Watch Sunday Night Football Live Online

It was another weekend of football around my house. With the Chicago Cubs going down in 3, my hope was for a good showing by my college teams and the Bears to win over the Lions.  All went well for my teams – and Dave was happy.

As I wrote up my experience with Live Streaming MLB Playoffs, I started to be upset at myself for not commenting on the better NFL experience.  So tonight, I am doing just that.

Sunday Night Football with John Madden and Al Michaels is a great way to wind down from the weekend for me.  The problem in my house has become the number of shows on Sunday nights that everyone wants to watch. It has made it difficult for me to just sit and watch, until I found out they were streaming the Sunday Night Football games online. How awesome is that, the NFL live and online?

Unlike the attempt by TBS and MLB for having MLB Playoffs Live Online , it seems that the NFL and NBC have done everything right.

Initial Sunday Night Football View

NFL Live on Sunday Night

As you can see, they give you a few views and the picture is very clear.  You can follow players around, watch the broadcast,  watch the cable cam, or pick the sideline cam. All give you great angles and if you dont zoom in on any one you can watch them all at the same time (not fully but you get an idea of what is going on everywhere).  When in this view (or even when zoomed in) and you mouse over either the right or left sides you are given the option to switch to a different view. This again, just makes it such a smooth UI to use.

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Watch MLB Playoffs Live Online

Recently I was able to watch a Sunday Night Football game live and online and it was great. Everything about it was great. The video quality was good, the sound, the option to switch back and forth from different camera angles – all I can say is that it was well done.

Tonight I had some work to do and thought I would see if I could watch the Cubs online. What do you know, but I can. Great I thought to myself, this is awesome.

Not so much.

UPDATE:

I figured out where to get audio for the MLB Playoffs. It is from ESPN so it doesnt match the video exactly that MLB and TBS show, but it gives you some sound. If you go to ESPN Radio and hear the ESPN team covering the game – I cant tell you which one to pick but tonight the Dallas, Tx channel has the game. Like the entire setup by MLB and TBS it’s not perfect but it works.

END UPDATE

MLB Game Online

I added in the white lines (where the video was playing) to show you how they have it set up. It simply uses Windows Media player to stream the video.  The page loads with 4 screens which I figured out later can be set to the full video area by clicking the Mosaic, Backstop, Pitcher, Dugout or Batter icons. How was I suppose to know those were buttons?

Once I figured that out – it was nice to have a bigger picture.  The quality wasnt bad but it wasnt great. The sound – what sound? They piped in the sound that the camera picked up. There werent any anouncers or anything, just the sound of the crowd. This isnt exactly watching baseball online if you ask me. Luckily for me I live in Chicago and get WGN – so I listened to them. The problem with this is that the video was lagging some minute or so behind the radio broadcast. Another strike against MLB Gamecast or MLB Live and Online.

The final straw came when the video just stopped.  So there I am, watching a blank screen. I kept trying to refresh the page but couldnt find a nonflash area on the page. Finally I got it, but had to wait for it to buffer, load, buffer, and finally play. Talk about another stike against them.

So lets recap:

Sound Quality: Strike

Usability: Strike

Video Quality – Foul Ball

Streaming: Strike 3!!!

And that is when I turned it off.

Twitter WordPress Plugin

For a long time I have heard good things about twitterfeed but much like graywolf I hate to use 3rd party applications that ask for my username and password. So what else could I do but go on a hunt for a Twitter WordPress plugin?

I did a seach on WordPress for “twitter” and found some possible options but only 2 really stood out as probables:

Twitpress

Twitpress is a simple and straight forward plugin. It gives you few options but does the job. You can customize the tweet but that is about it.

One problem I have with Twitpress is that the permalink option does not work. Im sure that I could go in and figure it out, but thats not the point :). The permalink is suppose to look like “domain.com/index.php?/twitpress” and not like this:

Twitpress result

Overall, Twitpress will get the job done but its not my favorite Twitter WordPress plugin.

Twitter updater w/ TinyURL

Twitter updater has some nice bells and whistles that Twitpress does not have. You can define when you post to Twitter and get a few more options. The link is also clean and short due to the use of TinyURL, but I am greedy and would like to see some alternatives to TinyURL available.

The options though do favor Twitter updater. You can update Twitter when you create a new post (status is saved but not published), edit a post (re-save but not publish), publish a new post or edit a post. Like I said, quite a few options.

The TinyURL integration is handy due to the fact that some blog links can get very long. Take a look at what it looked like for me:

Twitpress result

As you can see, it is clean and simple. The ability to change the wording for each action is also quite handy. I think going forward I am going to stick with Twitter updater as my WordPress 2 Twitter application.

TweetDeck Review

Another day, another Twitter Application. TweetDeck is built much like Twirl in that it is build on the Adobe Air platform, but little else appears to be the same.

TweetDeck has all of the same options you can get in the web version of Twitter, or in applications such as Twirl, Twitterfox, or a Twitterlicious. You can Re-tweet, Direct Message, and Reply to anyone of your friends. It is missing the “Save to Faves” functionality at this time but I imagine that it will be added at some point.

TweetDeck does some have some great features that you may be interested however:

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Evri Review

Evri LogoI constantly sign-up for Betas and Alphas and usually Im let down. I know that its a Beta/Alpha but I just dont see a use for many of the products I look at. Times when I do see promise, they are so far from being scalable and full featured that I simply move on to the next “great” thing. Im not sure where Evri.com fits with my past Beta looks but I have liked what Ive seen so far.

People, Places, and Things

On the “main page” you get the option to view by People, Places and Things but that is it. Where is the search? I like how you show me what is popular but I want what I want. Perhaps a directory or something would be an option if they are trying to silo people to only look at “main topics”.

