Live Streaming Workflows

I wasn't surprised when I saw that the newly released top end 9.7" iPad Pro is the same price as the top end iPhone 6s+. I'm just noodling here as I put more into live-streaming and create a device workflow around live-streaming to mitigate connectivity or image quality issues I might have. By considering either one of these screens as a secondary iOS device I want to:

  • shoot 4K footage and take decent pictures (alongside the live-streaming)
  • replace my home WiFi (old Chinese apartments are limited to 2mbps)
  • have a back up Internet device (a mobile hotspot device)

As mobile devices (can someone come up with a better name yet*) technology advances, my retro digital camera is proving itself to be a bit of a stuck in the mud. (Of course it is, it's retro!) Any new purchase would also need to replace my digital camera. 

The general utility of an iOS device isn't interested in being anchored down by cables and with work flows crossing over to a desktop computer before final upload. I'm adapting my work flow to not concern itself over Raw handling and image quality. I think the tradeoffs are there where I can say it's good enough now on a mobile device. 

Just for the record, the price of a replacement camera for my Fuji x100s is also roughly the same price as either of the two iOS devices. Amazing hey? Now which iOS device to buy?

The basic internal specs of both devices are the same with a few features leapfrogging the iPhone for the moment. A data plan is basically the same with both devices so we can ignore that. So it comes down to these basic things:

  • Battery life 
  • Portability 
  • Screen size (workflow dependent)

Battery Life

Hands down, the iPad wins and as a base station outside the house it's much better than the puny battery in the iPhone 6s+ to provide internet connectivity to say a laptop. I still hope Apple bring out a battery pack for this larger model. Periscoping hammers the battery and I've never benefitted from going from an iPhone5 to the iPhone6s+ when it comes to battery life. WINNER - iPad. 


Both devices are already super thin and this is truly a first world problem for the minimalist such as myself. But still, which one? I can easily hold two iPhones together, one streaming, one shooting 4K (some velcro will solve that). I wouldn't be drawing attention to myself too much with that set up. Now live stream with an iPad and iPhone combo, it's a bit more awkward. WINNER - iPhone. 

Screen Size

Do I want to edit my work on a 9" screen or a 5" screen? Do I want to multitask with the iPad or solo task on the iPhone? Don't forget this is a secondary device, so each device can operate independently of each other. But what is the benefit of the larger screen? WINNER - Unknown

But the iPhone 7 (Conclusion)

This basically means can I and should I wait with what I have already? What will the next generation phone bring, especially when it comes to image quality? The potential downside to waiting for an iPhone7 means I'm only six months away from another, better iPad! This throws up the issue of whether to buy now or buy for tomorrow. I would like to buy for tomorrow (with portability in mind), while the iPad does have the better battery, I do have power packs at my disposal, ready to fast charge both iPhones if I opt for that and in all honesty am I going to use both devices constantly? The screen size doesn't need to be an issue if I can multitask on two phones and of course, two iPhones are smaller than an iPad!   

* I like the German name for a mobile phone, 'handy', which they most certainly are.

UPDATE: I forgot Apple released this as well. It basically means I can plug in a USB microphone and charge both the iOS device and said microphone, not an issue for a fully charged iPad, but the iPhone itself has become a lot more flexible because of a $300HKD add-on for either my periscopes or podcasts.

UPDATE 2: No optical stabiliser on the iPad, you'd think with that bump that justified the newest protrusion to the iOS family, alas no. It's more likely I'll purchase a second iPhone.

Periscope and Possibilities

“Yeah I know what a periscope is”.

“No, Periscope is an app, you should live stream your exhibition for those who can’t get here”.

This week I have hit Periscope hard. I have found myself watching rednecks pull a tree with an estate car, random Periscopes involving weed, John J. Legere - the CEO of T mobile dropping comments in a Periscope about tips to make better Periscopes (as if they are different from other broadcasts ;-)), I even tried to pitch to a producer from Hollywood with my time travel story and I told one young lady that one of her eyebrows were bigger than the other.

There is so much randomness on Periscope. It’s potentially Youtube in scope, but live and much more ephemeral.

It has only two months old and already one Periscoper has 40 million hearts, that means collectively we have tapped the screen 40 million times just to enjoy his periscope (that’s how it’s done to show appreciation). He is on course to hit 200 million by 2016.

Some people are clearly moving faster than others, understanding how to capitalise on this new social network. Others not so much, with them expecting viewers to entertain them with their presence in their periscope.

If the camera is pointed at you, you’re the performing monkey I’m afraid and you need to figure out how to perform.

That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out this week.

You just have no reason not too when you’re given so much in an app. Just three months ago I wouldn’t know what it really took to set up a live stream other than some possible extra hardware and playing with software settings, I don’t even want to pretend I knew the price and cost of time for all that. Now I don't need to. I can neglect all that. I jest need a name for my broadcast.

I know for starters I can live stream my podcasts, that already changes the dynamic of the show and build the audience, I’ve also started very informal workshops with Periscope, to understand the discovery mechanism inside Periscope. I even have repeat viewers already (once somebody follows you they are notified of your next broadcast).

Even without ‘Periscope’s first engineer’ jumping into my broadcast to discuss some of the workings of the app, I’m already looking forward to seeing how this personal live streaming (our own TV station) is going to change how we share ourselves with one another.

I would like a native iPad app though.

If you use Periscope, you can find me on there as 'Jonathan J K Morris'.