In this episode of Gear In Review, we talk about audio recording devices that might be used to record a podcast. From using your iPhone, a Tascam, or even a video camera; there are so many options to choose from when trying to record audio. Join us as we talk about audio gadgets and podcast workflows.
This holiday season was filled with another round of cool gadgets. If most people know me…I love gadgets and love playing with new toys. So this year, the three presents that come to mind are the GoPro Hero2 camera, Olloclip lens adapter for the iPhone4(s), and the Kindle Fire. Sarah gave me the GoPro Hero2 and the Olloclip for my iPhone4s and I gave her the Kindle Fire. So here are some first thoughts after having this gadgets for a short period of time after the Christmas gift exchanges.
GoPro Hero2 This is a great little video camera for those of you video enthusiast. You can purchase this item anywhere from BestBuy, B&H Photo Video online, GoPro.com, or numerous other places online or brick and mortar stores. This will be the one gadget in my “Go Bag” for video shoots this year providing new perspectives as a second camera during interviews and/or when trying to grab interesting shots. GoPro is most famous for being used in extreme sports like surfing, sky diving, snow boarding, and even on planes for interesting shots.
What I Like:
LOVE THE WIDE ANGLE – 170 degree view!
This is a compact camera about the size of a D Battery and can capture video and still images.
Records video at 1080p 30 frames per second and numerous other smaller resolutions.
Captures still images with at 11 megapixels.
I love the waterproof case (up to 197 feet), perfect for recording white water rafting.
The mount with sucution cup…already used it on the front of my car.(CLICK HERE to watch)
Comes with built in microphone.
Has an audio input.
Has a built in HDMI out.
The digital still camera can take pictures in intervals over a period of time for time lapse.
Makes for great second camera in video shoots for wide angle perspective.
Wish list for improvements:
Wish the LED Screen was not an ad-on but a standard part of the camera.
Wish the actual camera had a mountable connection, instead of having to put camera in case to be mounted.
Low light is always going to be an issue with these small image processors. But it still does a decent job.
The waterproof case does not allow you to plug in a a microphone into the audio input.
If you would like to look at the complete description of the camera, CLICK HERE.
Olloclip for iPhone For you camera/video enthusiasts, the Olloclip is a great addition to your iPhone4 or 4s. This attachment allows you to take the iPhone camera to the next level. It is a wide angle and fisheye adapter that allows you to take images and capture video from a wider perspective. I have been searching for something like this, then I found it in my stocking this year.
What I Like:
Easy slide on and off of the attachment.
Two lens in one attachment. You can flip the attachment around from wide angle to fisheye.
Clear images with this simple slide on attachment as a lens.
Makes the iPhone4(s) a great second camera in video shoots since it acquires the image at 1080p.
The wide angle lens can be removed to make provide a macro lens.
Wish list for improvements:
You have to remove your case of choice to use this attachment. Love to see this company make a case where this attachment integrates as a part of a bigger offering.
Easy to accidentally grab the iPhone in a way where you can get finger prints on the lens.
The adapter slides around sometimes which can distort the image and/or create some artifacts.
Kindle Fire I bought this e-reader for Sarah this Christmas, she loves my iPad but wanted something smaller to read books. Bottom line, this is and e-reader built around reading books from Amazon. If purchase as a tablet like an iPad, you will be annoyed. The tech community might “root” this device and install the complete Android platform, but for the non-tech users…this is not built to be a tablet. I would say this is similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So here are some of Sarah’s first impressions. By the way, many of her comparisons stem from my “original” iPad3G.
What she likes:
Size – she likes the ability to hold it in one hand.
Convenience of being able to buy/purchase book and read immediately.
The rewards program – Her Amazon Prime membership allows her to “borrow” one book a month which they term as the “The Lending Library”.
It is backlit to read book at night with no bed side lamp.
It comes with install apps like Facebook, Amazon, and Pulse news reader.
When you go to the “store,” it provides recommended books across the top…similar to the Amazon.com experience.
What she dislikes:
Battery life seems to dwindle fast.
The power cord is not that long (4 feet long). Need to be close to an outlet if the battery dwindles down fast.
The power button is on the bottom, so unwanted bumps cause it to shut off.
The power cord plugs in the bottom and can get in the way when holding.
Not as responsive as the iPad when touching hyperlinks.
Web browsing is not as responsive as the original iPad.
