Mac20Q Podcast 86 ArtisticBrit

Andrew Jones is a British guy living in New Jersey in the US and has a out there. As you can tell from his YouTube name ArtisticBrit, he is an arty sort of person that is into creating art with his Mac more than anything else. He uses Adobe Illustrator and various other application like this and loves using the Mac.

Our chat was very informal and we had a laugh along the way. He is also into video creation and uses a Canon video camera to capture his images. I met up with Andrew first of all on YouTube which is a surprise seeing as seems to be the place these days. Mind you seeing as we are both into vide then it should not be a surprise.

Andrew is a photographer too and loves nothing better than getting out and about taking pictures of amongst other things , Fire Hydrants. Have a listen to the podcast because he talks about what he has in his camera bag and also about the workflow he uses to take something from initial idea to a finished art work.

Photo20Q Podcast Adam Weiss

Canon EOS 7D Digital SLRAdam is a photographer from Boston shooting with a Canon 7D and uses it for video also. This podcast was recorded for Mac 20 Questions podcast mainly but we do spend quite a bit of time talking about photograpy, video and photo equipment.

Today’s interview is with Adam Weiss who uses a Mac Pro that is a quad processor antique and also a MacBook. Not only that he has hackintoshed a Dell mini9, just for fun and using on trips where he can’t carry much. He says it is useful but very slow in use. Good as a portable storage device and quiet to use as a recording computer and works with the microphones he has.

Adam Weiss is a successful educational podcaster and podcast consultant, as well as a sought-after digital media strategist. An expert interviewer and communicator, he aims to show that digital communication is more about story, presentation, and technique than fancy gear and tech toys.

He is the creator of the award-winning Current Science & Technology Podcast for the Museum of Science in Boston, which he hosted for more than two years. He now hosts his critically-acclaimed Boston Behind the Scenes Podcast, and has profiled everyone from street vendors to senators and astronauts in his career.

Adam also provides consultation on social networking, living with technology, web design and best practices, and general digital media strategy. He has started working in the digital video realm recently, and has been a photographer for years.

Adam does video reviews in which he shows what you can do with iPhone applications. He films using a Canon 7D SLR camera that also does video. He tells me that the main restriction would be the length of the clip you can record and that it doesn’t do autofocus while in video mode.

Adam is a podcaster too working as a podcast producer and also as the host on a podcast. One of the podcasts is a nature – science podcast. He even helps other people out with their podcasts as a podcast consultant.

Video evidence from Liverpool

If you want the lowdown on the Liverpool Tweetup you won’t get it from this video, but you do get some pictures of some of the crew that were present.

I should have shot some video at the Red Hot buffet style restaurant. The food was great. I easily ate three platefuls and I wished I could have found room for more.

If you get a chance to meet some of your Twitter buddies in the flesh then go for it. People are often as nice face to face as they are online.

Here is the video

Mac20Q Podcast 75 Gary Rosenzweig MacMost

Gary Rosenzweig in the pub

pictured here in an English pub  (Mind you if he was doing it properly he would have a pint of beer in his hand) talked to Mac20Q about what he does with . He has been very busy producing Mac tips in video form for about 2 years and is doing very nicely on YouTube.

He was previously into making games with Flash and still might do the odd game. He has also made an app for the iPhone. So as you can see he is multi talented with the programming, podcasting with video, writing books, drinking beer and probably many other things too. He is successful in bringing in revenue from his podcasting, He has the links on the MacMost site and apart from one month doesn’t have the advertising in the videos.

Gary also has an Sony HDV camera which is plugged into his MacPro and he records live into Wirecast which comes from the same company as . I was amazed that his preference for movie editing was with iMovie because it is so fast to do the editing. He could use FinalCut Express but prefers iMovie. He compresses the file at the end of it all with MPEG StreamClip. He uploads to and it will send the file off to YouTube which saves some time with the uploading. Naturally you will find and Twitter.

He recommends that if you want to get into video podcasting and you don’t yet have a HD Camera then just shoot in standard def. move up to HD when you are able to. If you wait until everything is perfect then you will never get to make a podcast.

