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Sansa to IPOD conversion

I have been using an 8GB Sandisk Sansa for my mobile media needs…that is up until last night.  I traded a new graphics tablet I bought at a CompUSA closeout for a 4GB IPOD nano with video.  At first I was going to give it to Liz, but after tinkering with it for a while I decided to keep the IPOD and give her the Sansa.  There are several reasons for this..

1. She won’t use the IPOD to its fullest extent (I will)
2. The Sansa has more storage space so she can put more photos on it and use it for client demos for her photography clients
3. I already have accessories she would need such as the carry case with clip so that she can take it with her more easily.
4. I would use the video playback more than she would.

So it worked out great for us both, she got a device she can use to store her favorite music, use in her photography business and its easily portable and easy to use.  Plus the Sansa has a built in FM radio so she can listen out and about. 

So now I have to convert all my WMA files to mp3, since some of them were DRM protected, I have to obtain the non-DRM protected versions so that I can import them into my itunes library.  I use both Rhapsody and Itunes now, I think Rhapsody has a nicer interface, but itunes is definately easier to get podcasts and audiobooks, etc. 

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Mobile Music

I have never been willing to spend a large sum of money to purchase a mobile MP3 player such as the IPOD or similar.  But this past week I found a great deal on TigerDirect for a Sandisk Sansa 8GB player.  My gracious wife made no objections to me getting it, so I happily placed the order.  It arrived on my doorstep on Saturday afternoon in the mail, and I began goign through the options and setup.  I can play video, music, photo slideshows, FM radio and even use it as a voice recorder.  It works with Rhapsody which has recently become my favorite online music source.  I like ITunes too, but I find I use it more for podcast subscriptions than music, only because I don’t have an IPOD so its not as useful for me.  I spent a few hours this weekend searching for and adding new music to my new player.  I know I am years behind and people have been doing this for quite a while, but having a mobile music player and being able to sync playlists and media and take them with me anywhere, is really cool! 

Coming up!

There are a few things I’m working on that I will hopefully be able to release on both my blog and family website soon. Here is a brief list of things I’m trying to get setup…

1. Method for web visitors to send me messages or info, perhaps post back information to my site, maybe a public category where friends and family can post messages.

2. Podcasts – We have a lot of fun doing podcasts. I hope to get the girls and Liz and I back into a somewhat regular podcast series. It would be audio only at first, probably short (under 5 minutes) and of course make you laugh.

3. Way down the road, I’d love to start doing video podcasts. This is going to take a little more thought and planning, and we don’t have the video equipment to take on this job yet.

4. Add pictures to posts – it would be nice if when I posted an update on the site if I could attach a picture to the post for a visual aid of what I’m talking about. So from now on, I’m going to try to post individual pics of the kids or relevant pictures of what relates to my post so that its not just a bunch of boring text… 🙂

5. Custom theme – at some point down the road, its inevitable that I need to try to create a custom theme for WordPress. I have up to now used freely available themes I found online and modified them for my own use. This has worked out fine so far, but its time I start looking into option to code my own theme. This would open up all kind of opportunity as to how I want the site to look, and it would be a lot of fun designing graphics and CSS for the site.

New website goes live!

Last night I decided to just go ahead and make our new website live! I thought that the new design was close enough to done to warrant moving ahead with making it public. We will still be doing some minor updates here and there, and maybe add some new functionality soon as well. We had played with some podcasting stuff a while back and I may enable some multimedia features such as podcast posts with audio only for now, and maybe video later on.

My WordPress wish list

I’ve tried many blog platforms, and am please to say that my favorite by far is WordPress. I really like the WP platform and the abundance of plugins to extend functionality. However there are a few things that can currently only be done with plugins that I would love to see become fully integrated into the core WP platform. Here is my list.

1. Better multimedia support. What if I want to podcast or post streamable mp3 files? Currently I have to use plugins such as this.player or podpress to enable this functionality. I think this should become fully integrated into the core of the WP platform

2. Lightbox – I think WP should integrate lightbox as well. This kinda goes along with the better multimedia support I spoke of above. It would be nice to have better integrated options for posts with images.

3. Gallery integration – I use a plugin for integration with gallery 2, which is great. But it would be awesome if WP could integrate support for various gallery platforms into their code. Having an options page for your gallery integration would be a huge time saver and supporting multiple gallery systems would be ideal.

4. Better uploads management. I think WP could have much better file level security and download tracking built in. It would be great to be able to have a built in downloads tracker, upload management and general file management. Perhaps some security settings, being able to restrict download of some files based on security permissions per user or something.

5. Better customization support. Sometimes its a little hard to place something on my WP site in exactly the spot where I want it. You usually have to have pretty good knowledge of CSS and PHP to be able to get it just right. Its hard for a novice user to make these kinds of changes. It would be great to have enhanced theme management to let you use an editor of some type to place custom content such as images, text, links, etc in exactly the spot you want, not just in the sidebar.

Thats about all I can think of for now, but if you (the reader) have any other ideas, I’d love to see what else people are coming up with in regards to WP suggestions. Feel free to leave your comments.

More podcasts?

Its been brought to my attention that people want to hear me and the girls sit down and do another podcast and talk about our trip to visit family last month. I definately want to do this, but my children don’t make it that easy. First, Sarah doesn’t want to start podcasting until I force her to put the headphones on, and then she won’t stop talking. Abby is quiet and not much of a talker, so I end up doing all the talking. I do plan to try to sit them down and record a little, its just a matter of getting them to do it peacefully!

Busy lately

I haven’t made a significant post to my blog in a while now (not counting podcasts). I’ve been very busy lately and just haven’t had time to put my thoughts together and post anything useful. We are going to keep posting audio podcasts to my blog for friends and family to enjoy. Hopefully I’ll find some time in the near future to post some updates.

Liz and I talk about funny family moments.

In this podcast, Liz and I sit down to tell our favorite funny family stories. These two stories deal with something Sarah has done recently. More funny family stories to come! Hope you enjoy these.

The girls and I talk about our Trip to MD/DE

In this podcast, the girls and I discuss the rain, our trip to MD/DE to visit family and some yummy orange juice pops!

Holiday weekend

Our weekend started a little early on Friday, my office closed at 1pm, but because new carpet was being installed, I stayed late to pack up computers and equipment to get it out of the way during the carpet install. So we started at 12:30pm on Friday, and were actually done by 2pm. I got home and found my in-laws had arrived, so we all went to a friend’s community pool. The kids all love to swim and it was a lot of fun. The wayer was a little chilly but only at first. We went home and ordered dominos pizza for dinner. Liz and here mom went to DQ and picked up some dilly bars for us for dessert.

Saturday I worked on web stuff for Liz’s MOPS group and my podcast site. I got most of the MOPS work done, and created a bunch of e-mail accounts. I also got the girls playing with the headset and they recorded some play podcasts for fun. I knew once they put on the headset they wouldn’t be able to put it down. They were fighting (of course) over who got to use the headset next. I posted three of their recordings as podcasts on my blog (look back just a few posts).

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