GarageBand IOS iCloud Bug trashes the local original file

Just a little public safety note that I discovered, and I am not particularly angry yet, because for some reason I had made a back up before I tried to upload my file to keep a back up safe.

Creative uploads iOS GarageBand iCloud bug music

There seems to be a bug when using iCloud to backup a project file in GarageBand iOS that destroys your original local copy while also failing to create the backup.

So I use Windows PCs primarily, so I know that I cannot back up my GarageBand files directly to it. There is some evilness going on where Windows sees the song’s  .band back up file as a folder, and I have never seen a way to get around it. That means if you make a back up by having GarageBand create one for iTunes, then you have to sync with iTunes on a Mac in order to see it correctly and get it off of the iPad.

So generally I create a back up on iCloud. And this recent instance I had first copied the file that I wanted to back up inside GarageBand iOS, because I thought I might do some additional editing on it but I wanted to keep the original version safe.  So I trigger the iCloud backup and it spun for a little bit and then gave me this error message: it couldn’t back it up because it was damaged or in an incompatible format. In fact what had happened is an 8-kilobyte file was created in iCloud and it also overwrote the original project file ON THE IPAD.

If I had not made a copy, my work would have been destroyed. After some experimentation and troubleshooting — with many copies, thank you very much — I discovered that it was happening when I was uploading to the subfolder I created in iCloud for my music; it’s called garagebandmusic. No fancy spaces or anything. 

When I copied the GarageBand project file to the main folder file it uploaded successfully. At this point I am not moving it inside iCloud to the folder that I want to use, because I don’t know what the bug is. But I will be hooking my iPad up to a Mac as soon as possible and copying everything off again to have a safe back up.

If you don’t have space on your device I would suggest at the very least making a high-quality copy of your song and mailing it to yourself, or making “stems” which is exporting each track separately from the mix, by muting each track in turn and creating a full length audio file for each track individually. So tedious, and that’s how I used to have to make a backup of all my songs before the iCloud feature was added, because it let me use the tracks in something else, remix later and have some flexibility, although I did lose the ability to edit MIDI data that way, since it was converted to the final audio file.

It’s better than losing everything though.

—–David

P.S. If you are writing music for video or film, stems are terrifically useful alongside the final mix, because you can steal a chord from one section, repeat a bridge with cleaner edits, even create new interludes right in your editing software when an edit changes just a little. Imagine the flexibility you have with time in film applied to the musical layers. This is great if your composer can’t help in a time crunch, or even if  you are the composer.

I used these tricks when I made a short film for Phoenix Comicon a few years ago.  I actually wrote and recorded most of the music I used while still writing the script, before I had even shot anything. It came to me in moments of inspiration during the screenwriting and script editing,  so I composed and recorded a mini soundtrack as a suite, basically. 

In video editing, I found some lengths didn’t fit perfectly. Rather than re-record everything to fit my new desired timing, or worse, leaving timing in place on the film but forcing it to match the music despite the visual rhythms’ own desires, I could pull out pieces, or use shorter bars, vamps and stingers exactly how I wanted. And all on GarageBand iOS, with no iCloud or project backup available at the time.

P.P.S. It’s called Take Me 2 UR Leader and it was a final selection for the Film Challenge that year, not top prize or anything but a rare group. Plus I made a movie in 30 days where I got to handle everything but the acting roles (well, I did do one). I will tell you that’s great fun but collaboration is really great too.

GarageBand IOS iCloud Bug trashes the local original file was originally published on Creative Uploads

As Seen on TV! Close Captioning For YouTube

So I suppose you were aware you could add closed captions to YouTube videos? What’s that mean? It means you can add text to your video that viewers can turn off or on, and it’s generally used to allow the hard of hearing to read along with what is actually being said in the video. I can imagine some other ways to use it, as subtext and commentary but let’s start with the intended choice, which most of us are familiar with from television.

 

Anyway beginning with this song, a parody of David Bowie’s Space Oddity I called “Space Oddity 1998 aka Major Glenn” in honor of the old spaceman when I wrote it in 1998, and the then late John Glenn when I recorded it recently, I decided to explore the caption options available in YouTube. You don’t have to do them before you create the video, and in fact you can revisit any of your videos and add captions.

I picked this one because frankly I had the lyrics all typed up already and that was most of the content.  There was more to it than that though.

