fixed : quickly create GIF from QuickTime or MP4 video

Question :

For my social media I regularly want to create a .gif-animation from small clip out of an .mp4-video file that I have, but I don’t have a lot of video-editing skills or specialised software.

Is there a simple way to do this ?

 

Answer :

There are lots of ways to do this. And no video-editing skills are required to do the most basic, but with some editing you can quickly get better results.

I would recommend buying the $5 GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore and doing the editing in QuickTime (or iMovie).

The recommendations for a good GIF-animation for most social media are (suggested by .gif-database GIPHY) :

  • duration of about 6 seconds (shorter is better)
  • file size close to 8MB (smaller is better)
  • video resolution of 480 pixels (or 720 pixels maximum) on the shortest side (depending on either landscape or portrait view, or square, or any custom size)
  • total number of frames of 100 maximum (less is better)

If you just want to turn part of an existing video into a GIF, do this :

  • get GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore ( the $5 price tag is worth it if you plan on doing this more frequently )
  • first, open the video source in QuickTime.app
  • then, in the top menu bar, click on “Window”
  • then, in the pulldown menu, click on “Movie Inspector”
  • then, check out the number that is at “Encoded FPS” and remember it (you need this later)
  • then close QuickTime.app
  • now, open your source video in GIF Brewery 3
  • then, in the video slider below your video, slide the green slider to match the first frame of your desired GIF
  • and slide the red slider to where you want your GIF to end
    • click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-length is not okay, readjust the green and/or red slider to improve your clip
  • now, in the editing window, click on the Resize-button top left
  • then, in the popup window, make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked
  • then, move the Scale-slider until either Width or Height is 480px (if the clip size is less than 5 seconds, you could also stop the Scale-slider at 720px)
  • now, in the editing window, click the Settings-button top right
  • then, at “Frames Per Second” set the fps to match the “Encoded FPS” of the original video
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-speed is too slow, adjust the Speed-slider to a higher value (anything less than 110%, even 103%, will usually do)
    • if the preview-speed is too fast, adjust the Speed-slider to a lower value (anything over 95% will usually do)
  • then, make sure there’s a checkmark at “Optimize GIF colors”
  • then, adjust the ColorCount-slider to 48
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview looks okay, leave the ColorCount-slider at 48
    • if the preview looks too dark or otherwise odd, adjust the ColorCount-slider to a higher value like 96, 128, 216 or 256, but make sure to set it as low as possible
  • then, click the “Create”-button (at the bottom, slightly right of the middle, with a beer glass in it) to generate the GIF
  • then, click on the Save-button (bottom right)
  • in the popup window, type the name you want your GIF to have, set the location where you want it stored and click the Save-button
  • then, browse the Finder to find the GIF’s icon and ALT-click on it
  • first, select “Get Info” from the popup menu and check if the file size is 10MB or less
    • if the file size is over 10MB, go back to GIF Brewery 3, lower at least one of the values you have set there and create an extra version of your GIF that has a file size of 10MB or less
    • as mentioned before, the main values you can adjust are :
      • Length of the clip
      • Scale / Resize (might make the picture more grainy)
      • Frames Per Second / FPS (might make motions less fluent)
      • Color Count (might make the colors less vibrant)
  • then, ALT-click on the GIF’s icon again and select “Open with” from the popup menu and select your internet browser (probably Safari) to preview the animated GIF
  • If you are happy with the end result, you are ready to post the GIF on your social media
    • if not… redo your editing and try again

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : Sony miniDV cam “for InfoLithium battery only” error

Question :

I was planning to review some old miniDV videotapes to see if there was anything interesting on them that I might want to import into my Mac and edit it. However, when I plugged the battery onto my Sony PC1E miniDV camera, I immediately got a blue screen and an error saying “For InfoLITHIUM Battery only”, which is weird because the battery is an original Sony InfoLithium one…

So I plugged in the power cable and connected the power adapter to my Sony miniDV cam… but now I got even weirder : again, I can into the “For InfoLITHIUM Battery only” error… that’s impossible !?! this time it isn’t even a battery that’s connected, it’s the original power cable…

Is my Sony miniDV cam broken  ? (beyond repair maybe ?) Is it possible to fix this ?

