This is the first version of my podcasting setup that I’m relatively happy with as it is clean without too much things going on. I’ve used this for Corner Geeks and some Tech Talk Coffee Shop episodes.
An alternative to LineIn is Audacity (enable “Software Playthrough” in the Transport menu and click “Start Monitoring” in the input device) or LadioCast but LineIn is the simplest method for this setup. For Windows and Linux users, the Audacity method should work just fine.
So a couple of weeks back we had the honour of live streaming of Ran8adidas (the 8th year anniversary celebrations of Ranoadidas.com) at the International Convention Center (ICC). We share with you how we managed to get mobile video in the field with the ability to add overlays and mix the audio source with any audio source while at the same time live streaming and recording it.
MacBook Pro line-in port to receive sound from the mixer
A USB sound card to be used as audio out for monitoring
Soundflower was used as extra audio devices to aid the transfer of audio from audio sources to audio outputs
LadioCast (free) for audio mixer/switching between mixer and iOS device audio
uStream.tv (free) to stream and record the live video and audio
The video quality wasn’t great and it was a trade-off between faster frame rates vs better image quality and resolution which were limited factors of the WebCamera application (192×144 vs 480×360, but I’m not sure to measure the frame rate). We decided on better image quality as it would be made worse by the spotty 3G connection
We tried using uStream Producer (free) but it was inconsistent as it dropped after 30 seconds. I wonder if this could be due to the 3G reception.
If you have an Android device you can use IP WebCam (free) to stream the video and audio from the device to a computer. I used 2 different instances of VLC (free) to play the video and audio. The video could then be captured using CamTwist and the audio controlled with LadioCast
We experimented with PocketCam for iOS ($4.99) paried together with the PocketControl (free) client software but the delay in video and audio was too great, ~10 seconds.
I managed to stumble upon the Huawei IDEOS S7 at Yappe IT Store in Serusop selling for B$399 (cash price) and when recording the video below I noticed that quite a few of them have already been bought. Check out the video giving an overview of the device
CPU: 750 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (source: UMPCportal as we forgot to check the processor but it seemed decent enough)
GPU: Adreno 200
7″ 800×480 (WVGA) Capactive Multi-Touch Screen
Android 2.2 with custom launcher
Front and Rear facing 2 megapixel cameras that record in CIF (352×288)
8GB storage (7.51GB available but 116MB for apps)
3G Enabled (standard SIM) with dialer (can make calls and text)
Can run Flash (installed from Market)
Upto 720p HD playback of mp4 (h264, aac), wmv files
Device seems rooted by default (Superuser was installed after factory reset)
Other hardware details: Kickstand, Removable battery, Optical trackpad
Budget price B$399: great budget device for a 7″ tablet and phone with calling ability
Able to run Flash for a fuller web experience (put settings as ‘On-Demand’ for better performance)
Android 2.2 thus you can do mobile tethering (share 3G via Wi-Fi)
Cold boot / Restarts in about 1 minute
Decent Performance: it did not seem sluggish or noticeable slow but there were times where it took multiple touches to get the device to respond (could be also due to the plastic film on the device screen)
Only 116MB free for apps
A few default apps are landscape oriented and don’t rotate if device is in portrait mode
No Office software to read Word/Excel/Powerpoint files (doc/docx/xls/xlsx/ppt/pptx)
I doubt this will get any future upgrades because it is an older model and Huawei is releasing an S7 Slim and also the recently announced Media Pad. The main issue with the device will be the battery life: having a removable battery aids it but then you will have to buy another battery and external charger to keep it running. I was contemplating on the device and using it as a mobile hotspot with my b-mobile Zoom! SIM card and using it as a tablet for reading and on the go computing. However with the possible battery life issues, the best bet for my use case is still the Samsung Galaxy Tab which will cost about B$250 more but you get better hardware and a better overall experience. But having said that, I believe this is the cheapest 3G and Flash enabled Android tablet in Brunei. If you’re looking for a budget all-in-one phone and tablet device, and don’t mind the possible battery life issues, this is a good deal.
This week @mfirdaus and I talk about this week’s WWDC 2011. We will split this in 3 parts: Lion, iOS5 and iCloud as the discussion got pretty long. If you want to watch the video of the keynote click here but also do check out Justin Lee’s keypoint summary of the keynote or just refer to Apple’s what’s new section for their info about Lion.
Show Notes for WWDC 2011 Keynote on Lion
Bringing iOS to desktop: Trying to convert PC users using iOS devices to a Mac
Corner Geeks Episode 4 is live and this week we’re talking about New Media and give an introduction to Live Streaming. In the future we will cover Live Streaming in more details including the setup we used for live steaming the Ran8adidas event at ICC at the end of June.
