While iTunes Match is perfect for storing your music library in the cloud, allowing you to access it from all your iOS devices, there are many audiobook fans who can’t listen to their favourite titles. First, whether you need to go to the trouble of setting up your audiobooks for iTunes Match depends on where you acquired them.
If you have ripped audiobooks in your iTunes library at bitrates of less than 96Kbps, you have the option of upsampling them. The other option is to keep both sets of files – the ones at the lower bitrate for your iPod, say, and the higher bitrate files for iTunes Match. The easiest way to do this is to select the files you just converted, press C-I and in the Album field add something at the end of the album name, such as low bitrate or iPod version.
With this technique, you can put audiobooks in the cloud for listening to whenever you want.
A dead or stuck pixel on the screen is very hard to notice, but when you do discover one - your eyes will be drawn to it constantly. In this article we will let you know the differences between dead and stuck pixels, and what to do next. It's the worst feeling when you notice this little imperfection on your beautiful TV screen, as it ends up distracting you from watching the bigger picture and thoughts can start creeping in about sending it away for repair. This usually happens from a transistor fault - responsible for carrying current which lights up the pixels on the screen. Please Note: You can cause damage to the screen, which can invalidate your warranty so take caution. If the above step hasn't solved your problem, you might want to try running software which can detect and attempt to fix the stuck pixels. The RSA or rather, to give it its proper title, The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, is one of the UK’s oldest and most respected membership organizations.
The Society was founded in a Covent Garden coffee shop in 1754 by William Shipley, an artist and teacher. Today, the RSA has a global “Fellowship” of around 27,000 members and a civic remit “to develop and promote new ways of thinking about human fulfilment and social progress”. This afternoon, we’re in a meeting room at The University of Westminster for an open workshop intended to explore the practicalities of creating a truly networked RSA. Since November 2007, the RSA Networks project (backed by NESTA) has been looking at new ways to engage and empower Fellows. The ambition of the RSA Fellowship team, says Laura, is very much to build a strong distributed network.
Another Laura, Laura Billings, who’s the RSA’s Senior Fellowship Researcher, starts to talk about practical developments.
To develop a taxonomy, a tagging system, written by Fellows (sounds a great idea but I’m not at all clear how this second will work in practice). Laura and Laura listen with the worn patience of parents who are watching their children throw food over the kitchen as they try to feed themselves. RSA council member Malcolm Forbes stands up to give a brief presentation about the social media tools that have been introduced since the Networks project kicked off. The RSA is dealing with the same problems faced by many businesses today: What does ‘networked’ actually mean to us? I get an image of RSA CEO Matthew Taylor with a pack of more or less amiable but hungry dogs.
The Fellows I speak to seem to agree that the problem rests largely on Matthew’s shoulders.
There’s no denying that Matthew is intelligent, charming and has impeccable left-leaning credentials, but its completely possible that he feels uncomfortable with any full abdication of responsibility, and the idea of truly letting the “natives” run riot. From where I’m standing, it seems that The RSA has flourished under Matthew Taylor: The Society has a stimulating programme of thought-provoking events, and a reasonably high profile in the media. A few days after the workshop, there are signs that a message of some sort may be getting through: a new thread on membership has started up on Matthew Taylor’s blog, one to which comments are invited – and, for the first time, the RSA’s Chief Executive is responding. NESTA’s shiny glass and chrome offices on the edge of the City of London are rather swanky. Needless to say, the 160 guests who’ve just arrived seem to take to this 21st century environment like proverbial ducks to water. Toby estimates that around 2,000 people in London, maybe 10,000 across the UK believe that social media has the potential to create a positive difference in people’s lives. Most of the delegates seem to enjoy the spirit of evangelical optimism, others mumble about “hippy rubbish”.
The way unconferences work is that it’s up to the audience to decide the agenda and put on the sessions (which works great if you’re not paying, not so well if you are).
Amplified08 has the additional twist in that we’re urged to go to sessions we wouldn’t normally go to. Inspired by Dave Eggers’ legendary TEDtalk, Drew wants to do something for children using social media that really engages them and produces positive results.
Drew mentions that, despite the stereotype of young people revealing everything about themselves online, sometimes anonymity is preferred.
Another contributor whose name I failed to get refers to the web as “the eternal memory of our indiscretions”, which turns out to be a nice term used by academics Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross (Carnegie Mellon University) to describe the nature of social networks.
