blocsonicRadio Wax MP3 player

The blocSonic netlabel has hooked up a Wax MP3 player for their stuff, like the player for Magnatune’s music or the player for uptempo net music that I hand-curated. The player is at Their blog post about it is at

This player is designed for music that is good but unfamiliar. It guides the listener through songs without requiring the listener to know anything them in advance. So it’s a natural fit for netlabels, who are long on taste and short on marketing.

The player is a new kind of music experience that is unlike webcasts, music blogs, MP3 player software, or podcasts. It’s free and open source. See github to get the core package. If you want a hand setting it up, don’t hesitate to ask.

reverse chronological video playlist

I clicked through to a video page on Talking Points Memo. The video autostarted. It lasted about a minute. When it was over, the page automatically flipped to another video page which behaved the same way. The second video was the previous posting. After it was over, the page reloaded to the page of the prior video. Etc.

So it’s a playlist composed of cooperating video pages, where each one does the same thing to keep the sequence going. And the playlist is in reverse chronological order, with each track a news clip.

It felt pretty compelling in its own way, but also gave me a little whiplash as the browser lurched from one page to the next.

future of publishers as potential future of labels

Richard Nash on the future of publishing

In my next venture, how would I reconcile the traditional author-agent-publisher-printer-warehouse-wholesaler-retailer-reader supply chain with the potential power of the Internet as a platform? I say “as a platform” to distinguish from how most publishers currently use the Internet—mostly as a logistics and marketing tool. Working with my friend and fellow publisher, Dedi Felman, what emerged from my research is a model that to some will seem unconscionably radical, to others unconscionably conservative: a business that properly avails itself of all the tools that now exist to enable the creation of writing and reading communities from which all else emanates—print books, downloads, marketing and publicity, editorial services—and, of course, revenue.

content packaging tech explosion

Things that are closely related: ebooks, the CMX and Cocktail music packaging formats, the offline features of HTML 5, and single page web apps. And maybe Adobe AIR.

Except that epub, the open format of ebooks, usually doesn’t support Javascript.

If I had to bet, I’d put my money on epub. The model of providing a zip file of HTML with an XML manifest is an easy evolutionary step which has been invented independently many times. CMX/Cocktail could easily migrate in that direction.

Epub uses an XML manifest, not something developed under the umbrella. My experience with the XML is that it’s a bit cumbersome and could be simplified by using more plain old semantic HTML in its place. But whether a production is more useful than plain old XML is a different question.