Neal Augenstein

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Powering up for Inauguration Day coverage

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm

#iphonereporting Go-Kit for Inauguration Day

The biggest challenge I anticipate is keeping my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini charged for eight to twelve hours. So, I’ve pulled together several charging options I can use with both devices.

  • Stitchway UltraPower 1900 mAh Backup Battery Charger — each cost $5 on Amazon, so bought three.
  • Energizer Instant Charger Made for iPod/iPhone — takes 3 AA batteries, so with a 10-pack of batteries can recharge phone three times. Cost $17 at Target.

Both styles of chargers have the old 30-pin connector, while the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini have the new smaller ports.

  •  Lightning to 30-pin adapter cable. Pay the exorbitant $39 at the Apple Store since knock-off cables rarely work.

Wind is expected to be a problem. The iPhone’s built-in microphone is susceptible to a stiff breeze.

  • Windscreen for standard microphone. $4 at Radio Shack.

With the lack of available AC outlets for recharging, I’ll likely limit the use of the Verizon MiFi. Uploading audio reports shouldn’t be a problem, because the iPhone 5’s LTE is super-quick.

And, at the end of the day, when I finally find a Starbucks, my standard charging cables may come in handy.

Mr. Augenstein’s iPhone Goes to Washington (and the Newseum)

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

It’s been a few weeks since Jeff Sonderman at Poynter Institute was kind enough to document my donating my iPhone to the Newseum. I’m indebted.

Facebook Messenger: Not ready for #iphonereporting

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm


I had high hopes when I read Facebook Messenger on iOS devices was updated to include voice messages.

As you see in the first photo, a reporter could choose to Record Voice, in addition to sending a photo to a Facebook page.

In the second photo, by pressing and holding the red button, the reporter could record and automatically upload up to one minute of audio.

In my mind, this would be another, even easier way for an #iphonereporter to deliver studio-quality audio from a mobile device, directly to the WTOP Facebook page.

Even more encouraging, I envisioned this as a one-touch method for listeners/viewers with iOS devices to add studio-quality, rather than phone-quality audio to the conversation, which could be recorded from the WTOP page and used in reporter pieces.

Here are the problems:

1. While the Facebook Messenger mobile app quickly and effortlessly uploads clip to another’s page, the audio quality is mediocre — about as poor as a cell phone.

2. Facebook Messenger only facilitates interaction between an individual user Profile, not a Page, which is geared for businesses (like WTOP) and organizations.

With so many ways to deliver studio-quality audio, including the Vericorder apps and SoundCloud, the ease-of-recording for a reporter is far outweighed by the degradation in sound quality.

And, the inability for listeners with Facebook Messenger to interact  with a commercial page, means they’ll still have to switch to the station’s website, or  Facebook page, or make a cell call.