Gary admits to being a geek, and using terminal editor on his tiny netbook rather than using the Ubuntu that was installed. He was using EEE Ubuntu. He has been using as Mac for a long time though and was issued a Mac SE in 1987 when he was in college. It was a requirement to have a Mac there.

MacMost_ Mac and iPhone Help and Tutorials

For a favourite application he has to choose between Garageband and iMovie, but was perhaps edging towards iMovie more. Gary does use Audacity and although it is a free application I would recommend that you use AmadeusPro, it looks prettier, more Mac like and I think it is more stable too.

He uses Fluid the custom browser application that you can use to make a web application for one specific purpose. I have it for FaceBook but Gary uses it for a Todo application. he is an iPhone user and use MocaVNC, Tweetie, Cycle Meter, and Scrabble plus other games. On the MacMost Newsletter he does a recommended iPhone app of the week.

Mac20Q Podcast 73 Bob Degrande

Bob has been a supporter of Mac20Q for some time and was telling me that he has listened right from the start of the podcast. Thanks Bob, good to have you along for the ride. He was the winner of one of our software giveaway competitions too!

A good chat was had and covered all the good stuff about being a Mac user. Bob is in the process of making a podcast about Bridge the card game. He started doing it as an audio podcast then decided to start again but with video. Makes more sense if you can see the cards, for this he has been using BoinxTV. I also have BoinxTV but it didn’t work on my iMac and when I looked at it working on the MacBook I decided that it was more for making Live TV programs with multiple cameras. I think I am better off using FinalCut Express or iMovie.

Whilst on the subject of FinalCut Express, I have still been working away to learn how to use the application and I am pleased that I am getting into it due to using Lynda .com with the excellent tutorials they have there. I also found FinalCutKing web site and there is a whole load of video tutorials on the IzzyVideo web site. All good quality stuff. I checked out YouTube also but the quality of the tutorials is much more variable and at the lower end of the scale.

I though it was funny that all the news sites have been talking about Applecare not being available to smokers because the filth that had accumulated in the machine had made it un safe for the technicians, Well smokers are disgusting creatures and deserve it if it is true. Blackened lungs and blackened insides of the computer. So there you go passive smoking is bad for computers too.

Back to Bob – he is certainly a die hard Mac user, having experience with Macs from the very early days, he did veer away during the dark days when Jobs was pushed aside but was happy to come back to the fold when Intel processors appeared in the Mac computers. Thanks to Bob for coming on Mac 20 Questions. I had a great time chatting with him and if you would like to be featured on Mac 20 Questions then why not contact me and we can make a date and time to record an interview.

Leave a comment by hitting the blue button above and then scrolling down to get the the input form, or send me an email using the form below

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FinalCut Express and the magic mouse

Magic Mouse

Apple Magic MouseI have the Magic Mouse for a couple of weeks now and I have to say it is thumbs up all the way. I was listening to the Mac Geek Gab podcast this morning and Dave was going into huge detail about his experience with the mouse. One of thing he said was about the size of the mouse. It is not very high or thick, or tall and seems small, built for small hands. The comment was that Steve Jobs must have small hands. Well my hands are not that small but for me the mouse is a good size. I had suffered with some RSI pain for about a month prior to getting this mouse and now after using the Magic Mouse for a couple of weeks I now can shake hands with people when we meet without wincing. Definitely a big plus for me there.

Another problem that other people have reported is the tracking speed of the mouse, and perhaps needing to run a third party utility to get to work fast enough. Strangely I have not had that problem. I installed 10.6.2 before I started using the mouse, which could have been a factor with this, and the tracking has been good. I adjusted it to the speed I wanted in System Preferences and that was that. I am working with 2 screens on my iMac also and I can easily track the whole width no hassle whatsoever.

So if you have not had a chance to try one of these Magic Mouse rodents from Apple then I would say you should definitely jump in there and have a play at your local Apple Store.

FinalCut Express

I have been learning how to do things in FinalCut Express during the week and using to teach myself. It is taking some practice time to get my head around the roll, ripple, slip and slide tools but I am getting there. The training videos in Lynda are very good and makes the learning much quicker and in depth. Reading the PDF manual is painful in comparison. So far I have been working on one video with footage I took while at a friends’ horse riding school. I had some good shots in there and I managed to make a short movie with FinalCut Express without too much bother. I struggled with moving clips on the timeline and I still need to learn how to make the audio fade where I want it too. In this case I looked at the length of the audio required and opened up AmadeusPro to do the job for me, but it can be done in FinalCut Express.

