Extending Lithium-Ion Battery Life
One of the sites that I regularly follow from a Windows owner point of view is Windows Secrets.
This site has been around since the dawn of time (well the dawn of Windows at least!) and is an incredible source of information on all things Windows.
This week they sent out their regular email roundup and it contained a great article that is applicable to most of us.
I have linked directly to it below.
For many of us now we are using devices that have morphed over from the original NiCad batteries to the more recent Lithium Ion batteries.
What many people may be unaware of is that while the reason for this development was better battery life, these device operate very differently to the one we have been using.
Yes, they offer better overall life and yes they offer the ability to deliver charge for longer periods but the fact remains that these performance enhancements only apply if you treat them correctly.
Check the link below for a great education on the proper care and feeding of Lithium-Ion batteries.
Big Update from Corel
Next up this week is some news from Corel regarding their video editor VideoStudio Pro X8.
With the recent upgrade of Windows to version 10 it was inevitable that some updates would begin to roll out as users started to uncover any bugs created by it and it seems that Corel are the first cab off the rank.
For existing users, to get the update you just need to go to the Corel site and download it. It is the one marked Service Pack 2.
However rather than just issue a bug fix release Corel have done a major update to add more to the existing program and this is all at no cost to existing users of VideoStudio Pro X8 and VideoStudio Ultimate X8.
For new customers these added features are now included in the purchase price which has not changed.
Here is a list of what has been added on top of the Windows 10 fixes they have implemented (in their own words):
“An easier way to burn to DVD, AVCHD and Blu-ray Discs, use MyDVD to get a stylish look with 10 themed templates with menus, sub-menus and chapters. Turn your videos and photos into professional-looking multimedia disc projects, complete with image-rich menus and music.”
“Easily add dynamic 2D and 3D titles, captions and rolling credits to your movies. (nVidia graphics card and Intel HD3000 and above required for NewBlue TitlerEX.)”
Improved FastFlick editing
“Easily find the best part of your video or photo with the new Adjust tool, which lets you choose the part of video or photo that is visible in the FastFlick template placeholder.”
Apply Audio Filter to Video Files Directly
“Now you can apply an audio filter directly to your video clips without having to split the audio and video first.”
You can check out the software at the Corel site HERE
Or you can click here to see the full VideoStudio Pro Review
How To Publish Consistently Despite a Busy Life
In the days when everybody had decided to get themselves a blog there were thousands of them popping up all over the place on a daily basis.
In reality what happened to easily 95% of them was that within the first month they had been abandoned or taken down.
Then along came video which is much easier… right?
So once again thousands of people started signing up for YouTube or whatever on a daily basis all hot’n’heavy to get their YouTube Channel going or to start vlogging!
And yet again within the first month we see most of these newly minted vloggers or video content creators falling by the wayside.
The reasons for this may be quite varied but generally speaking it comes down to one raw fact.
In order to garner an audience of any kind beyond your immediate friends and family you need to be continually and regularly creating interesting and valuable content.
If you don’t do this you will never be talking to anyone and you will very soon tire of the whole process.
On top of that, coming up with new content can be a serious grind and it ends up being only those who are passionate about both the creation of the content as well as the content subject itself that in all reality keep going.
The two things to take way from this are that if you want to get into blogging or vlogging you need to be dealing with a subject or a group of related subjects that you are interested in.
Secondly, you need to develop systems that make the creation of the content as painless as possible.
Shooting in Golden Hour
There are two particularly interesting times of the day when the need to intervene in the lighting of your video reduces to a minimum.
At these times of the day (on a clear day) mother nature takes over and provides you with some of the most stunning natural light you could ever hope for.
Those times are of course sunrise and sunset.
It is because of this that filmmakers call that time, the Golden Hour.
Technically it is because the light being provided is hitting at such a low angle that the nature of that light is changed dramatically by the way it reaches us through the atmosphere.
Even setting up your camera at it’s auto settings will still result in very different looking footage and in fact many of the better cameras actually have a separate setting for footage shot at this time.
However the real value of shooting in this light can only be achieved by setting up manually and specifically for it but the good news is that it is not that hard to do.
Check out the link below for a full explanation and tutorial.
GoPro Field Guide: Understanding Video Modes on HERO4
I kind of stumbled upon this video the other day in between catching up on my cute kitten and dog surfing video on YouTube… all in the interests of research you understand.
I initially though it would be of value to GoPro users (and it is) but then realized it gives a great explanation of what to expect and what the effect is of using various frame rates and different resolutions.
One problem that people are often bringing to me is that of mismatched assets on the timeline.
Usually this is because they have obtained extra footage of things they themselves have video’d but because it came from a different device has different parameters.
Generally speaking there is no one solution to fit all scenarios except for that of understanding what the differences are and how they can be dealt with in each instance.
Correct Audio Levels
Possibly one of the most difficult aspects of any video to get absolutely right is that of audio.
Even a simple project with just some background music and maybe a little “live” sound form the camera can be really hard to get right.
It is very easy to sit at the computer and listen to what you have and know it is wrong somehow.
The really tricky part is getting it right!
Probably the reason for this is that there seem to be very few resources that actually take a person through the process at an amatuer level.
Look around the internet and you will be hard pressed to find something that at least gives you a few set rules to start with and then general advice to build from there.
In fact most of the resources I have ever come across either assume you are already a sound engineer or simply say, “Make sure you fix the audio!”
This week I found an excellent article over on Premiumbeat where they lay out a few rules to follow and while it may not be the definitive treatise on audio for video is provides a very good start.
Video Software for Small Business
One of the software suites I recommend for a very easy video editor is that of muvee Reveal.
It is about as close to an automatic solution as I think you can get at the moment and for many people it is a great solution for creating video without the pain of endless editing.
Probably what is less known about the muvee product is that it also comes in a Small Business package as well. It is an ideal solution for a small to medium business that know it needs to get some kind of video representation online but basically has no budget to do so.
Using their business package any small operation can create very professional and presentable looking videos for purely commercial purposes for the cost of the software itself and a little time.