In the YouTube video manager on the left I chose a video and click the Edit button for it, then in the tabs along the top row clicked Subtitles and CC (closed captions) which opened up the utility page. You have the option to pay someone to do them, even, and you can have them done in another language. That means you can buy a translation if your target audience is only not your native language, but I will leave the idea of subtitles to you to consider. You’ll have to set a primary language for the video first. Then you can click a blue button upper right to add them, which gives you these choices: Upload a file, Transcribe and auto-sync, Create new subtitles of CC, Buy subtitles.

I uploaded my lyric file. You might want to transcribe. Your instructions are to “Type everything that’s spoken in the video here, then click “Set timings” to automatically line up your text with the speech in the video.” with a convenient box to cut and paste if you prefer. An automatically checked box pauses the video as you type so you can enter a few words, it will play a few more seconds and you can type more. Really a fantastic setup. I had an intro so I added that part in front of the lyrics and then clicked Set timings.

It chugged along for a while and then took me to the page you see above. This is probably the page you get if you straight up decide to transcribe and I found it pretty intuitive. Thanks, Google!

Here is where you can play your video as a preview and then use the boxes shown below the video to adjust the caption display. In my case it didn’t do a great job of aligning the words with when they were sung and I imagine it’s better for just speech soundtracks. Also I wanted the captions to lag a little behind the singing so as not to spoil the joke for people who could hear and read fast. So I scooted the boxes on the lower right over (you can drag either end to adjust the display length, start and end times).

I also copied and pasted lines out of some boxes to the next ones (as seen on the left ), and sometimes clicked the little plus box to get a new child box to add a break to the display and make the captions fit better. You know when you read something it’s kind of annoying to have it break in the middle and start a new thought at the same time? I tried to arrange the caption boxes so they held one thought, or maybe a rhyming couplet, instead of ending a verse with one line and shaving the line beneath it starting the next sentence but not finishing it until the next caption.

Then I previewed it and fine-tuned my edit. You may not want your timing as precise as I did, but it’s nice to have the option of perfection.

Now because I am a smart alec I do see the amusement in captioning a musical song for the deaf, but hard of hearing people can enjoy musical and performance content on levels you may not even consider. Aside from the visual of the performance and lyrical content, sound is a vibration and that relies on a different sense: touch. If you have a well-functioning ear that vibration touches your eardrum and manages to get converted into electric nerve impulses that your brain feeds you as sound. If you have a sense of touch you can feel the rhythms and vibrations by touch, through your feet, hands or even chest if the bass is pounding enough (flashback to a very uncomfortable set at a Justin Timberlake concert I attended with my wife.) But I have seen deaf people put speakers facedown on the floor and shoes off, trip the light fantastic. Plus good lyrics are poetry however you receive them.

Not these lyrics of course, they are literally a joke. 🙂

—-David

P.S. You can click the link above to see this video, then turn on captions to see how it turned out. If you like it, click like and I will feel special.

P.P.S. Off topic: Wow, the iOS WordPress app really doesn’t care if you are trying to make a draft and just throws it up online. I probably clicked the wrong button but I accidentally posted this days ago while I was just making a note to write it. So pay attention to the screens and notifications flashing by, right? I ended up immediately setting it to private so I could decide whether to keep, edit, delete or set the post to draft like I meant to do in the first place.

 

 

As Seen on TV! Close Captioning For YouTube was originally published on Creative Uploads

Hey, Mr. Spaceman – The Musical

I decided to finally record the John Glenn parody song I posted lyrics for the other day.

Here’s the YouTube blurb as background:

Honoring astronaut John Glenn’s passing: in 1998 there was some controversy on sending John Glenn on the space shuttle at 77 in an expensive mission instead of other qualified candidates. I wrote this tongue-in-cheek political parody to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” but never recorded it. So here’s a recording, with all the possible verses (in the real world some would have been dropped to fit the original song). Hey 2016, thanks for bookending the inspiration. Now quit it.

Since this blog is about the dreaming, creation and publication of artistic endeavors, it felt like I ought to finally record a version and share it somehow, right? At least it took me less than twenty years. And I didn’t have the publication outlets then that we do know, where it can not exist one day and be available worldwide the next (not necessary known but at least available).

I also left in all the verses, breaking an important rule of parody songs: get in, state the joke and get out before it’s worn out it’s welcome. Hey, that applies top a lot of other things too. But it’s a historical document at this point, so there’s the whole draft. Just to show how editing can help focus something and make it better even if you have to leave out a joke you like.

