How to Record Two People on Skype Video

This tutorial solves a tricky problem – how to broadcast two video sources into a live streaming broadcast system. The example used here is you and a partner on Skype video. Requirements to be met:
– Video and audio of both of you to be streamed
– No lag (no more than you normally get through Skype) between the two of you so you can have a normal, fluid conversation

While your audience will see you and your partner’s voice and video, and you will be able to see real time both of your video streams, your partner will,be able to hear you, but they will not be able to see you.

Tools You’ll Need

A Mac on your end with a video source for yourself (iSight or other webcam)
A willing partner with a Mac, PC or Linux machine on the other end, along with a webcam
Skype (free) from http://skype.com on both ends
A good broadband connection between the two of you
Camtwist software (free) from http://allocint.com
Audio Hijack Pro ($32) from http://rogueamoeba.com(or some other tool that will pass audio from an app to a virtual audio source)
Ustream account to broadcast the video at http://ustream.tv (or this would also work in Stickam)
Soundflower (free) from http://cycling74.com

I’ll not explain how to install each of these, the links above will take you to the various websites to learn how to download and install the applications.

High Level Explanation

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You’re going to use Camtwist to capture a portion of your desktop. In that portion you’ll be displaying the video of your partner from Skype. the other half of that screen area will look blank to you, but in Camtwist you’ll also display picture in picture from your webcam. Camtwist will then be the video source that gets plugged into Ustream. Likewise you’ll use Audio Hijack Pro to combine your voice and your partners voice from Skype into a single audio source to pipe into Ustream.

We’ll start by setting up Camtwist to record the screen and PIP, then we’ll set up Audio Hijack Pro to capture and launch Skype. Then we’ll go into Ustream and set the audio device to AHP and the video source to Camtwist.

Camtwist – Set Up Picture in Picture

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Launch Camtwist
1 – Under Video Sources, double-click Webcam
2 – at the bottom click on PIP (for Picture in Picture)
3 – You should see PIP Webcam under Effects in Use now

Note that Camtwist will be in control of your camera as soon as you turn on PIP.

Camtwist – Set Up Desktop Capturer

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1 – Under Video Sources, double-click Desktop
2 – You should see Desktop under Effects in Use now
3 – Uncheck Full Screen, which will make the Select Capture Area button available to you

We’ll adjust the capture area of the desktop later. Note that you can use a secondary monitor for the screen capture if you like by changing This Screen to a different monitor.

Audio Hijack Pro Setup

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We need to pipe all sound through to Soundflower (2ch).
1 – Add Skype in the left column by clicking the plus sign at the bottom left
2 – click the Effects Tab
3 – click Effects, and choose auxiliary Device Output

 

Set Auxiliary Device Output to Soundflower (2ch)

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This will bring up a window where you can choose the Device output, select Soundflower (2ch). Leave the Source pulldown alone. Close that popup window, and then click Hijack in the upper left (with Skype still selected).

the last step will actually launch Skype.

Skype

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Connect to your partner into an audio only chat, and tell them to click the Video button. You will not be able to click yours because Camtwist "owns" your camera for the Picture in Picture. This means that they will be able to hear you but not see you.

Ustream Setup

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You’re almost there! Now go into Ustream to your video channel and click Broadcast now. Accept the Flash request. Under Video Source choose Camtwist, and for Video choose Soundflower (2ch).

Now comes the fiddly part. Go back to Camtwist and click on Desktop under Adjust Settings and click on Select Capture Area. This will give you a rectangle that you can resize and move. Move your partner’s video screen from Skype into one half of that capture area, and resize the capture area and their video until it looks good. Don’t click Done on the capture area yet.

Now click on PIP under adjust effects, and slide the little black box around until it’s in the Capture Area too. There’s a slider at the top of that window that allows you to increase the size of your video until it matches their size. This takes a few minutes to get it just right but it’s doable as you can see above.

Double check that when you each talk you see the VU Meter above moving for both of you. Got it all set? Click Start Broadcast and you’re done!

