The geeky bit…

Well, some of it, anyway.

For folks wondering how it’s all done, here’s the skinny.

The cameras this time out were a Microsoft LifeCam Studio HD, and an iPhone. The former has a few interesting features (pause for laughter) which make it amusing to use on a Mac – not least the fact that the exposure control and autofocus are done in software, and Microsoft don’t do Mac drivers. Fortunately, some folks decided it made a very nice camera for grabbing demo shots of a phone screen, so you can get a basic Mac control app from the folks at CamHolder. Its other drawback, as you’ll notice in Heather and Ben’s first set, is that the pixels aren’t square, and the software has to be told they aren’t, and.. um, I didn’t.

The iPhone was using iWebCamera, which is a neat pair of iOS and Mac apps for making an iPhone into a wireless web cam. Its main problem was that it would insist on autofocusing, and a couple of times briefly got it into its head that it was not in landscape mode!

Both those cameras fed into BoinxTV – there’s a Home version which only supports a single camera. and a Pro version which supports multiple. They have given away an ad-supported version of the Pro version with a MacHeist giveaway a while back, and this is what I was using on a MacBook Pro with an external display. BoinxTV allows you to have multiple video layers for things like station logos, titles, clocks, cameras, videos to drop in, etc, and will record the result.

What it won’t do, directly, is stream the result. Enter two more bits of software, CamTwist and uStream Producer. The former’s quite cute – it will turn any window or area of your screen into something that the Mac thinks is a camera feed. You then tell uStream Producer ‘please stream this camera’ and you’re sorted!

It is a bit convoluted – you need 5 apps running to get a two camera shoot. In the long run, we may well acquire another Lifecam Studio (the Mac drivers will support two) and relegate the iPhone to audience shots.

Sound-wise, we used a pair of Rode NT1 condenser mics, a little Behringer MX802 mixer and a M-Audio Firewire Solo audio interface. In an ideal world, I’d replace the mixer and Firewire Solo with a USB mixer, and then free up the Firewire port for a proper video camera with a Real Live Person behind it.

But anyway – that’s how it’s done at the moment.

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