Jun 24

With COVID our church has moved to putting the talks online.  The most important thing when recording talks is good audio quality.  Your eyes can put up with poor video,  but poor audio gets irritating very quickly.  Thankfully it’s very easy to get clear sound.

The key is to use an external microphone so that the mic can be close to the person who’s talking. Don’t use the mic that’s built into your laptop or phone.  This is especially important if you are in an online meeting where you are listening as well as speaking.

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Feb 09

Since Catalina our movies keep getting interrupted by the Apple mail app randomly opening. One minute we are watching a movie then next moment half our scene vanishes and the Apple Mail appears! Thanks to my son Tim who worked out the solution below.

If you close Apple mail (Apple-W or hit the red circle) then if Apple mail has problems making a connection it will pop up fullscreen next to your movie. If however you hide mail, (Apple-H) then it won’t pop up and interrupt your movie.

It turns out to be some kind of a problem with Apple’s mail app that when it can’t connect to your server it comes up full-screen. My theory is that when you are watching a movie perhaps at times this makes it hard for mail to check the mail. Hiding mail instead of closing the window is a good workaround.

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Jan 16

In Apple TV there’s an option called ‘Computer’ where you can stream movies that are stored on your computer. But these movies need to be shared from your computer to Apple TV. In Catalina Apple changed how you turn this sharing on and off from your Computer.

Previously you need to go into iTunes and select ‘Turn on Home Sharing’ from your iTunes App. In Catalina it’s been moved from iTunes into the System Preferences. (It’s not been moved to the TV app – that’s where I went looking!)

To turn on sharing for your media Library you need to go into System Preferences, then ‘Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Media Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Home Sharing.’ Now all the movies that were in your old iTunes Library will be available on your Apple TV.

Turn on Home Sharing to see movies in Apple TV

If you want to add files from a media server or external Hard Disk to be able to view them on your Apple TV as well, you can leave them in place on your media server but you need to drag them into the new TV app on your computer. Before you do this make sure you unselect the option that says ‘Copy files to media folder when adding to Library.’ If that box is selected it will try to copy your movies from your external drive to your computer’s internal drive, and fill it up. If you leave that box unchecked, it will make a link to your external movies (so that you can play them from Apple TV) but it will keep them on the media drive.

Turn off ‘Copy Files…’ to access files on an external drive without copying them across.
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Jan 11

Last week my daughter was given a Spider-Man DVD for her birthday from her younger sister. We went to play it from our laptop and watch it on the Apple TV but because of the Disney copy protection it would not work! So we went out to my study and tried to watch it on my 2018 Mac mini with an external DVD player, but the video kept crashing the computer. This has some heavy duty software protection on it!

In the end I had to buy some software to copy the DVD onto our computer before we could watch it. I was a bit nervous because some of the DVD ripping sites looked undesirable. But in the end I found a good site and the software worked well. Sadly we were unable to watch the video that night on my daughter’s birthday, but we were able to watch it the next night!

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Oct 04

If you watch TV on your Macbook or iMac here’s a great tip. I’m not sure what happens in the rest of the world, but in Australia when you stream TV on demand from stations like channel 10 or SBS you get between 30 seconds and 2 minutes of ads every 10 minutes or so. The same happens if you watch TV on demand via Apple TV.

But you can avoid those ads! If you watch TV on demand using the Chrome browser in OS X with the ‘Ad Block’ plug-in enabled, all the ads disappear!  It completely skips all the ads and just plays the content. Continue reading ⟩

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Sep 17

movie

iTunes has copy protection on their movies called HDCP which will not allow you to play iTunes rentals or purchases on some older data projectors.   Thankfully there is a simple solution. You just need to watch an SD version  of the movie and it does not have the HDCP protection.  This is not mentioned on Apple’s support webpage but I was able to find out about it when I rang Apple iTunes support.  Read on for how to do this step-by-step.

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Jul 09

There is no Google Play App for the original Apple TV, but you can still watch Google Play movies using Youtube. When you do a search in Youtube, any movies that you have purchased in Google Play appear in the Youtube search results.  So even though Apple TV does not have a Google Play App,  you can still purchase or rent a movie from Google and watch it on your Apple TV.  Google suggest a way to do it by streaming the movie from your phone, but a far better way is to watch the movie directly in Apple TV via  the YouTube app. Here’s how.

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Dec 11

keynote

There have been many times that I have been given a keynote file from someone, and I wanted to get a movie or picture out of it and save it as a separate file.  Here’s how to do it.

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