#249 Awesome Bar, Ubuntu Packages, Kupfer, Logitech Lap Desk, CarMD, Faking Motion Blur

Dual monitor with iTunes problem solved, the Awesome Bar in Firefox explained, Sara Jane from Ireland says hello, and I explain how I allowed my mom to hear the audio from Murder by Death using Audio Hijack Pro. I continue on my Ubuntu adventures inspired by a whole host of characters, the Matt gives us another great review, this time of Kupfer from kaizer.se/wiki/kupfer. A review of the Logitech Lap Desk N315 by me, followed by a testimonial about ScreenSteps by Kirschen. Next up is a review of CarMD from carmd.com by Steve. Honda Bob sends along a message explaining his view of the recent recalls by Toyota. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart teaches us how to fake motion blur using Photoshop Elements; see the video at typicalshutterbug.com.

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Listen to the Podcast Once (59 min)
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#205 Four Year Anniversary “Best Of” and Giveaway Show

In this 4 year anniversary show, Steve gives us a “best of” show while I just get to give away software and photos! Steve pokes fun at me, recognizes the fans, and helps us laugh at Bart’s hiccups.  I think you’ll enjoy it!

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Listen to the Podcast Once (1hr 3 min)
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Garageband ’09 Get Rid of Reverb

for some reason GarageBand ’09 has reverb on the voices by default in Podcasts – This quick lesson shows you how to turn it off. There’s a lot more wrong with GarageBand ’09 for podcasting – the metronome is on, it doesn’t show the timer, instead it shows beats per minute, and number of beats, all kinds of annoying things are set wrong for podcasting. I recommend using Will P’s fantastic AppleScript he calls New Podcast. If you use this application script to launch GarageBand all those annoyances will be shut off by default. You can find this and other scripts for free download at iwillsite.110mb.com
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How to Make an Encrypted Sparse Disk Image

In episode #195 of the NosillaCast Podcast over at https://podfeet.com Bart suggested I create my offsite backup by keeping a backup drive to work, and bringing in my laptop once a week and doing it there. Then he further suggested that I make an encrypted sparse image to back up to so no one but me could ever open it. These instructions show exactly how to do that.

Plug in the External Drive

You can see my external drive on the Desktop called The External Dart

Launch Disk Utility

Navigate to Applications –> Utilities and launch Disk Utility. When it comes up, click on New Image.

Set up the Disk Image

1) Choose your external hard drive
2) Name the disk image – this is the file name you’ll see on your hard drive
3) Name the volume – when you open the image, a new "disk" will show in the finder with this name
4) Choose your volume size. The sparse image will only be as big as the sum of what you put in it, so use the pulldown to select the size of your external drive
5) Leave the format at Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
6) Choose 128-bit AES Encryption unless you’re the CIA in which case you want 256-bit
7) Leave the default to single partition – Apple Partition Map
8) Set the Image Format to sparse disk image
9) Click Create

Enter a Password

You need to give the encryption a password and as always make it complicated so you can’t possibly remember what it is. If you remember the password in your keychain, that will make it very easy to open this image for your weekly backups but it will also make you lazy and help you forget the password, and remember that the only time you’ll need this image at all is if your laptop hard drive dies or your house goes up in smoke burning it up – so you will not be able to get to the keychain if you forget it! I would suggest not remembering it in the keychain for that very reason.

Mount Your Image

Looking at your external drive in the sidebar, you should see the image name followed by .sparseimage. Double click the sparse image.

Enter Your Password

You’ll now be prompted for that super secret really hard password you entered earlier. Resist the temptation to tell it to remember password in your keychain! I promise you’ll be glad you took my advice. Just click OK and move along.

Verify Your Image

You’ll now see your volume in the left sidebar and it will act just like a regular drive. When you’re all done, eject the volume, then eject the hard drive and throw it in a drawer till next week’s backup!

Audacity Setup for Podcasting

This tutorial will provide instructions on how to create an audio recording suitable for a Podcast using the Open Source software Audacity. This is not meant as an in depth tutorial on all of the functions within Audacity, but rather how to set it up so that you can record an audio file and save it in such a way that you can then upload it as a Podcast. All of the screenshots will be taken in Mac OSX, but you should be able to follow along in Linux, Unix, or Windows. This tutorial assumes you have already downloaded iTunes from http://apple.com/itunes

Continue reading “Audacity Setup for Podcasting”

FTP to WordPress Using Cyberduck

This tutorial is designed to aid in explaining how to download and configure a free FTP client on the Mac called Cyberduck, and then find, upload and enable new themes for your WordPress installation. This tutorial assumes you already have WordPress installed on a server, and that you know your login name and password for that WordPress installation. Free FTP clients also exist on Windows and you should be able to follow along pretty well with any FTP client. Some make it even easier than Cyberduck. Personally I’m fond of WinSCP on Windows.