So I had a chance to hang out with a Samsung Galaxy Tab…thanks to my friends at JDPR and Verizon Wireless. No…they are not paying me for my words, but wanting to know my thoughts! So if you watch the video below…here are my first impressions.
As you know I am a big fan of the iPad and iPhone. I have both and found the Galaxy an interesting change from the beaten path. I am wondering if I would purchase one, but here are some honest thoughts based on my initial impression.
As you notice, to me it feels like a larger DroidX without the phone built in. It does have a microphone, so I am sure it can be “rooted” and converted into a phone device. But, bottomline I am wondering about the price point. I have checked online and it looks like the Tablet is $499.99 and is just a bit larger than the DroidX, which is $199.99 with a two year contract. Both run on the same Android OS offering the same mobile apps. I am wondering if people would be willing to make the $300.00 price jump for a little larger device that is not a phone? Now I know the same has been said about the iPhone and iPad, but there is a sizable difference in screen size.
Now…I realize I have some biases given that I am an Apple person. But here are some of the reason I like the Samsung Galaxy Tab:
1 – The size! Yes, I like the fact it rests in my palm. Bigger than a phone and smaller than the iPad. 2 – The Mobile 3G Hotspot! Nuff Said! 3 – It is a cool gadget. 4 – Opportunity to play with a different OS. 5 – Supports Flash Content via the browser. 6 – The front and back cameras.
Now…I did notice the browser was sketchy at times, lagging in load times with faced paced surfing. I also noticed that the Android Marketplace is still not full with as many apps as Apple’s App store, but time will change that. Also, waiting for Skype to support the cameras on the Galaxy.
Just a few initial thoughts. I will be having another post come with more impressions! Enjoy!
Here are a few reviews by some other folks that have a little more credibility than I do!
1 – Engadget’s Review – CLICK HERE
2 – Gizmodo Review – CLICK HERE
3 – ZDnet Review – CLICK HERE
4 – PCWorld Review – CLICK HERE
Hello friends, here are my links for the week. As you can see…they include social media, mobile technology, physician marketing, and hospital social media. I hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts about any of these article!
5 Mobile Technologies Retailers Should Be Using Now November 15, 2010 | Houston Neal of Software Device Mobile commerce is driving the next major shift in retail, and retailers that can learn to harness this technology stand to gain a competitive advantage. To learn about 5 mobile technologies retailers should be using, visit the Software Advice blog. CLICK HERE to read more.
The one sure-fire way to get more clicks and RTs for your blog posts November 16, 2010 | MackCollier.com
Write better headlines. That’s no big relevation, and there’s a lot that goes into writing better headlines. I’ll refer you to someone like @Copyblogger who has written a great series on writing better headlines. But there’s one area I wanted to focus on when it comes to headlines. I share a lot of links on Twitter because I am trying to find helpful information for my followers. CLICK HERE to read more. Calling Bullshit on Social Media November 18, 2010 | Tamsen McMahon
1) There are tools. There are people who use the tools. And then there are people who are tools. Know the difference.
2) Ass-kissing will get you anywhere, but where is that, exactly? Where do you actually want to gofrom there? Think long-term.
3) Speaking of long-term, “asshole” is not a long-term strategy. Neither is “edgy” or “off-putting.” What do you really want to achieve? And for how long? Build a strategy on that. CLICK HERE to read the rest of the 32 points!
NewberryCountyDoctors.com – Video Repository November 18, 2010 | Newberry County Memorial Hospital
Looking for a doctor and your in Newberry County, South Carolina…here is a cool portal providing videos of doctors talking about what they enjoy to do the most, practice medicine. Pretty cool idea to allow physicians to speak in-their-own-words by wrapping the searchable power of YouTube and a brand-able portal for Newberry County Memorial Hospital. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Woz: Apple Almost Launched A Phone In 2004, Android Will “Win The Race” November 18, 2010 | Robin Wauters
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak was being his fascinating self again this morning, revealing in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that the company he helped get off the ground actually developed a smartphone in partnership with a well-known Japanese electronics company as early as 2004, but shelved the project prior to its debut (via Engadget).
So once I had both my iPhone4 and iPad set-up and ready to go…it was time to get ready for the road. Since I burn up the road…I had to find tools necessary to make travels fun, practical, and safe. With this said, I had just dumped XM Radio because their in-ability to correctly bill the right amount, on the right terms, and never fixed the problem. Let’s just say after a few months of unnecessary billing and no reasonable resolution, I had American Express handle this situation and cancel my account. Now with this said, I needed a decent alternative.