Apple - Final Cut Express

In the Lynda training videos there are details on how to set up the preferences to work better. It seems the standard prefs are not the best for working with. If I had not got to work with I would never have found this out. There is always a gap it seems between the designers of software and the users, the lessons are from people that know the application inside out and that is a huge benefit. As part of my learning I have been watching the videos for Final Cut Pro also and there is a separate series that deals with LiveType, the application that deals with titling. I am quite impressed with that application.

I have noticed that there are some small differences between the Express application compared to the Pro but for the most part you can do all that you need in FinalCut Express. For instance one difference is the speed controls. I see that in Pro it is possible to have easing in and out of the speed of a clip or a selection of a clip, so that when ramping the speed you can do it with more finesse. There is no 3 way colour corrector in FinalCut Express, which I saw being used in tutorials on the FinalCut King site. So nothing major anyway and watching the tutorials for the Pro application are also helpful and not potentially confusing.

The first video I sent out of FinalCut Express is now on my , if you would like to have a look,

Mac20QTip 10 Setting up keyboard shortcuts

You know when you turn on the caps lock and type in a pile of text then have to either type in again or find a way to change it. How about if you were to turn off the Caps Lock Key, you know you hardly ever use it. Seems that it is more there to annoy than to be useful. Well in this video I show you how to turn off the Caps Lock.

See how you can set up active corners that will work with a modifier key so that it doesn’t just annoy you when you are trying to something in one of the active corners, like hit the Apple in the menu bar at top left.

I made this video with ScreenFlow to capture the screen and narrate, then I put it in Final Cut Express to set it up. It is really the first project I have set up in Final Cut so I was pleased that it went so well. I have been using to learn how to use Final Cut. It cost $25 to get Lynda for a month and I would say that with the quality of the screencasts it is well worth it. I have been doing the TrueType lessons as well as Final Cut.

I have been amazed by the capabilities of LiveType and being able to do some round trip editing between it and FinalCut Express. I have opened a Live Type section in FinalCut Express – gone in and changed it, saved it and returned to Final cut to see it updated ready for action.

Here is the Video and if you want to see in High Definition then go to the YouTube site to watch it in 1280 by 720

Mac20Q Podcast 72 – Iconfessimageek


Today I am talking to a guy that nearly confessed to being a makeup guy, you know lipstick and blusher and all that, . Unfortunately his wife is not a Mac person yet but he is working on her, I tell him to get out the thumbscrews. His son aged five though is a computer user with a laptop of his own.

David does have an iMac 20 inch model and is a recent switcher. He got drawn into the Mac world with iPods and moved into it with a white Macbook, he has moved on to a later model MacBook though. He is a firm believer in AppleCare. I have not had AppleCare on any of my Macs but he has got his moneys’ worth out of it.

We talk about Boxee and Plex, I don’t use those because I can’t get the best out of it because I live in Spain. I just wish I could use the BBC iPlayer, I may have to get something that will hide my IP address.

I talk about getting a satellite box from Elgato which will allow me to save things to watch later. He has a Sanyo Xacti video camcorder and loves using iMovie to make professional looking DVDs for the family.

He has his own podcast and is on episode 14 at the moment. He said the latest was going to be about Christmas presents for the Geek in your life.

David confesses to being an inbox zero type and also to having been outside the Milton Keynes Apple Store at 4am in the morning to get an iPhone. He uses Tweetie two and uses Brizzly which is a web based twitter client. There was a Twitter client in the latest MacHeist, Twitterific

Screen shot 2009-11-17 at 13.14.24

Hooray I finally got my hands on Final Cut Express, Only took 2 weeks to get here from Birmingham to Spain. There is a chance that it was in the post office here for a few days because I didn’t get the note to say it was in the post office to collect. Often the post person is completely useless putting the post in the wrong box. Some of the house owners don’t check their post for months because they don’t live here – they live in Holland or Germany. Then when they do check and find a letter or whatever that is not theirs, they just dump it rather than put in the right box

Grrrr !!

