Archive for the ‘iPad/Tablet’ Category
15 Jul

iPhone trick: How to listen to YouTube videos while multitasking or locked screen

UPDATE: With YouTube no longer being part of iOS’ core, this trick no longer works in iOS 6.

I accidentally found this trick earlier today and I thought it was worth sharing… I’m not sure if it’s common knowledge. (NOTE: I do see there are some older posts about this, but it was new to me and maybe you.)

Basically, with this trick, you can continue listening to a YouTube video via your iOS device even though you “quit” the app, are in another app or have shut off or locked your screen.

Here’s a how-to video:

Step-by-step instructions:
1. Launch the YouTube App and play a song.

2. Quit the app by click on the home button.

3. Lock your phone.

4. Double click on your home button.

5. Press play and enjoy the music!

Bonus tips:
– Also, make sure you do Step 2 by clicking the home button. That want, when you unlock your phone, you can jump into any other app and multitask while jamming.

– You can create a playlist via YouTube… but, in some tests, it didn’t automatically go to the next song. You have to skip to next song before current song stops.

This is the poor man’s Spotify… Hope you find it useful.

07 May

Real-Time Reporting, the next level of journalism

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I don’t know if this post will make sense, but let’s just call this a rough draft of a rant… or prediction… or I don’t know what. I just wanted to put some thoughts down, no matter how raw, because we’re on the verge of some significant changes.

I was asked recently by the Online News Association to lead a session on Social Network Reporting (SNR). That’s when we as journalists harness the power of Social Media throughout our process – looking for sources, crowd sourcing, distributing content, engaging with our community, etc.

I’ve done several presentations for classes and a couple of workshops, but the request was to be more “advanced” … not SNR101, but the next level.

The thing is SNR is actually very simple and built on basic concepts. After you understand the power and value of Social Media, learn the lingo and play with the tools, there isn’t much else to learn. Just make it part of your journalism routine.

In other words, there’s not really an “advanced” to SNR except maybe experimenting with the latest tools and apps.

But the idea got me thinking… While SNR is an incredibly valuable tool, one that is still being under utilized… it’s really still just a tool… and it’s a tool inside a toolbox that I am labeling Real-Time Reporting (RTR).

For me, that is the “advanced” level. That’s the next logical step for us.

The Real-Time Web is a concept that has solidified because of Social Media. What are you doing now? What do you think now? And this applies to us in journalism because it’s the same behavior as breaking news.

Social Media is key. But there are other aspects to explore in this real-time reality.

As journalists, RTR takes the latest from technology (hardware, software and infrastructure) and mashes it up with our core journalistic values (news judgment, ethics, law, spelling/grammar, etc.).

It’s journalism without a safety net… it’s hyperlocal AND global journalism… it’s working under the deadline of now, in 15 minutes and 15 minutes ago… it’s MacGyvering technology to do journalism by any means necessary.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say there is a breaking news story. Let’s imagine that there is a shooting at a local mall. We hear the news breaking on the police scanner.

Typically, the Metro/Assignment desk immediately dispatches a reporter or crew to go to the scene. Meanwhile, someone calls the authorities to get the latest information on the record.

Eventually the reporter arrives at the scene and begins to hunt for witnesses and sources. As they get information, they file it or call it in… well, they should. Or, if they are broadcast, they do a live report when they have gathered enough information.

With SNR, in addition to calling the authorities for official information, someone is also searching Twitter, Flickr, and other social media looking for people at the scene… looking for potential sources. They should also be asking for any tips and contacts through their social networks… and ask the community to spread the call for help.

When the reporter eventually makes the scene, they should announce their arrival, location and availability on their own social networks… this allows potential sources to reach out.

The news organization should make sure to take the time to thank those in the community who helped with the coverage. It should also promote the pieces, which essentially distributes the work.

In addition to the real-time of social media, there are new tools we should employ when appropriate… which takes this to RTR.

A reporter can be sending out images or live video (UStream, Qik, Twitcasting, etc.) from their cell phones. A photographer or reporter could be automatically uploading images from their camera using technology like the Eye-Fi.

If they had a laptop, camera and stronger Internet access, they could do a more complex live shot that includes participation from the audience… a live chat from the scene.

I can’t wait for the day when a low-end camcorder is going to have an external mic jack for better audio and the ability to upload immediately… we’re almost there. Kodak’s Zi8 and the Eye-Fi would be powerful together… but they currently don’t work together.

People chuckle when I pitched this, but I foresee the day when a device becomes THE reporter’s super notebook. A laptop is too heavy, Internet connections are unpredictable and it needs a power source. Meanwhile, a smart phone is too small, horrible to type on and needs to be recharged often.

In the meantime, technology is giving us patchwork solutions. The MiFi from Verizon and Sprint gives you broadband anywhere. There are external batteries that keep your iPhone and laptops charged for longer periods of time. You can buy accessories to like an external keyboard for you phone or an app to sync your iPhone camera to your cameraless iPad.

But it is only a matter of time when text, photos, audio and video are available in an appropriate sized device that easily takes journalists to the next level… real-time reporting.

And when this technology arrives, it will really begin to separate those who can produce quality journalism on deadline from those who can’t. It will test our core values. There are a lot of challenges when you go live… lots of opportunities to fail… to get wrong. So we need to be at the top of our game to build and maintain our credibility.

Professional journalists – with or without formal training – will emerge as they are no longer worried about technology they routinely use. We’re not going to be wow’ed or scared by the latest device. We’ll just embrace it and return the focus on the content… because it’s always been about the content.

I don’t know if this made any sense… or if this future scares you… or if you are as excited about it as I am… but I believe this is where we are headed.

Journalism continues to evolve… are you ready for the next level?

15 Mar

WIRED on a white horse, FTW? iPad-zines might just work

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OK, there’s been a break in the hype about the iPad, so I’d like to add an additional two cents… you may have read my first post where iPad has incredible journalism potential, but not its savior… well… I’m going to have to change tweak my tune.

Wait, wait… it’s not the savior, but done right it can create an incredible revenue stream for certain print products.

Let me tell you how I got here.

We started with Amazon‘s Kindle. The most transitional, soon-to-be-forgotten product ever… either it was gifted to you or your fit in the I-travel-a-lot-and-read-a-ton-of-books niche. The B&W experience with pauses between page flips was worth it to you (or some sucker) for a couple hundred bucks.

The NYTimes created and released their Times Reader 2.0 that even syncs to your TV or something… I really don’t know the details, because, like many of you, it did not resonate and has been largely ignored. Sorry, Google Reader and many, many others still win.

We’ve heard of the legendary eInk flexible paper that will breathe life into newspapers by dumping the cost of newsprint. And at CES we got a glimpse at Hearst‘s flexible paper. Hearst innovate while trying to please its shareholders? Um, probably not.

And, hopefully by now, we’ve all seen the Sports Illustrated‘s demo video of what their tablet could do. It’s a neat concept, but being jaded from print journalism’s track record, I doubt we will invest in a smart, creative staff that will really take advantage of this new form… shareholders may not understand the potential.

Yes, it’s all pretty much been hype or mediocre at best.

Wasn’t this going to be a positive post? What changed?


I saw the video by WIRED magazine displaying their Adobe Air iPad-zine… it was not a concept, but an actual working, beautiful magazine in all its digital-multi-touch glory. It worked! No clip art, static hand guiding me through the potential interface like SI’s.

But it’s just a video right?

If it were any other magazine, I’d roll my eyes… but it being WIRED this crazy idea just might work.

Look at their print product. Fantastic, insightful content wrapped in elegantly designed and laid out pages. It’s clear that they value and are focused on a reader experience that last more than minutes. Readers don’t recycle their issues or line their bird cages pages… well, normally.

Look at their deadlines. They are not producing the daily miracle or nightly newscast or templated site. They have time to craft a product for every edition. (The only folks with more multimedia friendly deadlines are museums!)

That deadline schedule and WIRED’s creatively is a powerful mix when translating it to a digital, interactive tablet experience… and in the capable hands of a creative staff, it makes iPad-zines worth your time and, more importantly, your money.

The presentation of content in this form taps into two things the Web has not really mastered:

> Serendipitous browsing. Meaning, flipping through pages and seeing what jumps out at you as you scan for stories to read have more going for them that an SEO-friendly headline.

> The beauty of the boardsheet. Print newspapers, but especially magazines, are not tied to templates because they have time to create an engaging layout. The limitations of space for their content, gives them a finite number of pages to work on.

I just finished seeing WIRED present their product at SXSWi (see live stream clips) and they up’ed it even more by demoing their iPad-zine on a Nexus One and iPhone… meaning, it’s not just an iPad-zine, but iPhone-zine, Nexus One-zine and so on… they are still not sure about their revenue structure, but they are hoping to bring life back into the journalism subscription model.

And, with a product like that, I’d pay.

Let’s hope we don’t mess it up! Let’s hope we invest in a creative, smart staff and give them the freedom to do their jobs. Let’s hope the content and vision outweighs the bottomline of the shareholders… or at least hope the shareholders give it a chance.

It’s going to be a big year for digital journalism. The tablets are coming, the tablets are coming! And so is the opportunity to create an engaging experience with our readers. And maybe some money too.


And who is really behind this creative opportunity? Meet Condé Nast. They own WIRED and many other magazines… but don’t judge them by their Web site.

Other tablet demos


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