Comments veer from the indignant (“Governments are pushing immense amounts of money into these very ill patients…the market is saying ‘this is dead!’) through the reflective (“The idea of a social stock exchange is interesting…”) to the blatantly optimistic (“If we had a few top notch developers and a few lawyers we could develop something great and hand it to the UN!). No firm conclusions are reached but everyone agrees the conversation is worth continuing – the hashtag #bw2 is born. Alastair – or Ali to everyone who knows him – is bit of a champion of all things digital, so the fact that his internet bank should be shafting him in this manner is ironic.
Two years ago, Ali and his partner, Andy McLoughlin, launched Huddle from a renovated warehouse in South London. Not only have Andy and Ali created Huddle online, they’ve also replicated a mini-version of the concept offline. A mutual friend introduced Ali to technology specialist Andy, funds were raised from Eden Ventures – and Huddle was born. Take up has been enthusiastic, with the company’s user-base growing steadily by around 40 per cent each month (“Because we’re a low cost technology with a relatively small base, the impact of the credit crunch, so far, has been hard to see”). And, despite, the current gloomy economic outlook, Ali’s for the future are bright: he admits to having “Google-esque ambitions” for the company. That social element is key in a company where the majority of the workforce are under 30 and keen to feel that they are involved in something that’s about more than just making money: “Our culture is not just about business. A friend of a friend of mine spent years in business development for the BBC before he decided to pack it all in and become The Master Genie of The Universe.
A few weeks ago (when he popped in for dinner), The Master Genie alerted me to a number of websites that he felt were pointing the way to the future of leadership.

It’s strange, this hippy thing, because hippies can be a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses in their constant talk about the looming Apocalypse, and the fact that their (to the majority, slightly barmy) ways are the only route to salvation. A lot of this can, frankly, be put down to bad marketing – Whirl-y-gig founder, Fraser Clark, banging on about over-use of black bin liners in an illegible font isn’t going to impress anyone, yet a book like The Celestine Prophecy, covering similar issues (though not, specifically, black bin liners), sells over 20 million copies worldwide and spends 165 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now that the liberal, free-spirited baby boomers are becoming grandparents, isn’t it inevitable that ‘hippy’ values become more mainstream? The irony is that the recent inflation in petrol and food prices is forcing even the most cynical of us to reconsider our consumerist behaviour. George Por, executive coach to businesses, government and NGOs, happily admits to being a bit of a hippy.
The thing about George is that he seems to be getting the right sort of people to listen to him. George is keen to support what he refers to as “the transformation of organisations” and what he calls “evolutionary leadership – large scale systems thinking”. I’m quite happy to believe in the positive evolution of humankind, but would like some hard scientific facts. It’s a non-committal sort of day (overcast, chilly) and I’ve got a fuzzy, non-committal sort of head (not enough sleep, one too many glass of red). Here I am, later than desired, dragging my feet through the urban roadwork frenzy that now marks the entrance to London’s West End.
In fact, everyone and everyone who goes to Tuttle is interesting in their own right, so when all these lively, interesting people get together, then something super-interesting should potentially occur, right?
There are the regulars – James Whatley of SpinVox who sits in the corner tapping away at his laptop, but will happily offer up instant mobile phone surgery to anyone who needs it. There’s photographer Christian Payne who, in typical web 2.0 fashion, now makes more money out of social media wizardry than he probably ever can taking brilliant pictures. There’s singer Lobelia and her partner (in life and work), Steve, who come all the way up here on the 159 bus from Herne Hill, and then all the way down again, just for the vibe.
And there’s Lloyd himself, generally avoiding the limelight, smiling sheepishly, and asking for the occasional fiver here and there.
Apparently the C&H opens up especially early just for Tuttle, but this place reached notoriety many years ago as Francis Bacon’s prefered watering hole so it’s no surprise at 11am to see a handful of warn-looking punters holding the bar up. You need to nod politely at the punters, say hello to the staff, and step neatly past them through the bar and up the narrow stairs behind.
Every week there’s a sprinkling of newcomers (who Lloyd does his best to welcome and make feel at home). The model has proved so popular that ‘Tuttle Clubs’ are now spreading to other parts of the UK – Brighton and Birmingham are both starting up in the next few weeks. In 2001, Adriana Lukas was working for a large financial firm in the City of London when she started blogging with Samizdata, a quasi-political blog “for people with a critically rational individualist perspective”. Back then, there were dozens of bloggers rather than millions, and the term social media wasn’t even a glint in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. Adriana liked blogging so much, she left her finance job and started up an agency, the Big Blog Company, telling businesses how to use blogs.
With a degree from Oxford University and an earlier stint spent at ‘Big 5’ consultancy, KPMG, she could have been your archetypal management consultant.