 

Answer :

Even though your first reaction might be that your battery or maybe even your Sony miniDV cam is broken beyond repair… you are probably in luck if you haven’t used your Sony miniDV cam for a while and you get the “For InfoLITHIUM Battery only” error message… in that case, the solution is simple most of the time :

you probably got this error message because of the battery contact surface of your cam, your battery or your power adapter is greased or slightly corroded… so just clean it with a cleaning foam or cleaning fluid that is suited for use on electronic devices :

a good option is Multi Foam cleaning foamer by C-Inco, but others that are suited for use on computers and electronics should do as well :

D.RECT Cleaning Foam 400ml   buy it on Amazon UK / Amazon DE

CRC 1 VisiClear Foam Cleaner 6.9oz buy it on Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

LogiLink RP0012 Foam Cleaner 400ml   buy it on Amazon DE

Weicon Cleaning Foam 400ml   buy it on Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

Directions for use :

  • unplug the power adapter from the wall power
  • take the bottle of foam cleaner and shake well
  • then, spay foam on the contact area of the battery on the cam
  • then, spray foam on the contact area of the battery itself
  • then, spray foam onto the contact area of the power adapter
  • then leave it to dry
  • when all foam has dried, reconnect the battery or power adapter
  • then switch on your camera

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : charge and use headphones at the same time on USB-C iPad Pro

Question :

My 2018 iPad Pro is great. I can use it for most of the office work I previously did on my MacBook. I have also started to use my iPad Pro for conference calls. For that I would like to wear my favorite over-ear headphones, which have a 3.5mm mini-jack and noise canceling. I got an official Apple USB-C-to-minijack adapter for that, but then I run into the problem that I cannot charge my iPad Pro at the same time. I have seen that there are various docking stations and port-multipliers that work with the USB-C iPad Pro, but those are very expensive…

Isn’t there a simpler solution ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is, but your choices are very limited : there are various splitters available that split the USB-C port into a USB-port and an audio-port… but : BEWARE ! nearly every single one of them does NOT work with the iPad Pro !!! (most of them only work on Android devices)

There is only one of the simple (and very affordable) splitters that is tested to work with the 2018 iPad Pro :

ESR 2-in-1 USB-C PD Headphone Jack Adapter ( buy it on Amazon UK / Amazon DE )

Note 1 : this splitter’s USB-C port is only capable of charging, not for a USB-(data)stick or a USB-keyboard or anything other than a USB-C charger

Note 2 : this splitter’s audio mini-jack does support both audio-out and audio-in, so when using headphones with a microphone (like gaming headsets) that microphone is used, but when using a regular headphone, the iPad Pro’s built-in microphone will be used

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : new EyeTV 4 (64bit) freezes at startup

Question :

Since I upgraded to macOS 10.15 Catalina, I had to buy the new version of my beloved EyeTV app. So after buying the all new EyeTV 4 (64bit) at Geniatech (who took over EyeTV from Elgato) I installed the app, but whenever I try to run it, I get an “Application not responding” error. I have tried reinstalling the app, but that doesn’t help. I’ve also tried to download and install a newer version, but that doesn’t help either. Deleting the preferences (using the EyeTVreporter.app) doesn’t help either. Even uninstalling EyeTV and all associated files completely (using the EyeTVreporter.app) and then reinstalling doesn’t fix this either…

This is so strange, because EyeTV 4 Beta was running fine on this same Mac…

What can I do ?

 

Solution :

The problem is not in EyeTV, it’s in the new extremely strict security and privacy settings that are new to macOS 10.15 Catalina.

To fix this, do this :

  • quit the EyeTV app by clicking on it’s icon in the Dock while pressing the ALT-key on your keyboard
  • in the popup menu, the regular ‘Quit’ option will now turn into ‘Force Quit’
  • click on ‘Force Quit’ and make sure EyeTV app is quit (so there is no longer a black dot below it’s icon in the Dock)
  • click on the Apple-icon in the top menu bar of your screen
  • from the pulldown menu select System Preferences
  • make sure you are in the System Preferences window (main window), if not, click the  ‘dots in a grid’-button in the top menu bar of the window
  • in the System Preferences window, click on Security & Privacy (iron Home icon with circular dial on it)
  • in the Security & Privacy window, click on the ‘Privacy’ tab
  • in list on the left, click on ‘Files and Folders’
  • in the list that now appears on the right, scroll down to EyeTV and put a checkmark at ‘Documents Folder’
  • if you get a popup warning “EyeTV will not have access to files in your documents folder until it is quit” click the “Quit Now”-button
  • then close the System Preferences window
  • and restart the EyeTV 64bit app

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : Jaksta records .mp4 movies that QuickTime can’t play

Question :

I have been using Jacksta Media Recorder for a long time now, and it has always worked marvelously for me when I need to download a video. Jaksta can download nearly any online video that I can watch in Safari.

