Archive

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’
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.

08 Dec

The GoPano Micro could be awesome, but still has a bit to go

GoPano MicroI just got a new tech toy in the mail that I think could be pretty effective in journalism.

“Could” is the key word.

The GoPano Micro (around $80) allows your iPhone to record and upload 360 videos that lets users to zoom in/out and scroll while watching the video. (I didn’t know this, but they have adapters and software made for better-than-iPhone cameras.)

It’s pretty easy to install and start recording. First, you snap on an iPhone cover and pop in the periscope-looking lens. Then you install the app and creating an account. That’s it… you are ready to go.

You can record, view and share your 360 videos through your phone. The videos are even embeddable.

It’s all pretty simple.

Except for one significant issue… the image focus is not good. It’s bad.

Here are two tests I did:
USC Heritage Hall

My USC office

The @GoPano Twitter account did respond to my request for times on how to improve the focus by providing me with these links:

  • http://support.gopano.com/customer/portal/topics/98224-gopano-micro/articles
  • http://blog.gopano.com/2011/10/20/where_have_my_pixels_gone/
  • http://support.gopano.com/customer/portal/articles/221550-how-to-manually-calibrate-the-gopano-micro
  • They didn’t really improve anything, but I appreciate their responsiveness.

    I think software/app tweaks could really improve this device. Perhaps allow touch focusing as the video is recording… that way we can really control what gets in focus, rather then everything slightly blurry.

    If the quality of the image improves, I can easily see this in a variety news situations and events. Can you imagine how awesome this would be in the middle of a riot?

    Outside of the obvious need to improve the image, the next cool feature would be to live stream the 360 video.

    There is no doubt that the technology is coming… I just wish it got here with my GoPano Micro.

    07 May

    Real-Time Reporting, the next level of journalism

    Comments off

    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?

    29 Apr

    Daily Show’s Jon Stewart tells Appholes to “chill out”

    Comments off

    Jon Stewart had a GREAT segment ranting against Apple and the Gizmodo raid. He’s not pissed about the journalism angle, like I am, but more what side of the sledgehammer Apple is on now.

    He’s an Apple fanboy, but he had to call the company out.

    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
    Appholes
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

    Full episode here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-april-28-2010-ken-blackwell
    (NOTE: I know these rotate, but I couldn’t help but notice I got the Verizon Droid ad and later an AT&T ad preload before the clip.)

    28 Apr

    Blogger’s Journalist’s house gets raided, why aren’t we more angry?

    Gizmodo's Tale of Apple's Next iPhone
    Image by Gizmodo

    Let’s gets this out of the way. There are a lot of unknowns here and probably lots of potential shady things yet to come out. This story, no doubt, has legs… and lots of them.

    But, I have to say, I’m starting to feel really disappointed in the lack of outrage journalists are having to the Gizmodo raid. Maybe I’ve completely missed it, but we should be up in arms here!

    And by “we,” I don’t just mean Webby nerds, tech geeks or digital dorks. By “we,” I mean journalists in every newsroom cross platform, across the country.

    Where is the statement by the Society of Professional Journalists? The American Society of News Editors? The Online News Association, for heaven’s sake!?!?

    If you missed it, Gizmodo posted a recap from their point of view, but here’s my understanding: (Note: You could easily do a search-and-replace here and change “lost” or “found” to “stolen” … or can you? Too soon to say.)

    Act I: A new, prototype Apple iPhone was “lost” at a bar in the Bay Area. When this news first broke, many of us thought it was a crafty Apple P.R. stunt rather than a bonehead mistake. Turned out it was the latter and the bonehead employee was later named.

    Act II: The “finder” of the phone allegedly attempted to contact Apple to make it aware of the misplaced device… but in the end, Gizmodo paid an estimated $5000 to get their hands on the “found” iPhone.

    Act III: After Gizmodo posted a video and photos showcasing the “found” iPhone, it received a memo from Apple asking for their missing property back. The device was “bricked,” or remotely deactivated and made useless, presumably by Apple.

    Act IV: Police raided the home of the blogger/reporter who posted the Gizmodo item. They actually knocked down his door while the blogger was not home and seized several pieces of equipment, which included laptops, iPad and more. The police have halted their investigation, once someone pointed about that the blogger is more than likely covered by the federal and state shield law.

    Act V: ??? Who knows, but I can’t wait to find out.