Evri main portal page

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TwitterFox Review

TwitterFox was named using the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid… or was it keep it stupid simple?). TwitterFox was created by Naan Studio and was originally known as TwitterNotifier. I must say, glad you all changed the name.

If you are lost and wondering what the heck Twitter even is, I suggest you go read my Twitter review and follow me (@daver) on Twitter, and then come back when you are done.

For those still with us, “Lets Get it On” (quote by Big John McCarthy)

Download TwitterFox

What? Where? Take your pick:

  1. TwitterFox Firefox Add-ons page
  2. Or from the source itself

I encourage you to use the Mozilla site (option 1) to get it. If you have never installed a plug in – you will need to allow the Mozilla domain to install. For those of us that have 50 extensions already – just wait and you know the drill.

Ready, Set, Spam Annoy Tweet

You will see a shadow of the Twitter logo in the bottom of Firefox just like this:

Right click on the icon, and select preferences and then Add Account. First you need to add your username and your password. Depending on how often you tweet or want to be distracted from work, is how you should set the “Get tweets” setting. When Im at work I have it set to 15 minutes, at home its set to 3 minutes.

Assuming you know what your password is – you are now good to go. If you are lacking in friends, I suggest you go and take a look at the Twitter Marketing list that Brian put together.

If you already have a ton of friends you will see something similar to this:

When you get @ replies they will show up green in the… wait for it… Replies Tab. Who would have thunk it?

There is a tab for DM(direct messages) but I think you get the drift by now.

So what do you think Dave?

I thought you would never ask.

I have tried Twitterlicious and have started to test Twirl. So far I have to say Im loving TwitterFox. Twirl seems great thus far as well as its very similar to TwitterFox except for the fact that it is an application with multiple user functionality (really, that is the main difference that I see). The multiple user functionality is nice but I dont need it THAT much just right now. Also, with how well TwitterFox works in Firefox and how easy it is to open/close and move on it is – I dont know if Id convert to anything other than TwitterFox.

There are a few things that I would like to see changed and Id really never need another Twitter (messaging) app:

  • Multiple user functionality
  • Telling me my password is incorrect. I cant recall my password when I login and out at times and it lets me “appear” to log in. How do I know its wrong? * I think this was due to FF, but you never know.
  • Give me a way to turn off the shading for “read” posts.

Not sold on TwitterFox like me? Check out these reviews:

Still think TwitterFox rocks your sock?

Then go download TwitterFox, set it up, and follow @naan on Twitter and thank him for this sweet FF extension. Be sure to send him a message from TwitterFox will ya and not from one of those other crappy twitter tools?

Twitterlicious Review

Twitterlicious is a windows application for Twitter (obviously). It uses the API as all Twitter applications do (well, the “good” ones) but is a desktop application. There are some other desktop applications but many of the ones I have looked at and used in the past were web based (TwitterFox).

Twitterlicious Features:

  • Small and concise UI
  • Hides itself in the system tray when not needed, and offers pop up notification
  • Displays the read and unread status of tweets
  • Allows you to control the refresh rate
  • And more – see the site for a complete list

Twitterlicious Screenshot

Twitterlicious Screenshot

Twitterlicious Quick Commands:

  • Ctrl + W — minimise the Twitterlicious main window.
  • Ctrl + R — refresh.
  • Ctrl + K — mark all twits as read.
  • Ctrl + Return — send update (same as clicking “Go”)
  • And many more

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Skitch meet Twitter, Twitter meet Skitch

It seems the folks over at Plasq have been busy. Just tonight they added My Twitter to Skitch.com. The only problem is that Skitch is still only available for Macs. *cough cough – Brian – cough cough* Now I have been told us non Mac users will have it one day, and until then I will just be jealous.

So what is Skitch? Who is Plasq? Go check them out. If I could Id get rid of Snag-it in a heartbeat for the product they have. It would also make some of my blogging way easier as well :(

If you look at the screen grab below you will see just how easy it is. The other features it has as well just makes me sit and want. I normally don’t get jealous of anything Mac – so I guess there is a first time for everything.

Or just watch the video:

*blah* I have to fix my theme as it does not play well with embedded video. Go watch the video here.

UPDATE:

So it seems that even us Windows people can set up an account on skitch.com much like I just did a short while ago.

Seesmic Initial Thoughts

Well I logged into my email tonight and found a Seesmic invitation code. I have put my initial thoughts down here and will follow with a better and more in depth review in the coming weeks hopefully.

  1. Register section is all flash and doesnt seem to let me copy and paste my invitation code. Quite annoying.
  2. Why do services make you register and then login? Are you just checking? If you dont require me to verify who I am via an email link this just becomes a stupid step.
  3. Login failed… tried on a different screen and it worked. Huh?
  4. 10 languages supported – nice. Since my Spanish and German arent all that great – Im sticking with English.
  5. When messing with your settings you can use your camera and get a quick snapshot. I wonder how many people are mad that they cant use their 10 year old Glamour shot they have?
  6. So great – I entered some info and I see what is around but now what? I saw someone with a video title of “3rd attempt to capture and send”. No help/directions? I personally dont like to read them but a few “hints” would be nice.
  7. And well – my digital video cam doesnt seem to want to play nice and it makes me wonder what others are using. I will have to do some digging and work on my camera and my set up and try again.
  8. Finding shows of interest seems to be hard as well. They have a Shows Tab and from a person’s video I can see their followers, but no search functionality. How can I find people/topics that interest me? What if I want to find supporters of a given candidate or people that are cheering for the same Idol

Well that is all I have. Its late and Im not in the mood to watch people I have no interest in tonight. Ill come back soon and try it out some more and let you all know what I like/dont like.