Dorward's Ramblings

Traditional media and digital broadcasting

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The Friday Night Comedy podcast comprises episodes of The News Quiz and The Now Show. For 6 weeks in the summer, both of these programmes are off air and Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive is broadcast in that Friday night slot. We don't have the rights to include this programme in the podcast but you can listen to it on the BBC iPlayer via the Radio 4 website. The podcast will resume when The News Quiz returns on Friday 26th September.

Have I even mentioned how much I hate the licenses that traditional broadcasters have with content producers?

A very small number of items are distributed via podcast, so you can download them and enjoy them wherever (oh, except for the sections which are replaced by one of the presenters saying "Due to licensing restrictions, podcast listeners are not hearing Joe Bloggs singing Gotta Love DRM").

The rest? Well, you get one week to watch or listen to them online. If you miss it, you miss it (so much for the iPlayer making these things unmissable).

Downloading? No, the license requires that the broadcasters do everything they can to stop people doing that. Thus making me muck about with mplayer and its --dumpstream switch.

It doesn't even need to be that complicated. With a few clicks I can have a computer record the program when it is broadcast over DVB, convert it to mp3, and drop it on a webserver with an RSS feed I can subscribe to in my usual podcast client. The only limitation is that I have to know about the program in advance.

It is exasperating that they have to go to all this effort to have little effect other then to annoy people.

On a similar note, Outpost Gallifrey has news on Dr Who appearing on iTunes, but only in the USA.

While most of the titles released so far have already been made available on DVD, such as "Carnival of Monsters", "Mark of the Rani" and "The Ark in Space", a number of stories have been released that are avaiable nowhere else (with the VHS releases now long out-of-print), like "The Krotons", "The Sun Makers" and "Planet of the Spiders".

I would quite like to see The Krotons, its one of the few episodes of Dr Who I haven't seen yet. However, despite living in the country where it was made, I can't buy it online (and it isn't out on DVD yet).

Things tend to come in threes, so I might as well complete the pattern by complaining about anti-piracy adverts.

Buy a DVD? (I own lots) Well done, now sit though a message telling you not to pirate movies.

Buy a cinema ticket? (I go about once a month). Well done, now sit though a message telling you not to pirate movies.

Pirate a film? Yes. Well. Straight to the good stuff (or so I'm told).

BrokenTV spoofed a poster that describes the whole sorry mess best.

I live in hope of big media, one day, giving us what we want. I wonder if it will be before or after someone creates a sustainable method of electricity generation efficient enough to power the world and produce chocolate as a side effect?

While I'm ranting at the traditional media industry, I'll drive off on a tangent to quickly to moan about the BBC (again) and the cinema (again). This advert is far too long, has a number of complete idiots on it, and starts out with the BBC "forgetting" that if you get something wrong when filming, you can edit the result.