    Again, let’s get certain things out of the way here.

    Yes, Gizmodo practiced checkbook journalism to purchase the iPhone. This is not a practice many of us do, condone or can even afford. But, sorry y’all, this type of journalism exists and is more common than we’d like to think. (One word: Paparazzi.)

    Second, no matter the quality of it, Gizmodo is actively doing journalism. It’s not part of a legacy masthed, but one that was built by covering tech news — and it does so fairly well.

    Third, you and I don’t know the details yet of how that phone was truly acquired. Hell, if Gizmodo was smart, they probably didn’t ask. But the device was acquired… someone leaked it… someone lost it… someone stole it… but the “it” was, and still is, big news. (Did you know Nokia has a missing device? I’m guessing not. Why? Because it ain’t an iPhone.)

    Lastly, a journalist’s house was raided by authorities in connection to the device that he openly admitted and publicized he had. Don’t you think that was a little over the top?

    So, I am asking myself, why aren’t we more pissed here? Where is our journalistic outrage? Where is the angry mob with pitchforks defending the first amendment right?

    Would we be more outraged if instead of the phone it was some classified government document? Or if instead of a corporation like Apple contacting the authorities, it was the government?

    Y’all, this is one of the biggest stories in modern journalism and we need to be on top of this… we need to get angry… we need to pick up our pitchforks pens and craft, at the very least, a statement that says this is not okay!

    I love Apple too, but I love journalism more.

    28 Jan

    Two business card alternatives: Save the trees, embrace the geekiness

    My paper contacts in my office.

    A few months ago, I uploaded a photo of my trusty, old Rolodex onto Facebook.

    Over the years I have met some great people, collected a ton of business cards and attempted to alphabetize them in my Rolodex.

    That alphabetizing part only lasted about 20 minutes some ten years ago.

    Since then, I have had piles from different conferences strategically growing on my desk, in my backpack and around my Rolodex.

    So, if business cards don’t work for me, what would?

    Here are two ways I’ve begun sharing my contact info. Both of these I learned from people at I’ve meet at conferences.

    The first is the extremely, iPhone-geeky-awesome Bump. This was introduced to me by David Stanton (@gotoplanb), Poynter Institute and University of Florida instructor, and all around cool tech guy. We met at AEJMC and sure, it probably took longer than physically swapping business cards, using the bump was much more fun. More importantly, it gets the contact information into your phone!

    Why is it called Bump? To swap info, each iPhone user first loads up the free app, establishes a connection, then does a fist bump. Okay, the fist bump is actually optional… but the gesture/motion between the two iPhones triggers the app to look for a receiver/sender and syncs up the info. [See the video]

    The second is simply, simple and I can’t believe it is free. At this year’s CES, I met some great L.A. tech folks, including Lisa Borodkin (@lisaborodkin). She’s an Entertainment + new media law and policy expert that is jumping into Web journalism reporting for LAist.

    I didn’t believe her, but she asked me to text her first name to get a text back with her contact info. I did it, it worked. I set mine up.

    Contxts is awesome. The downside: it’s in the SMS side of your phone, not contact side. But, it’s in your phone and adding it to your contacts shouldn’t take too long.

    How’s it work, exactly? Just have people text your name/code to 50500 and boom, they get your info. I got greedy, so I have two accounts: webjournalist and roberth.

    Try ’em out and tell me what you think.

    There are TONS of alternatives to business cards swaps, and these are just two I’ve played with. Which ones have you used? What do you recommend we try or try to avoid?

    Let’s do what we can to save the trees… and embrace your inner geek.

    27 Jan

    Apple’s iPad matches hype, but it’s no print industry savior

    NYTimes created an iPad app that takes advantage of the new platform.

    NYTimes created an iPad app that takes advantage of the new platform.

    Well, it surely doesn’t have the best name, but the much anticipated, the much rumored and the much hyped iPad is finally here.

    For those in the newspaper and magazine industries, the iPad has been championed as the device that will save them from bankruptcy. For those who knew of Tablets PC from years ago, this was going to be a flop.

    My impression: Damn, it’s slick!

    First, snap out of it… this will not save the print industry. Stop it. Who are you kidding? Content is, for the most part, the same as a Web site.

    What this does do is give the content creators another distribution method to share news and information. Another opportunity to develop a way to deliver engaging content and capture the elusive revenue.

