The Best of “Outfront”


The CBC Radio program Outfront was one the best uses of radio on the planet.

Outfront is [or was] radio stories about real life. It’s all about your ideas, your experiences, your perspectives, your story. It’s fifteen minutes of storytelling, experimental audio and new ways of making radio. Stories told from Canadian perspectives about the Canadian experience. You won’t hear traditional storytelling, and you won’t hear reporters or hosts. Outfront explores new ways of presenting stories which break the radio mold.

The producers would give ordinary people a microphone and a tape recorder, provide some basic instructions on how to record and tell their stories, and then leave them to it. The results were often compelling and — well, it was one of the best uses of radio on the planet. But then Stephen Harper became prime minister of Canada and funding for the arts and for cultural institutions like the CBC got cut.

Since then, the producers of Outfront have posted 50 of their favourite episodes available as free MP3 downloads. Get them while you can. Outfront was great radio.

Cauliflower Popcorn On CBC Radio

As I posted about previously, this week’s episode of CBC Radio’s Spark includes an audio clip from the (now) famous Cauliflower Popcorn video.

You can listen to the full episode via the mp3 they make available. You can hear me around the 7:20 minute mark and during the credits at the end. The show is broadcast nationally at 11:30am (Atlantic Time) on Wednesdays.

Big thanks to Dan and the rest of the Spark crew for allowing me and us other common-folk to contribute to their show.

The cauliflower popcorn video:

CBC Radio in Winamp

Can anyone tell me how I can listen to CBC Radio through Winamp?

I used to tune in using the direct URL page, but those links stopped working with Winamp a few months ago (at least on my machines). The direct URL page (when it was working) was an alternative to the main listening page. I always thought it should be the other way around.

I’ve emailed the CBC about this. They haven’t responded.

I also want to listen to the CBC through my wireless system again — which I can’t do through the main listening page.

I’m not a huge fan of Winamp, but I have it configured just the way I like it, and it took a long time to get it the way it is, so switching to another media player is not an option.

If anyone can find a solution to this problem, I’ll send you a copy of my next CD, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at The Time – Vol. 2, provided CDs aren’t obsolete by the time I’m finished recording it. Thanks.

UPDATE: I followed the instructions left in the comments (thanks, Mr. Walkenbach) and it works — on Jody’s Winamp at his house, but not mine. I’ve updated Winamp and I still can’t connect. I keep getting an “error syncing to stream” message. So there must be a plug-in that’s messing things up. Now it’s a matter of uninstalling my plug-ins one at a time until it connects — which is probably won’t. (Deep sigh.) This isn’t the first time Winamp has done something like this. There must be something about my system it doesn’t like.

UPDATE #2: Does the direct URL page work for anyone? Does Winamp pick up the stream when you click one of the links? (Which is what it always used to do for me.) I have a plugin-free version of Winamp installed and it still won’t work for me. If I copy-and-paste one of the links into the play-URL option in Winamp, the stream eventually kicks in. But that’s not convenient. I click the Whole Wheat Radio link and it works. And as far as I know, it works with just about any media player. Simple. Why can’t the CBC do the same? The problem may be on my end, but I can’t figure it out. So I’ve decided to use Windows Media Player (not embedded) when listening to the CBC. I copied the links to the broadcasts I want to hear (the Newfoundland and Nova Scotia broadcasts) and pasted them to my desktop. I click their icons, associate them to WMP and the streams open in WMP by default now. Not great, but better than nothing. Thanks for your help, though.

This They Believe

farside godThere Is No God, a thoughtful essay by Penn Jillette:

Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there is no God means the suffering I’ve seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future.

It’s from a radio program called This I Believe, starting on CBC radio May 14.

(via Inside the CBC)

Sam Harris on CBC Radio’s Tapestry

CBC Radio’s Tapestry program is an excellent hour long program about religion and spirituality. Today they featured an interview with Sam Harris, the author of the controversial books The End Of Faith (which I’ve read) and Letter To A Christian Nation.

Unfortunately, I missed most of the episode and CBC doesn’t offer a podcast of the show. Come on, CBC!