Hope you make it to the end.

—–David

P.S. Tang really was marketed as the breakfast drink of the astronauts. There’s a hilarious double entendre in that these days but it was a more innocent time. By the shuttle missions Welch’s had replaced it as the powdered drink sent up on missions. Ironically, Congress likes to welch on their promises to properly fund NASA. Go figure.

P.P.S.
I just imagined
how long an unedited
haiku would become, i mean can you imagine if the guy just wouldn’t shut up and kept spouting aphorisms and potentially insightful observations with no understanding of the reader’s mental digestion ability?

Note to self: edit more, talk less.

 

Hey, Mr. Spaceman – The Musical was originally published on Creative Uploads

Christmas Timelapse Is Here Again

Christmastime.

So much decorating and moving boxes around. Don’t you wish it could go faster? I know I do. I have a time machine, but it only works after the fact. That is, I travel through at regular speed, then I have a windows where I can view the events at any speed I want, forward or backward, random or not, but I can no longer interact with them.

Boy, except for that first part of the real-time experience, it works great.

I shot the initial portion as video in case there was some interaction I could pull out by slowing the video for it, but then I couldn’t find what I thought I had shot when I go to editing.

This is where planning to edit encourages a careful process. I was so perplexed by this I went back to the camera card to figure out the time I caught a picture on my Canon camera and see what the GoPro was doing, because my project folder didn’t have anything for that time. It was perfectly possible I had accidentally left the camera off, but I could check because of my workflow. So there’s another good reason to edit besides polishing your material.

TIP: Don’t format your memory cards until you have to, even in the middle of a minor project or ahead of a large one (like when you clear a bunch of cards the might before so you can swap at will.) Even then, do a quick review to ensure you have actually copied important files or folders to one or two places. This makes the SD Cards in your camera bag a temporary backup. It’s not a perfect method, but it’s a lottery ticket against disaster. Maybe a sandbag against being broke? Whichever.

Anyway, when I copied the GoPro files initially I ran out of space at the original location and switched to another drive, but there were two GoPro folders on the camera and I forgot to get the larger video files out of both, leaving two behind! Once discovered, a long file copy later, I got back to the half-drawn board and a little more editing. Funny enough, I had a feeling it wasn’t quite right so I hadn’t published the video yet!

Back to our story: I framed my opening video shot from a birds-eye angle to set the scene of large scale chaos and the bleakness of the soldier fighting holiday light sets….

After the initial scene, I used a different angle to bring the viewer into the experience and provide a little more detail. In concept I thought about a much closer shot on the tree, but realized that any one spot would get one ornament, which would require bouncing around the tree, and not getting a cool montage. So I didn’t zoom in quite so dramatically during editing after all.

I switched to photo timelapse on the second angle (7 megapixels every 10 seconds — could do 12 mp but seemed overkill.) That gave me the ability to crop to at least quarter of the screen before getting below the 1920×1080 full HD pixel resolution (and you can push on that) but again, I didn’t feel the need to go in that tight. As I write this, I realize I could have shot at 4K/15 frames a second, for a little smoother motion since I actually slowed down these segments to 33% instead of speeding them up, but I was planning for more pixels at the time.

Besides, zooms in and out in a clip are tricky to do in GoPro Studio. You can have four keyframes per clip but you can’t slide them around after creation that I saw, and lacking a zoom feature on the edit timeline that shows you where the keyframes are, placement of these keyframes is not optimal. You can fine-tune the placement but you then want to watch it and tweak it, and you can’t fine-tune what you want to tweak by moving it. You have to delete and recreate it in the new place. Ugh.

Even so, I think it turned out fine. And special thanks to Beatle and solo performer Ringo Starr who is always with us at the start of the holidays whether he knows it or not. Get his album “I Want To Be Santa Claus”* if you can find it. Charming fun.

—-David.

* Apparently, it’ s been remastered as the Ringo Starr Christmas Collection. BUY IT!

