Media Diary – Thursday 3rd March 2011
I am a self-confessed Media Junkie. I love it, I live it. I can’t even eat without reading or watching something. At over 11 hours, music is my primary means of relaxation. Typically, it plays all day while I work. Thursday was also a heavy day for TV at 5:10hrs. DVDs, PVR and time-shifting mean all my shows are set to recorded between Sunday and Wednesday, ready for viewing, by Thursday. My bills, banking and shopping research is done online and I rarely watch live television or TV advertisements. I don’t listen to the radio or buy newspapers or magazines and the Internet has now become my main source of information, news and current events. In particular News.com.au (3:06hrs) allows me to access the latest news, as they happen. I’m not a big user of social media and I don’t use Facebook; however, I do use Twitter (42min) although mainly as an aggregator to share and keep track of my favourite blogs, post articles and follow current events. At the moment, other interests include exploring Flikr (1:20hrs) and browsing the Mac AppStore (33mins).
6:10am Wake up to the sound of silence. I do have a clock radio but I don’t like the radio or alarms so I only use it to tell time.
6:31am Get up and go to living room/study and put some music on. The first song is “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Today I am using the DJ feature in iTunes to automatically generate a continuously updated playlist of randomly selected songs. All songs are sourced from my personal file of ripped, purchased and downloaded music. I don’t listen to the radio any more (who does?) Instead, I use an old iMac PowerPC G5 as a ‘jukebox’ by connecting it directly to the TV sound system.
*iTunes DJ is a set-and-forget feature, similar to the shuffle found on iPods and nanos, which allows me to play music in the background as I work.
6:32am Prepare and eat breakfast while listening to music. I also check my email on the laptop. Most emails are deleted (I also use the iMac for email storage and file back-up).
7:06am Arrange and sort back-log of emails on the iMac. Save and sort some and delete the rest. I do this about once or twice a week.
7:14am Recheck laptop email and delete annoying spam. I boot up my main browser Safari and go to my favourite news site News.com.au. *Since updated to 5.0.4. I have several different browsers, on my computer, including Firefox and Chrome, mostly kept for web testing purposes. Checking over the main headlines, a story about the release of the iPad2 catches my attention. I read the article but it is mostly about Steve Jobs health.
7:18am I look at an iPad2 photo gallery and then move on to search for other iPad2 related articles from various news sites. I settle on an article in The Australian.
7:30am First tweet of the day. A retweet about iPad2 using Tweetmeme.
7:33am Return to News.com.au to look for other interesting articles.
7:36am Read and Retweet an article about banking and social media and an amusing article about the Pope announcing the Jews were not responsible for the crucifixion.
8am Read a blog post about smoking in public places. Read comments.
8:12am Check Mac App store for updates and browse for cool free apps. Download Opus Domini, a free diary/planner app.
8:21am Take Opus Domini for a test drive but find it buggy and confusing. Set it aside to await an update and bug fixes. Write a review for the Mac AppStore. I love the little “puff of smoke” thing the Mac does when I drag Apps off the dock.
8:40am Submit review at the Mac AppStore for Opus Domini. In the end I gave it 3 stars. Promising, but needs work.
*Update: as of the 10 March 7 out of 7 users found my review useful.
8:45am Open Tweetdeck to check for new tweets. I mostly use twitter as an aggregator to gather and share information. Not surprisingly, today’s thread is mostly to do with the iPad2 launch. I tend to follow tech stuff: Wired, Mashable, Ars Technica and Smashing Magazine. By following tweets I can keep track of the latest news and events, share and read articles and view linked images and videos.
8:55am Email a blog link (from twitter) to a ‘non-tweeting’ client. The article is on why long sales letters are more affective.
8:57am Back to Tweetdeck to finish scanning the tweets and articles.
9:15am Transfer copy of a song to the iMac via the iTunes home share feature. Played the track on iMac twice. The song, “Shipwrecked” by Shane Alexander) was purchased yesterday from iTunes Store. I heard it on an old episode of Bones I have on DVD and ran a couple of lines through LyricSearch.com to find the name of the song and the artist. The rest was easy.
I use the iMac to play music but use the laptop to download as it is faster and has the latest software. I don’t yet play or store music on a media server or external hard drive as I only have the two computers and it doesn’t seem worth it.
9:23amGo back to Safari to check the prices for online DVD rentals. I also visit eStore.com.au an online computer retailer, to check software prices for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.
I also go back to iTunes/iMac) and switch the music back to iTunes DJ. After playing the new song it automatically continues on with the rest of the ‘Purchased’ playlist.
9:33am Go back to read News.com.au again. I look over a number of articles on various topics including sex addiction, racism, crime,religion, technology, and animals. 1xRetweet.
9:55am Switch to Firefox for Internet banking. I started using Firefox for banking as there was a bug on the bank’s website that didn’t allow me to print PDF payment receipts while using Safari. The bank suggested I use Firefox until they fixed the problem.
10:04am Download mobile phone bill from Vodafone site and pay rent and bills online. I then download receipts as PDFs from my records. I pay rent and receive all my bills as PDF downloads. I don’t print anything out as hardcopy as I don’t really like dead-tree-editions for everyday things and digital filing is quicker, easier and takes up less space. PDFs are easier to email to my landlord than a scan.
