A soliloquy on Mojo and 3 burning questions about the iPhone7

I am an Apple fanboy. There. I said it. I first used an Apple product when I was in my first year of college and subsequently bought a mac as my first home computer. The last 6 years of my life has revolved around (albeit unintentionally) the Apple ecosystem – particularly iOS. So it should come as no surprise that twice or occasionally three times a year I sit with baited breath to see what the company has cooked up for their next iteration of the iPhone/iPad. Two years ago I was in Paris, having been invited to speak at an EBU Event about Mojo with the fantastic Mark Egan. At the time of the Apple keynote I found myself on a boat, floating down the Seine, surrounded by colleagues and peers who were absorbing the sights and sounds of Paris, while I desperately tried to find a quite spot with 3G so I could watch the launch. Sad? Yes. I was more bloody sad when the iPhone 6 was launched (once again) with just an 8mpx camera – so sad in fact that I seriously considered chucking my iPhone into the river and going to get merrily sloshed on free beer. I didn’t however (toss my iPhone).

Last night I sat in my office in Dublin and patiently waited through what felt like a tedious demo of Pokemon and Mario (I don’t play games) and thought to myself how the iPhone and iPad has impacted and affected, in a positive way, journalism in its many guises. After two years of Mojocon and having had the privilege of training thousands of journalists and content creators on how to make great content with these devices, I am consistently awed and surprised by ingenuity and creativity of people who have fully embraced the potential of mojo and who can see how it will shape the future of news and storytelling.

I get tired of defending my enthusiasm about Mojo. I get tired of people dismissing the quality, useability, potential, versatility, quality (did I say that already?) of Mojo. I get tired of trying to convince people to give it a go when they have become so cynical and blinkered that they fail to realise they are tearing headlong into a wall but refuse to change course.

Here is why…


Year on year we see incremental improvements in camera sensors, storage and very soon batteries in smartphones. The competition between Apple and Google / Samsung is a really healthy thing as it drives innovation and continually forces each player to come up with new and exciting technologies. It doesn’t really matter which platform you prefer (iOS/Android) once you are in an ecosystem it becomes increasingly more difficult to switch. I’ve spent hundreds, possibly thousands of Euros on iOS Apps over the last 5 years. If I jump to Android, I start again. Much of the audio accessories I have bought will only work with iPhone as they are lightning/30pin based. So I’m sticking with iPhone Mojo-I think!

We have seen everything from 6 second vines to 1hr 30minute feature films to Live streams being created with smartphones and yet I still get so much negativity about the potential of Mojo.

By 2020, when 5G goes mainstream Mojo will dominate news. The myriad of shareable content that can be made WITH these devices will be shared across a superfast connection TO these devices in an end-to-end ecosystem. One that will sit on top of (not displace) current “traditional” platforms. In time the mobile ecosystem will, I believe begin to erode traditional markets, this will happen mainly when advertisers can figure out a way to LEGALLY target personalised advertising to you via your smart device (its been technically possible for years and is fully exploited, in a limited, way by Facebook, Google etc).

Back to last night.


The advent of the Dual 12mpx cameras on the iPhone7plus is fantastic news for mobile photographers. Not so much for DLSR manufacturers, whos market share will inevitably suffer or companies like Olloclip, Moment, iPro, Moondog Labs and Exolens who have invested their fortune in lens accessories for iPhone.


The shallow depth of field photograph shown during the keynote was impressive, it did look like a shot taken with a large chip dslr on a fast prime lens but it also played to the trick you can use to pull focus with the iPhone: Maximise separation between the foreground and background, have one subject within 12″ of the iPhone and the other “far away” So the Bokeh effect in the image was an enhanced version of that and also took advantage of the f1.8 / f2.8 Apertures of the new cameras. However one burning question which I tweeted but still don’t have an answer for is: Can the “portrait” mode be used when shooting video? My guess is no as it will be very processor intensive but with a quad core chip with 3Gb ram maybe (and hopefully) I’m wrong.


The departure of the headphone socket seemed to dominate twitter last night and I get why people are upset, though Apple’s inclusion of a Lightning to TRRS socket with the iPhone 7 should appease most, it does raise yet another big question: Can you use an adapter to charge the iPhone while using a lightning based accessory? This IS a big deal for mojo. Battery life is one of the single biggest challenges with shooting HD, 4K even more so. If I am using my device for live-streaming (Periscope | YouTube | Facebook Live) then being able to supply power and an external mic is a pre-requisite. I REALLY hope Apple has given this some thought… A Lightning DUO would solve the problem if the actual Lightning protocol can support audio in/out and power simultaneously.