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P.S. Does anyone like the stupid GoPro file naming convention when it has to break longer files? It doesn’t sort correctly and I am only finally feeling it when I am on the timeline trying to make sure my split files from a long recording session are in the proper order. Here’s an example from a different shoot: If you keep takes short it’s GOPR0001.mp4 GOPR0002. Great, but the letter O and number 0 look really similar in computer fonts. If it runs longer then  you get GOPR1798 GP011798 GP021798 GP031798, which can be in order unless there are MORE long takes after, in my case I was looking at GOPR1797 GOPR1798 GOPR2887 GOPR3052 GP011797 GP011798 GP021798 GP031798. So there were a couple together then it ran off the rails. Oh well.

P.S.S. The music here is from Garageband iOS Loops with some custom piano ones created for the Christmas mood. It was meant for shorter segments originally so the long form sometimes repeats itself, but all holiday music gets a little repetitive in the end, so the mood is set!

P.S.S.S. Save your projects as you go as PROJECT FILES. I know , it’s a short thing and you won’t need it. But having done so,  I was able to add to my set instead of recreating it. At other times it’s rescued me : prep time from a crash, necessary reboot, stupid mistake in a title, viewer’s suggestion for edit, and for you, maybe a copyright infringement where you have to change out the music so YouTube will post it with a soundtrack (fingers crossed, Ringo).  Why recreate the wheel when you can save what you did in the editing software you so carefully arranged it?

Christmas Timelapse Is Here Again was originally published on Creative Uploads

Fade To Black aka Blanket of Night

Another timelapse from Thanksgiving Day, this time of the sunset. I was pleasantly surprised how this turned out given a cloudless sky doesn’t always make for the most appealing textural video.

Shot with GoPro Hero 3+ Thanksgiving evening 2016 (Watch for the horse!). Processed in GoPro Studio with fresh music by me from an iPad app called Pattern Music. I haven’t used it very often and I liked the variation in the instrument choices it provides and got a nice moody effect from it. It’s set up with a grid system so I was really expecting a more rigid musical result and it fell into place nicely in the middle.

I’ve mentioned before an ambivalent view of GoPro Studio. I don’t like that you have to convert everything when you bring it in, so the app can feel snappy during the editing function. That’s a good idea, but the best workflow is to ingest your video and very quickly get it processing while you go do something else. You also have to have a lot of hard drive space for these giant copies it makes so your video card doesn’t have to fight to decode the compressed video or multiple high res images you shot as it flies through them or applies filter effects. I get it. I don’t love it.

And when you import and it crashes of hangs on converting something, only my Google love and ability to find a suggestion to change the framerate saved me from a very frustrating failure to edit.

I also really hate that you can’t zoom in on the timeline when making cuts, and if you can toggle along a frame at a time to find the right spot, I’ve forgotten how. Then when you do make the cut, every clip on your timeline is the same inch long size, with no indication of how long it really is. Ooh, like Legos. But I am not working with Legos. And I understand the simplicity of it, but the workflow is not creative to me, it’s blocky.

—–David.

P.S. I don’t use GoPro software to import my video, preferring to bring it in using Windows Explorer under a main GoPro folder and nowadays breaking it into a dated name folder with the subject. It comes in as 116GoPro and I will rename the relevant container as 2016_11timelapse. This date format, year-month-day, lets the folders sort properly in chronological order so I don’t have to read a giant list to find things when I know roughly when they happened.

img_1039

Fade To Black aka Blanket of Night was originally published on Creative Uploads

It Only Takes A Minute

…To set up a camera on timelapse.

Okay, maybe a few minutes, since I plugged the Go Pro via USB into a portable battery that would keep it charged and recording for the duration. Then I connected to the “Capture” GoPro app on my phone to position it just right.

Since I was planning on possible cropping and panning I decided to use Photo mode. This gave me a 4×3 frame with lots of extra pixels I could crop in on without losing quality since I only needed 1920×1080 of them versus over 5000 wide.

Sometimes I prefer shooting video then just speed it up hundreds of percentages for smoother motion on frame changes. Vehicle-driving timelapse videos benefit from this in my opinion. I don’t mind the jerkier stop-frame animation look, but in that case smoother in-between frames help convey more speed, in my opinion. You lose some detail and editing options later, since it’s already compressed. But you can also capture for longer times depending on your settings, and can pick just the right frame and smoothly adjust between different speeds.

In the end, using the Go Pro Studio program, I adjusted my shot for a distorted wide view with no cropping, tweaked to make the center less stretched, and centered on the lower edge of the captured frame since they didn’t install carpet on the covering

Oh that would look cool. Not this color though.

