Neal Augenstein

Posts Tagged ‘neal augenstein’

Another Voddio workaround….

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm

VeriCorder’s Voddio – my audio and video multi-track editing application of choice – has been severely affected by iOS 7 Touch User Interface.

Recently, I and several Voddio users,  including BBC’s Nick Garnett and WTOP’s Ari Ashe experienced  problems in the Editing screen of the application, trying to move selections along and around the timeline.

After sending a video of my frustrating user experience to VeriCorder’s Kirk Symons, he was able to explain what the problem was, and how to deal with it.

Essentially, I was working too fast for Voddio, and confusing it.

“When you are tapping and sliding all at once, the UI is not being able to determine which Touch action you are trying to do,” Symons wrote in an email.

The solution: when touching the clip you want to move, hold it until a blue flash appears.

The blue flash “is the feedback to show that the UI has indicated that it recognized your intention to Move the clip,” says Symons.

Symons acknowledges the user interface determination was faster in the older iOS 6, but VeriCorder and other companies are dealing with the dramatic changes Apple imposed with iOS 7.

I’m pleased that VeriCorder’s top guns were willing to exchange emails and get on the phone to explain the workaround, but that shouldn’t have been necessary. I’m not sure why the company hasn’t tweeted the fix or included it on their website.

I do know customers who have purchased Voddio for #iphonereporting trust that it will work dependably. I hope VeriCorder will live up to that trust.

Adding Google Glass to #iphonereporting

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm

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Today was my first attempt at combining Google Glass with #iphonereporting.

WTOP purchased Glass a month ago, and I’ve been experimenting with it in the newsroom.

To be honest, I’ve been disappointed with the quality of the audio that’s recorded in videos shot with Glass.

While the video images are nice, my narrations have been distorted, and audio of anyone I’m holding a conversation with is almost inaudible.

To conduct an interview, it was clear I would have to record the audio on another device and sync it with the video.

This first video contains audio recorded on Glass. It’s tinny, distorted, and wind-affected.

This second video contains audio recorded on iPhone in VoiceMemo, and synced in post-production. In my opinion, it’s superior to audio recorded on Glass.

First impression: This is an awful lot of work to complete a basic reporter task. Even if something is technologically possible, if you end up doing MORE work than before, it’s hardly worth it.

I’m hoping Glass developers have improvements in audio hardware, software, and user experience on their radar.

iOS 7: How it’s affecting #iphonereporting

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Any operating system update invariably results in changes: some for the good, some bad, some totally unexpected.

I’ll keep adding to this list, so if you post or see any tweets about how iOS 7 affects #iphonereporting, send them to @AugensteinWTOP,

 

iOS 7 update: How to turn your iPhone into a microphone

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Just say no to old-fashioned phone interviews.

With a few simple steps, a reporter or newsmaker can record near-studio-quality audio on an iPhone, using the built-in Voice Memos app.

The interface for iOS 7 is different than previous versions, but the principles remain the same.

In iOS 7, you can now email up to 15 minutes of audio – a big improvement over previous versions.

If the file is too large to email, Voice Memos allows basic trimming, in the Edit function.

iOS 7 has a very nice new Edit feature – the option to Save As New Recording, or Trim Original.

 

Pro tips on shooting video

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm

It’s easy to shoot video with an iPhone. It’s not easy to do it well.

The built-in camera on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch allows you to shoot High Definition video, but the challenge is knowing what to shoot, how to frame your subjects, and how to edit the images to tell your story in the most effective way.

One of the things I’ve learned since I started #iphonereporting is that shooting video isn’t ‘one size fits all.’

In some cases you’ll want to…

  1. Capture breaking news as its happening, and share it immediately.
  2. Do a quick edit to string-together a few video sequences.
  3. Create a polished movie.

iphonelandscape

How should I hold the iPhone?

Hold the phone horizontally, in the landscape orientation.

Photojournalist Van Applegate with WJLA, in Washington, D.C., says since a television screen is wider than it is tall, the camera should be held the same way.

“We’re often hampered in TV news by the layperson getting great video at the scene, shooting video vertically. This limits the quality, and our ability to enhance” the smartphone images, Applegate says.

Should I use the built-in camera app or a more sophisticated movie app?

I generally shoot video with the Apple native camera app, because in a breaking news situation I don’t want to be struggling to find and launch an app, even if it offers features the built-in app doesn’t have.

Glen Mulcahy, Innovation Lead with RTE Ireland, says while the convenience of the native Apple app is great, his favorite video app is FiLMiCPro ($4.99).

“The extra features like higher bitrate, audio monitoring, with on-screen LEDs and image stabilization are really a fantastic improvement on the native cam.

Mulcahy, who publishes a VJ Technology Blog, has been training journalists to use HDV Camcorders, HD capable DSLRs, and more recently smartphones to make multi-media content for 8 years – he shot this iPhone workflow tutorial with FiLMiCPro.

How should I frame the shots and how long should they be?

“Start wide, establishing the scene, then try to go tight,” says Applegate. “Most people just want to see what’s going on as if they were there, so I find a wide pan to be effective.”

Mulcahy tells his students to “look for the most interesting parts of the action and then capture those as the detail/close up shots.”

Without enforcing a specific order in which shots should be gathered, he suggests students “get 1 wide shot, 2 mids, and then 3 close ups.”

As for how long each shot should be, Mulcahy says “The general rule is either a minimum of 10 seconds or as long as the action requires, particularly if something is entering or leaving the scene.”

What are guidelines for editing video on a mobile device?

Since Applegate – whose Twitter handle is @VBagate – needs to devote his time and attention to shooting and editing video using his traditional TV camera, the content he shares on social media is usually unedited.

Applegate shoots his iPhone video using the free Tout “quick cast” software, which provides a speedy upload of a video segment that can be shared easily on social media.

Vine, which is free, provides an easy-to-use method of shooting up to 6 seconds of video, and quickly sharing through social media. I prefer the newer free Instagram video feature, which allows up to 15 seconds of video, and basic editing.

When editing a more involved project, Mulcahy’s strategy is simple: use your best shot first.

“The audience’s attention span is short. If you want their attention, you need to “hook” them at the start,” says Mulcahy. “This often means using a strong picture and ideally a strong natural audio track to set up the story.”

On the subject of audio, while I normally use the built-in microphone for #iphonereporting, it doesn’t work well for video.

The reason? To properly frame an interview subject requires several feet of distance between reporter and interviewee.

I recommend using a standard field microphone, like a Shure SM63 or Shure SM58, with a Vericorder XLR adapter cable, which allows the microphone to be much closer to the speaker’s mouth.

What video editing app do you recommend?

Mulcahy favors iMovie ($4,99) on iPhone and Pinnacle Studio ($12.99) on iPad.

I prefer Voddio (Free, with $9.99 in-app share upgrade)

The multi-track video and editing app works especially well on iPad, but even on iPhone the interface is clean and dependable, once you learn the swipes and gestures.

voddiovideo

So, there you go – a few basics on shooting video. Let me know if you have any questions.