IFTA nod for The Secret Of Kells

THE SECRET of Kells has been included in the shortlist for Best Film at the 7th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards. The product of years of hard work by local studio (Kilkenny) Cartoon Saloon, the animated feature has been going great guns on the international film circuit over the past year so it’s no surprise to see it included in the running for the IFTAs.

This vibrant animation is a spirited retelling of the provenance of Ireland’s mosted cherished artefact, the Book of Kells. With the Viking hordes approaching, the monks of Kells are forced to turn their attention from transcripbing manuscripts to building barricades. The future of the precious book is in jeopardy and it falls to Brendan, young nephew of the abbot Cellach, to save the day.
The Secret of Kells is Cartoon Saloon’s first feature film and was directed by Tomm Moore with Nora Twomey as his co-Director.

Congratulations to Tomm, Paul Young (producer, who is also working with us at The Devious Theatre Company in the upcoming Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay) and all involved both in Ireland and overseas on the continued success of the movie.

If you’re interested in hearing from the director himself, I produced a series of podcasts for the Kilkenny Arts Festival last year, one of them being a post-screening Q&A session with director Tomm Moore. Grab it here via iTunes.

Host Your Own Mix Tape

Opentape on PlaylistMix.com

Muxtape was great. Then it got shut down. Now it’s on the way back.

You could upload any mp3s you wanted, get Muxtape to host a mix tape for you, pass the link around, provide download access to the MP3s etc.

While Muxtape is set to make a return and allow the hosting of playlists again, there is an opensource alternative in the form of Opentape. It’s been around for a while but it was only last night I got to roll out a self-hosted version for the Playlist Mix.

It is opensource so it will be as flexible as you decide to make it as this custom design shows.

The idea is simple – upload it to a folder on your server (you need to be running PHP5+), set an admin password and start uploading your tracks. There doesn’t seem to be any way at present to make multiple mix tapes from one install though there’s nothing to stop you rolling out the script into multiple folders. You can then upload tracks through the browser interface or ftp them into your songs folder and away you go.

I’ll be using it to run a mix tape of the acts featured each month on the podcast. It’s light, it’s easy to use (though there are some style errors in IE6) and it’s free to download.

A Facelift for PlaylistMix.com

Anyone following the Playlist Mix on Twitter over the weekend (or myself for that matter) would have spotted some talk of design work going in the run up to the 45th show. That design work got pushed live last night. It’s possible it will be a bit rough around the edges on IE users – I say possible because I haven’t had the chance to check and correct anything Internet Explore-wise but I’m happy with the new layout.

The podcast itself returned to normal service a week ago following a winter break and has also moved to Sunday nights for 2009 (a lot more accessible to me the way things work around here).

You can grab the 45th show here (show linkdirect mp3 link) or listen to last week’s show here.

Of course, if you’re in tyre-kicking mood I’ll be getting back to things around 3pm today so feel free to let me know what you think. In terms of planning, the Christmas break did wonders for me as I’ve been able to get a nice plan in place for additional podcast elements in terms of interviews, video and more content between tracks. Plus, the new schedule is a big plus.

Check out PlaylistMix.com and let me know what you think, or grab a listen to the latest podcast below.

Playlist Mix Podcast show #45
[audio:http://playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/122/0/podcast045.mp3]

40th Playlist Mix Podcast Lands

Bloc Party
Creative Commons License photo credit: wonker

The first of this week’s podcasts is finally online. I’ve got to learn not to go browsing around MySpace with 20 tabs open on the laptop while ProTools is bouncing out the show.

Especially when it’s getting close to 1am and you’re already tired.

Technical difficulties aside, you can listen to the 40th Playlist Mix here or click here to download the show (27mb mp3). There’s music from Bloc Party, Ingrid Michaelson, Gum and more. You’ll also get a listen to the current radio advert for The Devious Theatre Company‘s ‘War Of The Worlds’ which wraps recording this Sunday.

The Sound System Podcast with KilkennyMusic.com records and airs tonight and will likely feature a lot of chat, recaps and mental flashbacks from the 2008 Irish Web Awards in Dublin on Saturday gone.

