Eye-Fi Enables Direct Mode and Releases Mobile Apps

 

I’m liking Eye-Fi on a whole new level these days. This company and their products  have come a long way since I tested/reviewed the first card back in 2007. They’ve delivered on their promise to enable Direct Mode transfers from their X2 cards and they’ve released Mobile Apps for both iOS and Android platforms. This is great news for photographers as it gives you a way to shoot wirelessly from your camera to your tablet device or even your smartphone. Although I was quite content with the testing I had done thus far with the Pro X2 card going through my MiFi mobile hotspot, I’m even happier that I wont need it (the MiFi) anymore to shoot to my iPad 2.

Upgrade your Firmware

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the new Eye-Fi Center Application from their site and upgrade the Firmware of your Eye-Fi X2 card. I and others had problems doing the upgrade as it would immediately fail no matter what. The work around seems to be delete your existing Eye-Fi account (back up your photos first of course) and then create a new account and you should then be able to successfully upgrade your card.

 

Enable Direct Mode on your Card

Once your firmware is up to date you should then be able to Enable Direct Mode on your X2 card. You will see the SSID (network name) of the card as well as the password for the card’s network. To save time you can turn on Direct Mode while the card is in your computer and then connect your devices to its network. This is what I did with my iPad 2 to enable me to easily see the password while I was keying it in on the iPad.

 

Download their App

If you have an iOS or Android device you can download their FREE App for your device and log into your Eye-Fi Account. Once you log in you can then enable your card to transfer to the App directly.

 

A Tip

By default your images will just import and show in the grid. I want to see my images full screen and have them auto advance as i shoot. This is not really called out in the preferences. However if you go to Application Preferences and turn on “Full Screen”, your images will not only go to full screen as they come in, but they will also auto advance! YAY!

 

See more about the Eye-Fi App

I did a more complete review of the Eye-Fi App here.

 

How fast is it?

In my testing I used my Nikon D7000 (a 16.2 MP Camera) and I used the first card slot to shoot RAW to my regular 16GB SD card and I put the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 card in the second slot. I set the camera to shoot BASIC JPG to the second slot. This means that it’s transferring a 16.2 MP Basic JPG image to the iPad.

See the speed for yourself here:

 

The Bottom Line

Before you can say it, yes I wish there was a Compact Flash option (adapters aren’t supported with the X2 cards). However, if you’ve got a camera that shoots to an SD card, this solution totally rocks! If you got a camera with two card slots, then it gets even better as you’ll be able to shoot RAW to one card and your smallest JPG to the Eye-Fi card. I’m loving my D7000 even more now!

You can get the NEW 8GB Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Card here for $79

You can get the 8GB Pro X2 Card (which handles RAW) NEW LOWER PRICE here for $99

You can get the Nikon D7000 here 🙂

You can get the FREE Eye-Fi iOS App here: Eye-Fi - Eye-Fi

You can get the FREE Eye-Fi Android App here

If you want MORE OPTIONS check out the Shuttersnitch App here. Yes it works with Direct Mode too!

Learn the Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White on your iPad

Oh happy day! I'm pleased to announce that my "Learn The Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White" App has just been updated to be a Universal iOS App, which means that you now get to see the videos in all the iPad 10" glory without having to screen double them. The App is now available on the App Store and is of course a FREE update to anyone who already had it.

If you're new to the App, the advantage here my regular podcast is that many of the episodes have Exclusive Bonus Clips. These clips can only be seen in the App and aren't published anywhere else. Often the Bonus Content includes additional tips and techniques or expands in an area where the regular episode left off. On the iPad these Bonus Clips are highlighted right below the regular episode so you'll more easily be able to identify the episodes that have Bonus Content.

There are literally hundreds of videos available on the various Creative Suite Apps all the way back to CS2. Thankfully the App has a built-in Search feature as well as the ability to Star your favorite episodes and download the ones you want to be able to watch offline.

I want to personally thank you for your support in my podcast as well as my App!

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here for $1.99:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

 

Continue reading “Learn the Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White on your iPad”

Eye-Fi to Send Photos Direct to iOS and Android Devices without a WiFi Hotspot

In case you haven't been following me on this story you can start with my "Shoot Tethered (wirelessly) to an iPad" from a couple of weeks ago here. Back then I decided to try out the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card in my D7000 shooting wirelessly to an iPad 2 via my MiFi mobile hotspot and I was pleased with the overall workflow. Today Eye-Fi just announced a new card (yeah that happens in technology, deal with it!), the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 which is a cheaper card that offers Direct to iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android mobile device shooting WITHOUT the need for a WiFi hotspot. Removing the WiFi hotspot requirement and going direct in an AdHoc fashion makes this solution even better. However, don't fret if you bought the Pro X2 card like I did. They are going to release a firmware update to the existing cards next week. Keep in mind that the Pro X2 card does handle RAW and Geotagging. The new card does not.