Mojo is growing, the accessories, particularly audio accessories, are getting better and adoption is spreading fast but this single move could put a coach and fore through the evolution of Mojo. However this post that my colleague John Lannigan shared, suggests that it is technically possible…http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/8/12846162/apple-iphone-7-charge-listen-to-music-same-time-lightning-dock


Lastly wireless. The Airpods are intriguing (but expensive @ €179). Going wireless is definitely a trend. All the big audio companies, Sennheiser, Shure, Bose, Beats etc etc are pushing wireless headphones to market. Apple’s W1 proprietary wireless chip may make its way into the MFi production chain which *COULD* see a selection of new iOS wireless microphones appear in the next few months, which would be very exciting. In the interim however I want to know: Can the new lightning based headphones act as an external camera remote AND mic as per the now obsolete TRRS ones and also, can the Airpods function as wireless microphone(s) when shooting in video mode? If so this would be a BIG step forward for “out of the box” Mojo.

HT to Yousef Omar who twigged this 13 minutes before me last night!


I will probably have to wait until 13th September for answers as thats when people will start to get their hands on the new iPhones but one more thing…

I really surprised that there was no mention of VR. When companies (rivals) like Google, Samsung, Facebook etc are ploughing millions into VR it is somewhat shocking that Apple have effectively ignored the tech. There is already a 360 plug-in camera for iPhone: the Insta360 Nano  360_camera

All Apple need to do to *start* their journey into VR is:

1. Up the display quality to surpass Retina
2. Add a VR/HMD platform to the MFi programme (or make their own)
3. Make Apple Watch a motion controller for interactivity
4. and support the 360 metadata required to tell YouTube that video is in fact 360.

I’ve shot with the Insta360Nano, copied the equirectangular footage to the cameraroll, edited it in HD in iMovie (have yet to try 4K on the 6S+) and uploaded to youtube but the problem is there is no step in this workflow to reinject the 360 metadata.


Paul Gailey who was a moderator at Mojocon2 has even built and App (which was launched at the conference) to do this called VRFIX but it is still not available for iOS, though it is for Android.

Rant over.



Livestream MEVO Quick tests

When Livestream announced the Mevo (or as it was then called the Movi) at CES in January 2016  I was immediately intrigued. I had previously seem demos of 8K cameras at sports events where a director could “extract” a 1080 image using a pan and scan technique and cover the entire event effectively with just 2/3 8k master shots but to see that principle technology reduced down to a pocket sized device for $400 seemed very ambitious.

So I placed a pre-order and pretty much forgot about it. Then about a week ago I started to see reviews popping up and checked to see where my order was at. Two days later it arrived (with a hefty €40 Import duty) and I excitedly unboxed and started testing. mevo

To give livestream credit, they really couldn’t have made the device simpler to use. The top is both an on/off switch and livestream button. The ring around the power button is a multicolour LED status display (which I REALLY like) The 4K camera is the main feature of the device with a mic directly beneath. At the back is the MicroSD and USB charging port and underneath is a tripod mounting hole. The MEVO creates its own Wifi Network to connect to your phone and some basic controls are over Bluetooth.

I bought the MEVO Boost unit also which adds the following features:
-Extended battery life
-Ethernet (wired) connectivity
-USB Port which can be used with a 4G USB Wireless stick for portable streaming


So yesterday I took the unit into one of our small headlines studios, set it up and did some trial recordings.

You will undoubtedly have noticed the audio distortion with the external microphones.

I tried the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital (via Lightning) and an AKG 417pp Lavalier mic and the Tascam iXZ XLR-trrs adapter via the headphone socket. Both had the same dropout. I’ve raised a ticket with Livestream to see if it could be a firmware issue etc. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear back.

Initial Impressions.
I really like the simplicity and intuitiveness of the App. For 720p output the results are pretty good (a little grainy on  closeups). The studio was well lit so light was not the issue. What really struct me was that I could easily produce short video blogs about gadgets and possibly “cut/vision mix” the recording in realtime on an iPad on the desk. Mevo does not record the master 4K file – it only stores the shots you cut so if you mess up – you’re stuck with it until editing. Speaking of editing, I copied the recording from the Mevo MicroSD to my iPhone cameraroll in seconds. Created the intro and endboard in Intromaker for iMovie App in 2 minutes and cut the lot together in iMovie for export and upload to Youtube in under 8 minutes total. Now THAT could be really cool for hyperlocal news which is delivered via social to mobile. Super fast turnaround and pretty good “professional” looking results.

