Written by Media, Radio, Technology, TV

Things That Have Piqued My Interest Recently

Further proof that BBC Four is the best channel in the UK comes through a series of excellent programmes that have been on-air this week:
– Storyville had YouTube Hero: The Winnebego Man starting briefly with the stories on people who made it “big” on YouTube, but highlighting the story of Jack Rebney who shot to fame via an outtakes tape from an “industrial film” (i.e. corporate film) detailing the features of said range of camper vans. It’s really worth watching.
Upgrade Me with Simon Armitage is a timely repeat of a documentary from a year ago in which the poet and gadget fan examines why we feel the need to upgrade all the time. It’s not a perfect film, but I found it worthwhile after my little piece the other day, and coming on the day that Apple releases its new range of music products (of which more anon).
– I’ll happily watch just about anything on climbing or mountaineering. At the weekend we had the excellent Great Climb on BBC Two Scotland (watchable via Sky) and BBC HD. Watch the sequence about 23 minutes in. And then BBC Four tonight had The Eiger: Wall of Death.
More or Less is back on Radio 4. If you’re not already, you should be subscribing to their podcast.
– I enjoyed Legacy on Radio 7 but must admit that I’ve not played the accompanying game yet. It’s getting a repeat on BBC Radio Scotland very shortly so hopefully episode 1 will be back online to listen to via iPlayer.
– It wasn’t the greatest MacTaggart lecture ever, but I think Mark Thompson had some relevant points to make about Sky’s investment in UK production.
– I was a little underwhelmed by Apple’s announcement today. My favourite iPod is the Classic. It’s the only one with enough capacity for my needs, yet Steve Jobs seemingly neglected to mention it despite saying the entire range was getting an overhaul. If it gets discontinued, then I’ll have to look for a new portable music manufacturer. I’m not at all sure about the new look Nano which seems to be a step back to the horrible looking third generation device and not actually usable in the hand. The Touch is fine (although Apple still seems to limit FM radio to the Nano), and the Shuffle becomes usable again (if mostly pointless without a screen). But Apple has again concentrated only on the US with Apple TV. Not only does $99 = £99 in Apple world, but there’s no TV programming available. Now if they’d got iPlayer, 4OD, ITVplayer, Sky Player and LoveFilm on the device, they’d have people falling over themselves to buy one. Internet on the TV is the future of TV – not 3D. But Apple has missed in a trick in beating Canvas to the punch. If I was Sony, Samsung, LG or Panasonic, I’d be rushing to get my £99 device into the marketplace which does all these things even if it’s just these things. The jury’s out on iTunes 10 because while it’s a sophisticated piece of software, changing icons isn’t the same as a ground up rewrite which I believe this software is in dire need of.