Search for gstreamer lame plugin: “apt-cache search gstream lame”
Installer the gstreamer lame plugin: “apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse” (this may change, just the search results from the previous steps)
Start the Icecast server with the following command (this combines starting a Icecast server and sending audio via a source client all in one command
“gst-launch pulsesrc ! audioconvert ! lame quality=9 ! shout2send mount=/listen.mp3 port=8000 password=YourPass ip=ServerIP”You can change the mount, port, password, ip values depending on your setup.
The Icecast server is now up and running (assuming there are no errors / typos) and this will stream any audio playing from the device.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is the first Honeycomb tablet I’ve seen here in Brunei and is the first proper 10″ Android tablet. As with most Android tablets the specs are somewhat typical: 10″ (1280×800) with dual cameras running on the nVidia Tegra2. @mfirdaus and I managed to play around with the device for over an hour and below is the video overview we took of it. Below the video are further thoughts of the device and sample photos and videos from the device itself.
Preloaded games (NFS Shift, Let’s Golf, Hero of Sparta)
Weight & Size
I have always thought 10″ tablets were a bit bigger than an iPad but in fact they are similar sizes: The A500 is longer and thicker but narrower than an iPad 2 (A500: 26cm x 17.7cm x 1.33cm, iPad2: 24.1cm x 18.6cm x 0.88cm). However the A500 is relatively heavy at 765g (iPad 2 is 601g), thus if you’re holding on the device it can get tiring.
The 10″ screen was responsive and we didn’t feel at real / noticeable / annoying lag or unresponsiveness. At a resolution of 1280×800, that is the same resolution as a lot of 13″ or 14″ laptops and is of higher resolution compared to an iPad: this means when browsing you should see more content. Speaking of browsing, with the great browser which has tabs and the ability to install Flash, this would make a great web browsing device.
Honeycomb and Apps
Refer to the previous post on A First Taste of Honeycomb (Android 3.0): in short there are not many apps optimized for Honeycomb and the large screen, but regular apps can still run.
The killer hardware features are the microSD card slot, full sized USB port and micro HDMI.
The microSD card slot enables you to add storage without buying a new device. If you’re on a budget, just buy the lowest capacity device and add microSD cards for your media (do note that microSD cards could be slower than internal storage on device, but is probably cheaper and can be transferred to other devices in the future).
The full sized USB port means you can connect a regular USB keyboard to the device and start typing straight away if you really need to type out of an email / do word processing. This will easily make the A500 into a productivity device with the proper applications. The USB port also means that you can copy files to and from a regular thumb drive like a regular computer which is a great feature. I’ve heard that USB card readers do not work, but I have no confirmation on this.
The micro HDMI port means you can connect the device to a projector / HDTV with display mirroring (display on both device and projector/TV). While this is a great option, I still think an iPad 2 trumps with the VGA dongle because VGA is still very widely used and HDMI is not. For people wishing to use the device for presentations, I would think an iPad 2 with the VGA dongle would be much easier to work with. I don’t believe there is an easy way to convert an HDMI signal to VGA without an external box, which means added cost and added items to bring.
The front facing camera is a 2 megapixel while the rear camera is 5 megapixels (and also has a flash) however the picture and sound quality wasn’t stellar: samples below. Do note that the device was covered with clear plastic which would affect both the video and audio quality but I wouldn’t expect quality to be much better than what we got. Audio quality is pretty disappointing. Photos are stored in JPG format while videos in 3GP (H264/AAC).
We could not take the device home to test the battery life of the device but below lists battery tests from other reviews but most reviews say you can easily get an full days worth without issue.
At B$728, the 32GB A500 is priced cheaper than a 32GB iPad 2 (B$798), but do note that a 16GB iPad 2 is cheaper (B$668). IMHO Concepts should have brought in the 16GB version of the Iconia Tab to undercut all iPad 2 prices because with most Android tablets you can add expansion via microSD cards.
As a consumer device, this is a great device for web browsing, reading and watching movies. If you have TVs/monitors with HDMI input, this is a possible media center device with a purchase of a microHDMI to HDMI cable or a microHDMI to standard HDMI converter. As an office device, this is a viable option is you have HDMI monitors / projectors. The USB port option is great for using external keyboards and transferring of files. Overall Honeycomb is still maturing and is hard to convince people with an Android tablet unless there is a particular function that they need/want that is available on Android or a specific tablet as the iPad, with iOS, has the advantage of apps. Would I get one myself? I doubt so, as I’m looking more of a 7″ device with USB host, VGA out (highly unlikely thus maybe HDMI out) and possibly 3G to wirelessly tether via a wireless hotspot so I may even look out for the Iconia Tab A100 which is a 7″ version that is coming out in a couple of months.
We talk about Portal 2, one of the best games of this year and one of the games that has captured people’s hearts and minds (mine included) with the great voice acting, humour and songs that started with Portal 1. Great great songs written by Jonathan Coulton and sung by Ellen McLain