The Redmonkers have been starting to web publish video interviews along with their usual audio interviews.Coté seems to be doing most (all?) of the work, and you can catch these as he releases them on his blog.
I like to see people experimenting with new technology, and 'upgrading' from audio to video soundslike a fun experiment (pardon the pun). But it doesn't work for me.
There really isn't that much 'extra' in a video interview, over just the audio.You get to see faces. You get to see some body language. Maybe a picture or two.
The idea of watching an interview means I have to have two senses trainedon the media: eyes and ears. You're killing my continuous partial attention!
I can't listen to it on my video-challenged iPod.
The reason I don't have a video-capable iPod is that the situations inwhich I listen to my iPod don't lend themselves to allowing me to watchsomething on the device as well: driving, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, etc.
I fully admit to being an old fuddy-duddy; even Rush Limbaugh does videoof his show. Good luck guys, and, if you can, also make the audio portionof your videos available as an MP3. I'm not alone in this wish.
But let me change the direction here. Let's look at an environment that ishigh on video interaction, and absolutely bereft of audio interaction. Yourprogramming environment. Your IDE, be it Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ, Visual Studio,XCode, Emacs, or a text editor and a command-line. How many of these programs useaudio to help you develop code? None. Well, I might be lying, I'm not familiar with all of these environments, but I don't recall any of theseenvironments making use of audio like they do visuals.
When we're programming on all cylinders, we're in 'the zone'. Continuousfull attention. Eyes reading and scanning, fingers typing and clicking andmoving mice. Where's the audio? It ain't there.
Nathan Harrington has a number of articles up at developerWorks, such as"Monitor your Linux computer with machine-generated music"which discuss ways developers can use audio in their computing environment.
This is good stuff, and we need more of it.
I would be remiss in not pointing out here that audio feedback like this is onlyuseful to those of us lucky enough to have decent audio hardware and software in ourheads. Those of us without such luck wouldn't be able to take advantage of audio feedback. Onthe other hand, folks who lack decent video hardware and software in their heads would most likely appreciate moreemphasis on a sense they are more dependant on.
The most obvious use case for audio in a development environment is with debugging. There are a lot of cases whiledebugging when you just want to know if you hit a certain point in your program. Thetypical way you'd do this is to set a breakpoint, and when the location is hit, thedebugger stops, you see where you are, and hit continue. Breaking your attention and demanding your input. What if, instead, you could set an audio breakpoint, that wouldplay a sound when the location was hit? So your attention wasn't broken. And you didn'thave to press the Continue button to proceed.
With regard to audio debugging, I know this has been experimented with manytimes in the past. I've done it as well, a decade ago, when I was using a programming environment that I was able to easily reprogram: Smalltalk.
But audio usage in development environments is not yet mainstream.There's lots of research to be done here:
What are the best sound palettes to use: audio clips, midi tones,short midi sequences, percussion vs tones?
How should we take advantage of other audio aspects likevolume and pitch and three dimensional positioning, especially regarding continuously changing quantitieslike memory or i/o usage by an application?
How do we deal with 'focus' if I'm also listening toRadio Paradise while I'm working?
Does text-to-speech make sense in some cases?
How do we arrange multiple audio feedback to be presentedto us in a way that's not unpleasing to listen to? Not just acacophony of random sounds.
Beyond debugging, where else can we make use of audio feedback?
How might audio be integrated into diagnostic tools likeDTrace?