I only listen to some local radio, mainly sports talk radio for Clemson Sports. Other than that…it was music from my iPhone. So once I bought the iPad 3G it was time to take advantage of Internet service while mobile. Especially with the recent multi-tasking upgrade for the iPhone…it was Pandora time.
So installed the iSimple iPod, iPhone, and iPad Direct Connect Kit. This basically installed the ability to plug directly into the docking area of the iPhone4 and iPad to play music and sound into the stereo system. It also charges the iPhone4 but not the iPad. Now, I can open up Pandora, ride down the road, and listen to music…using the 3G and Edge service from AT&T. I sometimes even prop the iPad right under the radio to see the Google Maps app for directions. I have also downloaded the Sports Radio app for local, regional, and national sports talk radio.
I have also bought a bluetooth headset for the road. Now, I do not like all those peeps that have these weird ear pieces in their ear as they walk around stores, restaurants, etc…”Beam Me Up Scotty.” But, I was tired of the ear buds getting tangled up while driving and talking. So I bought the Motorola MOTOROKR S9-HD Bluetooth headphones. A colleague of mine swears by them and they also had good reviews. So I am trying them out…so far, LOVE THEM!
Just a few solutions for me to make my traveling time a lot easier, fun, and hassle free!
OK…so here it is! Watch the two videos below. I want to thank Robin Blackwood at JDPR and Verizon for giving me an opportunity today to sit and play with the new DroidX. First of all it is cool. The first video shows me just playing with the DroidX for the first time.
The second video shows this cool feature called “Swype” where you can drag your finger across the keyboard to spell different words.
More to come and I might have one in my hands to play with for an extended amount of time? Maybe even next week!
In the video, I basically look over some of the functions that I have been testing, but after taking on this project…I have had so much interaction about this craze over Android, Droid, DroidX, and on, and on, and on. I have more friends, fraternity brothers, and some random people calling for my opinions and thoughts. Some have even offered me money for the HTC Incredible…we know that is not going to happen. But, I have found a new community of advocates for a totally different platform other than my iPhone status-quo.
But here is my question…or thought, I am still trying to sift my way through all this branding mess. So when I was in Best Buy the other day, I asked the dude to explain a couple of things to me. How is Android different from Droid and DroidX? Two very similar branding conventions that have some things in common but totally separate brand. I have honestly been walking around this whole time, after seeing all the Droid commercials, thinking that Droid was just a shortened version (from a naming convention) of Android. I just began to realize that Android is the platform, Droid is a phone, and DroidX is the newer version of of the Droid. This is freaking confusing for someone who is the target market for Verizon…to entice to make the switch. I have to admit that Apple makes all this branding so freaking simple. I even learned that Motorola had to pay a butt load of money to Lucas Films to use the word “Droid.” That is a lot of money and I still had to get out a pen and paper to connect the dots for the Ah Ha moment.
OK, now that I have tackled that little conundrum. I do not care if people think I am an air-head, but Verizon and Motorola need to sit back and think through some of this branding…Android, Droid, DroidX…RoboCop please. I really do like my friends at Verizon and have enjoyed playing with the Incredible, I even want to buy one and sign-up for a package. Enough on the branding…that is a problem for the big daddy marketing company that has the big daddy contract.
Now on to the what else I found in Best Buy…a demo model of the DroidX. It is a non-functioning demo, but it gave me a chance to hold it and compare it side-by-side with the HTC Incredible and the iPhone4. The DroidX is bigger…well I think a lot bigger. Bigger screen size, bigger camera, bigger battery, bigger in width and height, and has a ridge in the back that props it up somewhat.
I just wonder what it is like to put it in your pocket and use it on a daily basis. I have also heard that Motorola might either lock down the “Root” or even encrypt the “Root” making it a lot harder for “hackers” to boost the performance and alter the settings. I even had one of my buddies tell me if he finds out the “Root” is encrypted then he will forgo the DroidX and just get the HTC Incredible.
My fraternity brother called me tonight and had a long conversation about the DroidX and he spent about an hour telling why the DroidX is going to ROCK. He then went on to remind me that since I am a video guy that the DroidX is going to not only be able to shoot HD Quality video but also immediately replay it with the HDMI out. That would be kind-of cool in a client meeting! Here is a link he sent me comparing the DroidX and the HTC Incredible.
