Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blogging with the iTouch part 1

At an Apple event organised by the Sheffield College on 26 Nov 2009 and sponsored by, I was lucky enough to learn a lot more about using Macs generally (Dave Foster's session was particularly good. He's the manager of the Leeds West CLC) and some new things about the iTouch that I didn't know about as a newcomer to these devices.

Quite a few of my eCPD PDAs and MoLeNET projects are using or going to use iTouches so I thought I'd mention a couple of useful things here.

First of all, if you buy a small mic for your iTouch, you can use it as a voice recorder. Better still, set up an account and you can create podcasts on the fly. Here's my first audioboo:

The first mic I saw for the iTouch was the thumb tack-like mic at the Sheffield event:
This is nice and small (and easily mistaken for a real thumb tack!) and works simply by inserting it in the headphone socket of the iTouch. However, the disadvantage is that you have to remove the mic in order to hear the recording (since you have inserted it in the headphone socket, the iTouch will try to play it back through the mic).

I went on and bought this one instead:
This is much bigger than the thumb tack so less aesthetically pleasing, but
allows you to simply record and then playback without having to remove it from the headphone socket. There is a slightly different model on Amazon and if anyone has any other models and experiences, it would be good to find out what you think to your mic for the iTouch.

The iTouch does not have a camera which makes it somewhat limited in capturing what you see. I learned to do a screen grab of the iTouch screen by clicking the on/off button at the top and the button below the screen at the same time. Whatever you are viewing at the time is then added to the camera roll and you can use the image in your blog or podcast. You can browse to a picture using Safari on the iTouch and screen capture it (ensure you are staying legal in terms of copyright, of course).

Other ways of getting photos to your iTouch without having to sync to iTunes would be to email pictures to yourself. Tap the picture in the email and a menu comes up with options to save your image.

Thanks to Dave Foster and James Clay for their ideas and introductions to the hardware/software.