This should open up a whole new world for people that want to shoot with a decent camera and share those images even with some minor retouching/adjustments, from a tablet device directly. I'll be shooting RAW to my regular SD card in slot 1 and BASIC JPG to my Eye-Fi card in Slot 2 on my D7000. Life just got a little more fun.

If you don't have an Eye-Fi card yet, you can get the NEW Mobile X2 8GB card with the Direct Mode love built-in here.

Sorry, still not Compact Flash joy.

As soon as I have the yet to be released iOS App and an updated card you expect a review here.

Promo Video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN8ZRzXLG_I

Sync Your Photos From Lightroom 3 to Your iDevice

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sRD-siAzE8

 

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast I'll show you how to sync your photos from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 to a folder and then sync that folder via iTunes to your iDevices. Taking advantage of Lightroom 3's Publish Services we can now publish images to a folder and then automatically update those images with any changes we make in Lightroom. 

 

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast

and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

 

Wireless Speakers: Bluetooth vs. AirPlay

We're on the verge of seeing several new wireless speakers enter the market place. The question though is which wireless technology is going to be right for you? The two formats that will likely be competing for our attention (and dollars) are Bluetooth and Apple's New AirPlay technology found in iDevices running iOS 4.2.

When AirPlay was first announced iHome teased us with a pre-announcement of an AirPlay speaker iW1 they were going to release. No real details were given at the time. So we continue to wait.

In the meantime Jawbone just announced their new Jambox Bluetooth wireless speaker. This one got my attention because in the iOS 4 Apple finally brought "full" Bluetooth Stereo support to iOS. You might remember my review of the Sony Bluetooth Stereo headset and using it with the iPhone. Back then I was able to use it to listen to music and make/receive calls, but the skip forward/back buttons on the headset were non-functional with the iPhone. Now they work fine with the latest iOS.
 

Advantages of Bluetooth Speakers

Bluetooth has been around a lot longer and is built-in to lots of devices. If you get a Bluetooth Speaker chances are you'll be able to use it with more than just your Apple gear. Bluetooth is also peer to peer which means you don't have to be on a network to use it. Once your device is paired to the speaker you can just use the speaker wirelessly anytime you're within 30 feet of it regardless of whether or not a Wi-Fi network is within range.
 

Advantages of AirPlay

AirPlay is new so the performance is yet to be seen. However, seeing how it's built on AirTunes that has been around for a while I'm not expecting any major issues. Video performance will be the only unknown factor at this point. AirPlay has the advantage of distance. While Bluetooth has a limited range of about 30 feet, AirPlay is based on Wi-Fi and therefore can go several hundred feet. You could fire up your iPad that is docked in the living room and pump music out to a speaker on the deck. AirPlay is also not limited to just audio. With AirPlay in theory someone could build a speaker with an LCD in it to be able to watch video content on, in addition to listening to audio content. I don't think we'll see a lot of devices in this category because in order to make sense the device would have to be the size of a TV. However, that does beg the question: will we see big screen TV's with AirPlay built-in? Now that would be cool! Lastly AirPlay has the advantage of being able to stream audio to more than one AirPlay speaker at a time. With AirTunes the current limitation is 3 devices. I use this ability now all the time by sending music from an iMac to the stereo in the living room and the Bose speaker in the Kitchen.

 

The Bottom Line

While I'm tempted to get the new Jawbone Jambox Speaker just to play, the $199 price tag is a bit of a show stopper for me. While I'm sure it sounds great, I just don't have enough of a need for a "Bluetooth" wireless speaker to drop $200 on it. However, if an AirPlay speaker hits the market soon I'd be more willing to spend the money on it to replace my current setup in the kitchen (a Bose SoundDock connected to an AirPort Express). While the Bose SoundDock has amazing sound, I'd replace it for something that was self contained. (Bose are you listening?) The only reason I have an AirPort Express in that room is to drive that speaker. We should also see some Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi devices in the coming months that will allow streaming without the need of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Ultimately this technology may surpass Bluetooth if it catches on because of the increased range. Things are going to heat up soon and you're going to have lots of choices. Stay tuned!