But recently, Jaksta does download the exact videos I want, but the downloads turn out to be .mp4 files that QuickTime hangs on when trying to play them…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

The exact reason for this is unknown, but it might have something to do with the fact that not all browsers play HTML5-videos using the same technology.

It turns out that your solution is to use the Google Chrome (or Firefox) web browser – instead of Safari – with Jaksta running in the background. That way, when you play the online video in Chrome (or Firefox), the file that Jaksta downloads will be a .mp4 video that QuickTime can play without any problems.

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : watch all ZiggoGo channels on your TV

Question :

We have a very basic Dutch TV subscription from Ziggo, which suits us fine even though it’s analog TV (or should I say SD, as compared to HD). Now I recently installed the ZiggoGo.app to be able to watch live TV on my iPhone and iPad also. I then noticed that some of the TV channels that I can watch for FREE on ZiggoGo (like History Channel) are not available on my regular living room TV…

Is there a way to get all ZiggoGo channels on my TV without upgrading my Ziggo subscription ?

 

Answer :

Yes, there is.

Just use a Google Chromecast and on your TV and stream to it from the ZiggoGo.app.

To do so, you will need :

  • any TV with an HDMI-port (any smartTV will do)
  • a Google Chromecast – 1st generation or newer (*)
  • an iPhone or iPad
  • the GoogleHome.app
  • the ZiggoGo.app
  • any Ziggo TV subscription (even the most basic one will do)

(*) if you already own a Chromecast-imitation like an AnyCast-dongle or MiraCast-dongle you might be able to do this also, just don’t buy an imitation if you want to be sure that it works on forehand !

The way to do this is rather straightforward :

  • plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI-port
  • make sure the Chromecast is connected to the same WiFi-network as your iPhone/iPad
    • you can check this in the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone/iPad
    • if you use a brandnew Chromecast you will need to install it first
    • to do so, install the GoogleHome.app and follow the on-screen directions
  • switch the TV’s input source to the Chromecast’s HDMI-port in the TV’s on-screen menu
  • open the ZiggoGo.app on your iPhone/iPad
  • make sure you are logged in to your Ziggo account on the ZiggoGo.app
    • the login name and password are the same ones you use to login on the Ziggo website – if you don’t have them at hand, contact Ziggo
  • then, select the live TV channel you want to watch
  • when the TV show starts, click on the Chromecast-icon (the rectangle with the WiFi-sign in the bottom-left corner) and click on your Chromecast in the popup-list
  • now you are watching the ZiggoGo (digital) TV-channel on your TV

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : stream video to Google Nest Hub from iPhone/iPad

Question :

We’ve just gotten ourselves a Google Nest Hub (the Google Home pod with a screen) in our kitchen. Since it has a screen, we would like to watch Netflix and/or live TV on it.

Is that possible ?

 

Answer :

Yes, you can stream video (and live TV) from your iPhone (or iPad) to your Google Nest Hub’s screen as if you were streaming to a Google Chromecast…

But…  even though it uses the Chromecast-isch protocol, the app developers have to add support for streaming to the Google Nest Hub as an extra… most services have already implemented support, but some are still working on it…

International streaming services :

  • Netflix : not yet (for now real Chromecast streaming only)
  • Amazon Prime : not yet (for now real Chromecast streaming only)
  • AppleTV+ : no (no support expected for some time to come as Apple and Google have only recently started to consider more compatibility between Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast streaming protocols)
  • Disney+ : yes
  • YouTube : yes
  • Vimeo : yes
  • EyeTV : not yet

Local Dutch streaming services ( video-on-demand/VOD, catch-up TV & live TV ) :

  • ZiggoGo : yes
  • Videoland : yes
  • RTL XL : yes
  • KIJK : yes
  • NOS Play : yes
  • NPO Start : yes
  • Pathé Thuis : yes

To stream video (or live TV) from your iPhone (or iPad) to your Google Nest Home’s screen, the procedure is nearly identical for all services :

  • make sure the Google Nest Hub is ON
  • make sure the Google Nest Hub is on the same WiFi network as your iPhone (or iPad) – you can check this in the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • turn on the streaming video service’s app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • start the video you would like to stream
  • click on the Chromecast-icon (rectangular icon with the WiFi-sign over the bottom left corner) that is displayed (somewhere on the screen, usually at the bottom, top or side – depending on the app’s layout)
  • from the popup-list select the Google Nest Hub (which you have given a name like “Kitchen Display” in GoogleHome.app)
  • and start watching on your Google Nest Hub

That’s it !

enjoy 😉