Ah well I have it now just because I called to correos and asked if they had anything for me, or it would have probably sat there for a few more days or weeks. I still am happy to have saved 70 euro by buying off the Apple Store site in the UK rather than getting from the Apple Store Spain.

As soon as I had installed FinalCut Express I had to download a 180 mb  to update it to the latest. I will talk more about how it is going in a blog post and podcast.

Mac20Q Podcast 71 Paul McGovern – Educator Extraordinaire


Great guy from Enniskillin in Northern Ireland. He is Lecturer In Media Applications & Computer Science, Specialising in Video Game Development. I used to go there to Enniskillin, quite often either for shopping or to go to the Theatre. I did even once go kayaking on the river, with a bunch of kids. A good day out.

In the ramble I mention my new Magic Mouse which I am really pleased with, Google Wave and The Film Ink which got featured on , the film got put on torrent this week and was downloaded thousands of times. I would like to see them getting paid for it though. Excellent looking movie. I have a DVD on its way to me now.

– lecturer in Northern Ireland and in impressing his students with being a total tech head. He tells me about apps like Blender, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere. He also does things on the audio side with Audacity and other apps you can find out about in the interview. He is fond also of an Application which Allison of the Nosillacast often bangs on about.

is designed to replace your traditional paper planbook with a robust digital scheduler. Planbook is designed and written by a full-time teacher and includes all the features you need to save time, stay organized, keep others informed and help you finish your teaching day a little bit earlier.

is a versatile, powerful, yet very simple to use tool for recording lectures including PowerPoint and/or Keynote slides for creating enhanced podcasts. ProfCast provides a low cost solution for recording and distributing lectures, special events, and presentations as podcasts. ProfCast offers an integrated workflow that makes creating, recording, and publishing podcasts easy. It’s as simple as Launch, Load, and Lecture!

Paul tells me of a thing called , which is  a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites. I must check it out my wife is a teacher, maybe she could find it useful.

Mac20Q Tip 9 More Basics with ScreenFlow

Another video to show how to do things with ScreenFlow, the screen capture application. I have been using this application for over a year now and I was recently taking part with the Version 2 beta program. As I was recording this video there was another update to the application and telestream do their best to keep on top of it to make a great tool for making and editing video screencasts.

As I am making these screencasts I am learning more about the power that is in this application. There will be more Screencasts to come to show you what can be done.





Mac20Q Podcast 70 ScreenFlow Interview

Telestream ScreenFlow - Overview

In this podcast I am talking to two people from Telestream, the company that make ScreenFlow. ScreenFlow is a super product that I use often to make screencasts. Barbara deHart and Christine Porter tell me all about ScreenFlow and also mention other products from Telestream.

I was able to give them direct a feature I would like to see in the ScreenFlow, they are keen to improve ScreenFlow and you never know my suggestion about being able to specify the placement of a clip within the screen might make it into ScreenFlow. It pretty good that they have snapping lines that let you snap a clip to the centres and to the edges but sometimes you might want a clip be at an exact position and for that you need some boxes where you can enter some numbers in the same way you can enter a number to specify the zoom level for example.

I also use VideoCue from Telestream and other people have requested some of the features in that to be merged into ScreenFlow, I agree with that for sure.

I know there are other screen capture applications out there and I have paid for a couple of them but in the end I had to get ScreenFlow because of what it can do with the editing. It really is handy to be able to do all you need to do in the one application, from capturing the whole of the screen to uploading it to YouTube.

See the Screencast I made about using . I show some of the basics like adding extra media and using transitions in between clips. I will be producing more screencasts as soon as my cold/flu symptoms abate a little.

Mac20Q Podcast 68 Andy McCaskey of Slashdot Review

Andy has been podcasting for some time and so we had a great chat about the Mac and Podcasting. Andy is responsible for which is SlashDot Review. SDR News is a Daily Monday to Friday Technology Podcast with Tech News Highlights from Slashdot, Digg and Reddit. It is a 12 to 14 minute podcast.

Here are a couple of examples of the news from SDRNews

DVR is TV’s New BFF | Electronic Frontier Foundation
IT snake oil: Six tech cure-alls that went bunk
TV Finds That a Mortal Foe, the DVR, Is Really a Best Friend –

He also has CMS Weekly in which he talks about Joomla, Drupal, Alfresco and WordPress for example.

