Tag - Recording
If you freelance, then arguably your only stock in trade is time and it's hugely important to track it both for your clients and for yourself. Equally, if you're in a big corporation, the odds are that you have to slog through some kind of time recording report and having an app that at least does some of the work for you has got to be gold. Work Tracker 1.0 is an app for recording how long you spend on any particular task or for any particular client.
We've covered various forms of audio recording before on Pointers -- including an entire series on podcasting -- but we've rarely and only lightly mentioned recording "in the field," and so this Pointers is about the specifics of recording with iOS devices. Thanks to some recent changes by Apple and some existing third-party products, the need to bring a Mac with you to wherever you are in order to facilitate a quality recording has been greatly reduced, and recording either your voice or an instrument using just iOS devices has finally arrived.
If you have a reason to record audio from your iPad or iPhone, could you let us know? It's not that we think you're wrong, it's more that it's so rarely useful for us that we're curious about use cases. Especially now that we know how to do it. So if you have to record something from an app, say, or a phone call (respecting local laws, of course), or maybe if you have an audio recording and are struggling to get it off the iPad, here's what you need to do.
Ferrite Recording Studio 1.0 is a complete podcast recording, editing and to an extent even distributing app which does what it does very well – though it isn't yet the one-stop-shop it aims to be. Plus, it's a free app -- but you have to have at least one of the in-app purchases to even really try it out. We do like it a lot and do expect it to get better over time, but also time is something you need to devote to the app as it stands now. You won't pick up how to use Ferrite without reading through the online documentation.
Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics for beginning podcasters or vocalists, and we were very impressed with Blue's Mo-Fi headphones -- we wanted to thoroughly test each component of the Blue Yeti Studio, which features a Yeti-class desk microphone bundled with software to enhance different types of recordings. It's a slightly pricier package than a basic starter mic for a first podcast, so is it worth it? Find out in our review.
This should be considered part 2.5 of a short series of Pointers that concern themselves with the finer points of podcasting (we sort-of started with a Pointers about voice recording on the Mac generally, then went into the first requirements specifically for a podcast). This week, the Wednesday Pointers will focus on defining your podcast, including which of three media types you want to go for; recording tips for local, field, and remote discussions; and then some focus on editing.
Last Wednesday on Pointers, we talked about the many reasons one might want to do some voice-oriented recording of a more serious nature on one's Mac or iOS device, such as interviews or as part of creating a YouTube video. We also made some entry-level recommendations on decent mics (the built-in mic on most Macs is fine for FaceTime calls, but its limitations show up quickly when trying to do something professional-sounding) and capturing software. This time around, we'll talk about the mechanics of making a podcast.
Today's Pointers column is aimed squarely that the guy or girl who is pretty good -- or at least vaguely fluent -- with Macs, and has thus suddenly been branded a tech "guru" by their Apple-illiterate or tech-unfriendly family, friends, long-lost relatives, or strangers in the street. You want to help, but they don't live with you, or perhaps a continent away. Nevertheless, you can be their knight in silicon armor. Read on to find out how.
Among the myriad of gaming companies in Los Angeles this week for E3, Elgato may seem a bit out of place. The company last week released its Game Capture HD, however, and we had a chance to check out the new recording device for Xbox, PlayStation or any other game console.
Utilizing a separate microphone built into each headphone house and a dedicated, in-line USB sound card, Andrea Electronics says its new SuperBeam headsets offer "boom-free" audio recording and better bass, midrange and treble than most computers' built-in sound systems. The dual-mic array cancels background noise, making the headsets ideal for VOIP calls, video and game chatting and speech-recognition software. It can also be used to make binaural "3D audio" recordings.
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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives