Tag Archives: video

Microphone options for your iPad

I love the quality of the video that my iPad takes… but I’m running into problems with the audio.  The built-in mic just isn’t enough to get quality audio.  What are some easy options for adding a better quality microphone to my iPad?

First… before you add any microphone, you must add a special cable to allow a microphone to connect.  Many times, we hear from staff that just plug a microphone into the headphone jack of the iPad and are expecting that to work.  Sorry, you’ll need the following connector (or something comparable), we recommend….

connectorSescom iPhone/iPod/iPad 3.mm TRRS to 3.5mm Mic
It’s available on Amazon.com for around $25.   One end plugs into the iPad headphone jack and then there are two other ends: one for the microphone of your choice, and the other jack is optional and is for headphones so that you can listen in or monitor the quality of the audio.

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wiredmicOption #1:  Wired Mic
Again, you’ll need the connector cable listed above first, then add the Audio-Technica ATR-3550 Lavalier Mic.  It’s also easily found on Amazon.com, typically for around $19.   What I really like about this mic  – it comes with a really long cable, about 20 feet.   In most cases, if your subject is further than 20 feet away, your going to want to record with something other than an iPad anyway.  It’s also small lavalier mic that most folks wire up through  the inside of a jacket or clothing and the end result is that no one can tell its a wired mic.  It does require a small battery, but that’s included with the mic.

Here’s what the final product will look like when your iPad has the special connector and the lavalier wired mic…. total cost: $30 for connector, $19 for lavalier mic: total is around $49

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sonyOption #2:  Wireless Mic
Even when looking for wireless mic option – you still need the special connector listed above, so that’s your first item needed.  Then we recommend the Sony ECM-AW3 Wireless Mic, also available on Amazon.com, costs around $156.   The mic comes with two seperate components, the receiver (which plugs into the special connector/iPad) and the microphone, which is wireless and sends to receiver via bluetooth.  The mic has a range of 150 feet – which effectively means that its way outside the range that the iPad can actually take video.

Here’s what the final picture looks like with iPad, special connector, and the wireless mic setup.  Cost is:  $30 for connector + $156 for wireless mic = $186 total.

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Safari Montage available!

We’re putting the  finishing touches on for…  Safari Montage, which provides access to thousands of educational videos and resources for staff and students.

Check it out at: http://safari.wdmcs.org

Q1. Is it available yet? to whom? and how do I get to it?
A1. It is available now at http://safari.wdmcs.org to all district staff and students.

Q2. How do I get an account? How do I log in?
Q2. Use your existing network user name and password – the same one that you use to log into the computer network at school.

Q3. I’m being asked to install some type of plug in – is that ok? should I do it?
Q3. Yes…  there is a safari montage plugin that must be installed the first time.  Once its installed it won’t be needed again.

If prompted by this – click Continue to install the Safari Montage plugin

Q4. Can I access it at home or just at school?
Q4. The educational videos are available at both home and school.  The select TV stations are only available at school.

Q5. I’ve heard that some folks have complained about the quality/playback of the videos?
A5.  They are all high quality videos – however, if your machine has a problem with QuickTime, then problems can occur.  If the playback of a video is bad, the solution is to uninstall QuickTime and then re-install the latest version, or if its a computer at school – submit a ticket with the techs and we can assist.

Q6.  Will the techs be pushing out the Safari Montage plug in to district machines or will it have to be installed?
A6.  We’re looking into pushing it out, but so far it has not panned out.  We’ll continue to research it, but for now, you’ll have to install it manually

Q7. Are TV channels available? I tried them out – and some are working and others are not…
A7.  If you login from school – then yes,  a few TV channels are available.  Yes, it is correct that not all TV stations are working yet, we’re having sporadic problems with the VCR/TV tuners that we’re using, but we’ll be working on that issue in the next few weeks.