Neal Augenstein

Broadcasters are missing a huge mobile opportunity: Engagement in apps

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

engagementappmockuppUPDATE (1/17/2015): WTOP’s new engagement app is available for download, in iOS or Android. Click here to see how the app is an easier alternative to VoiceMemo.

EARLIER (1/14/2015): Ask any radio or television news organization, and they’ll tell you “mobile is the future.”

So why aren’t any broadcasters acting that way?

Most news bosses have read the headlines — more people are consuming news on mobile devices, so news organizations need to make their content easy to view on phones and tablets.

Responsive mobile sites accomplish the important goal of ensuring a user can view and navigate stories and advertisements.

Yet, all these organizations that unveil a new site and consider their “mobile strategy” done are missing half of the opportunity — to harness and harvest the audience’s infatuation with always having our phones in our hands, and our tough-to-quench thirst for having our say.

Click here to read my entire PBSMediaShift post.

Once-vital VeriCorder now on life support

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm


It pains me to report that VeriCorder — the single company  (besides Apple) that facilitated my #iphonereporting — is on its death bed.

VeriCorder, whose multi-track audio editing app has gone by the name of Poddio, VC Audio Pro, VC 1st Video, and now Voddio hasn’t updated the app since November 2013, hasn’t tweeted in 15 months, and has removed its mailing address from its website.

Yes, the app I’ve used for multi-track audio and video editing since 2010 still works with iOS 8, but with more and more crashes.

And now we know why.

Gary Symons, a Canadian former journalist who founded VeriCorder, while technically still president, has moved onto other things, says cousin Kirk Symons, in response to my emailed inquiry about who’s in charge.

Kirk Symons tells me the software assets of VeriCorder Technology are in the process of being sold to a company that hopes to renew and grow the services in the near future.

Kirk Symons says he’s taken over the sales of hardware accessories — including one of my key accessories, the XLR Adapter, which Kirk says he designed — into his own business, called VeriCorder Outlet.

It’s kind of bittersweet the moribund VeriCorder website still contains an unpaid testimonial I contributed, circa 2011: “With my iPhone and VeriCorder apps in my pocket I’m always ready for whatever happens.”

Ironic. And sad.








It’s not you, it’s me, 6 Plus

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm

IMG_0964I had high hopes for our relationship, iPhone 6 Plus.

You’re gorgeous, smart, strong, and refined, but I’ve gotta be honest — you’re more than I can handle.

Yes, the iPhone 6 Plus looks gorgeous, and produces beautiful photos, video, and audio, but I didn’t realize how important being able to do things with one hand was/is to me.

If all I used the iPhone 6 Plus for was creating multimedia content, I’d be happy. Editing audio and video is easier with the larger screen.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t foresee that the balance of the phone, in addition to the extra inches would mean I would have to use my left hand to brace the phone and reach for the top of the screen, while I thumb-clicked and held the phone with my right.

I’d taken for granted how easy it was to take my iPhone 5 out of the holster on my left hip with one hand to quickly check an email, tweet, or snap a photo.

While I tried to make it work, and ordered a holster for the 6 Plus, I’m afraid the chemistry just isn’t there.

I’ve confided in WTOP’s Technical Operations Manager Brian Oliger – my iPhone wingman — that it’s just not working out with the Plus.

Maybe that iPhone 6 is more my style.


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