He actually started podcasting with a Dell computer and a gamer mic, he has a long relationship with the Mac though and as we know the Mac is the best way to go for making podcasts. He edits audio with a few different audio applications including ProTools, he like the encoder to mp3 in that one, find out more in the podcast. The Heil PR40 takes a bow again, it is a very popular mic for the podcasters.He tells me that he still has the packaging for nearly all of the Apple Products he has ever bought.

Andy is getting more interested in making videos now, visiting tech trade show, to interview people, strangely he is using the iSight camera to record them and then send them straight out with UStream video.

He tells me about he favourite applications on the Mac, things like CamTwist, AmadeusPro, Pro Tools, Audacity even?? Andy, like me struggles a bit with Automator, we both think it is a great concept though. Just need a problem to solve with Automator.

Photo 20Q Podcast – David J Schloss

As part of my Mac 20 Questions podcast I interviewed David Schloss from MacCreate. There was a lot of chat about photography and David told me what he has in his camera bag. David also talked about his favourite photographers and he has taught photography courses with the best of them.
One of the photographers I am impressed by is Dave Hill, he comes out with some totally awesome images that look kind of hyper real.
What do you think the latest SLR cameras that take video too. I like the idea but think I had better see how they work first and see some footage from one too.

Mac20Q Podcast 66 Talking to MacCreate

canon 450Another of my passions is photography and I am lucky to have David Schloss from as a guest who is a photographer too. He tells us about his equipment and how he uses it for his sport photos and also his macro photography. We chat about the new SLR cameras that do video as well as stills. Stock photography gets a mention – I do some micro stock with Fotolia and sell some of my images, both illustrations and photos. I would have to put in more effort though to make it pay me much of money but I do get some money out of it from time to time. It all helps

In the interview we also mention HDR photography and some of our favourite photographers. I like the work by Dave Hill – no not the old Slade guitarist and for HDR there is a guy called ‘Stuck in Customs’ on Flickr He has made a tutorial to show how he does it also.

clapperboardSeeing as I am interested in Video it is great also that the stock sites like fotolia and iStock also sell video clips. I have only uploaded a couple of clips so far of some wind turbines I saw in France. So I will Have to get out and shoot some more.

This week I had to take my mom to the airport at the end of a visit and I decided to drive into Girona to have a look in the Mac shop in the centre of town
I was keen to check out the new magic mouse – I tried it and liked it. The woman in the shop was hovering so I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to but I think I want one. Having the sideways scroll is important for me for the audio editing, and no fear of the ball nipple getting gunked up

ShuttleXpressAlthough I have been tempted to get one of those things that the Final cut pro jockeys like to use, a  Contour ShuttleXpress. The ShuttleXpress is a 5 button Jog & Shuttle Multimedia Control Surface. and it says the ShuttleXpress comes pre-configured for many of the leading Audio and Video applications
I wonder if it is set up for AmadeusPro – but I can see myself using it for Final Cut  Express now that I have got around to buying it. That was the other thing I was asking about in the shop – They did not have in stock though – I have bought online now, because parking is such a pain in Girona

Wanted to check if I would be getting a Spanish version or if it was in English. And it seem that it is available in English – good for me anyway. I actually bought what I wanted from the UK Apple site. I would have paid €248 on the Spanish site and I got it for €181 from the UK. The only thing is that I had to have it sent to a UK address. I should have done this before my mother came to visit and not afterwards.

Mac20Q Podcast 61 Steve Sheridan

A burger is fine food ???

I was looking to get to talk with Steve for quite a while. I had heard he would be an interesting fella to talk to and it was true. We had a great chat about about how he uses his Mac. It was also known to me that Steve is well into the video end of things, so I asked him about that. he undertook a project which took him nearly forever to digitise a pile of videos from the old days. He liked doing it so much he even did some for his sister.

Steve provides the back up and support for Alison, both moral and technical for the Nosillacast. Moderating the room when Allison does the live recording of her podcast. I think that Steve deserves some of the lime light too. He claimed to be shy but was an excellent guest and in the end we had to stop or the podcast would just be too long to put out.