Screenshots were taken using WordPress 2.7. Earlier versions of WordPress will show different screens because they redesigned the interface, but if you look for the words I highlight you should be able to muddle through. For example, Themes are always in Appearance, but where they put Appearance changed between revs.

I’m using as my example a website called Gangs Out of Downey.

Continue reading “FTP to WordPress Using Cyberduck”

Wireless Router Troubleshooting

I’m writing this tutorial to assist my in-laws in troubleshooting their wireless access. It might be useful for many more people, so I’m publishing it here. Their setup is a Linksys WRT54G router with one hardwired iMac, and a wireless MacBook. The scenario they face on occasion is the iMac can get on the internet, but the MacBook cannot. That eliminates the router’s wired connection and the modem and their internet service provider.

1 – Make Sure the Airport Wireless is Turned On

Up in the menu bar look at the wireless signal indicator. If it’s an empty pie symbol, then it’s off. Pull down to Turn Airport On.

2 – Make Sure You’re Connected to Your Router

If your wireless symbol shows the concentric arcs shown above, then the Airport wireless is on, so pull down and make sure your router name is chosen in the list. in this case my router’s name is White Dart, so it’s selected with the check mark.

3 – If You’re Getting No Signal at All

You might see your wireless indicator showing the concentric circles as shown but they’re grey instead of black. This means your airport is on, but you’re not connected to your wireless router. Again try pulling down to see if your router is there in the list. Assuming it’s not there, then we know we need to work on the router hardware.

4 – Time to Reset the Router

In this image you can see the reset button which is actually recessed. Take a paperclip and press it in and hold it for about 10 seconds. Next go back to the MacBook and repeat steps 1-3, checking to see if the wireless signal is being received by the wireless Mac. This may not fix the problem, but it doesn’t hurt to do it a couple of times.

If this doesn’t work, next you can unplug the power to fully reset the router. Leave it unplugged for about 2 minutes. Then plug it back in, and watch the lights blink on the front until it looks like they’re stabilized. Just a few will blink but not all of them. Again go back to your wireless Mac and run through steps 1-3 again.

Note: because you’re resetting your router, it will very likely change it’s name from the one you’ve chosen back to Linksys. If you see Linksys in the list on the wireless Mac, try it.

If you still don’t have a working signal to the wireless Mac, it’s time to call Allison!

5 – You’ve Succeeded, but…

After you succeed in getting wireless working again, it’s important to check and make sure that you reset your password on the router. You’ve reset the router several times and maybe even unplugged the power, so there’s a good chance you need to put your security settings back.

Open a web browser (Safari, Firefox, etc.) and type into the address bar:

http://192.168.1.1/

This will open the Linksys interface. Click on the Wireless tab.

Rename Your Router

Step 1: To the right of Wireless Network Name enter the name you prefer for your router. It’s considered good form to change it from Linksys for several reasons, one of which is to be able to identify it in the list of routers you see.

Step 2: Click on the Wireless Security tab.

Set Your Wireless Security to WPA2

The most important thing you’re going to do in this tutorial is to set your wireless security to WPA2.

1 – Set the Security Mode to WPA2 Personal
2 – Set the WPA algorithms to TKIP+AES
3 – For WPA Shared Key enter a strong password. Make it at least 8 characters long, and use letters and numbers. It’s wise to use even more characters but that may be more difficult than you want to use. Make sure you write that password down for the future.

On the wireless machine make sure you can still connect – you may need to enter that password the first time you connect.

Podcasting on Podcasting

Subscribe to Podcasting on Podcasting in iTunes


PoP #01 Pick Your Passion

PoP #02 Hardware Tools Microphones

PoP #03 Software

PoP #04 Blogs

PoP #05 Agenda, Media Serving, Feed creation, FTP

PoP #06 disk loss, family support, Heil PR-20, M-Audio Fasttrack

PoP #07 Video file size, dig into GarageBand for recording

PoP #08 Encode to mp3 and set iTunes tags

PoP #09 Feeder Tutorial

PoP #10 Recording a Skype Conversation

PoP #11 How to Record a Live Show on Ustream

PoP #12 How to Register Your Podcast in iTunes

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