Photographers: MacBook Air vs. iPad

When the iPad arrived in April I had high hopes (I still do) for it to become a great tool for photographers and in many ways it has. More photographers showed their portfolios at Photoshop World this past September electronically than they did in print. Just recently I published my list of 8 Must Have iPad Apps for Photographers. Yes, progress is being made, but yesterday Apple released the long awaited update to the MacBook Air and the more I looked the specs the more it made me think about this new MacBook as a better choice for photographers in the field. 

 

The iPad appeal

The iPad is/was appealing because it was small, lightweight, has a relatively long battery life, relatively large display and is capable of importing images via the Camera Connection Kit. It can do moderate photo editing on the go. Also the instant on and not having to manage a file system are pluses in many ways.

 

The NEW MacBook Air offers so much more for not much more money

The most fair comparison I can make is to compare the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi model ($699) with the new 64GB 11.6" MacBook Air ($999). Yes, the MacBook Air is $300 more and weighs 0.7 lbs. more. The MacBook Air is also a few inches bigger.

 

MacBook Air iPad

Size and weight

Height:
0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm)
Width:
11.8 inches (29.95 cm)
Depth:
7.56 inches (19.2 cm)
Weight:
2.3 pounds (1.06 kg)1

Size and weight1

Height:
9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
Width:
7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
Depth:
0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
Weight:
1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model;

 

 

Once you get past the slightly larger size and weight of the MacBook Air, you can then start to justify it for what it offers over the iPad. The MacBook Air (MBA) has the ability to run your standard Mac applications (or even Windows Applications using Parallels or other Virtualization apps). So instead of trying to find replacement Apps on the iPad, it can actually fun Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5. Instead of having to use the Camera Connection Kit with low power/speed CF Cards/Readers, you can plug in any standard USB Card Reader and Import photos from any memory cards. With the MBA you can also more easily offload your images onto another hard drive just by plugging it in to the USB port and doing a standard file copy. Also since many photographers publish their websites using Adobe Flash, you can view those sites on the MacBook Air by installing the latest Flash Player if you choose to. Lastly, and probably one the biggest reasons is that the you can shoot tethered to a MacBook Air and see your images on the nice big 11.6" display. Lightroom 3 already does native tethering and that means that the MBA can already do this. Yes, the MBA is $300 more, but you get a much more capable device for that $300.

 

What I would have liked to have seen

There are two things that I would have liked to have seen on the MacBook Air. The first is a built-in option for 3G connectivity. That's one of the things I love about my iPad is that I can take it out of my bag and get online pretty much anywhere. Sure I can use my MiFi or a 3G USB Stick, but a contract free 3G option built-in the MBA would have been killer. The next thing I would have loved to have seen is a TRUE HYBRID between these two devices. Imagine a MBA in the same form factor, but if you open the lid and flip it over it becomes an iPad and can run iOS Apps. While it's true that a touch screen on a vertical display would be a pain, there's no reason that the display has to stay vertical if it swiveled and reversed. That would have truly been the best of both worlds!

 

What will I do now?

Believe it or not I have no plans to get a MacBook Air pretty much for the same reasons that I didn't buy myself the first model. When I travel for business I need the most full featured and powerful MacBook Pro available and the MacBook Air just isn't enough muscle for what I do. Since it's not going to replace my current MacBook Pro I see no need to travel with TWO laptops. A MacBook Pro and iPad will continue to be my tools of choice. However, if you're a photographer that doesn't demo software for a living like I do, then the MacBook Air might be a GREAT tool for you! If I didn't need the power of a MacBook Pro, I would seriously consider the Air!

The New Apple TV: New Users Might Love It, Old Users Might Hate It

I've been a fan of Apple's "hobby" Apple TV since day one! I've got more than a couple of them around the house. 🙂 When Apple had their annual iPod event this past September it was rumored that we might see a smaller, more affordable Apple TV and the rumors were true. Apple introduced a much smaller and more more affordable Apple TV. This new box is sooooooo tiny. It's also less than half the price of the model it replaces. As we know, that's rare for Apple products. When the announcement happened I was traveling on business, so I had to rely on various web reports during my breaks to follow the news. The one thing I kept trying to figure out from the scattered reports was, "what did this new one offer that my existing one didn't?" After all we're used to new technology having more bells and whistles to make you want to upgrade. I kept seeing the reports on size, price and Apple's new TV show rental prices as well as Netflix and AirPlay streaming, but that was it. Yes, that was it! This new Apple TV seems to take away as many features much as it adds. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan of Apple TV and I think they will sell more NEW Apple TVs than ever before at the new price point, it's just that I'm not compelled to run out and replace the rest of my existing ones. Let me tell you why…

 

What you get

Like I said, it's SMALL and it runs much cooler than the previous model. One of my Apple TV's is located in a cabinet (this is the one that the new one replaces for me) and I often wonder if the heat build up will fry it? So I'm pleased to see the new one take up less space and run cooler. You also get the new shinny silver aluminum remote. I didn't even take mine out of the box because my Harmony One Remote works just fine with this new model too. On the back you'll find an HDMI port, Optical Audio, Ethernet (there is also built-in 802.11n WiFi) and a USB service port. There is one LED indicator on the front and the power supply is built-in so there is just a power cord and that's it. Nice!