10:13am Email rent receipt to landlord’s email. She replies via email at 10:24am.
10:15am Open Mashable App for Mac and trawl through articles. Many of these I’ve already seen on Twitter. Read a few but mark the rest as “read”.
10:22am Return to Safari and News.com.au
10:38am Read and post a comment on a cute cat story in The Courier.
10:51am Check new email and recheck for Twitter updates on Tweetdeck.
10:56am Sync iPod (AKA: “the Relic”) to the Laptop and transfer new music. While iTunes does that I file the paid invoices and receipts from the desktop to my records.
11am Attempt to login to Oasis. Retry 5 times finally get in but then Blackboard fails another 3 times.
11:26am After much frustration Blackboard finally loads.
11:33am I turn off music on iMac and go to web507 and click on YouTube video “Future of TV”. No one has any business being that chirpy!
11:38am Return to Blackboard to check reading lists, assignments and discussion boards.
11:47am Turn iMac music back on and open and read the Mittel article.
I download/print all the readings for Uni as PDFs and read them onscreen using Adobe Acrobat Pro. By running the article through the OCR, I can highlight passages and attach notes without needing to print them out first. By keeping all readings on the laptop, I can quickly access a reading whenever I need it and don’t need to carry around huge files.
Safari 5 enables me to download and convert pages to PDF automatically. Some online and HTML articles, such as those from First Monday, I need convert using the “Reader” feature first. Similar to Readibility, it complies the whole article into a single feed, including all linked pages*. I can then download and print it as a PDF document.
* Last time I used Readibility it only did one page at a time, meaning I ended up with 4 or 5 separate PDFs that I needed to compile into a single document manually.
13.04pm Finish reading and notes and return to news.com.au. Check new email and delete spam. Check Tweetdeck for new tweets.
13:10pm Login to Flikr [link] to check response. I reset licenses to Creative Commons (attribution only) on most viewed images.
This is part of an ongoing personal experiment to see using Flikr will increase traffic and if Creative Commons will increase the response rate and get more views than the Copyright ones.
13:30pm Plug in mobile phone to laptop and import new photos from the phone to iPhoto.
The phone is a Nokia X6 so I use the special media sync tool from the Nokia site.
Once the photos are in iPhoto I then select and export a handful to the desktop to prepare them to upload to Flikr. I then open the images in Photoshop and crop where necessary and save back to the desktop giving each image a descriptive name rather than the numbers iPhoto likes to use.
* I don’t upload to Flikr directly from iPhoto as the resulting resolution is too low for print (see below).
2pm Upload new photos to Flikr. Once they are uploaded, I then add tags and brief descriptions and set licenses to CC for selected images, again to gauge the response.
I mostly upload images of the skies in various weathers. I don’t upload images of people without their permission and I feel skies are colourful and make good wallpapers.
My motivation for choosing these images come back to my work as a graphic designer. Working in advertising, I have seen the difference replacing a miserable overcast day with a sunny blue sky can make to an outdoor product shot. My aim is make useful ‘background images’ available to other artists and designers to use for their own work.
2:37pm Log out of Flikr and check Tweetdeck and new emails then I revisit news.com.au for updated news.
3:36pm Shut down internet and listen to music.
5:49pm Log back on check Tweetdeck and check the latest news.
6:20pmTurn off iTunes and put both computers to sleep. I then turn on the TV put on a DVD (Bones Season 3 disc 2) and turn on the subtitles as I am a little hard-of-hearing.
My TV only has one set of component inputs so I use a RCA switch box to switch between the PVR and DVD player. Technically the RCA switch is for composite inputs (Yellow for video and red and white for sound). I was going to buy a proper component switch box but the guy at Dick Smith told me as RCA is only analogue, the cables and switches are the same and can’t tell the difference between sound and video. So I went for the cheap one and so far he’s been right and saved me a bundle.
7:10pm I leave the DVD Playing while I prepare and eat dinner and do the dishes etc. After Dinner, I sit down to watch the rest of the disc.
9:10pm Once the DVD has finished, I turn it off and switch over to the Beyonwiz to watch some prerecorded episodes of my favourite TV shows. My TV is analogue so, the PVR also functions as a set top box. I watch time-shifted episodes of Bones I recorded on Sunday and Monday plus an episode of NCIS, I recorded on Tuesday.
I rarely watch anything live as I find adverts annoying and off-putting. Luckily, Time-shifting digital TV also records the closed captions as well, which is very useful if you’re hard-of-hearing, like me. It was something the VCR never did. In the analogue TV days I had Teletext, which was complicated and fiddly and meant I had to turn it off and on again every time I changed the channel.
These days I always skip the adverts. The Beyonwiz has programmable skip functions, which allow me to set the arrow keys on the remote as skips. I’ve set UP to 3 minutes (enough for most ad breaks, according to the Beyonwiz forum). DOWN is 1 minute backwards while RIGHT is 30 secs forward and LEFT is 10secs backward.
11:30pm I turn off TV and everything else and go to bed.