As Adriana sees it, the business structures we see today are the result of many different layers, wrought first by industrialisation, then by the impact of mass media and, finally, by complex legal regulations.
Traditional business behaviours throw up “limiting mental models” which people need to change if they are to evolve.
Maybe we have hit an era of constructive deconstructivism, where ‘0’ is celebrated as a something?
A time of ‘everything you know is wrong’, where we all need The Haitian to come and do a little ‘reprogramming’.
With organisations like Steve Moore’s Policy Un-plugged and Cliff Prior’s Un-limited, and Brian Winston preaching about Unknown Unknowns, is it time to launch Un-KnowHow? Russell recommended Ze Frank’s talk on ‘brain crack’ as the best description of organisational use of ideas he’s seen. HelloiKnowHow® is an award-winning innovation consultancy, run by Jemima Gibbons, author of Monkeys with Typewriters: Myths & Realities of Social Media at Work (Triarchy Press, 2009). Simply download the free Audible app for iOS and then create an account with a username and password. After doing so, make sure that you don’t follow the usual method of selecting the tracks, pressing C-I, going to the Options tab and selecting Audiobook from the Media Kind menu. In other words, you can convert the files from their existing bitrates to 96Kbps so that you can use them with iTunes Match.
We recommend that you create a new playlist with these files, which makes it easier to delete them after they’ve been converted. If you do this, we recommend that you tag one set of files so it’s clear which is which. This means that each version of your audiobook will be a separate album, and you’ll be able to sync them easily. This application allows you to join files together, but you can also change the bitrate when doing so.
When this occurs the pixel will usually look out of place or turn into a grey or red colour. First, turn off the TV screen and then gently rub the area on the screen that has a stuck pixel with a micro-fibre cloth.
Before assuming the worst, try following the steps above to make sure they are not just stuck pixels.
His extensive private client list includes national governments, international institutions and multinational companies such as Daimler, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fujitsu, and Google. What would he say to someone unable to sense the presence of any “deeper longing”? Shipley’s co-founders included the leading progressive thinkers of the time: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson and William Hogarth,.
The first year was intended to be one of “chaos” – a period of experimentation and innovation – followed by a year in which ideas would “coalesce”, allowing a clear roadmap for a third phase, “leadership”, to emerge. She likes to think that the Society’s internal office team of ten is there to support and be fully integrated with RSA Networks.
And also a growing sense that the workshops, seminars and ‘tasks’ (from setting up a Facebook group to building a model with plasticine that represents “the RSA you want to see”) are now simply a diversion from the real goal of getting this 250 year old organization to actually open up. One points out that Matthew’s background as a Chief Advisor on Strategy to Tony Blair means that he is used to operating in a political, rigidly hierarchical world, seeing things very much in ‘top down’ terms.
It’s a bit like finding yourself in an uber-stylish wedding, one of Anouska Hempel’s boutique hotels or, possibly, the latest series of Battlestar Galactica.

The auditorium is a sea of gently humming i-phones, laptops and digital cameras as people blog, tweet, message and record each other with all the earnestness of a roomful of children writing notes for Santa. Bouyed up by the confidence around social media in London, and un-deterred (in fact, positively spurred on) all the talk of credit crunch Christmas and looming recession, Toby and Mike have decided we’re in a ‘perfect storm’ for change. Amplified08 aims to harness that conviction by holding a series of ‘unconferences’ across the country – visiting a different UK city every three months, and culminating in a massive event in Summer 2010. It’s possible we’ve become part of a cult, but then no-one has parted with a large amount of money or disowned their family…yet.
Half the fun is outside of the sessions where you’re meant to network like crazy, preferably with people you don’t know (difficult in social media settings as its always the same hard core who show up).
I start off with #15: Dynamic practice interfaces for local government (business case), followed by #23 Young People and Social Media and #06 Bretton Woods II (okay I admit that last one excites me, but it’s getting late). Drew teaches ICT at a comprehensive in Hertfordshire and has nearly 2,000 followers on Twitter. All around the room, there are general gripes and moans about the way the education system (in the UK at least) doesn’t address social media properly or, indeed, seem to take it seriously. He produced a collaborative play where pupils of all ages contributed lines and characters. I’ve never heard this term before but google it and find out it was coined in an EMC report earlier this year and refers to the data you unintentionally leave about yourself as you browse, make purchases or are filmed on security cameras.