Ever since I have started comparing the iPhone4 and the HTC Incredible, I have had so many people reach out offering advice, information, and I have even re-connected with old friends and fraternity brothers from Clemson (Lambda Chi Alpha). One in particular (Brian Lindenmeyer who is a long time childhood friend and fraternity brother) has been sending me tons of great information about the Android platform and raving about Verizon’s network. He should be the poster child for Android and Verizon. You can follow him on Twitter: @lxadoz104
Brian has been on the Verizon network for close to 10 years where he began with his Palm Treo moving to the Blackberry and then on to the Android platform. He and one of my other fraternity brothers Rob Christie (@ronx), who is a Senior Software Architect at GlaxoSmithKline, have been sharing a Google Doc with their “Must Have” Android Apps. They have agreed to let me share with you, so here ya go and enjoy!
ADW Launcher: Fantastic launcher replacement with tons of options to tweak and lots of great features. I still like LauncherPro Beta better (see below), but this one is a very close 2nd.
3Banana Notes: Great note taking app. Lets you create an account on their website for free so that your notes are synced automatically.
AppBrain App Market: Lets you install apps through a web interface! Review and select apps to install from the comfort of your PC, then use the app on your phone to sync your selections and easily install them to your device. I also use this as a way to back up the apps I have installed so I can easily reinstall them when I wipe and install a new ROM.
Assistant Free: Easy access to all your financial accounts (bank accounts, credit cards, etc.) and even your bills (phone, utility, etc.). I was skeptical about this one at first, but I’ve read some articles that proved their credibility. This is a great app.
Astrid: Task list. Syncs with RTM (rememberthemilk.com)
ASTRO: Nice file manager application. This also lets you install APK programs that you download to your SD card (the ones that aren’t available on the market)
Auto Ring: On my BlackBerry, I had a sound profile called “Ring Only” which would silence all alerts except for phone calls. I use my phone as an alarm next to the bed, so I want it quiet at night, but I still want to be able to get phone calls in case of emergencies. This app lets you set up a whitelist of whose calls should get through, and when to enable/disable.
AutoKiller: Automatically adjusts memory settings for best memory usage so your phone always performs well.
Chrome to Phone: Only for Froyo, this lets you click a button on your Firefox or Chrome toolbar to immediately send the link to your phone. Great for sending links to google maps directions to your phone for navigation.
Dropbox: My favorite free online cloud storage utility now has an Android app that lets you access your Dropbox from your phone! Check out http://getdropbox.com
Beautiful Widgets: Costs a buck or two, but gives some pretty nice home screen widgets. The big clock and weather display I have on my main screen is one of the widgets from this app.
FeedR: Great program for my RSS/news feeds
Google Voice: I don’t use Voice to make calls, nor do I give out my Voice number often, but the Visual Voicemail functionality is great.
Grocery iQ: Build new shopping lists quickly by saying the item name, scanning the barcode, or using predictive search.
Handcent SMS: Improved text messaging functionality
LauncherPro Beta: Absolutely the best launcher in existence! Multiple screens, multiple custom dockbars, VERY smooth 3D applauncher. DOWNLOAD THIS NOW!
Lightning Bug – Sleep Clock: Listen to thunderstorms, rain, beach sounds, etc., to help you sleep. Very configurable; excellent quality!
Maps: Find places in relation to where you are. Street view. Turn-by-turn GPS navigation!
Mint.com Personal Finance: Manage your personal finances in one place. Mint.com has gained tremendous popularity over the past few years as an intuitive, secure, central location to manage all of your accounts and get personalized reports and overviews. Now there’s an Android app that lets you do all of this on the go!
OpenSudoku: Gotta have my sudoku
Pure calendar widget: All sizes of widgets that give you a nice list view of meetings, events, etc. for the week. Also integrates with Astrid and/or GTasks.
Quick Settings: Quick access to all the essential settings (ringer, brightness, wifi, bluetooth, etc.) with an easy to use UI. You can select from many different settings to display on the main dialog, and can even add a shortcut to it in your notification bar.
Pandora: Best music streaming app I’ve tried.
ROM Manager: If you will be rooting your device and want an easy way to manage backups, load new ROMs, and interact with your Recovery module, you will NEED this.
Root Explorer: **Only for rooted devices** Best file manager for /system file manipulation. Very powerful.
SetCPU: **Only for rooted devices** De facto way to overclock your device after it’s rooted. You must install a new kernel (easy to do with ROM Manager) first. You can set up profiles to automatically adjust your cpu clock speeds if the battery gets too low or if your battery or cpu get too hot. Very configurable. Buy it through the market or download it for free on xda-developers.com.
