I swear, getting a new 'pu-ter is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand I now have access to so much content that I've never been able to take advantage of like podcasts, free mp3's, or watching movie trailers. On the other hand it just opens new doors to my own computer stupidity. Things that seem so simple and probably are seem completely backwards, complicated and outright dumb.
Take RSS/XML feeds as a fer'nstance. So, I want to be notified of when a new podcast is available from my favorite site, and there's this handy dandy button on that site marked RSS or XML that says "Subscribe to this podcast." Seems innocent and plain enough, click the button and the internet/computer magic starts and some tech fairy will either a). deposit said podcast into an e-mail sent to me that I can download and listen to (preferable), or b). deposit a nice message in an e-mail saying that said podcast is available with a handy dandy link to said podcast (acceptable.)
So Shawn decides to go for it. Click on the link and all that comes up is a page of programming script (I assume its programming script, to be honest I just don't know.) So obviously (though it's not) I can't just click on the link. One trip to the wikipedia to find out what this new fangled RSS feed is all about and I find out that I need to download an aggregator program that supposedly scans the internet for this type of content and collects it for my reading/listening pleasure. Okay, so this sounds like something that runs in the background while I'm surfing the internet and it seeks out and grabs this stuff that I can play with when I'm offline.
Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Does it work like this? I have no freaking idea. I downloaded and tried two highly recommended aggregators and both were utterly confusing to me. From what I can tell both programs were basically online when I tried to view the content. So on the one hand it seems dumb because I'm online as it is to go to these sites, so all this seems to do is create a menu of links to these podcasts/journals/etc., basically acting like my favorites folder. Now it may only be populated by sites with updated content, but honestly, is this that much different than clicking through your favorites to visit the actual sites?
Maybe this is much more beneficial when you subscribe to like 80,000 sites worth of content and you don't want to surf through then all, but for me it's just unwanted software on my pc that's not saving me any real time. Am I missing something? I can't seem to find a site that breaks it down to me like I'm retarded with a hearing problem.
Listening to: TMBG - 3A podcast
Reading: Desperation - Stephen King
Watching: Mariachi flicks