Playlist Mix #40
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/94/0/podcast040.mp3]

Playlist Mix Wins Best Podcaster – A Thank You

Playlist Mix wins Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards
Photo robbed (hoping he won’t mind) from Keith Bohanna

So last night in Dublin myself, Costigan and 298 other people (maybe a few more or less) turned out for the 2008 Moviestar.ie Irish Web Awards.

While we had made plans to attend long before the longlists and shortlists were announced, it was nice also nice to be represented in two categories – myself as Best Podcaster with Playlist Mix (weekly on a Tuesday) and myself and Ross there to represent KilkennyMusic.com in the Best Music Site category. Little did I think I’d be walking away with a trophy and a bottle of champagne to match!

Then of course, little did Elly Parker think she’d end up wearing the bottle of champagne, but when someone sprays you in Formula One-style celebration, it’s only right to return the gesture.

I’ve no idea what I said in accepting the award – nothing to do with the two pints and a tequila I’d had before taking my seat for the start – but the surprise was genuine and I apologise if I sounded like a babbling idiot on stage. Though photo evidence suggests that both Ross and Darragh have the acceptance on video.

Seriously though – thank you. To the judges, to the other podcasters in the category, to Karl Deeter of Irish Mortage Brokers (category sponsor), to Damien and the web awards gang, Moviestar.ie (I’ve been looking for a new DVD player for ages), Darragh and Niamh for the roof over our heads for the night, to those of you who listen to the podcast and those of you who have yet to listen to the podcast (there’s plenty more to come!). Thanks to Ross as well, always nice to have one of your own share in something like that. Though I blame you for the tequila issues throughout the night. God help the Radisson staff… the look of sheer wonder and disgust on their faces at the same time.

Winning an award aside, the IWAs was simply one of the best nights had out in ages. There were a whole lot of hugs, drinks, chats, random singing, dancing, eating (the food was outstanding), more drinking, more chats, more hugs (why all the hugging?) and finally getting to meet up with the likes of Eoghan, Robin and more.

While it was good to catch up with familiar faces, the awards once again served as a fantastic outlet for connecting with new faces. Introductions were made, chats were had, ideas shared, plans revealed and batted around.

Forget to mention too – thanks (again) to Damien… for the poster. Something I developed as more of a promo graphic to be passed around blogs will now hang on my wall in an extremely lifesize manor… it’s huge, the print quality is great and it’s a total bonus 🙂

Of course, like an idiot, I left the award behind me. Shows how much I was actually expecting to win! Having guarded it safely for the night and stashing it behind the couch on returning to the house from the hotel, I remembered to pack everything into the van… except the award stashed safely behind the house.

While it gets minded in Dublin until Wednesday or Thursday, I’m going to pick out a shelf to hang and place the award on… it’s not all that often I pick up an award so I’ll treasure that one.

Thanks.

Seriously.

Thanks.

Breaking 100 Podcasts

Ken McGuire's home podcasting setup

I started podcasting on a monthly basis back in November 2006 (though it could have been every three weeks to coincide with the One Take Sessions).

The monthly turned tri-weekly, turned fortnightly, back to tri-weekly and now weekly. That’s just with KilkennyMusic.com who during the week (yesterday in fact) managed to deliver the 61st Sound System Podcast. Admittedly, if we kept the same schedule throughout the year and didn’t take a summer break we’d be a lot closer to the one hundred mark for that particular podcast.

In March 2007 I started the Playlist Mix, abandoning the podcast after three shows. PodCamp Ireland in Kilkenny (September 2007) gave me the much needed inspiration to set out a regular podcast schedule for that show, and as of this Tuesday night gone (again, incorporating a summer break due to a hectic three-show schedule with The Devious Theatre Company) the Playlist Mix has reached show number 39.

Put the two together – you get 100 podcasts, which considering the average lengths of the podcasts (45 minutes and 30 minutes respectively) you’re looking at over 65 hours of podcast content, chat and music.

Then I got involved in the weekly PodCamp Ireland podcasts as well, but that’s another story altogether.

There’s an awful lot of learning in producing 100 podcasts, something I’m putting into the production of a further two podcasts (one monthly show due to start in November) and something that has also opened the doors to professional work through podcasting. Both podcasts have settled into a nice groove and with the Sound System Podcast in particular (which went from a four-host show to a two-host show) I’m delighted that it’s taken on a life of it’s own, something these two gents know all to well about in recent weeks.