I’m trying to convince Will Goodbody, RTÉ’s Science and Technology Correspondent to test it out for a weekly (made for social/webTV) Technology show. If he won;t do it…I will😉

#Mojocon. The case for boutique V behemoth conferences.


I’ve written previously about the evolution of RTÉ’s Mobile Journalism Conference: Mojocon. In April this year we will host the second RTÉ Mojocon and once again we are shining a spotlight on the activities of broadcasters, publishers, NGO’s, businesses and educators who have pushed the boundaries of  content creation using smartphones and other digital consumer technology.

This is my second time organizing a conference and though it was an induction by fire the first time around, I learnt a lot of extremely valuable lessons from Mojocon 1. Probably the first lesson was understanding the phases of the planning. The Pre-production phase involved eight re-writes of the business case over three months with each one having a substantial reduction in the proposed budget.

Once the final business case was approved the next phase began: Initial logistics. Venue, dates and draft session lineup. After multiple quotes have been received and a venue is secured, we then move to announcing the conference with a “save the date” campaign and so begins the process of finding major sponsors for the event.

It’s worth pointing out that RTÉ run Mojocon on a not-for-profit basis. From its very inception over two years ago the entire concept pivoted on the idea that at the core of Mojocon is the intention to bring together a growing global community of people who are interested and can see the potential in mobile content creation. I think the non-profit aspect is one of the key things that separates RTÉ Mojocon from many other journalism related events.

That said, the cost of hosting an international standard conference for 500 delegates; venue, catering, travel and accommodation for 40+ international speakers, pr and marketing etc. all add up very quickly so major sponsors are absolutely essential to making the event a success. Without them the ticket prices would well exceed €500 and in my opinion render the event unfeasible.

We were extremely fortunate to have Sennheiser, an international audio solutions manufacturer, come on board very early into the process. When Google News Lab subsequently joined the conference as sponsors things really started to take shape.

Now, with just eight weeks to go, we are in the exhibitor and delegate ticket sales phase and it is this part that always leaves me somewhat bewildered. Over the course of the last two months I have reached out to over 80 companies inviting them to participate in the event as exhibitors, or in an ideal world sponsor/exhibitors. The thing that really frustrates me is the repeated cycle I’m seeing in the negotiation process where, as soon as I mention the delegate numbers are 500 I get a “Oh, is that all” response.

I’ve started to tease this out with exhibitors, asking why they feel 500 is such a small number and time and time again I’m getting replies like “We can take part in other international media events where the delegate numbers are in excess of 15,000 people for a similar investment-so its not offering great R.O.I. for us”

This is where the case for Boutique V Behemoth really kicks in. I would love to do some market research on the BIG conferences referred to above. As part of that I would like to see for each exhibitor who takes part in those multi-thousand attendee events how many make connections of real value. I would measure connections of real value in three ways: 1. Immediate conversion to a sale. 2. Viable lead for a post conference sale 3. Important and strategic contact in the target market.

Last November I attended The Web Summit for the very first time. Follow the link if you don’t know anything about the Web Summit. It has been heralded as one of the great success stories in recent years for the digital economy in Ireland. That perhaps was the case until co-founder Paddy Cosgrove announced in October 2015 that the event was moving from Dublin to Lisbon from 2016 onwards. Without digressing into the debate about the reasons why I will simply say that I am sure Paddy and his team had good reasons.


From my perspective, Websummit was a behemoth, like Mobile World Congress Barcelona, or NAB Las Vegas or IBC Amsterdam. A huge, sprawling multi location complex of stands and talks with 30,000 delegates trying to find something useful to do with their 8 hours in the venue (a substantial amount of which is spent queueing to get from talk A to B). I’ve experienced this myself at MWC and IBC. You can meander around hall after hall looking for interesting technologies and solutions but instead of finding them you end up bumping into familiar faces again and again and asking them have they seen anything really interesting and worth checking out.

I attended MWC just once and found it utterly head wrecking. At WebSummit I had one day where I really worked hard to navigate the halls teeming with startup alpha and beta’s who, once they noticed your badge said “Media” would instantly pounce in you to “Come meet our CEO/CRO/CTO/COO etc”. I have to be honest, the idea that a startup with three staff has a CEO,CTO and COO does make me wonder! The consensus from Media people I met was that they were actively hiding their media accreditation to avoid the “vulture effect” it induced. Don’t get me wrong here, I fully appreciate WHY this was happening, but it felt like utter desperation.

