The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin has always had a technology bent to it. Intermingled with the voluminous quantity of music and movies were speeches from leading IT pundits, open source gurus and the like. Sadly, this tech bent has turned to a blogger hell with the globs set to consume an inordinate amount of airtime - and air - at next week's show.
Does Robert Scoble really work at Microsoft? One has to wonder after seeing his name appear on the SXSW speaker list. Scoble seems to scoot around the country - by Segway most likely - annoying all kinds of audiences with his "revelations" about blogging. Shouldn't someone be required to write something interesting before being asked to talk about writing interesting things?
Or maybe you prefer, the Wonkette, Sean Bonner, Jason Calacanis, Henry Copeland, Jason Goldman, Jon Lebkowsky, Cameron Marlow or Tony Pierce. Surely one blogger is plenty to describe the idea of an online journal. It's not hard to imagine the SXSW organizers looking back on this year's lineup with shame.
On a more positive note, the tech savvy part of the SXSW crowd has organized a massive music dump. You can download 750 of the songs that will be performed at the show courtesy of a 2.6GB BitTorrent file.
SXSW attendees will be able to download all of the songs from the "Showcasing Artist" catalog - mostly tunes from up and coming or unsigned artists. In addition, they can pull down a complete schedule of the show onto their iPods and search by artist name, showcase data, club name or genre. Both the music and schedule downloads are being delivered by CitzenPod.
For those who haven't heard of SXSW, there's a handy introduction page here. More impressive, however, is a sample of the music lineup. Here's one day's worth of tunes. And so you understand Austin's title as Live Music Capital of the World. [No -ed.]
There's also a full list of speakers here. Most notably, Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - will be speaking at the festival. Do your worst, hippies. ®