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Fool On The Hill » Blog Archive » Has TWIP seen the light?

I listen to a lot of podcasts. My interests are mainly technology and photography with a little Ravi and NPR’s TAL thrown in. I was very excited when I discovered that Alex Lindsay from the Pixel Corp had a new photography podcast called This Week In Photography. I went to the site to look around and grab the RSS feed for the podcast. The only RSS feed that I could find was for the blog. If you wanted the podcast you had to use iTunes. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to have their head stuck so far into a place that seems anatomically impossible, but I was wrong.  I wrote to them and asked for the URL for the podcast feed. I got two very snarky replies back from Scott Borne (quite the businessman): The podcast is iPod only (enhanced AAC not MP3) and the only place to get it is iTunes. I should have been able to figure that out without bothering him, because it was mentioned once in a blog post somewhere on the site. He said he could care less if I was able to listen or not. They had hundreds of other listeners. They don’t support any RSS catchers (like Juice), only iTunes.

Perhaps it’s beyond them technically, after all they have drunk long and deeply from Steve’s coolaid. Itunes doesn’t host the actual audio file Scott, just the pointer to it. A while ago Apple, without discussion, added extensions to the RSS specifications to create enhanced feeds that only work with iTunes. It would require some extra work to create a second ‘standard’ RSS feed for anyone who doesn’t wish to use iTunes as their podcatcher. This is very typical Apple thinking – change the standard so that it only works with our systems. Normal podcasters view the requirement to create a special feed for Apple as an extra step, not the only step. I guess Scott doesn’t understand how REALLY SIMPLE SYNDICATION works. Why they would want to limit their audience by being this stupid is beyond me. They act like Apple invented RSS and podcasting. I’m sorry, it’s just that when people act like this it makes steam come out of my ears. You might be saying to yourself that maybe they aren’t really THAT fanboyish, but their email addresses are a dead giveaway: applephoneshow@gmail.com and the personal ones are all @mac.com, plus all of their other podcasts are Apple related. This reminds me of the sort of fanaticism that I usually associate with the Zune Guy. Why would these grown men want to define their identities in this way? It’s just embarrassing. Maybe Apple should rethink their strategy – look at the type of people they are attracting. I’m sure they would rather have nice, cool people instead of smarmy jerks. They don’t seem to be this stupid about cameras and tend to see some good in most brands, I wonder why they are so childish when it comes to computers?

Back to the point – I was looking around their site again today and noticed that they now have an MP3 RSS feed! The file is labeled RAW and isn’t polished at all. It doesn’t seem edited, just an MP3 version of the rough cut. I imagine that if you want something professional, you must kiss Steve’s ring. There are no tags in the file (not even a title), but at least you can listen to it without selling your soul. It’s so childish to leave things like tags out of the file. They could make the MP3 from any version of their product. Why do they pick the roughest cut? There is no reason for this. It would take no more time to put up the polished version than it does to toss out what amounts to scraps. On a brighter note – I wonder if they have advertising that I’m missing…(c8

So to answer the question about seeing the light – almost. They treat ‘normal’ podcast listeners like they are second class citizens – tolerated, but not accommodated. I still wish them success – my goal is to learn. It would be great if they embraced open standards and were nicer when dealing with their customers. I’ll listen for a while and see if they can redeem themselves from the horrible first impression I have. If you are searching for a good photography podcast and don’t want to deal with the subtle TWIP message of, We’ll let you listen, but you’ll never be as cool as us – you can’t beat Tips From The Top Floor by Chris Marquardt. He’s the kind of guy you would want to have a cup of coffee with. Another good one is The Digital Story by Derek Story (that’s really his name). Same deal, he’s a nice guy.

Update –
This week’s episode was pretty good (Scott was not present). They covered a lot of in-depth, technical information about image sensors. I did chuckle about how they got their panties in a twist over Nikon’s new camera the D90. They were drooling over the features and then….. it has a proprietary RAW format (they are all proprietary guys, so let’s just call this one new). The software that can read and interpret this format runs only on Windows machines for now (oh the cruel irony). It apparently uses some nifty Windows libraries to do it’s magic. What was Nikon thinking by ignoring the 5% of the market that they live in? TWIP is not recommending the D90 because only 90% of the market can use it. Potential buyers should seriously consider how they will be marked as a Windows user if they are ever seen carrying this camera.

Update #2 –
Scott was the host today (no Alex) – he’s such a tool. TWIP will now become my retarded photography podcast. Scott was so excited about the results of the TWIP OS survey. Over half are Mac users. I’m surprised it isn’t more. They are such fanboys, they have driven most non-Mac users away. They have a handful of other podcasts which are all Mac related. It’s a close, little incestuous family. He worships the Jobs. He said he would switch back to Canon if Nikon didn’t stop making nice with Microsoft. He said he would give up his Nikons if he had to use a PC. Fanboy first and then photographer.

Final Update –
I just couldn’t take Scott Borrrrrrrn anymore. I just deleted this podcast subscription. To keep it simple – Scott is a jerk. I choose not to associate myself with his ilk. The other guys are OK, but Scott’s monstrous ego ruins what could be a really good podcast. If Alex is not present (quite frequent), Scott dominates the show – there is not enough room for his ego and anyone else. He acts like the show is all about him. I now understand why he is a wildlife photographer – people can’t stand to be around him. TWIP is not a podcast for photographers, it’s a platform for Scott. Don’t waste your time on TWIP.

My Photo Podcast recomendations:
The Digital Story
Tips From the Top Floor
The History of Photography
Indecent Exposure
Martin Bailey Photography

Update #3
Guess who is no longer associated with this podcast? It’s time to give TWIP another shot. Remember that contest where you could win a Photo Safari with Scottso? I was wondering if anyone actually entered…… (c8

Update #4 (5 years later) –
I don’t listen to the new TWIP any more. It’s not bad and I enjoyed the guest recommendations, but it’s just too long. My commute is shorter and I am forced to budget my Podcast time carefully. Anyways, I just read this post over at Scott’s new site – Photofocus. He has switched to Windows. He even uses a  Windows Phone and a Surface tablet…….
You can read the article it – HERE
I take this as proof that there must be Heaven!

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