Twelve South BookBook Wallet Case for iPhone 6 Plus

A number of years ago, I decided to simplify the number of items I carried day-to-day and consolidated my wallet and iPhone protection into a single case. (You can find some unique handmade items on Etsy.)

To date, I used a sleeve case with pockets on the outside for credit cards, ID, etc. This is primarily because I always preferred a "naked" iPhone instead of one that's in a case all the time. I've always liked the way the phone felt in my hand but also, a phone without a case is easier to fit into the mounts I typically have in my car.

All that changed when I purchased the iPhone 6 Plus.

Pure Wireless Digital Audio: WaveJamr from RadTech

I love my Apple TV. Not just because of the video it allows me to watch, but the music it lets me play from our iPhones or Macs using Airplay.

I really want whole-house audio (a la Sonos, without the ridiculous cost) and Apple's Airplay can help me do that.

I have a bunch of high-quality stereo speakers from a variety of sources (PC speakers, home stereos, etc.) that I can place all over my house, but the only way that I can get whole-house audio is to purchase and install an Apple TV in every room while outputting audio to each via the TOS (optical) audio connector on the Apple TV.

But I really don't want to spend $99 per room to make this happen - plus an additional $30 for a TOSLink adapter for each set of these analog speakers.

I got to thinking: how small can Airplay device really get? Maybe someone makes one?

So, I started trawling the Interwebs and here's what I found: nothing. (At least as far as Airplay goes.)

What I did find was a product in the form factor that I wanted, but one that uses Bluetooth instead of Airplay.

It's called the WaveJamr from RadTech.

New iOS Podcasting Workflow

Since I began podcasting in 2006, I've been using a variety of methods to record audio, both in the studio and remotely.

I use Macs exclusively and my experiments have included full simultaneous multi-track recording in Garageband using a Firewire mixer, to simply using a conference phone and a pocket recorder to capture phone interviews.

I finally settled upon Audio HiJack Pro for both local and remote recording as the software enables me to capture both sides of a Skype conversation in a single audio file.

This setup worked great for years with only minor hiccups. Finally, a few weeks ago, I had some weirdness occur in this setup and I lost an entire 90-minute episode.

For whatever reason, the Skype connection dropped. We immediately reconnected and everything sounded fine during recording. However, when I played the file back, the audio coming from the studio mics from that point forward was completely garbled. (My caller sounded fine, which was even more strange.)

Sure, we had a good conversation - in fact, it would have been a great episode -  but I wasted everyone's time by not having a better solution for monitoring the audio.

Fixing It

To say that I have a few gadgets in my studio would be a gross understatement so I decided to take stock of my gear and pull together a simple, reliable method for capturing local and remote audio.

Here's the result.

Why did Twitter partner with PhotoBucket? iOS 5.

Twitter has gotten into the photo sharing game, but not on their own - they've partnered with PhotoBucket. Apple's WWDC Keynote (which is happening as I write this) tells us why: Twitter is going to be heavily integrated with Apple's iOS 5, the operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Having worked with for a… Continue reading Why did Twitter partner with PhotoBucket? iOS 5.

When Passions Collide: Peavey Ampkit Link for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

I used to play bass and guitar in New York Area rock bands during the eighties and early nineties. While that's not much of a shock, the clothes we used to wear would be. You know the era: lots of hair, spandex, and ripped t-shirts. There are pictures somewhere, which my wife threatens to reveal if I ever get her really mad at me...

I LOVED playing music. It was one of the great passions in my life before my wife and I began sharing an apartment. That was over 16 years ago and I haven't picked up an instrument since. Not because my wife wasn't appreciative - in fact, she's encouraged me to continue to play over the years.

It's difficult to practice, however, when you're surrounded by neighbors in an apartment building. Even after we moved into our house in 1999, it just wasn't appropriate. Practicing an instrument can be a wholly singular experience, separating you from your family for hours at a time, and the noise can be distracting to other people in the house - especially to a sleeping baby.

This week, I went to our local Guitar Center and bought myself a new electric guitar. What was my inspiration?

My iPhone. 

How to Get Five Bars on Your iPhone All Over Your House

If you have an iPhone in the U.S., you won't be surprised to hear this: I love my iPhone but I'm not exactly happy with the AT&T Wireless network.

While it's an inconvenience to be out-and-about in New York City or San Francisco and not have cellular service, it's actually more of an inconvenience to be unable to receive calls when I'm in my home or office. I'm tired of the dropped calls and continually asking folks if I can call them right back from a landline (though the "landline" is usually Skype).

I finally decided to bite the proverbial bullet and go to my local AT&T Wireless Store to investigate the 3G Microcell. This is a device that you connect to your broadband internet connection and it acts like a mini cell tower in your home. According to the documentation it covers approximately 5,000 square feet.

I'd heard there was some special offer that mitigated a lot of the discomfort of paying for hardware to improve the service I already pay for. You can't learn about those offers online, though. For whatever reason, AT&T wants you to visit a retail store to learn more and complete the transaction.

Sure enough, the Microcell ended up costing me only $50 while my monthly bill remains the same. Here's the deal. 

How to Accept Meeting Requests on the iPhone

Lots of folks rely on their mobile devices to help manage their schedule throughout the day. You're probably one of them. I know that I couldn't manage without my iPhone, MacBook and iPad.

The one piece of my workflow that's been bugging me ever since I stopped using Microsoft Exchange and migrated over to Google Apps (Gmail, Google Calendar) is the ability to manage my calendar on my iPhone.

Sure, I can create events on my calendar and even invite people to those events. However, when someone accepts one of those meeting requests, I'm not explicitly notified via email or on my iPhone - I have to check the calendar to see if someone has accepted. It's not ideal, but I can live with it.

The flip side to that equation is what's been driving me nuts: accepting meeting requests on my iPhone. If you're not using Exchange, meeting requests show up as an attachment, usually with the name "meeting.ics", indicating that it's an iCalendar file.

Tapping the icon results in...nothing. I can't open it in the iPhone Calendar app. I have to quickly respond to this person with a message like "Confirmed" just to make sure that we lock down the time and date of the meeting, then officially accept the request and put it on my calendar when I get back to my Mac.

Given that the iCalendar format is a standard used by Apple within iCal on the Mac and on the iPhone, it seems ridiculous to me that I'm unable to respond to meeting requests.

A quick Google search proves that I'm not alone. The last time I performed this search I found a mention of an app buried at the end of a forum thread that was released that very day to solve this problem.

It's called Calendar Happy and yes, it makes me very happy. 😉