I can see from a profit point of view how economies of scale play a part in making these events so big. But as organizer of Mojocon, I am not interested in profit, so I don’t have to pander to these scales of excess to cram as many topics and threads into our event, in order to draw as many people as possible. Rather than trying to bring twenty diverse topics together in one space to “grow” an event into a behemoth, I would much prefer to do twenty boutique events where the participants, speakers and exhibitors have a real opportunity to connect. A chance to share stories and actually chat and exchange ideas, not just exchange a cursory few words while you glimpse at a leaflet on the way to the next queue for another talk you will be excluded from because its over capacity.

I have heard people say that they think a conference is worthwhile if you take away three ideas from it. If that is all attendees take away from Mojocon then I and the organizing team have failed. I want delegates to not have their minds opened to the possibilities but blown open with inspiration and ideas. Anything less would be a disheartening and disappointing result to me.

Mojocon has a very finely tuned scope. That breaks down into three components…
1. The plenary sessions with 40+ speakers on panels and fireside chats to learn from the experience of others.
2. The exhibition with 30 companies with products, accessories, apps which enable the professional production of content using smartphones and other consumer digital technology.
3. The workshop day where, if you were inspired on day 1 and bought some gear in the exhibition, you will have the chance to learn from some of the best and most respected mobile journalism and media trainers in the world.

If you follow that process through to the end you can leave mojocon not with just three takeaways but with real skills and inspiration to start your journey as a mobile content creator. Who knows maybe next year you could be a speaker sharing your journey and experience with the #mojocon community*.

Side note: As a spin off from Mojocon we created a group on Facebook to help build the community and keep the conversations from the conference going. The group now has over 750 members. You are welcome to join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/mojocon.

Hope to see you in Dublin in April 29|30.

PS. As a reader of my blog I’m giving you an exclusive tip about a St. Patrick’s Day promotion we will be running. Check out the video for details.

Guest post: Oscar and Javier of Eltalleraudiovisual.com explore Switcher Studio for iPad with external cameras

I met the guys Javier and Oscar, behind Eltalleraudiovisual.com at Mojocon, they are two absolute gents. They also blog about mojo at http://yoscontenidos.com

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 12.07.22

They shot this really great mojo teaser about Mojocon for which I am exceptionally grateful.

Based in Alicante, Spain they provide comprehensive mojo courses and production facilities. Their blog is a great source of information about Mojo, in Spanish and English. Earlier this year on the Mojocon Facebook group they posted a thread about using Switch Studio (aka RecoLive) with external devices, i.e. non-iOS devices. I asked would Oscar be interested in sharing his experiences via a guest post and he kindy agreed. A colleague of mine, Leola Lillis previously posted about Switcher Studio on this blog.


How to make a mobile multi-camera production with iPads, iPhones, or any other video source.

How to add a video source to Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio

Recolive Multicam is an application developed to record multi-camera productions using a WiFi network connection that allows you to sync up to 4 different video sources running on iOS and/or Mac devices. The norm is to use the built-in camera of your iPad as one of the cameras, and as the live mixer of all other video signals.

01 portada-void

Switcher Studio is a mobile video app that performs the same functions as Recolive Multicam, but additionally allows you to stream LIVE video while recording, as wells as, to view it using an HDMI adaptor or via Airplay.

Check-out the following post to learn all about how I’ve managed to go further into the use of these apps by using an external video source that does not run on an iOS device.


Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio: multi-camera video apps. 

I have recorded many videos using an iPad4 and an iPhone 5S (https://www.youtube.com/user/cocinandoenvideo) with Recolive Multicam (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/recolive-multicam-realizacion-multicamara-iphone-ipad/). This is without a doubt one of my favorite apps, because it allows me to have my own TV studio in the iPad. I can choose among the different video sources right there live; enhance the production with signs, tittles, headlines, overprinting or logos; use transitions; mix images Picture in Picture; or divide the screen; I may even select the device that will be the main provider of the audio signal.

Switcher Studio was developed after Recolive Multicam and widens its many functions allowing multi-camera streaming productions

From now on, thanks to apps like this one – with a very simple learning curve-, anyone, either a person or an institution will be able to record cultural or sports events, interviews, round tables, or simply create video courses. Let me give you an example to illustrate it, with a challenge that I have taken on recently.