—–David

P.S. I love portable batteries from Anker. This is the latest upgrade from the one I have. It comes with a pouch that I also keep cables in for my iPad (and daughter’s iPhone) plus my Android phone. Since it has a micro-USB I can use the same cable to charge the battery from any USB power source.
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It Only Takes A Minute was originally published on Creative Uploads

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide

menu layout timeline and settings

I always had a hard time creating chapter selection menus in Adobe Encore until I started writing down what I was trying and where it failed.

Since there was often a gap between disc projects that needed it, I had to look up tutorials and try to find the one that helped me the last time. Nobody writes things down, ; they were always videos, and the Adobe help site was no help. They start in the middle, assuming you already know what’s being talked about or you’ve already done certain steps to arrive at the current section, but there is no flow or timeline to their material. It’s really strange to me. So are the themes but that’s another story.

So I use an great app called Stickies from zhornsoftware.co.uk that lets me put post-it style notes on my computer screens, save, store, delete and search them and send them across network or email, that’s another post, but here’s my sticky on how to do Encore chapter menus, annotated for clarity.

menu layout timeline and settings

Menu layout timeline and settings. Yellow highlights show key areas for scene selection menu creation

encore chapter menus (aka scene selection menus)

under menu>  create chapter index (that’s where you start it, AFTER YOU ARE READY)

First create menu with links, buttons, all the things you want on your scene selection menu. You do this in the layout window, so it’s visual and WYSIWYG.

I tend to uncheck Automatically route buttons as it frequently picks weird orders for me on certain button placements. This may be because I open a thumbnail menu and copy stuff to wedge more previews in to one page. We have big TVs nowadays, I think they can handle 6 or 8 thumbnails instead of three. (When you do that you may not want to animate them, lots of flashing and also disc size considerations.)

Make sure everything is placed correctly and doesn’t overlap, of course.

This is a good time to check your timeline and fine-tune the preview thumbnail, which is usually a second or so beyond the chapter point but can be dragged anywhere on the timeline. You should do that earlier but who does that? — so check it now. Open the timeline you are creating the chapter menu for, place the position line over the desired frame and right-click the chapter to Set Poster Frame. You can do this even after you create the menus; sometimes that is easier because the automatic choice can work; it’s a bear when you do dark fade ins though.)

I also add a Chapter point in the last few seconds of the show, usually right at the copyright-contact me title. This let’s you zip to the end and watch the video roll over to the menu. Great for testing when you don’t want to wait through the whole end credits. I usually DELETE that index thumbnail from the scene selection after creating the menus. It’s nice to skip to the end while watching, but you don’t use scene selection to watch the last five seconds unless it’s a Marvel movie.

Select the first thumbnail in the layout window (or text button entry) and under Button properties (Basic tab) click Set button text and name and “set name from link” to let the menus show the titles of your scenes (presuming you have done that prep work and named your scenes in Premiere when creating the Encore chapters. You did create Encore chapters right? Because regular chapters are ignored if they don’t say “Encore” Grrrr.).

Originally I would copy a menu and in properties deleted existing links; sometimes I start with a clean menu, but often I recycle previous projects and modify the style and links around a layout I liked.

Now with the first thumbnail or text button selected, under link, choose first chapter of  your desired timeline

Save your project now….

Menu>Create chapter index (Once I had left out a “previous” button and it automatically created it but not in the right style. So if you got no style, it will help, but not beautifully.)

Don’t choose MULTIPAGE, that’s for bluray popup menus.

Boom, Bunch of menus!

If they look good, congratulations. Test them.

If they don’t look right, well, disaster recovery:

Before I “create chapter index”, I save the project, so I have a backup in case it’s terrible and I want to delete and start again. For the same reason I also like to choose my final draft template scene selection menu, then in the Encore menu choose Edit>Duplicate so I have a backup of it as just a menu and can try again quicker than restoring my last save.

To reset and try again, you clear all the numbered menus in the list – EXCEPT “menuwhatever1” if you didn’t make a copy – rename it without the number and edit as needed. Then duplicate your “final draft” menu and try again. If you didn’t make a copy you will want to delete all the extra menus except the first, then in that you delete the thumbnail and text links for all the buttons after the first chapter, not the buttons themselves but the links in them.

Hope this saves you as much time as it does me. And yes I expect it will take you a couple of tries. That’s called “getting familiar with the process.”

