Ricoh Theta S “360” Camera Review

Theta first photoSteve loves photography and videography, having a barrel of fun with his iPhone 6s and his GoPro Hero 3. The GoPro’s ultra wide angle lets him take selfies with a lot of people in the photo. One of his favorite photos (which has been Lindsay’s cover photo for ages) is one of his entire family, 22 of us, all in one shot. That’s really hard to get with any other kind of camera. He also gets phenomenal shots of scenery with his GoPro, often with the two of us in the close foreground. Landscape photography alone can be a bit boring and selfies alone get overdone, but a combination can be a nice change.

There’s only one thing cooler than an ultra wide photo from a GoPro, and that’s the new 360 degree photos and videos you can get with specialized cameras. Before we go too far, I want to acknowledge that “360 degree” isn’t technically correct, because in reality these photos are 4π steradians. Degrees (or radians) only describe one dimension, you need 4π steradians to describe all directions at once. But for the purpose of not sounding like the nerd ball I am, I will use the conventional 360 term. Know that it bugs me every time I say it though.

Alex Lindsay on MacBreak Weekly bought a 360 camera called the Ricoh Theta S and used it to take a photo of 30 of his relatives at his father’s 90th birthday party. He put the camera in the middle of the table and had everyone gather in a circle. It’s so cool! I knew that Steve would love one of these. Luckily Father’s day is coming up soon so I bought one for him early and couldn’t wait to give it to him. The Ricoh Theta S is $350 on Amazon right now, so think GoPro pricing.
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NC #559 Behringer DAC, Ring Doorbell, FLIR, FFmpeg, IOGear USB-C, Black & Decker, Security Bits

Allister Jenks reviews the Behringer UCA222 Digital Audio Interface, we have CES interviews about the Ring Video Doorbell and The FLIR One Personal Thermal Imager. Then I’ll tell you a story about FFmpeg and video transcoding, followed by two more CES interviews with IOGear and Black & Decker. Finally we’ll have Security Bits with Bart Busschots.

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Fun with Video Encoding – FFmpeg & VidConvert

notes on process taken in NotabilityI’ve told you a lot of stories about how my friend Dorothy (aka macLurker) helps me out by writing scripts for me to help automate things I do for the podcast. She’s really smart and knows SO much more than I do about programming. We have a lot of fun working on these projects but let’s be honest, the brains have all been on Dorothy’s side of the keyboard. At best I could say I’m the idea person.

But those tables were turned for the first time this week. Let me set the stage with the problem to be solved before I tell you how brilliant I was.

Dorothy and her husband Marc go on long trips on their boat, and they need entertainment while they travel. They used to drag along giant piles of DVDs, but a while back they decided to rip their vast collection of movies and get an Apple TV to play them on the boat. Dorothy wrote a script to pull down all the metadata to get all of the movies to look right and show up correctly in iTunes for the Apple TV. Everything was grand.

They liked the Apple TV experience so much they decided to buy one for home. I tried to convince Dorothy to buy my old Apple TV when the new Apple TV came out but she didn’t fall for it and bought a new one of her own. You’d think this would be a happy ending, but something odd happened. A large percentage of their movies that played just fine on the old generation 3 Apple TV wouldn’t run on the new generation 4 Apple TV.
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Three Camera Shoot for ScreenCasts Online

3 cameras screenflowI’ve mentioned before that I do video screencasts for Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online subscription podcast. He lets me pick the topic (with veto powers) but this time he probably should have talked me out of it.

Video screencasting is tough work but it’s made easier by the fantastic application Screenflow from Telestream. It captures your desktop video and audio source(s) and has a fantastic editor. Like I said, it’s really hard work but it’s fun.

Applications I Demonstrated

This week I thought it would be interesting to demonstrate two apps that allow you to use your iOS devices as accessories for your Mac. Duet Display allows your iPhone or iPad to work as a secondary display. This is wicked cool, especially when you’re away on travel and don’t have your dual monitor setup (if you’re that spoiled). I’ve used the iPad Pro as a second monitor to the 12″ MacBook and it’s glorious.
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CCATP #421 Chuck Joiner on Apple Watch Fitness and Gear for Video Interviews

Chuck Joiner of the MacVoices podcast joins us to talk about how the simple reminder of the little loops on the Apple Watch Activity app got him to stand up once and hour, do a little exercise and start to feel better. We then move into conversation about how he records his video interviews for shows like CES. He’s a one man band with a cool rig you’ll want to hear about.

Links to some of the gear he talked about:

You can find Chuck at and on all the social media platforms as ChuckJoiner.

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First Week With the Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro

iPad Pro cover keyboard comparisonWhen the iPad Pro came out, many of us complained that Apple had lost their way because they didn’t have the Pencil and the Smart Keyboard available on day one. I’m starting to think there might have been a method to their madness.

If the Pencil had been available on day one, I think I would have been super distracted by it and not really given the iPad Pro as thorough of a run through or as much attention for what it is as a device without a stylus. In truth for me the Pencil is an awesome addition but I’m using it every few days while the iPad Pro is my nearly constant companion.
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#259 Mom Digital Book Reader, Video Podcasts, Sheepshaver Running OS 8.5, OverDrive Media, Audiobook Builder, Don McAllister

My Mother’s Day present: Porter Cable 7424XP Dual Action Orbital Polisher, Mom tells us about her Digital Book Reader, courtesy of the Library of Congress, and I walk through each of the video podcasts I like in answer to a listener request: The Apple Byte, Diggnation, The Digg Reel, Circuits with David Pogue, Onion News Network, Prize Fight HD, Real Deal, Screencasts Online with Don McAllister, Cranky Geeks, . Fun with running Mac OS 8.5 using Sheepshaver from George from Tulsa reviews Audiobook Builder from, and how IMDB is better on the iPad than any other device. Don McAllister of ScreenCasts Online steps in for the ill Bart Busschots on Chit Chat Across the Pond and tells us about his process for learning new tools.

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#197 AppleTV, VHS to DVD, Easy Wi-Fi, Spyder2Express

In Dumb Question Corner Kate asks, “what’s the big deal with the AppleTV” and Katie Floyd of joins us to answer. Brent trucklover and Steve spsheridan discuss VHS to DVD capture techniques. I learn about Easy Wi-Fi for AT&T iPhones from Devicescape Software on from iTunes, and then the listeners teach me how to do search on the iPhone. In Chit Chat Across the Pond we learn about yet another Firefox vulnerability which is now patched. Then Bart explains why he actually LIKES MobileMe for large file sharing better than DropBox, then he tells us about his Spyder2Express from


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#196 Search on Podfeet, More Pedias, Moral Dilemma, VHS to DVDs

I go without power till 15 minutes before showtime, GOOD search comes to, DVDpedia and all the other pedias starts a wave of emails from I struggle with a moral dilemma. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart and I are joined by Steve to talk about how he moves videos from VHS tape to beautiful DVDs, and we talk about the future in this process.


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