One of the things I’ve been resolved to do lately is make more videos. Simply put, I felt like I was dropping the ball with my Youtube channel and sacrificing a pretty effective strategy… basically because I thought I didn’t have the time.
But, then Youtube Capture came out on the iPhone. Then, I thought… wait, my iPhone has a camera. I have no excuses. 🙂
So, I set out to make more videos using my iPhone. Thing is, I wanted my videos to look as good as I could. Most iPhone videos are fairly janky.
And an important criteria: I wanted to do single-take videos that required no editing. I wanted to be able to upload the video using Youtube Capture and be done with it. If I had to download the video to the computer, edit, then upload… it would take too much time and that makes me less likely to do it.
I did some research into some add-ons to the iPhone. It took me several hours of research. And, I’m going to share them with you right now in order to save you the time.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Satechi BT MediaRemote
Yes, this is a remote control for the iPhone. Seems like an odd addition when you can just hold the phone in the air and you’re physically touching it.
But, there is method to my madness. I wanted to be able to make quick, single-take videos with zero editing required. So, if I’m going to sit in front of the phone and do that, I needed a remote. Otherwise, the video would show me pressing the button, getting into place, then the reverse at the end of the video.
This remote works via Bluetooth. It is used to control media playback, however it also can control the camera shutter in the camera app.
If the camera app is in photo mode, then you can snap a photo from afar. If the camera app is in video mode, you can start and stop video recording with this remote.
So, no more hunting for the record button on a screen which is facing away from you.
This little device is so you can tripod mount your iPhone. Very important if you want to be able to record yourself without holding the phone in the air.
Now, if you look around at a lot of tripod mounts for the iPhone, you’ll find one very annoying trait: Many of them require you to use a special case. Well, I have an Otterbox case on my iPhone and I didn’t want to have to change the case merely to make a video.
The iStabilizer is a universal tripod mount which will literally grab the device using a spring-loaded clip. This means it will work regardless of what case you have your phone in.
Less work, less annoyance. Which makes making those videos even easier.
Ram-Mount Double Ball Twist-Lock Suction Cup Mount
One of the things I wanted to be able to do is record videos from the car. However, it goes without saying that I didn’t want to have ANY safety risks doing so. So, I needed to be able to do it without touching the phone. This makes recording the video essentially no different than talking to somebody in the passenger seat.
After some looking around at different options, I decided on the Ram-Mount system.
I picked up the RAM-B-166U Double Ball Twist-Lock Suction Cup Mount and the corresponding Universal X-Grip mount for the phone. This allows me to mount the phone practically anywhere in the car as well as point the camera anywhere I want. And, the X-Grip mount means I don’t have to remove the phone from the case, screw with tripod mounting – or anything like that.
The suction mount has become almost a permanent part of my car now (although it is easily removable, obviously). And, if I intend to shoot a video, I just mount my phone in the X-Grip. Obviously, you ALWAYS want do to that while sitting at a stop.
iPhone Microphone Adapter
Quality audio is pretty important. The iPhone has a pretty good mic in it, but it will still give you that echoey sound and pick up a lot of background noise. All camcorders do it. The only way to avoid that is to use an external mic.
There are a few different mic adapters out there, allowing you to plug almost any kind of mic into the iPhone. The one I picked up was from KVConnection.com, and is their 1/8-inch microphone adapter. Essentially, this allows me to use any mic I want which uses a 1/8-inch phono jack.
I already owned a little Audio Technica ATR-3350 lavalier mic. This is a wired mic which clips to my shirt, and has a 20-foot cord on it. So, using this adapter, I can now use that mic on my iPhone.
One little tip: That mic is mono only. So, if you want two-channel audio, you’ll want to run the mic through a stereo RCA adapter like the one right here. While this won’t technically give you stereo, it will duplicate the audio signal on both channels, essentially turning this mono mic into a dual-channel audio stream that is perfectly acceptable for the web.
The x-Shot is a funny little device, but can lead to some fairly interesting looking footage.
See, if you don’t want to tripod mount your phone, then you basically have to hand-hold it. And, our arms are only so long. Plus, if you use the rear-facing camera AND hand-hold it, you don’t even know if your face is in frame.
The X-Shot is essentially an extensible stick with a tripod mount on the end. This allows you to hand-hold the phone, but at a distance which is much further away. So, using the iStabilizer (see above), you attach the iPhone to the X-Shot, hit record, and talk. If you want to avoid the logistics of pressing the button being captured on your video, then use the remote (see above).
Obviously, the Youtube Capture app is a fairly critical part of my workflow here. But, at least as of this writing, the capabilities of that app are fairly limited.
What if you wanted to add on an intro?
Now, I’m not adding any intros at this time. But, at least I’d like the ability to do so. And, I’d still want to be able to do the entire process self-contained on my iPhone.
Well, you can grab iMovie for the iPhone. You can do various editing tasks from that app, but at the bare minimum, I would only use it to join two or more clips into a single movie before uploading to Youtube. So, I would head over to Fiverr and get an intro made. Put the video file for your intro into the camera roll on your iPhone. Then, whenever you do a video, you record the live action shot as you usually do. Using iMovie, you join the pre-created intro reel and the live action shot you just recorded. Export, upload to Youtube. Done.
Obviously, if you’re going to get the most bang out of these videos you’re uploading on Youtube, you’ve got to do more than just upload them. The Youtube Capture app allows you to set the title, but that’s about it.
To do a full SEO-friendly description, tags, annotations – all that stuff – you’re going to have to visit Youtube.com on your computer and take care of it.
Or, do what I did. Automate the entire process using a virtual assistant. I literally documented the entire thing that I want to have happen, and now my VA does it. It is now part of her daily workflow to check my Youtube channel for any videos that need to be processed by her. She takes care of annotations, description, social distribution, and posting to my blog using LeadPlayer.
If you’d like more details on the back-office stuff we’re doing behind the scenes on this stuff, well that’s a good reason to consider joining the Academy.
Hopefully that saves you some time and headache. And, I’d be happy to answer questions below in the comments.
I’ll end with this…
Most of us are carrying little video production systems in our pockets – right inside our phones. So, really, when you think about it, we have no excuses for not making videos for our online businesses, do we? 🙂