ShopSavvy: Great for comparing prices by scanning UPC codes. It will search online as well as nearby stores (if you let it use GPS). This one has saved me from impulse buys quite a few times.
Swype: Awesome replacement on-screen keyboard that lets you trace the letters of a word with amazing accuracy. Because of this, I never use my slide out keyboard anymore! This app is currently in closed beta (not available to the public), but it should be available again soon. In the mean time, try ShapeWriter Keyboard. Same idea, and I’ve heard it’s almost as good as Swype. (or, just let me know and i’ll send you a copy that works without needing a beta account)
TempMonitor: Keep an eye on your battery or cpu temps by sticking it in the notification bar. Useful if you use SetCPU to overclock your device.
Terminal Emulator: **Only for rooted devices** Access the OS shell (command prompt) for all your h4x0r needs.
Titanium Backup: **Only for rooted devices** Essential for backing up all your apps and data to your SD card
Touiteur (premium): My preferred twitter client. I like the interface (and theme) better than any other client, and the developer is always updating it in the market.
USAA: I can check my balances with Assistant Free (a.k.a. Personal Assistant Free), but with this one, I can pay bills from my USAA checking account, transfer funds, and do other tasks that require a little more security.
XBMC Remote: If you have a HTPC and use XBMC, you will love this one.
AndChat: Nice free IRC client
Barcode Scanner: Good for scanning QR codes or any other type of barcode. I don’t use this anymore since ShopSavvy can scan QR codes for links now.
Caller ID Faker: App that uses BluffMyCall to let you spoof your caller ID. The free service only lets you make 2 minute calls, and requires you to listen to a brief ad before the call goes through, but it’s worth it for freaking out your friends.
Facebook for Android: Though I think the main interface is lacking, the contact picture sync is decent and it provides the ability to “share to facebook” for pictures and other things. If all you care about is synching pictures with your contacts, check out SyncMyPix (see below).
Gmail Notifier: Provides more customization options for your gmail notifications. I use this to customize the LED notification when I get new emails.
IMDb: App for looking up movies, showtimes, trailers, etc. I use the website all the time on my PC, so this should come in handy. Just recently released, so I haven’t had many chances to use it yet. Good chance this will move into my must have list once I start using it.
QuickDesk Beta: Lets you access your most used programs from anywhere, without having to minimize anything you’re working on.
SyncMyPix: I used to install Facebook for Android only for the feature that syncs facebook contact photos with my Contacts list on the phone, and it would still miss quite a few of my contacts. I just found this app yesterday and it works much better for what I want it to do. It does a great job matching up your facebook contacts with your google contacts, and after it syncs, it shows you the results. You can then manually match facebook contacts to the appropriate google contact for any that did not auto-match. One thing to note about this app, though. This app actually stores the Facebook photos in your Google Contacts, whereas Facebook for Android only matches the photos up so they display in your Contacts on your phone. If you don’t want people’s Facebook profile pics stored in your Google Contacts, don’t use this. I actually like this, though, because I have never bothered to manually set profile pics in Google Contacts. If none of this makes sense to you, chances are you’ll like this behavior too 😉
iheartradio: For general music streaming, I use Pandora. iheartradio doesn’t buffer nearly as well, and has some other glitches, but it’s the only app I’ve found that lets me listen to my local morning radio show when I’m not in the car.
Movies: App by Flixter that lets you easily find information on movies. Box office, just released on DVD, etc. I like this app for watching trailers. NOTE: I don’t keep this app installed on my phone anymore because I hardly ever used it. It’s still a good app and worth mentioning though. *Update: IMDb may end up replacing my need for this*
Poke A Mole: Fun “Whack a Mole” game
Scanner Radio: listen to live audio from over 2,200 police and fire scanners, railroad communications, and weather radio broadcasts from around the world. Very fun!
Shazam: I hardly ever use this app, but it’s really nice when I do want to use it. Identifies songs by listening to a few seconds.
SMS Backup: Backs up your text messages to your gmail account. Very nice — now I can search my texts via gmail. Will probably move this to my must have list pretty soon.
TripIt: If you use TripIt online, this is a must-have. Gives you quick access to your travel itineraries in an easy-to-read format. The TripIt service is pretty cool. You can email confirmations you receive from airlines/travel services/hotels to the tripit email address and it will automatically add all the info to your account.
Toss It: Very fun (and addicting) game of wastebasket hoops