Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#ABpoli, Orange Crush, and Archives (Unwind Media | May 20-27)

It was another full week on Unwind Media, and I'm happy to let you know we finally recorded another episode of East Meets West, discussing, among other things, the recent NDP sweep of the Albertan Provincial government.

If you still haven't gotten your #Taylorette1989 videos out, or at the very least shared your stories, now would be the time to do so! Taylorette itself is a little under 6 weeks away!

On a final, new note about Unwind Media, I've been working hard to bring you show archives, so you can now find those if you go to any of the show pages below. I have no idea if any of you will find that useful, but it was one of those fun learning experiences getting the code working properly, and it seemed worth it to me!

Rob and Nick are joined by special guest and Future Chat co-host Mike Attrell to discuss the outcome of the recent Alberta election, and the NDP Crushing...
This week on Ottawhat, we sat down with Alexis Scott. She's one of the co-founders of Vacant House Theatre, a company that is putting on a production of F...
This week, we talk Let's Talk Science funding, wind turbines with no blades, and look forward to Google I/O later in the week...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Feedback wraps Season 1, and #Taylorette1989 hits Phase 2 (Unwind Media | May 14-20)

'Twas a busy week on +Unwind Media! We wrapped Season 1 of Feedback, which means Volume 1 of Feedback: The Music can't be far off! As well as regular episodes of Ottawhat? and Future Chat, the next phase of #Taylorette1989 launched. I'm looking for a video or story about what's special about my fiancĂ©e Julia, and stories about +Taylor Swift! I'd love to hear your favourite memories of Taylor!

In this final episode of season 1 of Feedback, we discuss YouTube's role in the fight against music loudness, the new Mumford and Sons album Wilder Mind...
This week's episode features Keegan's brother Branden On! He's into all kinds of creative endeavours like acting, playing music, and drawing. We also hear...
This week, are Google cars less safe than human-driven ones, Nick uses his pirate voice several times, and we all lust after $1000 blenders (or do we?)...

Share your favourite thing about Julia, and your best Taylor Swift memory for #Taylorette1989!

Hey friends and readers, July 6 is coming up fast! If you need to get up to speed, check out this post. For the next phase of #Taylorette1989, I'm asking everybody to share something about Julia telling Taylor why she deserves an extra-special bachelorette party, and also telling me about their favourite memory involving Taylor Swift. Either make your own video, or write it down and share your memories along with #Taylorette1989.

As for me, if you aren't going to watch the video above, I think that Julia is by far the nicest person I know. I love her so much, she's sweet, smart, beautiful, and she is the world's biggest Taylor Swift fan. My favourite Taylor Swift moment has to be singing along to Taylor's album in the car with Julia, but seeing her perform in Toronto, with fireworks and a packed Rogers Centre is a very close second.

If you don't have a memory or something about Julia to share, please consider using the sharing buttons under the video to like or share the video! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SoundCloud, Writing, and #Taylorette1989 heats up. (Unwind Media; May 7-13)

This week we made a couple of substantial changes on Unwind Media, most notably we're making the transition to hosting audio files on SoundCloud, as opposed to Archive.org. I'm pretty excited for that, and I even wrote a little bit about some of the neat tricks I am using now to get those files to work with podcast clients and on the podcast website while keeping the setup simple.

I also wrote a little more for MobileSyrup, rather than linking to all of them, you can find those stories by using a custom Google Search (for 'site:mobilesyrup.com "Rob Attrell" ')one of the hosts on Unwind Media and my cousin, +Mike Attrell, came up with to find things I've written.

In other news, #Taylorette1989 is entering its next phase, as +Taylor Swift begins her world tour and gets ready to launch her latest music video. Look for more on that in the next week! As well, there's a new episode of Feedback coming before the end of the week, so that means a fun conversation, AND 2 more cover tunes from Damien and BL in the next week or so! Stay tuned!

On Ottawhat this week, we met former UFC fighter and Ottawa native Mark "Boots" Holst. He spoke to us about his experiences in the ring, teaching the new...
In this episode, Tesla goes gangbusters, it's zeppelins vs. dirigibles, and trucks are driving themselves in Nevada. Get excited, because we'll be deliver...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Adventures in Podcasting with SoundCloud (Volume I)

I've been podcasting and building my website for a couple of years now, and I thought it would be useful to some people if I talked about some of the things I've gone through in getting my site up and running that I couldn't find anywhere else on the Internet. This one is all about podcasting efficiently with SoundCloud.

Now, I'm not a professional programmer by ANY stretch, but I like getting my feet wet with little bits of code from time to time. I also podcast a few times a week, and sometimes I'm lucky enough that these hobbies overlap! I recently moved my podcasts to SoundCloud, and they have a really nice web player (check out unwindmedia.com/feedback for a prime example). But I wanted to simplify my life and use one link for the RSS feed and for the web player embed.

Luckily, they use a unique ID number for each upload to SoundCloud, it's just a matter of finding it. It is a 9-digit number smack in the middle of the enclosure URL that SoundCloud uses for RSS, something like this:


With a bit of Regex and replace magic (/.*\/(\d+)\-.*/, "$1") and some simple jQuery, I can extract that number, plunk it into the embed URL (see this page), and stick that into your container div.

Once you have that embed URL, you just have to put in all the embed options you want for your widget, and you're good to go!

As SoundCloud opens up their platform to make it easier for podcasters, I hope this helps you simplify your life. I personally used this code on my Blogger site (unwindmedia.com) so I can have an audio player on my site that uses the enclosure link for the podcast episode, but in SoundCloud's native player. It's working incredibly well and I'm moving all my shows to this template in the coming weeks.

The code I used is below, and you can see it in action online at unwindmedia.com! If you have any questions please ask and I'll give you all the details you could ever want!

EDIT (May 8): I made the code a lot simpler and got rid of redundant divs. Hopefully this is even simpler now.

Pictured: Fun for Rob

<div class='"sound-container-" + "POST-ID"'/>

    $(document).ready(function() {

        var idVal = 'POST-ID';

        var idTrack = 'ENCLOSURE-URL';

        var encl = idTrack.replace(/.*\/(\d+)\-.*/, "$1");

        var open = "<iframe frameborder='no' height='160' scrolling='no' src='https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/";

        var close = "&color=1C4E94&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_artwork=false' width='100%'/>";

        $('.sound-container-' + idVal).append(open + encl + close);


Monday, May 4, 2015

I'm A Professional Writer? (Unwind Media; April 30 - May 6)

Some huge news on Unwind Media this week; I got a new job! I've officially begun writing for a Canadian technology blog called MobileSyrup, and I'm having so much fun with it! I'm writing for them mostly during the evening and on weekends, starting off pretty slowly. I've wanted to write on a professional level for quite some time, and I'm really excited to get the opportunity!

I discuss it a little on Future Chat this week (see below), and you can read my work from the last week here, here and most recently here. Ottawhat? this week was also a lot of fun, we interviewed Lilly Tran, a young woman who writes closed captioning for a cable TV porn station. I definitely did not know that was a thing, and we all learned a lot!
In this episode, we spoke with Lilly Tran, a closed-captioner for adult films. We discussed some of the weird things Lilly's heard around her relatively normal office...
This week, Rob gets a new job, we discuss Microsoft's Build conference (much to Nick's chagrin), Tesla's big new battery, and how a woolly mammoth burger...