02 Pantalla-Recolive-Multicam
02 Pantalla-Recolive-Multicam

Recording a Surgical video using Recolive Multicam

A few days ago, while teaching one of our recording with mobile devices in-house seminars –with our brand YOS Contenidos (http://www.yoscontenidos.com) -, I was asked about the possibility of a multi-camera production in an operating room mixing 3 different video signals as follows:

– One from an iPad recording a general shot of the room, showing the surgeons around the surgical table (the iPad would also act as the main mixer of all other video sources);

– A second one from an iPhone focusing on the patient area where the surgeon keeps his trocars (surgical instruments used to perform procedures without practicing open surgery)

– Finally, the third one would be the image provided by a trocar, or tube equipped with optical elements that sends images from the inside of the human body to a screen, guiding the surgeon during the procedure.

As you have probably guessed by now, the problem is that the laparocopy video is not an iOS or Mac device, therefore, incompatible for the Recolive Multicam recording (the use of which would make them save a lot of money).

The challenge: Full screen live preview using a video capture card

As I’ve mentioned before, Recolive Multicam can only mix video sources from iOS devices using the corresponding app, or running it from Mac computers that have the appropriate free software, Recolive Capture (http://recolive.com/en/blog/40-recolive-capture), to share the screen or to shoot with the laptop camera. That seemed to be the solution.

03 Recolive-Capture
03 Recolive-Capture

I thought that maybe connecting a MacBook to a capture card device showing the trocar signal would be enough…

I needed video capture software that would preview full screen, but, none of the software that I tried, including BlackMagic Media Express, did the trick. I asked my streaming expert friends about it, but they could only advise about purchasing hardware, not software; therefore, the costs were skyrocketing.

04 Blackmagic-Ultrastudio-cables
04 Blackmagic-Ultrastudio-cables

After several try-outs, and a lot of Internet searching, I found a video in a French site that explained how to use a MacBook screen to play with a Playstation using Blackmagic capture cards: full screen!!!  (https://youtu.be/M0usSD-4Q5Y)

We could make full screen live preview from the capture card, FullHD (depending on the latptop and the source), by using the free software capabilities of Pixel Conduit.

Solution: “Full screen live preview video from capture card”

Let me fully describe all the steps taken in the test I run, and that I hope to be using very soon in an operating room.

Equipment used:

  • 2 iPhones 5s with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 iPad 4 with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 MacBook with Recolive Capture software
  • A video capture BlackMagic UltraStudio Express card
  • 1 Canon HDV AX-H1 camera (video source used as the “trocar” for this test)
  • Free software from Pixel Conduit (http://pixelconduit.com )

05 Pixel-Conduit05 Pixel-Conduit


1. Preparing images, lowers, and logos; saving them into the iPad that will be used as the mixer.

2. Setting up the video input from the Mac through Blackmagic Media Express and the video capture Blackmagic card. In this case, PAL 1920×1080. I will turn off the software once I see the signal.

3. Setting up all video sources, 2 iPhones and the Mac screen, through Recolive Multicam.

4. Setting up Pixel Conduit to recognize the video source coming from the Blackmagic card and previewing it full screen. See video, isn’t it simple?

5. Selecting the transitions that I will be using, as well as the durations in the iPad; select the multiviews; fix the White balance, the exposure and the focus of the iPhone cameras

Silence in the set: 3, 2, 1… let’s shoot!

And this is the test result: https://youtu.be/7zYopY5PmkQ (In Spanish)


The option to use an external video source with Blackmagic capture card allows me to increase the options to shoot with several iPhone and iPad devices into any other video source.

Furthermore, if you would like to shoot with several microphones and you have a sound table, you may use it as a mixing console for the audio signal, connecting the output of the table to the iPad mixer through a digital interface such as iRigPro or Shure MVi, or an analogic interface such as iRigPre or a Tascam iXZ.

There is absolutely not a more affordable way to do up to 4 sources multi-camera productions.

06 Maria-iPad-recolive-live-recipes-CookPad-full-size
06 Maria-iPad-recolive-live-recipes-CookPad-full-size

Those were the pros, but I should mention the cons, there is a minor audio delay, around 0,1-0,2 seconds, from the external video source that does not come from Mac or iOS devices.  In this particular case, this will not be a problem for us, as the image from the laparoscopy does not have audio; although, if you would like to have someone speaking from that source, you will run into an unavoidable de-synchronization.