So for this week, why not check out the 61st Sound System Podcast (download) or the 39th Playlist Mix (download) and let me know what you think.

Playlist Mix 37 Goes Live

Pato Banton

Recording in a studio with no lights is no fun. Just like stubbing your toe is no fun. When you do the two together and podcast in the dark, it’s bound to become a little interesting.

As I wait on this week’s KilkennyMusic.com podcast to upload I point you in the direction of the 37th Playlist Mix podcast featuring this 90s reggae-loving gem (above), Pato Banton.

The 37th podcast brings you another 30 minutes or so of podsafe and independent music, six acts, six tracks and some background in between. It arrived online later than expected, due to unforeseen technical difficulties with lights, a crashing browser and ultimately electricity but it’s there for all to grab now.

You can download here (about 28mb) or stream below. You can also check out PlaylistMix.com for the podcast archives, see past shows and subscribe via the feed (opens iTunes) to find out what I’ve been listening to during the week and just what’s been hitting my inbox.

Playlist Mix 37
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/87/0/podcast037.mp3]

Playlist Mix 36 Released

Vesta Varro

They Playlist Mix podcast series returned two weeks ago after a light summer break and I’ve just released the 36th Playlist Mix this evening, a little earlier than usual.

I’m doing well of late in the battle to set a definite finishing time work-wise during the day so I can free up more time in the evenings. More time in the evenings means earlier podcasts, earlier to bed and less of a fight with myself on a Wednesday morning before phoning into the PodCamp Ireland podcast show.

It was PodCamp Ireland last year in Kilkenny that gave me the much needed kick to put the Playlist Mix on course and since last October I’ve managed to release 32 podcasts. I’d be looking at close to 50 had it not been for the serious lack of any evening-time in the summer thanks to producing and acting in two back-to-back performances from May to August with this devious bunch.

As always on the podcast there’s six tracks from six different acts with music this week coming from Vesta Varro, Planet Rewind, This Is Fiction, Annie Golliath, Satellite State and Ro Tierney who I had as a guest at the One Take Sessions in Kilkenny last year.

I’ll be catching Vesta Varro in action in Kilkenny this weekend but until then, enjoy the podcast. Comments always appreciated 🙂

The podcast has also been longlisted / nominated for Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards, another fine night in store for the Irish web community this October 11th in Dublin.

Playlist Mix Podcast #36 – Download @ 27mb
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/83/0/podcast036.mp3]

Irish Web Awards Long List Published

Oscars 2008
Creative Commons License photo credit: julialat34

The first of the long lists for the 2008 Irish Web Awards (Fall in love with the web again).

I’ve spied the Playlist Mix (Best Podcaster) and Kilkenny Music (Best Music) amongst the list of exceedingly good Irish web sites and resources.

Once again though, as in the case of the Blog Awards, these long lists are opening my eyes to other sites and resources I’m either unaware of or just don’t get to enjoy all that often. So while it’s certainly welcoming to see two of my internet babies on the long list, it’s great to have the eyes opened up to more great Irish websites.

Registration to attend the awards, taking place on October 11th in Dublin, will open soon.

See also: Long list for Best New Web Application / Service, second part of long list (just published).

Podcamp Ireland Podcasting Setup




Podcamp Ireland Podcasting Setup

Originally uploaded by kenmc

I meant to get this posted to the blog a week ago or so – my podcasting set up for the Wednesday morning call for PodCamp Ireland.

In the run up to PodCamp on the 27th in Kilkenny (this month) myself, Bernie Goldbach and Krishna De have been chatting every Wednesday morning at 9am for a one-hour podcast show.

There’s regular interviews, some banter between ourselves, a hosting/domain tip from Blacknight’s Michele Neylon and a few other bits thrown in for good measure.

So while you might hear me on a Wednesday morning, this is what I’m looking at in one corner of my office.

Note: the description was actually in the flickr profile but the jist of what you’re looking at (outside of the laptop and second monitor) is a shielded Shure SM58 (stand cut into the desk) feeding through a Digidesign Mbox 2, connected via USB to the MacBook Pro. All audio for the MacBook on the call is routed through the Mbox, allowing me to use the SM58 with Skype.