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The Digital Lifestyle


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Friday, December 28, 2007

Santa Left A Bag of Features!

Here’s hoping everyone is having a great holiday season. You know, we haven’t just been opening presents around here... You should notice some interesting changes with the channel. First, there’s now a fullscreen option below our player window. Just press the little icon with the box and outward facing arrows, and you will be blessed with the station full screen in all it’s pixel-y goodness. Now if only we would’ve implemented that before showing the yule log for three days. Moving on...

There is also a live chat feature, allowing viewers to chat in real-time. There’s some debate about whether this feature will be on all the time, or just during interactive shows. For now though, you can meet new people and talk Apple all day long just by clicking on the chat button below the player. 

Perhaps the biggest gift though? TDL for all! Now by clicking on the menu button, you will see an “embed this channel” option. Yes, you can have TDL playing right on your own blog, facebook, or myspace page. Feel free to do it, but it would be great to hear from you if you do!

And speaking of interactive and live programming, be sure to join us for the premiere of TDL Live, Wednesday January 2, at 9pm ET/6PM/PT. After that broadcast, the show will move to its regular timeslot on Mondays at 9PM ET/6PM PT.

So thanks again, and here’s to a great 2008!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yule be glad you read this...

We’ve put a lot of work into the network over the next month, and it’s time for a break, although it will be quite brief.  If you happen to tune into to TDL from the 24th-26th, you’ll be greeted by a familiar sight of the season. A Yule Log. We’ll be back with our normal programming on the 27th.

Then, get ready for a busy January with new shows, and of course, Macworld. We’ll be sharing more of our plan for covering Macworld in early January. Thanks again to everyone for helping make the network a success. Happy holidays everyone, and we’ll be back in full force in January.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Segway Polo: Post-game

By Ryan Ritchey

The holidays and jet lag have pushed this blog back several more days than intended. As you probably know, on Sunday December 16th, we did the first Live broadcast of a Segway polo game. For those who missed it, the video is on the network, and there will be a direct link to a highlights video shortly.

On the technical side, we certainly learned a lot from the broadcast, and we’ll be ready for some exciting live broadcasts next month. More details on that soon.

As for the event itself, Woz and the rest of the San Jose Aftershocks, as well as the Oakland Junkyard dogs couldn’t have been friendlier or more welcoming: after the broadcast, we had a chance to play Segway polo ourselves. I’ve got to tell you, it’s a lot of fun. While it’s easy to laugh off the sport, the fact is, it’s just as legitimate as a lot of other sports, and perhaps the best combination of traditional sport and modern technology possible.

It was a wonderful experience, and an ok broadcast. Not bad for our third week on the air!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Very Special Announcement

I’m proud to tell you that TheDigitalLifestyle.tv will be presenting the world’s first live broadcast of a full Segway polo match, featuring Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak. This will be our first live production. Why Segway polo? Well, beyond Steve’s connection to Apple, I honestly think, (and I might be the only one here who thinks this...) that Segway polo will become a legitimate sport, with a national (or international) league in the next ten years. It’s the perfect blend of technology and sport. And it’s just plain fun. So I hope you’ll check it out!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Special Show: Tope Five

Hello again. In addition to adding new episodes of our existing shows, and adding new product reviews, and the debut of “Two Minutes,” we’re working on a special countdown of the top five Apple products of all time, and we need your help.

Please visit our forum, and give us your thoughts on the top five Apple products of all time!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Show of Hands: Who wants more shows?

I just wrapped up shooting a product review of the Nike Plus iPod Nano accessory. That’s not the half of what we’ll be shooting this weekend, though. We’ll be doing new Root Access show, new Gary’s Garage, and the debut of a new show. Plus more content from our other podcasting friends will be added. Look for all of it to start hitting on Monday. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The First 24 Hours... Part Two

After the first entry, we had the distinct pleasure of getting “dugg.” For the uninitiated, digg.com is visitor driven news aggregator. Sorry if that’s not quite the right web 2.0 terminology, but the concept is, someone submits a story, other people choose to “digg it” which moves that story up to the front page when enough people have “dugg” it.

We made it all the way to the top slot. Which meant a LOT of simultaneous visitors, and a lot of comments about the site on digg. We made it through with me only being called a tool once, and only three pleas for someone to hack the site. By digg standards, I think we held up fairly well.

One of the fun things about watching the channel for me, is watching the realtime feedback in the number of people watching at any given moment. We’ve already learned one thing: in this format, anything over about eight minutes, and people start to bail. So we’re going to try something new: we’re going to keep all of our original shows to seven minutes or less, and when we have to go longer, we’ll split up the show with additional content. So you might see six minutes of root access, a few Apple YouTube clips, then back for more root access. This format will also be more easily digested by those just stopping by and browsing. I look forward to hearing from you on this.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back in my toolbox...