Finally, Recolive Capture only shares the screen of the MAC computer, but not the sound.

I hope that you will find this to be a useful post. I can’t wait to try this new option of multi-camera production in the operating room… Here is hoping that I will not faint while doing it….

I would like to thank Glen Mulcahy for his invitation to publish this translation in English of our article in his reference blog to all of us who record with our mobile devices.

Thank you also to Gabriele Mondada, CEO of Recolive Multicam to always respond so quickly and so gracefully to all my questions.

If you would like to read this post in Spanish, please visit our blog “el Taller Audiovisual” (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/multicamara-con-ipad-iphone-y-cualquier-otra-fuente-de-video/ ), fully devoted to recording with mobile devices.

Xkuty Recording 02 Workshop PBC Coworking October 2015 Jovempa - Elda Major 10-30-15Xkuty Recording 03

Thank you!

Testing the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital and the ClipMic Digital at the same time. [audio comparison]


I’ve just taken delivery of the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital Lavalier mic for iOS products. I got the ClipMic Digital a few weeks back and did an unboxing video and audio test in this blog post.

Given the price difference between the MKE2 Digital (RRP €499) and ClipMic Digital (RRP €220) I wondered if I did an audio test using them similtaneously would there be a discernable difference in the quality of the recordings.g

I used the Apogee MetaRecorder companion App for the recording test on two iPhone 5’s and then imported and synched each (mono) audio track from the App into FinalCutPro to use with the footage shot on Google Glass. Its not a very scientific test to be fair but I was interested in the results. In the Video I panned the two track left and right so if you use decent headphones to listen to the video you should be able to notice the subtle differences.

But just in case you don’t notice any difference I’ve uploaded each recording from the App as an individual track on Soundcloud also. I’m curious to hear what you think. For me the MKE2 is cleaner, less hiss and not quite as heavy on the bass but it was interesting to note that at -18dB the ClipMic recording level was higher than the MKE2. It is a smaller capsule I suppose.

MoJoCon Update and Competition announcements

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted – things have been extremely busy since the launch of the http://mojocon.rte.ie website in mid December. Ticket sales are going well. I’ll be offering a limited number of discount codes here on the blog next week so check back for that. The speaker list is nearly complete but I have a little “rabbit in the hat” that I may/may not be revealing closer to the date (sponsorship depending) more on that in the coming weeks.


Speaking of sponsorship I would like to give a big shout out to Vodafone Ireland who have come on board as event partners. Their support has been incredible and given that we will be talking a lot about mobile productivity I think this is a match made in heaven. 4G is the backbone of mobile journalism Live Streaming which is a big topic for the conference. I’m still looking for other sponsors for the event but I’m glad to say the exhibition hall is now sold out.

Keep an eye on the @mojoconirl twitter account for daily updates as I’ll be revealing a few more big sponsors soon.

The underlying ethos of MojoCon is to give our delegates a holistic view of the potential of mobile journalism. The plenary sessions will offer talks from some of the most innovative and pioneering practitioners of mobile journalism, mobile filmmaking, mobile photography and digital/multimedia storytelling. I will do a separate post on each of the sessions, outlining each of the speakers and their background (which of course is available on the mojocon site also)

The exhibition is designed to give the delegates a chance to explore a comprehensive selection of Apps and Accessories which allow you to bring the quality of the content you produce with your smartphone to the next level. Plus it offers some of the makers, creators and manufacturers who are traditionally online only vendors a chance to meet and network with the mojo community.

Day two is all about learning and skills. I’m still working on the lineup of courses for the day but LOTS of the speakers have volunteered to give workshops so I’m now considering more workshops but smaller and more intimate – allocated on a first come first served basis. I will be sending our delegate surveys to those of you who have already purchased tickets very soon so you’ll get first pick🙂

I’m keen to hear what you think, do you like the approach, line-up, venue, dates, location etc – please me know. If you have ideas for sponsors or if you make a product that fits within the scope of the conference then please do get in touch. I’ve had three emails from students telling me how great the conference is but complaining that the ticket prices are too expensive for them so we have a third level/student group discount code to get 25% off or buy 4 get one free for groups to make the event more accessible to that audience. Get in touch if you/your college/university are interested in this.


I’m also thrilled to announce that the Thomson Foundation, one of the longest running international media development organisations are supporting the conference by sponsoring a competition with a brilliant prize. Last week we we began inviting entries for the MojoCon/Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalism Award.


