Category: Mac

My Geotagging Workflow

October 13th, 2008 Permalink

Earlier this year, I blogged about my experiences with the Sony GPS-CS1 GPS datalogger. It was not the device I had hoped for, so I decided to try the Amod AGL3080. The Amod has been a good choice. It works well with my Mac, has good battery life, and is decently accurate. When the device […]

Amod AGL3080

Earlier this year, I blogged about my experiences with the Sony GPS-CS1 GPS datalogger. It was not the device I had hoped for, so I decided to try the Amod AGL3080.

The Amod has been a good choice. It works well with my Mac, has good battery life, and is decently accurate. When the device is connected to the computer via a USB cable, it shows up as a removable drive. To retrieve the GPS logs, simply copy them from the removable drive. This is ideal, because no special drivers are needed to use the device. The logs are written as a plain text file, in a format recognized as “Sony LOG”.

The Amod captures a data point every second and writes the data to a file. When the device is power cycled, it starts a new file. I use this to my advantage by starting a new file when I change the CF card in my camera. That way I know that each GPS log file corresponds to the shots on a card. One thing to be aware of is that the Amod device can take several minutes to acquire a signal, especially if it is in an area with a lot of tall buildings. It’s not a bad idea to power it up and wait for the indicator light to start flashing, indicating that it has acquired a signal, before starting to shoot.

Once I have finished a shoot, I tag all the shots prior to processing. Tagging the RAW files first ensures that the geotag metadata will follow the files around no matter what I do with them later. So before importing the photos to Aperture, I do the following:

  1. Connect the Amod via USB and copy the logs to a GPS folder on my Desktop
  2. Delete the logs from the Amod unit, and eject the device
  3. Copy the photos from my CF cards to folders on my Desktop, divided so that each folder is a batch of photos that has a single GPS log file associated with it
  4. Convert each GPS log to GPX format using HoudaGPS. Here are the settings to convert from the logs the AGL3080 creates to GPX format:
  5. HoudaGPS

    HoudaGPS Ready To Convert

  6. Tag each batch of photos using GPSPhotoLinker:
  7. GPSPhotoLinker

    Batch Tagging with GPSPhotoLinker

Now all the photos have the geographic data associated with them. I can import them into Aperture, process them, export them, and upload them. The geotags stay with the photos just like any other EXIF data, and I don’t have to worry about doing anything else.

If you’re looking for a way to capture GPS data to tag your photos, the Amod AGL3080 is tough to beat.

Update: I have finally written my next Workflow post, Photo Workflow Using Aperture

The Leopard Is Coming

October 30th, 2007 Permalink

I purchased Leopard last week at the Emeryville Apple Store, but I have not had the time to install it. I don’t want to do an upgrade; rather, I want to do a full backup, then a clean install. However, this is a bit more work, since I will most likely have to migrate data […]

I purchased Leopard last week at the Emeryville Apple Store, but I have not had the time to install it. I don’t want to do an upgrade; rather, I want to do a full backup, then a clean install. However, this is a bit more work, since I will most likely have to migrate data from my backup to my new install.
I’ve been searching for some tips on how to reliably migrate data to the new install, and decided to collect them all here. I will update this post as I come across these tips.

First off, here’s how to get your Mail accounts back, and fix the indexes:
Missing emails after installing Leopard

iPhone Software Update 1.0.1 Crash

July 31st, 2007 Permalink

Apple released version 1.0.1 of the iPhone software today. It addresses the security hole in Safari that has been widely (mis)reported on in the media. When I tried up update my phone tonight, the update crashed (twice) and the iPhone entered recovery mode. After I reconnected it to the computer, iTunes saw it and started […]

Apple released version 1.0.1 of the iPhone software today. It addresses the security hole in Safari that has been widely (mis)reported on in the media.

When I tried up update my phone tonight, the update crashed (twice) and the iPhone entered recovery mode. After I reconnected it to the computer, iTunes saw it and started a restore process. It synced up again just fine, but that was a bit of a scare.

The iPhone was modded with some custom ringtones and system sounds, and I suspect that this is what caused the firmware update to bomb out. I think I will wait a little while and see what is happening with this update before uploading the custom ringtones again.

Handling Multiple Versions of Video for Apple TV & iPhone

July 18th, 2007 Permalink

How’s that for a verbose title? Lately I have been encoding my DVD’s for viewing on Apple TV and the iPhone. A video encoded for the iPhone (or iPod video) will play on the Apple TV, but it does not look ideal when it is scaled up to fill a large TV. A video encoded […]

How’s that for a verbose title?

Lately I have been encoding my DVD’s for viewing on Apple TV and the iPhone. A video encoded for the iPhone (or iPod video) will play on the Apple TV, but it does not look ideal when it is scaled up to fill a large TV. A video encoded for the Apple TV looks great on the TV, but will not play on the iPhone/iPod. So I have been encoding each DVD twice: once with Apple TV parameters, and once with iPhone/iPod parameters. The iPhone/iPod version contains “(iPod)” in the title to help me tell them apart.

This is great, except that by default iTunes syncs all new movies to the Apple TV, which means I have a large, high quality version, and a lower resolution version on the Apple TV. What’s the point? I am never going to watch the smaller version on the Apple TV anyway. There must be a better way.

Here’s the solution I came up with. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, there are definitely other ways to do it, but this works well for me.

First, I created a new Smart Playlist named Apple TV Movies which matched Video Kind is Movie and Name does not contain (iPod), limited to the 10 most recent additions, with live updates:

Smart Playlist

Then, I selected the Apple TV in the Devices list in iTunes, and told it to sync only my Apple TV Movies playlist:

iTunes Apple TV Movies Sync Settings

Voilá! My Apple TV now only syncs the 10 most recent movies added, and only the movies encoded with the correct format for playback on my TV. I probably could have used the bitrate of the videos to determine which movies to sync as well, but I am going to have different versions with different names anyway, so I just used the name.

iPhone Release!

June 4th, 2007 Permalink

Finally. An official release date for the iPhone. I hope I don’t have to do the geeky wait-in-line-for-the-latest-gadget thing. Oh well, it won’t be the first time. For those of you with a Mac, I’ve updated my iPhone Countdown Widget so that it reflects the correct release date. Go get it.

Finally. An official release date for the iPhone. I hope I don’t have to do the geeky wait-in-line-for-the-latest-gadget thing. Oh well, it won’t be the first time.

For those of you with a Mac, I’ve updated my iPhone Countdown Widget so that it reflects the correct release date. Go get it.

There Goes My Productivity

May 19th, 2007 Permalink

Back around 2000 or so, I started playing StarCraft on a PC. I spent many, many hours with that game. I played all the races until I memorized the technology trees. I played through the single player game multiple times. I spent hours in one-on-one battles with first one AI, then two, then three. I […]

Back around 2000 or so, I started playing StarCraft on a PC. I spent many, many hours with that game. I played all the races until I memorized the technology trees. I played through the single player game multiple times. I spent hours in one-on-one battles with first one AI, then two, then three. I spent a lot of time in, er, Team Building Exercises with some of my coworkers. One of the applications I was lead engineer on was named after one of the Zerg units in the game.

I slowly moved away from PC’s, both at work and at home, and as a result I really don’t game much anymore. Although, about a year ago, I threw together a PC from some old parts so that I could fire up StarCraft again.

And now StarCraft II is coming.

And it will release on Mac and PC at the same time.

My productivity is about to take a dive….