In the ramble I talk a bit about the screencasting I have been doing this week. I enjoy doing it but this week I have had extra impetus with having the new version of ScreenFlow to test out. I got in on the Version 2 beta testing run and it has to be coming out soon because I have not had any problems with it while making the screencasts.

I also comment in the podcast about Macbreak Weekly, following on from the condemnation of Leo Laporte by Allison made me re think how I felt about MBW. OK they could be annoying from time to time with the singing now and then on the show but lately I had to wonder about why they keep the show length when there is so little news sometime. They end up talking more about the competing products from competing businesses, making it less of a Mac Podcast and more of a general geek show.

Ah well it is their show and they can do what they like with it, as I do what I like with my show. Maybe my listeners will tell me what I could do with changing in the show here at Mac20Q, and I don’t expect to get the call now to go and talk on the MacBreak Weekly now. Ah well never mind…

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Video20Q Podcast 2 Mike Peter Reed


I  got the chance to interview so that he could tell me about the that he took part in. The idea was to make a film in the space of two weeks. In the next round there will probably more films made because they rules give more time to get things ready for the filming.

The  three feature films were made during the of the Two Week Film Collective in May (and you can watch The Dabbler and The Original Soundtrack online for free by clicking their links):

Some Mac web sites that Mike recommends

I was also interested in  what Mike had to say about the recording of sound and the field recorder he has. He uses a Sound Devices 702T and I would be keen to get something like that for myself for doing more outside broadcast type of sound recording. Would be great to get my hands on a shotgun mic and the dead cat wind filter, all to fit on the end of  a boom pole. I did get looking at a few different field mixers and it would be really difficult to decide which would be best to buy. There are field mixers and then there are field recorders. The recorder seems to do the mixing too. I think I need to learn more about how all these things work. Could spend quite a lot of money on this sort of equipment with lavalier mics, shotgun, mics, carbon fibre boom poles, various cables. the best I can manage now is a Zoom H2 or to record direct into my Macbook. I did make sure that I bought a camera that has a mic input.

interview coming next.

Mac20Q Podcast 50 Mike Peter Reed

Mike Peter Reed
I was really pleased to get the chance to interview so that he could tell me about the that he took part in. The idea was to make a film in the space of two weeks. In the next round there will probably more films made because they rules give more time to get things ready for the filming.

The  three feature films were made during the of the Two Week Film Collective in May (and you can watch The Dabbler and The Original Soundtrack online for free by clicking their links):

Some Mac web sites that Mike recommends

I was also interested in  what Mike had to say about the recording of sound and the field recorder he has. He uses a Sound Devices 702T and I would be keen to get something like that for myself for doing more outside broadcast type of sound recording. Would be great to get my hands on a shotgun mic and the dead cat wind filter, all to fit on the end of  a boom pole. I did get looking at a few different field mixers and it would be really difficult to decide which would be best to buy. There are field mixers and then there are field recorders. The recorder seems to do the mixing too. I think I need to learn more about how all these things work. Could spend quite a lot of money on this sort of equipment with lavalier mics, shotgun, mics, carbon fibre boom poles, various cables. the best I can manage now is a Zoom H2 or to record direct into my Macbook. I did make sure that I bought a camera that has a mic input.

Welcome to Video 20 Questions

pmw-ex1Welcome to Video 20 Questions. This is a follow on site from Mac 20 Questions. On this site I will be talking to people with camcorders, video cameras like the
and even the digital SLR cameras that can take video. If it is about video it is here.

Some of the interviewees will have professional broadcast quality cameras and will be using the top Pro applications to edit the resulting video. On the other end I will be talking to the person that wants to make some funny videos of their friend getting kicked in the nuts for YouTube.

hf100The idea is to have the full range possible and you never know we could all improve our video knowledge and skills. We can talk about codecs to use to get the best quality, or to get the best compression, and which is the best way to get a good compromise between size of file and quality.

I have 20 questions that I will ask and over time they will evolve to get the best information from the featured guests. I may have to use different sets of questions depending on the level of skill and knowledge of the guest.

If you want to be featured on the podcast contact me using the form below. Of course question 20 is “Tell me about your web site ” and that is your chance to tell the world about your website or product, with links to it in the show notes for the episode.

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