Hello friends, welcome to Issue 007 of my newsletter, Type.
Shot from my friend Nick’s debut show of his project Holophone – made as a long-exposure with Spectre for iOS.
Music is my favorite tool
Right now, I am in love with listening to music and using it to hijack any negative emotions. This is coming in three major forms:
First, I moved my second HomePod into a different room and have been listening to music across the house. I personally get immense value from throwing on music at a moment’s notice, and ever since I’ve been working from home I’ve been dancing by myself more than ever.
Second, my girlfriend helped me buy an electric drum set. I used to play the drums in high school and college, but putting my drum set up in our living room and blowing away all of the neighbors isn’t exactly a tenable solution. Now that I have it set up along with my headphones, I’ve been rocking out and getting extremely pumped up by playing even just for a few songs.
The third comes from replacing my AirPods, because these new ones are much louder / not as degraded as my old pair. The max volume is at least 20% higher, so I’ve been bumping artists like Big Wild and being enveloped in the music. I still haven’t gotten super deep into AirPods-only Siri Shortcuts, but that’s on the agenda.
The streaming setup is near operational
Two weeks ago, I got fiber internet. And in the days after that, I purchased a StreamDeck, an Elgato CamLink, and started messing around with OBS on the Mac in preparation to do Shortcuts livestreams.
I’ve honestly really struggled producing high-quality informational videos about Siri Shortcuts and how to use the app, often because I’m getting in my own way in terms of production or making sure that what I’m trying to cover works well for the unknown audience I’m serving.
I’ve often found myself lamenting that it’s a shame I’m not great at making videos quickly, because the content I’m covering is in no way the problem – “I can talk about this for hours” I’ve said a few times.
And now that my Internet connection is much more stable for broadcasting my footage, I am doing just that.
I’ll have to experiment with the other aspects of live-streaming beyond the gear setup, but right now I have a multi-cam setup to show my iPad Pro in action while I can also talk to the camera.
I am going to focus a bit of my Shortcuts energy on those livestreams and use that time to get my ideas out of my head and into the hands of people, and use some of that material for future videos.
In the meantime, aside from the streams, I am going to spend some time nailing down some of the remaining aspects of the video production process with my own creative tech videos. They’re mostly in the same realm of Apple products and using this stuff in my life, but this is already helping me avoid constantly drawing from the same well and also have some fun (while still teaching Shortcuts on livestreams).
Then again, my biggest problem is committing to something and then feeling bad when I adjust my expectations, so let’s just say these are experiments too :)
Links to check out
Each section is labeled with whom might be most interested in clicking:
- This app EVR X lets you extract your camera EXIF data and turn it into Mac tags and Final Cut Pro X keywords, so you can filter accordingly. Only $10.
- This 40-minute “Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.4.4 presentation” walks through some of the features of FCPX that released back in November if you missed it, including demos of noise reduction, grabbing and inserting captions, what it’s like to collaborate using Frame.Io, viewing comparisons of your shots for color corrections, and more. Shown at the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group, this type of presentation really shows some of the depth FCPX has, as well as the community around it – I’d love to have something like this for Siri Shortcuts.
People who think about technology:
- As I’ve been constantly working through new routines and building shortcuts for them, this piece has stuck with me – “The Empty Brain” with the subtitle “Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge, or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer”.
It dissects the ways that thinking about your brain as a computer limits or skews your thinking, and how those assumptions will one day seem quaint when we know more.
While the piece honestly doesn’t have a very satisfying conclusion, but it’s something I am going to consider when thinking about how people interact with something like Siri Shortcuts – these tools should do the compute work, and each person using these tools is just an organism.
People who watch television:
People who are subscribed to my newsletter:
- Esquire’s piece on Dan Levy spoiled a tiny bit for me about his show Schitt’s Creek, which I’ve been binging lately with my girlfriend, but it was interesting to read as we discovered it a bit late it seems as it made its way from a Canadian network to Netflix.
Many people will recognize Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, and his sister Annie Murphy certainly has an impressionable character too – the show overall follows the mega-wealthy who’ve been forced to move to a po-dunk town, and while it takes a 'lil bit to get rolling, the characters are interesting, the lines are funny, and it’s good fun to watch.
- In my absurd quest to print out a laminated card of my Siri Shortcuts phrases, I went looking for typography articles and came across this “Typography lessons from an unexpected place: SNL cue cards”.
The included video goes through the details of the team that write, updates, organizes, and holds the giant cards that cast members read. It’s an interesting system, and uniquely suited to their needs, but also man, that’s a lot of paper every week.
- Shortcuts 2.2 on YouTube: My latest video covers Shortcuts 2.2 and all the newest updates from Apple. I really enjoyed making this one and discovering that the Notes actions work with handwritten content – check out the full video to see in action.
- Shortcuts 2.2 on iMore: I covered the Shortcuts 2.2 update on iMore in written form as well, in case you just want to read it all instead of watching.
- Supercomputer 26: For EVEN MORE context, Alex and I covered the Shortcuts 2.2 update on Supercomputer. Over-saturation aside, sometimes our conversations do give these new updates some good context because Alex usually isn’t convinced the features matter, and by the end I’ve usually convinced her how they can be helpful.
- Supercomputer 27: We also had our first guest on Supercomputer – the wonderful Rosemary Orchard joined us and we nerded out in the best way possible. This was fun to record – if anyone has suggestions for who we should have on as guests, we are always open to recommendations.
- Supercomputer 28: I would have covered it in here, but I don’t want to spoil our most recent episode of Supercomputer covering the iPad Mini. We both have strong feelings, and both came to the same conclusion...
Because I am an infant child who cannot read or write properly, I referred to a “Marlin man” in my newsletter instead of the respectable Merlin Mann. I apologize to Merlin, and I will continue to hang my head in shame.
I also screwed up a link last time, and now my wonderful girlfriend Ariel is helping me with quality assurance – she already helped me not mess up the first link in this one :)
Follow my streams
Even though I’m just getting started streaming, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, which I think will be my main location, but I’ll be testing as well on Twitch, Periscope, and Instagram.
If any of you might have a preference for which platform would be best, let me know – I figured people will watch live, catch up later, or use different recap/highlight tools, so any suggestions are welcome!
Plus, reply here and I might answer your Shortcuts questions on a stream ✌️
Thanks again for reading – hope things are going well for everyone.