The First 24 Hours... Part One

Phew! It’s been quite a whirlwind getting the network up and running. With 24 hours under our belts now, I wanted to answer some of the feedback from viewers so far...

Many of you have asked why our channel cannot be viewed on the iPhone. Well, we couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the technology that makes our stream possible is flash-based. Our friends at Mogulus, have done a tremendous job, creating software and options that are simply not possible in any other format, including QuickTime. The easiest way for this to get fixed is a flash plug-in for the iPhone. While we’ve heard rumblings that such a thing might be on the way, for now, you’ll need to use a flash-capable device to see the live streaming network. That said, we want to look into making our own shows available in a QT format (on the Shows page) that will allow for iPhone playback. It won’t be the same as watching the network, but it’s a start...

We are really excited about the content on the channel, but like a lot of you, we want more! We’ll be looking for more new content, as well as shooting more original content almost daily. And if you see any YouTube content we should see, send an email: feedback@thedigitallifestyle.tv

Monday, November 26, 2007

Launch Day... Pre-Game

It’s 10:45AM EST. In just an hour and fifteen minutes, we’ll “throw the switch” and The Digital Lifestyle channel will officially launch. There’s a lot to be done in the next hour or so, but I thought I would offer some pre-launch thoughts, which will probably be re-visited after today.

First, it is amazing to think about the technology that makes this site possible. While the design leaves something to be desired, the relatively quick nature in which everything has come together, would have been unthinkable five years ago. iWeb has allowed us to quickly build the site. The magic of podcasting has allowed us to find some of the best talent in the Mac universe to be part of the show. And most importantly, the technology from Mogulus that makes our 24-hour stream possible is a game changer. The ability for us to go live, at any minute, 24 hours a day is astonishing. While most of our program day will consist of pre-recorded shows, rest assured that we’re ready to go live whenever we need to.

Second, this is as good of time as any to talk about the goal of the website. First, it should be interactive. Not in the “social web, hey add me as a friend way,” but rather with meaningful video segments contributed by viewers. Next, this channel focuses on Apple and The Digital Lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean we will have blinders on to the rest of the tech industry (there’s a reason it’s not called “the Apple Lifestyle” channel). While we are quite enthusiastic about Apple products, we want to, at the same time, present a realistic, and when necessary, critical look at the business practices of the company. You can love the products and still be skeptical of the company behind them. And finally, I want this channel to set a precedent for a “third way” to broadcast. We want to shed the millions of dollars of overhead associated with traditional TV networks, while at the same time, bringing an aggregation of great content together in a way that thousands of individual podcasts cannot.

So there you have it. The Digital Lifestyle. Apple news, rumors, and lifestyle, 24 hours a day... Enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Adventures in iWeb

While there are plenty of people involved with the launch of The Digital Lifestyle, who know web layout and html,  I decided to put iWeb through its paces. Hey, if it’s billed as a simple web creation tool from Apple, we should be able to put our little network together, right? Well...

First things first: if you’re trying to use a version of iWeb prior to iWeb ’08, don’t. There are no customization options for adding html. I was reduced to creating text boxes, with the text “REMOVE TEXT” then uploaded the files, opened up the file in the fine Coda program from Panic Software, then inserted the code I wanted where the “REMOVE” note was left by myself. Since iWeb would overwrite the last file each time, this means I would have to repeat this process after each change. Not very practical.

Thankfully, iWeb ’08 includes a handy “html snippet” option, which makes it drop-dead easy to add your own code. There are even buttons for integrating Google adWords and maps. Be warned: If you’re using that handy adWords feature, Apple will be taking a cut of your revenue, according to the terms. Why, I’m not sure. You’ve paid $99 for .mac and $79 for iLife, you would think they could leave your pennies alone. That’s our Apple though.

The other frustrating part of iWeb has got to be the strange manner in which the files you’re working on are saved as one big xml document, that cannot be accessed from another computer: I couldn’t work on this page from my laptop across the network, despite the fact the original file was sitting in the same room on the tower.

This wasn’t intended to be a product review, but it looks like it’s just that. I’ll give the older version of iWeb a one out of five stars, while iWeb ’08 gets three out of five.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We are live... Sorta...

Today is the day. We’ve been working at a breakneck pace to get the site up and running.  We’re longtime Apple users, and while we enjoy their products, and probably border on, or are firmly in the fanboy department, but we’ re going to bring the good with the bad, and appeal to anyone using Apple products as part of The Digital Lifestyle. Yes, forums will come, and all kinds of site goodies. For now though, enjoy our video feed, bringing you continuous (and occasionally live!) Apple updates.

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