The Prize will be Flights, Accommodation and 2 VIP Tickets to MoJoCon PLUS a full MoJo Kit (including phone) like those in use in RTE with a total approximate value of €3000 – thats a serious prize!
If you are a student journalist who wants to come to the conference then this competition in association with Thomson Foundation could be your free ticket. Some Competition T&C’s apply. Full details are available on the Mojocon Website

Several sponsors have been unable to commit to the journey to Dublin to take part in the exhibition but have been nonetheless kind enough to sponsor some prizes. So myself and Christian Payne (@Documentally) have cooked up a neat little Twitter/Instagram competition to give way these goodies. Entitled the MoJoCon “Every Day Carry” Competiton all you need to do to take part is take a photo of your mojokit and tweet and post it to Instagram using the #mojoconedc. We will be using a cool widget from Irish company Tapastreet to collate the entries into a gallery on the mojocon website. Here are some examples…


Prizes will be selected randomly from our sponsorship goodie bag and winners will be announced via Twitter and our Facebook page. Some Competition T&C’s apply.

Finally I was asked by the lovely people at Its All Journalism to join their podcast interview with Neal Augenstein (who will be speaking at Mojocon) Here’s the link if you are interested: http://itsalljournalism.com/128-mobile-journalism-gets-mojo/

I was also approached by Javier Cabrera and Oscar Oncina from ElTallerAudiovisual to do an email interview and they have published the first two parts here and here .

Mojo in Action Behind the Scenes of RTE’s Philip Bromwell on a MojoShoot

Last Wednesday I joined Philip Bromwell as he went on a mojo shoot in Dublin. I brought three iPhone 5’s with me and some extra kit so I could shoot a behind the scenes Timelapse/Hyperlapse-mainly to convey the amount of movement and shots/angled required to create a good visual story.

Pictured is the Hahnel Triad Compact C5 Tripod, 2 x Shoulderpod Tripod Mounts, DiffCase CinemaRig, and Moment Lenses on both iPhones.

1 2

Not all journalists I know will go this extra mile to get “the shot”

Afterwards Philip edited his story for broadcast and uploaded the finished edit to Vimeo in HD…

Philip Also used Steller App to create a multimedia longer form of the story:

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 17.02.54

A few weeks on the road and I’m relieved to say, Mojo is moving into the mainstream media-finally!

I’m just back home from an intense three weeks which have left me feeling both excited and exhausted at the same time. If you are reading this I’m going to assume you have read at least one previous article on the blog and know roughly the sort of mobile journalism and UAV projects I’m involved in.


The first part of my trip was in London contributing as a trainer to the Thomson Foundation Summer Convergence course with 10 journalists drawn from Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, USA, Oman and Ghana. The course covered everything from the core principles of journalism and balanced reporting through social media, multi-media, radio packaging, reporting for tv and mobile journalism. I was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the group and I was also very impressed with the results, particularly of the journalists who chose to use Mojo to produce their TV report.

It was a pleasure to work again with Dan Mason who is an absolute fountain of knowledge about social media and online/video journalism, but also one of the best trainers I’ve worked with.


After London, I went to Paris to join Mark Egan, VJ & Mojo Trainer PurpleBridgemedia, to co-present a session on Mojo at the EBU News Technology Conference. Mark compiled a great showreel looking at all the diverse use cases for Mojo across the active users in Broadcast News.


Mark was one of the very first Video Journalists in BBC and spent a substantial period training VJs as part of Michael Rosenblums courses. Our many chats made it clear that he and I are 100% on the same wavelength and have a shared vision for the future of mobile news gathering. After the presentation we took our “gadget bags” out to the atrium to give the attendees some hands on time. The feedback was really positive with lots of queries about how other news orgs could get started in Mojo.


After a few hectics days in Paris I then headed to Amsterdam to join an IBC panel discussion on “Mobile and Social Innovations (in News). Moving from the marginal to the mainstream” With me on the panel were Bogdan Frusina, CTO of Dejero, Ronen Artman, VP Marketing, LiveU and Sergei Lupashin, Founder Fotokite. The session was chaired by David Lowen, Director, International TV and Media Consulting Ltd and produced by Steve Bennedik, Head of Technology, SkyNews.


Then to wrap the week up the legend that is: Dan Chung of NewsShooter.com invited me on to his IBCLive talkshow with Elliot Smith to discuss Mobile Newsgathering and the Future of TV News.

photo-9 photo-2


The common thread throughout these events is that News organisations, (tv, radio, online and print) are now starting to take mobile news gathering seriously.

