Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ipod as Field Guide

I’ve been playing a lot with an iPod video that I got over chistmas. I am most excited about the ipod’s use as a portable information device. Pod2Go (for macs) is an ap that lets you sync movies, weather, news etc into your ipod Notes. That has been really interesting. I’ve yet to really use that info as I am still waiting for otterbox case to come so I can take my ipod out of its wrapper (i just cut a few holes in the packaging that it came in to make a temporary scratchproof membrane.) But after that, I want to turn it into my dream-come-true digital field guide. I have a DVD on order with videos of 512 birds of North America that I am gonna encode and dump on there as a bird guide. There is also a company that makes BirdPod, where they encoded the Stokes birding by ear CDs and make a bunch of playlists for you. I want to start scanning my paper guides to get images in there. And it should only start with birds. I’d love to have a field guide to aircraft, cars, flowers, dogs, what have you. Even just thinking about audio field guides, imagine one of accents of the world, where you could try and find out what language someone was speaking, or where in the US they were from, by listening to little samples… Folks are already creating their own audio guide and walking tours to their favorite places. One big difference between a field guide and a tour guide is that the field guide requires more attention and interaction to enjoy. A good menu structure and quick navigation is important to keep a person's eyes and ears on the world around them, rather than buried in the podiverse.

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