He recalls the story told by Danah Boyd of a young black man who passed the Oxbridge entrance exams but was rejected because of the derogatory anguage he used on his MySpace profile. Why are kids being taught to use pc-based Word and Excel, he asks, when open source and cloud computing is more important to the future of the web? He’s about to exchange on a house and the electronic money transfer system of his bank – a well-known online only service – has gone down. The idea behind Huddle is simple: a network of online workspaces where people can chat, share files, organise a project, etc all in a safe, protected environment, but with anyone they care to invite, anywhere in the world. Their Bermondsey warehouse space is shared with a number of other technology start-ups, and they run a regular event, DrinkTank, specifically for tech entrepreneurs and investors. Needless to say, The Master Genie no longer has much time for mortal work, being kept busy granting wishes to anyone who chooses to ask, via his Myspace page.
It seems that we’re all buying organic vegetables, wearing tie-dye and inhaling at High School (thank you, Barack).
Last month, the UK saw a decline in car use for the first time in years (thank you Steve Moore for pointing me to this), while in the US, sales of gas-guzzling cars have nose-dived (thanks Janet Parkinson!) and airlines saw an unprecedented drop in air travel during their usually busy Labor day weekend.
He was a senior research fellow at INSEAD and a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics, before becoming PrimaVera Research Fellow at Amsterdam Business School. Lloyd thinks this is an effectively low barrier to entry – Tuttle is open to everyone, but then you do, of course, have to hear about it in the first place. This week there’s Laura Whitehead (Popokatea), who’s come all the way from Devon, Arseniy who works for a Moscow-based PR firm, Mala who’s flown in from Bangalore and Sofia who’s studying in London but comes from Caracas (hmmm, Tuttle’s gotta do something about that carbon footprint).
Since January, Lloyd has been running what is now known as the Tuttle Club – a space where social media types in London can get together to chat, work and collaborate. When I started up this ‘social media cafe’ it seemed to make sense to call it the ‘Tuttle Club’.
Managers are so bogged down in the day to day minutiae of running the organisation they don’t have a chance to be aware of what’s really going on. If you think about a typical business organisation, certain words come to mind – control, autocracy, systems, closed – whereas if you look at the web, the networked world, it’s completely the opposite. How long does Adriana think it’s going to take before the ‘2.0’ message gets through? Not only do audiobooks not show up in your purchased list, but since they are protected by digital rights management (DRM), you can’t convert the files into the format required for adding them to iCloud. To do so, go to the General tab of iTunes’ Preferences menu and click on Import Settings.
When the pixel goes white, it's called a Hot Pixel and can usually be fixed in the same way as a stuck pixel. The aim of the Society they set up was to award premiums to innovative liberal arts and science projects, and “to stimulate enterprise for the common good”. In the middle of each table a pile of cling-wrapped plasticine and bags of Lego hint at the fun to come. She admits that the realization that a distributed network was needed and how that network might interact with or even “become” the RSA was not a firm idea at the onset but one that has developed organically over the past 18 months. It’s Matthew who capably chairs virtually all the discussions, and gives interviews on behalf of the RSA across press, TV, radio and web. And the blog’s wonderfully un-ironic tagline “Politics, brains, social action and the day to day life of the RSA’s chief executive” must have been written by someone in PR. Making contact with hundreds of people across the world, whether it’s to discuss technology or share recipes, seems to re-affirm his belief in the general good of human nature.
When he offered to throw a party so all the cast could meet each other in person, the pupils refused – they liked the fact that a grade 11 was working alongside a grade 6 but completely unaware of the fact – that anonymity actually enhanced the creative process because there were no pre-conceptions about what each party was capable of. The shadow makes up a part of your digital footprint – the mass of digital information there is about you, including email, social-networking, blog posts etc. The sharing and openness is great (although yes, that could all change once big money is involved), but for now the momentum seems positive. This makes sense if you want to save space, since audiobooks don’t need to be at a bitrate as high as music, and are usually very long. In the Import Using pop-up menu, you can choose either AAC Encoder or MP3 Encoder; neither offers any particular advantage for use with iTunes Match. Steve’s efforts to build a workable wiki for best practice across the UK’s 400 odd local councils are admirable. But Ali is having to jump every time his Blackberry bleeps, and he’s constantly apologising. As always with these things, the real issue will be not so much the technology per se but getting people to actually interact fruitfully with the thing once it’s up and running. Next, set Stereo Bit Rate to 96Kbps, Sample Rate to Auto, and Channels to Mono (unless you’ve ripped in stereo, as you might for full-cast recordings). This may take a while if you have a long book, or just a couple of minutes for shorter books. Then select Optimize For Voice, and click the OK button three times to save your changes and close all the windows.

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