Posts tagged wtop
Posts tagged wtop
How iOS 7 will improve #iphonereporting
When Apple’s new iOS 7 debuts in Fall, two features I believe could mean major improvements for #iphonereporting are FaceTime Audio and AirDrop.
I’m not a developer, and don’t have a beta version with which to experiment, so these are just first impressions on how the new operating system could benefit journalists, public relations professionals, and newsmakers.
Forward-thinking Nick Garnett of the BBC has pioneered doing live reports with FaceTime, in its current video configuration.
In my testing, the connection is generally more stable than Skype, in both WiFi and LTE.
During FaceTime video, the microphone used is located in the phone’s earpiece (where you listen during a standard phone call), next to the front camera.
Holding that microphone a few inches from your mouth provides good, but slightly tinny audio (and a close-up view of your tonsils to the person on the other end of the video chat.)
With FaceTime Audio I’m hopeful the microphone engaged will be the far-superior microphone located on the bottom of the iPhone, directly to the left of the charging part.
The microphone on the bottom of the phone has much better bass response. I use that built-in bottom mic for the majority of my #iphonereporting.
To this point, it’s required some wired connections to transfer videos and photos taken on iPhone to iPad for editing. AirDrop will allow wireless sharing between devices (as long as you have an AirCloud account).
If you’re enthusiastic about how other iOS 7 features could help in #iphonereporting, I’d love to hear about them!
Typing 140 characters and adding a link or photo is so 2010.
Too many news organizations merely toss web or broadcast content in a tweet.
Here’s an example of content created on mobile for mobile.
It’s happened to every reporter — you attempt to play back a recorded interview, and have the horrible realization you failed to capture the audio.
Here’s how to avoid that moment of anger, frustration, and shame if you’re reporting on your iPhone.
First, in Settings, turn ON Airplane Mode, which will prevent your phone from ringing during your recorded interview.
Once you begin recording audio, you can lock your iPhone in Record On by doing something that seems counterintuitive — touching the On-Off button on the top of the iPhone.
Your screen will actually go dark, and you’ll likely think “oh no, I turned off my phone.”
Yet, when you touch the Home button to ‘revive’ your phone, you’ll see your audio app has continued to run in the background while the screen was dark and your audio has been safely recorded.
So simple, yet so important.
Declaring independence — from laptops, bags full of cumbersome radio broadcast gear, and perhaps most important, ‘the way it’s always been done.’
iPhone Reporting provides liberty, for those forward-thinkers willing to embrace both the benefits and challenges it poses. Comparison to work produced by journalists using full-size and function gear is inevitable and helpful, but is often comparing apples to oranges.
I estimate the audio quality of the built-in microphone of the iPhone4 to be 92-percent as good as that recorded with my Shure SM63 into a Marantz PMD620.
While some might argue “the listener will notice the difference,” I assure you a well-produced iPhone Reporting wrap, including your voice track, newsmakers, and natural sound will be almost aurally identical to the report filed by a journalist carrying traditional gear.
Yet, the iPhone Reporter can also provide cropped photos, edited video, and social networking — without having to find, set-up, boot-up, and dub from another device.
Publisher and broadcast media mogul Walter Annenberg once said “I cannot compromise or inhibit my independence.”
I think he’d agree compromise as a way of achieving independence is a goal worth working toward.
Load Skype on your smartphone.
Your voice will SOUND much better on the air.
It’s free, it’s easy to set up and use, and you will set yourself apart from other newsmakers and PR people who rely on lousy cell or landline connections.
Anyone with a fairly recent smartphone can establish a free Skype account, at www.skype.com.
Using voice over Internet technology, you can make free calls to other Skype users.
With Skype you don’t need to know a person’s phone number — you’ll want to know their contact account name.
For instance, if we were going to do an interview, I’d tell you our Skype account is wtopnews.
Once you establish your free Skype account, and download it on your phone, you would Search Skype Directory, and add wtopnews to your contacts.
When it’s time for the interview, you press Call, and a notification pops up on our newsroom computer that you are calling. We click Answer, and we’re connected.
Or, I can call you, once I know your Skype contact name.
As in any phone conversation, you hear through the earpiece and speak into the mouthpiece.
If you’re in a wifi hot spot, and especially if using an iPhone, or iPod Touch, as I record our conversation you will likely sound almost as good as if you were using expensive broadcast equipment.
If your office has wifi, you can sit at your desk, with all your creature comforts, while speaking into your “smartphone-turned-broadcast-microphone.”
If you’re on the road, even when relying on a 3G connection, you will sound markedly better using a Skype connection than dialing a “regular” phone call.
Since you care about sounding good, make sure journalists know you are Skype-equipped.
When pitching stories, include your Skype contact address.
Include your Skype address on your business card.
When a reporter calls for an interview, ask “would you like to do this on Skype?”
With radio news on FM, HD, satellite, and streamed online, “can you hear me now” won’t cut it anymore.
Download Skype on your phone — you won’t regret it. And let me know if you have any questions.