— David

P.S. Discovered with joy I could reuse my chapter indexes when I converted my Blu-Ray project to DVD size (there are several methods but I just save a copy with a DVD in the filename and trade out the project medi by importing the DVD renders and replacing them in the timelines. (you can actually save the audio track if you are brave and it is EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH).

Sadly thumbnails for half of one timeline were one quarter sized like the media (HD versus SD) for some reason*, but not the other. Fixed by reselecting the Poster Frames.Not too bad.

*This may have been an out of memory situation, where the thumbnails weren’t rerendered on import because my C drive was filled up even though the scratch disks are on different drives. Oh Adobe, you do like to make cache files everywhere and never clean up after yourself. It was cute when you were a teenager but give me a break.

P.P.S. Google “clear adobe cache files” and you will find useful pages like this: Managing the Media Cache Database. That one is for the Media encoder but there are similar management buttons under preferences in all their programs.

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide was originally published on Creative Uploads

Comparison of Video Resolutions

I’ve used this chart to better  visualize how much I can crop a higher resolution frame in post and still stay at 1080P natively. It can also help in planning shots and digital pans.

In a pinch you can crop/zoom in on 1080 in your editing software a little bit more and still deliver HD with no one noticing if you start with a nice sharp image that’s well-exposed or are using some weird filters throughout. I prefer the no filter version, since other video magicians can see through the flashy tricks.

GoPro video resolutions

I found it at http://abekislevitz.com/understanding-your-new-gopro/ which is why it shows all the resolutions a Go Pro provides. It’s a useful site though it’s not particularly active now; I found  the older posts useful when I was getting a handle on mine.

–David

P.S. Not an actual handle. Not like this one:
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Comparison of Video Resolutions was originally published on Creative Uploads

Get: Really Useful Digital Video Recording Tools Vol. 1

(It’s just going to be the first volume. We all know it. We have too many tools we like to share and talk about when we love doing something, and work becomes playtime and they become toys.)

This post was inspired by what I thought was a quick post about some HDMI cables I like, but then I started talking about how I was using them and with what, and that’s where this list came from. I happily use all this stuff but may not have bought it from the exact store linked; you can research for yourself:

The Atomos store has a lot of cool things to help you get even higher quality digital video into your workflow. I like to go there and dream of big budgets and bank accounts: Atomos stuff on Amazon

A few months ago, I picked up this model of an Atomos Ninja Blade with an LCD screen.

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The screen is larger than any of my camcorder’s (though lower resolution than some) and can be positioned anywhere, but now I can record 4.2.2 colorspace 1920P HD video with less compression straight to disk from my old HV20 camera compared to when it went to tape at 1440×1080 in 4.2.0 using HDV compression. There are other video formats too depending on your needs. Yeah, the camera’s HDMI out gives a straight feed of better quality, and now I don’t have to scrounge for mini-DV tapes or deal with dropouts from dirty heads and old reused tapes! (I do miss that my tapes were a backup; and I will need to buy more hard drives to keep copies, but quality takes a little extra room, right?)

Unfortunately, the price doesn’t include any hard drives but comes with two empty drive sleds. But that means you can finesse the drive budget in the beginning and grow into it.

There are a lot of pricey Solid State Drives and other fast Hard Disk Drives on the Atomos.com Recommended Drive list, but it seemed a little outdated when I pored over it in April so it was tricky. You can use a pricier SSD to make a shockproof system, or get more space on a cheaper HDD. I have another camera for running around with, so I like to shoot static on a tripod with it for now but can always swap out the drive (two hot swappable trays!). I picked this standard spinning 500GB hard disk drive for $50. There are others on the Atomos list and some that could be. like this one. I wasn’t sure it worked when I bought it, but it does! The model is:
Seagate 500GB HDD 7MM ST500LT025
in case you need to search Google or your favorite site for it. But that line turns up nothing in the Amazon search because some of the details are too specific even though there are numerous sellers. So sometimes if you can’t find it in Amazon, start at a search engine instead. Anyway I found one but cutting out some keywords:
//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=megawatson-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B009T0FFVQ&asins=B009T0FFVQ&linkId=b4cf5af7779bf4f12d471287683d9e46&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

Listed as Seagate 500GB Momentus Thin SATA 3Gb/s 16MB Cache 2.5-Inch Internal Notebook Hard Drive (ST500LT025).

So their search was screwed up by HDD and 7mm (the drive height)? Really stupid.

Oh, you don’t have an HV20? Then hook it up to your Canon Rebel whatever model, or any digital camera with an HDMI out! I even connected it to my TiVo DVR and while the cable and pay channels are sadly copy-protected and can’t be recorded, I could make copies of anything from broadcast television right off the DVR and download into my computer (Yeah, there’s a program for that too). Your DVR mileage may vary.

Compatible Cameras? Look Here. Depending on your camera you may need an HDMI adapter to micro or mini, or a cable (I prefer the adapters so you aren’t looking through a pike for the one cable you need; some may be afraid to misplaced the one adapter they need. Keep it in a ziplock in your camera bag’s most obvious pouch.) Here’s a good collection for a nice price
//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=megawatson-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B0087BL0EE&asins=B0087BL0EE&linkId=67d096d176096ea1b03d472444ea58c8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true
I just added it to my own wishlist while researching this very article.

You also need to research your camera to figure out how to keep from recording the display overlay on the HDMI out unless that’s the look you want, and set your camera to stay on if you aren’t recording to internal media (which can be a great backup, or make the Ninja into the backup). You can do it. Just read the fine manual. Or Google it.

Last, that 15-foot white Monoprice cable (I got it direct from monoprice.com ages ago but they do seem to be on Amazon as Monoprice). Like I said, it still works but now has a short due to pulling it at a bad angle. It’s long which is helpful and white so I know it’s mine at the end of the shoot. I wouldn’t use it in more rugged conditions, and it worked fine at home before I finally damaged it on that shoot.

Anyway, a few helpful toys. Tools!

— David

Note: I set up an Amazon store to share product links for items I am happy to own, to provide readers an honest recommendation and review from a real person. I get a percentage of any sale made through my Amazon affiliate link at no additional cost to customers, which I think is fantastic. I’ve just used my order history to link literally to the exact products I am happy I bought, when possible to the same company my order came through inside the Amazon umbrella.

Get: Really Useful Digital Video Recording Tools Vol. 1 was originally published on Creative Uploads

Get: Cheap Quality HDMI Cables (plus…)

I’ve set up an Amazon store to share product links for items I am happy to own, to provide readers an honest recommendation and review from a real person. 

Twisted Vein HDMI Cables
Twisted Veins Two Pack of 6 ft. High Speed HDMI Cables + Right Angle Adapter and Velcro Cable Ties (Latest Version Supports Ethernet, 3D, and Audio Return).

Decent webbing-wrapped cables to connect both your devices for viewing or your devices for production (I use one now to take the HDMI off an old Canon HV20 digital tape recorder into a Ninja Digital Recorder I picked up from Adorama. Not only do the cables work great, but:

  • They come with a right-angle adapter to get around tight turns or reduce strain on a connection
  • Wish I had both cable and adapter on a shoot where I provided video monitoring to a puppeteer and damaged a long cable by stepping on it while moving the tripod.* This cable likely wouldn’t have bent enough to short out, or in the adapter the cable would have pulled safely out instead.
  • Free shipping available on orders over $35 (if you don’t already have Amazon Prime. What? You don’t? Just do this now and come back, I’ll wait. Try Amazon Prime Free for 30 Days)

I’m not going to write a sonnet for these: they work great, include Velcro ties since we forget that’s a good thing to use with cables, bonus adapter, and they are stylish enough that you know which ones are yours in the pile of boring black plastic ones when it’s time to pack up.

–David

* At least it wasn’t the camera port, which I had feared!.

P.S. I still use my broken 15′ long white cable from Monoprice but not in production environments. If you set it down just right and don’t move it, it works fine. like when I am on a trip and want to plug the iPad into hotel tv to look at the day’s photos. Oh, there’s a bunch of little add-ones that make that easier too. Another time.

P.P.S. This other post has links to other items mentioned in this article so you can research them if interested, without having to go into a lot of detail here. (The items but not necessarily the store I used.)  Call them Really Useful Digital Video Recording Tools Vol. 1.

Note: I get a percentage of any sale made through my Amazon affiliate link at no additional cost to customers, which I think is fantastic. I’ve just used my order history to link literally to the exact products I am happy I bought, when possible to the same company my order came through inside the Amazon umbrella.

 

Get: Cheap Quality HDMI Cables (plus…) was originally published on Creative Uploads