesy of Radio 2SER 107.3 FM in Sydney

    If you want to share the location of an interesting site you've seen
    or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me.

    Don't forget to listen out for cyberBob each month on the radio waves with
    Barbara Morison
    on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney and on the Web)
    and listen for Big Bob from Bondi every Saturday night with
    John Nutting on Saturday Night Country (your Local ABC Radio and the Web).



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