I had some great (heated) debates about the future of linear TV news, what should new journalists do to kick off their career and how much more potential does Mojo really have. All I can say is, even though I was disappointed by the 8Mp Camera in the iPhone6/6+ the advent of greater manual camera control, “dslr like” optical focus and stabilisation and “Extensions” in iOS8 Mojo mean iOS Mojo has just taken another leap forward. Speaking of leaping, I’m still amazed when I meet someone at a senior management level in news who greet my Mojo presentation with gasps of “I had no idea you could do so much with mobile” makes me wonder if the metaphor about the BOILING FROG is alive and well. If so the temperature has just been turned up a notch.


PS: I will detail the gadgets and gear that caught my eye at IBC in a separate post a little later.

Which Lapel mic for mojo? Final Microphone test (for a while) AKG 417pp Vs MXL FR 361 Lavalier

Sennheiser MKE 2-EW GOLD  Mke2 Gold For Evolution Wireless With 3.5Mm Jack.  Black**     009831.jpg

Back in 2011 when I tested various bits of gear for our RTE Mojo kits I was initially going to go for the Sennhesiser MKE2 OR the Sony ECM77b. Both these microphones are exceptional quality and are in everyday use for broadcast. However the price of them is what sent me digging deeper for an alternative! The ECM 77b is approx €450 and the cheaper Sennhesiser MKE2 is around €300.


Given that one of the aims of the mojo project was to try to create a “grab bag” with all the accessories needed to equip a mobile journalist in the field, but ideally not costing more than that phone, the inclusion of either of these mics would have blown the budget. I found the AKG 417pp Phantom Lavalier and it ticked all the boxes – the sound was good (perhaps not as good as the Sony/Sennheiser) enough, the build was robust and the price was right. €110-€130. We’ve been using it in our kits since.

Recently however I noticed that MXL Microphones had started to explore mobile content production in a BIG way.
They have a set of  mobile specific accessories including a dedicated lavalier and miniature rifle mic with grip (Click images below for more details) but it is their Pro grade Lav mics that were of interest to me…

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.56.25 Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.55.49

MXL actually have two microphones in the Lav kits. One Omni Directional and one Cardioid.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 13.59.33

So I decided to test the FR-361 against the Akg 417pp in two different situations. First I did a sound ONLY test in one of our radio booths.

As with all the recent audio tests I used Google Glass to record what I was doing and posted the two separate clips to Soundcloud directly from the Voice Record Pro App…

Then I enlisted the help of RTE News “Mojo Champion” Philip Bromwell and recent mojo trainee Aisling Kenny to do a real world interview setup using FilMic Pro. Philip chose the RTE canteen, which is a noisy environment but with good light, and we set up two iPhone 5S with FilMicPro, IKMultimeida iRog Pre and the two lab mics which recorded the interview in parallel.

I would encourage you to listen using good quality over ear headphones to assess the sound.

So YOU decide if the MXL Quality and Value is a rival for the AKG, Sennhesiser and Sony. I think its fair to say there is a choice for every budget available now.


Rode Smartlav (original) Versus New Rode Smartlav+ Recording booth comparison


When Rode microphones originally announced the SmartLav in early 2013 I posted a blog about it as I was really excited and I believed it could be a huge step in the evolution of “budget” mobile journalism. During a mojo course in Budapest myself and John Inge Johansen from NRK tested it with FilMicPro but we discovered the main issue is the absence of audio gain in the App. (I subsequently discovered that MoviePro had added in App audio gain)


A number of weeks ago Rode announced an update called the SmartLav+ and certainly everything I’ve read suggests the audio fidelity is definitely higher in the the new capsule so today I took the SmartLav+ and the original smartly into one of our soundproof audio booths to do a side by side test. I recorded the test using glass and on the iPhone 5s I used Voice Record pro for the audio recording.

So here are the recordings:

Certainly my initial impression is that the SmartLav+ has substantially less hiss but it also sounds like it has also lost some of the richness in the bass.

I’m no audio expert – so I will defer to the judgement of some of my esteemed colleagues from radio who may comment. You can hopefully decide for yourself.

Its worth noting that FilMicPro will have audio gain as a feature in the upcoming Version 4 release.

For more information on the SmartLav+ visit the dedicated Rode micro site:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 17.59.00