    But, like the Democrats’ attempt at overhauling Health Care, the track record and innovation from our industry’s leadership is… well… lacking.

    That said, let’s leave the revenue model/funding concerns for another day. Let’s take a closer look at this device and how it can really change how we cover news.

    Here’s what it has:
    – Incredible price
    – Long battery life – allegedly
    – An established OS
    – WiFi enabled and upgradable to 3G – sadly through AT&T
    – Assisted GPS – with 3G
    – Translates existing iPhone apps and the established marketplace
    – You can buy an adapter to read SD card

    Here’s what’s missing:
    – Camera
    Adobe Flash compatible, although there is a report that this may soon change.
    – Wireless charging
    – Wireless syncing
    – Tethering

    There are some significant unknowns:
    – How easy is it to type on?
    – Is this a truly mobile device? Will we remember to take it with us?
    – How durable is that thin screen?
    – Will people want this?
    – It’s not E Ink (thank goodness), but will you read books on it? Eyes be damned?

    In short, it’s a bigger, stronger iPhone – minus the camera.

    From my perspective, depending on the keyboard, this could be the device that really allows Mobile Journalists to be be truly mobile. It’s not the *Multimedia* Journalists’ tool yet, but at least you could potentially use this device instead of your phone or laptop to file your story. You can use the SD card reader to transmit your pics and video.

    Any way you slice this, Steve Jobs and Apple have really created an impressive product and a new category that can really shake things up. This may not be our industry’s silver bullet, but it is a great opportunity for us to innovate… let’s not screw this up!

    11 Dec

    Gaming changing tool: UStream iPhone App

    Comments off

    With all the new technology that continues to come out, it actually is hard for me to get impressed by something. I can think of only a handful of times that my jaw dropped.

    This may be one of those times.

    For more than a year now, I and some seattletimes.com colleagues had been experimenting with livestream. It’s been a virtual arms race to see who would own and lead that technology. From Justin.tv to livestream.com (formerly Mogulus) to Kyte.tv to UStream.tv, each had very cool features and some significant weaknesses. (When I get a chance, I’ll post my experiences with each and a review of them.)

    These free live streaming apps allowed journalists to do live video from just about anywhere, taking on TV’s ownership of live shots. All you needed was a camera, laptop and a strong, reliable Internet connection.

    At ST.com we tried a variety of experiments, some more successful than others… but we tried. We knew it was just a matter of time before the technology would catch up to our ideas. While not perfect yet, technology has been making some significant strides… and yesterday was a big step.

    In addition to live streaming from your laptop, there was an even smaller arms race from a few folks wanting to stream from your cell phone.

    Qik was one of the first… but you had to have a special phone. When the iPhone came out, Qik would only work if you had a jail-broken iPhone. Then they finally had an approved app, but live streaming was not a feature.

    Skype would work on one-to-one calls, but only on WiFi, not 3G.

    No one had cracked the nut to offer streaming from your phone, broadcasting live to the world. Well, no one, until UStream’s new iPhone that was released earlier this week.

    Let me just say it: This is a journalism game changer. Professional, citizen, whatever! You can now cover breaking news from your phone to your homepage to the world. Awesome!

    I downloaded the free app and took it for a test drive. As with all technology, there are some strengths, there are some weaknesses… but, for the most part, it worked!

    Here are some videos I did the morning the app was released:

    STRENGTHS: WEAKNESSES:
    > It works on both 3G and WiFi. > UM, you’re depending on the AT&T network. Enough said.
    > UStream’s video-related chatrooms is displayed on your iPhone screen. > The quality of the content coming from those chatters is still, well, low.
    > It gets published and promoted on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your channel. > When you are testing it out, you may swamp your friends with repeat “Check out this video” as you practice.
    > You can offer polls during your stream. > I don’t know if you can craft the question, especially when live streaming.
    > Visual quality is as good as the iPhone’s camera. > Visual quality is as good as the iPhone’s camera. I have shaky hands, which means you see shaky video.
    > The audio quality is decent for what it is. I used the mic/ear buds, but found that actually hurt the quality. > No real external mic jack — because it’s a PHONE, not a camera!
    > It’s free! > People see a lower third ad when viewing your video. But it’s freakin’ free to use!

    Overall, if you have an iPhone, you HAVE TO GET THIS APP! (That’s right, all in caps.) Get the UStream app and get to work!

    π