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Apple is Absent from NAB 2016

Apple is Absent from NAB 2016

It appears that Apple has decided that they are so big and important that they don’t need to go to events like MacWorld and NAB. Apple was absent at the recent NAB 2016.

Presumably, the reasoning is that they can schedule and host their own events, stream them live and generate a huge online draw. This reasoning may be true for products like the iPhone or iPad, but I think it begins to fall apart when it comes to the video production space.

Final Cut Pro X is not a dominant factor in the video editing space. Most of the workshops and workflows this year were including Adobe’s Premiere and After Effects. In fact, I attended two workshops which outlined ways to export content from FCPX in order to better handle color and audio. Many of the filmmakers I talked with at NAB were using Premiere because of the easy integration with other tools like After Effects, PhotoShop and Bridge. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve software is becoming an attractive choice for very good color correction and grading.

Final Cut Pro X was first introduced at NAB 2011. Since then, the development of this software has been lackluster. I think that Apple’s choice to not be widely present at NAB 2016 (they were there in a small suite of a nearby hotel) is a mistake. Video production is only becoming bigger and more important. One of the major themes at NAB 2016 was the small (1-3 person) video production team that has the ability to output quick, sophisticated, and effective video content.

Let’s hope Apple is paying attention.

Update: Latest AAPL numbers indicate that Apple may need to focus better on priorities!

Creating iPad Screencasts

Creating iPad Screencasts

Since the release of the first iPad in April, 2010, I have been looking for a way to create screencasts on it. Screencasts can be very helpful in creating quick video tutorials. For some reason, Apple decided to not allow this capability directly on the iPad. (It turns out that there was a way to do it, but it required jailbreaking the iPad.)

But now there is a way to do it by displaying your iPad screen onto your Mac and using screencasting software on the Mac for capture.

Since Snow Leopard (10.6), QuickTime has had the ability to create screencasts. My favorite tool for creating screencasts on the Mac is ScreenFlow ($99), but there are several software packages out there, both free and paid, that allow you to create screencasts on the Mac.

The secret to this approach is a piece of software that runs on your Mac and allows your iPad to wirelessly display on your Mac’s screen. This software is called AirServer ($15). AirServer has both a Mac and PC version, so it opens up screencasting the iPad on both platforms. Some details about the Mac version are:

  • It runs on OS X Tiger or greater
  • It works for screencasting iPad 2, iPad Retina, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5

The setup is relatively simple.

AirServer Setup

AirServer is application that runs on your Mac and acts as an AirPlay receiver. It allows you to receive AirPlay feeds, similar to an Apple TV, to stream content or mirror the display from your iOS device. It delivers full 1080p HD! Perhaps a lightbulb just went off above your head as you start to see that there are a number of other interesting possibilities available with being able to stream content at this resolution to your Mac (where, by the way, it may be recorded). But for now, I’ll focus on creating screencasts from an iPad.

AirServer Preferences

In the General tab of AirServer Preferences you can set the Computer Name and establish a password. This allows you to identify your Mac on the wireless network from your iPad, and create a password so not just anyone seeing your computer on the network can mirror to it. Here you can also adjust settings for rebroadcasting and launching AirServer on startup.

Optimize AirServer for each deviceIn the Mirroring tab, you can tell AirServer to optimize for which ever device you are mirroring to the Mac. In this case, I’ve optimized for the iPad. But you can see the other device optimizations available in the drop down.

iPad Setup

Next, we get on the iPad and find the Mac on the wireless network.

Basically, you double-click the Home button on the iPad to bring up a list of active apps along the bottom of the screen. Swipe this list to go to the far left. There you will see the AirPlay icon. Click on that icon and search for your Mac’s name in the list. Click on it and toggle mirroring on.

But just in case that isn’t clear, I’ve created a screencast from my iPad to demonstrate these steps:

 

That’s all there is to it. Now you can create informative screencasts from your iPad and share them with the world!

Video Chow: A New Video Learning Series

Video Chow: A New Video Learning Series

Video Chow seriesThe tagline is: “Free WordPress video tips delivered to your face.”

The folks at WordPress Advantage have created a new video series called Video Chow, which delivers short, rapid-fire videos on focused topics.

I’ve always been a big fan of video tutorials. But I find the pace of most of them just too slow. Even the fine video tutorials at Lynda.com are often too slow. In fact, one strategy I’ve developed for watching these videos is to double the speed. The only problem with this approach is that the resulting “chipmunk” voice becomes tiresome after 20-minutes or so.

The videos in the Video Chow series are not slow. Most videos are between 1-3 minutes, and cover the nugget of the topic. Many of the videos are about WordPress tips and tricks, or very specific methods for achieving a very focused goal. Many of the videos are about particular WordPress plugins.

The videos are free, and the library of video topics is growing weekly.