About week 1647: the end of podcasts, Andrew Bird and more

Well that’s the second week in a row these week notes are late. Sorry folks, it’s my intention to ideally post these in the weekend – like Sunday night – but it completely slipped my mind last night. Even though I did some preparation throughout the week. So here it goes.

Life

  • Not all was well this week in life. Family stuff, deadlines and just general upheaval. Still, there are good reasons to hope the worst is already behind us. And I still got all my good things in life. So let’s focus on that for now.

Read

  • I checked out the free trial of Storytel this week. Does this count as reading? Must ponder that question more later… But at least it gives me plenty to write about…
  • But first: I finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It’s been a long while since I got wrapped up in a story like that. All in all, it’s an exciting tale of horror, death and friendship. It’s all rather easy to consume, because of the easy language and the slightly episodic nature of the first few stories. I also listened to a clip of the audiobook, which is very-well produced and read by Mr. Gaiman himself. If I hadn’t bought the book, I might have listened to the full audiobook instead.
  • I binged-listened (in a space of 36 hours) to The Only Story by Julian Barnes. Once again a great novel by Mr. Barnes, though The Sense of an Ending had a bigger impact while reading. Inevitably, this novel deals once again with love, memories and changing perspectives. I really want to write a longer piece on this topic. And so I might. For now, I’d recommend if you want to read a novel that isn’t too long, and deals with the topics mentioned above.
  • I started listening to the recent John Green novel, Turtles All The Way Down. What struck me so far, is the little teases in the first chapter, that then get worked out in the following chapters. I can say little about the story just yet, but I like the way Mr Green is building this world.

Listen

  • Andrew Bird returned this week with the single for his new album My Finest Work Yet. Excitingly, it sounds like Bird is returning to some themes and influences from his earlier work. I played the hell out of his previous album Are You Serious? But, Sisyphus (the single) comes at a particular good time with my gf just completing her Philosophy minor (having read the Albert Camus’ work on Sisyphus among other works).

Watch

  • Besides catching up on the Dutch mystery reality tv series Wie is de Mol?, we continued our journey watching the Netflix show You. While an entertaining watch, I sometimes get heavily annoyed by it, and sometimes it’s just plain ridiculous. But I guess that’s part of the appeal?
  • More promising seems to be Russian Doll. After one episode, I guess it’s supposed to be a comedy, but the journey is still out on whether I like it. Intrigued enough to continue watching, however.

Tech

  • I really want a Homepod for the bedroom. I don’t really know why, because I don’t use Apple Music. And I already set up my old pc speakers with an Airplay 2-enabled Airport Express. So in theory, all this would do is simplify the setup and hopefully improve the sound somewhat. But I still really want it. At least if the price would drop significantly below 300 euros.
  • Spotify is in talks to buy Gimlet Media, a big podcast production company responsible for several of my favourite shows (Heavyweight,¬†Reply¬†All). While normally I wouldn’t mind two companies I use the services of hooking up together, I don’t really like it in this case. As much as Spotify tries – making exclusive shows etc. as has already happened with one Gimlet show (Crimetown), I really don’t like using it for podcasts. I’ve got Overcast for that and it’s probably my favourite app ever. It’s already very annoying that I have to find tv shows I like across multiple streaming services, but if the same is now happening to podcasts, it’s gonna be an even bigger pain the ass for me. I’ve not yet listened to the Spotify exclusive season of Crimetown, and I probably won’t until it shows up in the regular podcast feed in Overcast. I’ve not been inclined to find pirated copies of the show either, so I guess it might just be goodbye for me? Really hope they don’t go the exclusive route. If the big ones start dividing up the podcast world as well, surely the end is nigh?
  • I know the above bullet comes across a bit weird when I’m just in a trial of Storytel (and I’m looking at Audible next), but yea. It’s how I FEEL YEA.
  • EDIT: Also, I know, I can’t see into the future, and maybe Spotify can nail podcasting. But I’m just sceptical that this can lead to better things.

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