Once you have it setup this is where you'll find the biggest differences from the old to the new. 

 

Out with the OLD Apple TV

The original Apple TV with current interface above

 

The New Apple TV is all about Streaming!

There is no user accessible internal storage. Rumor has it that there is 8GB of flash memory, but I imagine that it's reserved for buffering streaming content. So unlike the previous models there is no way to store TV shows, movies, podcasts or music on the device itself. You'll either have to stream it live from the internet or a Mac/PC on your network (see AirPlay below).

 

In with the NEW Apple TV

The NEW 2010 Apple TV above

 

As a matter of fact Apple has made it clear that it's all about streaming in the new menu structure. YOUR content is now buried under "Computers" instead of being mixed in with the other media choices like TV shows, Movies, etc. Also since there is no storage, there is no requirement to "Sync" with a computer. Unlike the previous model, this new one relies on iTunes Home Sharing if you want to stream your content to the device from your computer. So as long as you are logged in with your Apple ID on your computer and your Apple TV, your content will appear under the Computers section. This is not the end of the world, it will just take some getting used to for previous Apple TV owners. New Apple TV users won't think twice about it.

It seems so un-Apple like to not see any imagery from your library on this screen above

Once you drill down into your computer you will then see your content stream by as usual.

 

 

Rent vs. Buy

Renting makes sense and that's what the 2010 Apple TV is all about. There is NO option to "Buy" content directly from your Apple TV. This will be another thing that existing users would have to adjust to. You can rent movies and TV shows (currently only from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America). TV shows are only $0.99 to rent the HD versions as opposed to buying them for $1.99 for the Standard Def version or $2.99 for the HD version. I really really like this model because the only reason I ever bought TV shows in the past was because there was no option to rent them. I usually only watch them one time after buying them and only buy them because I forgot to TiVo them. As far as movies go, I also rent 99% of the time and this has not really changed on Apple TV. The only thing you can't do is BUY a movie (or any other content) on Apple TV. You can still buy iTunes content on your computer and stream it, but not directly from the Apple TV itself. While many would argue that if it's (a movie) good enough to buy, you probably want the Blu-ray version anyway. Nonetheless, I'm still surprised that Apple doesn't at least allow a "Buy" option of any media they sell and have that content download on your computer instead. Clearly this is possible via Home Sharing since both devices are tied to the same account. So why have to get up go over to the computer to buy something and then go back to the Apple TV just to watch it or listen to it? This would be especially useful for things like music and music videos. By the way, there is no option to access the iTunes store from a Music perspective at all on the new Apple TV. You can only access the music sitting on your computer. 

Continue reading “The New Apple TV: New Users Might Love It, Old Users Might Hate It”

Great News For Developers: iOS iPhone

In April 2010 Adobe released Creative Suite 5. Among all of the amazing features of this release was one feature that allows Flash Developers to export their Flash developed Apps as native iOS (.IPA) Apps from Flash Professional CS5. However, due to a change in Apple's developer agreement the future of this technology was unclear as Apple basically changed their agreement in ways that would potentially block Apps that were not created with Apple's tools. Well yesterday Apple changed this policy and I couldn't be happier for the developer community! This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. I should point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.

Adobe will continue to work with key industry partners, including Google, RIM, Nokia, Motorola and Palm/HP to enable their device users to browse the full web through Flash Player 10.1 and run standalone applications on AIR. We are excited about the great progress our partners are making as they deliver the first smartphones to market with full Flash support.

 

The Video I Never Got To Show

You might remember my popular series "My Top 5 Favorite Features of CS5" that I ran on YouTube and my Creative Suite Video Podcast. I recorded those videos right before the official release of CS5. However, I chose to re-record my Flash/Dreamweaver video because I felt there was no need to talk about the iOS App Packager in Flash CS5 since Apps created with this technology could have been potentially blocked from the App Store. Well now I finally get to show you the video that I intended to show from the beginning. Here's my "original" Top 5 Favorite Features of Dreamweaver and Flash CS5. I think you'll like the last feature 🙂 :

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgVmH8GMvnw

 

 

By the way, don't forget to check out Adobe's iOS Apps here.