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Tag: apple

How to Turn AirPods into a Wireless Microphone for iPhone Videos

Looking for better sound on your next iPhone video project using one of Apple’s Bluetooth earbuds? You’ll first need this workaround.

If you own a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro, you may come up with the bright idea to use them as a wireless microphone when you record selfie videos on your iPhone. The problem is you can’t do that using the iPhone’s native camera app. Apple didn’t build its app to support Bluetooth microphones.
(Strange, but true.)

Perhaps the visual of wearing little white sticks in your ears while shooting selfie videos originally seemed silly to Apple’s designers. But the pandemic has changed countless norms over the past year.

So many of us have been living our lives recently glued to our computer screens wearing geeky headsets, bulky headphones or slick little earbuds. If you don’t have a Borg-like audio device attached to your face, you clearly haven’t been assimilated into our new norm of daily video communications.

I Can’t Hear You
Recently, I produced a video with a colleague who needed to record an on-camera introduction using his iPhone. I suggested that he use his AirPods as his microphone so he could easily step back into his shot, unhindered by cables.

As I coached him from afar using the Microsoft Teams app, everything sounded fine. But when I listened to his test recording file, the AirPods clearly weren’t capturing his voice track. The iPhone’s onboard microphone was doing the work instead.

Third-Party App to the Rescue
Of course, we weren’t the first ones to uncover this problem. After doing some online research, I discovered that a variety of people have been complaining about this incompatibility for years.

The good news is there are two popular workaround solutions. Both involve downloading a video recording app to your iPhone that does allow you to use a Bluetooth microphone, including AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Both of these apps are primarily designed to give you a massive increase in control over your iPhone’s camera settings for video shoots, but they also provide the additional Bluetooth audio support for AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Problem solved.

What’s That in your Ear?
Even before the pandemic, I saw so many folks running around the streets of New York City with little wireless earphones protruding from their heads. That laid the foundation for an acceptable new look in public. And that metamorphosis has now been truly cemented. (We’ve stared at each other over the past year on countless video conferences wearing any number of audio devices.)

It’s ironic that once upon a time, hiding your microphone while recording an on-camera video was considered a sign of professionalism. Now, most anything growing out of your ears is acceptable.

And if you want to put your AirPods to work for your next iPhone video recording, just don’t forget you’ll also need to spend a few bucks for a third-party app to secure the connection.

Why Does my iMac Turn Itself on at Midnight?

If your Apple computer independently starts its day in the wee hours of the morning without your involvement, you should check this setting.

I was out late the other night, and when I got home around midnight, I walked into in my home office before I headed off to bed. All was quiet. Then, I heard a sudden but familiar brief whooshing sound from the direction of my desk. I instinctively turned my head.

My iMac was booting up as if Skynet had taken over.
It was pretty freaky.

I glanced over at my Marathon clock that was positioned close to my iMac, and it eerily displayed 12:00am… on the dot.

Hmmm. That was interesting.

I took a breath and looked at my clock again. I felt that this clearly wasn’t some random moment where my iMac had decided to misbehave.

Turn Off the Schedule Mode
Was there a hidden setting in my iMac’s System Preferences that was telling my iMac to independently boot up?

I took a look, and in fact… there was. My iMac was ‘scheduled’ to turn itself on at midnight.

So, here’s what I did to turn that off:

  • Click on System Preferences
  • Click on ‘Energy Saver’
  • Click on ‘Schedule’ on the bottom right
  • Unclick ‘Start up or wake’
    (which had defaulted to 12:00am)

Problem solved.

Living with your Gremlins
I suppose the lingering question is why that scheduled action was clicked in the first place.
I certainly hadn’t done it.

It’s an issue for another time.
For now, my iMac should behave…as directed.

Thank you, HAL.

Who Has the Biggest Discount on Apple EarPods?

Apple EarPods are yesterday’s news with AirPods and AirPods Pro grabbing all of the headlines. Still, if you’re in the market for a new pair, here’s the best deal I found.

I misplaced my Apple EarPods recently. They simply vanished. I couldn’t find them in the top zipper of my trusty Briggs & Riley black knapsack that I use for work. I was more annoyed at my memory glitch than the actual loss and replacement value. And then I thought about what Apple charges for a new set of these… $29.00.

These days, earbuds feel like a giveaway item. They get thrown around like pretzels on airplanes, and if I still ate Cracker Jacks, I’d expect to find a pair at the bottom of my next box. Granted, the audio quality of Apple EarPods is going to be better than some no-name earbud. Still, with tax, I don’t feel the price tag should be creeping over thirty bucks. They’re yesterday’s tech, especially with Apple focusing so heavily on their wireless AirPods and AirPods Pro lines.

Guilt-Free Purchase for Old Tech?
And while I definitely have felt the full-court press by Apple to upgrade to one of the wireless models, I still believe it’s worth having a back-up wired pair that you can carelessly throw in a bag.

But paying full price for old tech doesn’t feel that good.

Best Deal of Apple EarPods
So I went online to research if any retailers were offering discounts on this legacy Apple product.

B&H Photo offers a pair of Apple EarPods with Lighting Connector for $26.99.
That’s something.

But get this…
Walmart has them for just $19.99.
Wow!
That feels so much better.

Amazon Prime also offers the EarPods for $19.99.
But I worry sometimes about fakes being sold on Amazon and then receiving some knock-off in the mail that pretends to be a genuine Apple product. (75% of Amazon reviewers gave this offer five stars. Yet, some reviewers did cry foul.)

Walmart Wins
So, Walmart got the prize for the best deal on ‘genuine’ Apple EarPods.
Click.

Keeping the price point to twenty bucks made my purchase less painful, especially when I know I could have put my money towards a wireless set.

I continue to tell myself there’s value in having a throwaway pair of earbuds.

Still, I can’t deny the irony surrounding this whole situation.
You know why?

Because I found my original missing pair of Apple EarPods!

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