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How to record meetups and other talks

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In January my colleague Hans Knoechel talked about Hyperloop at the Amsterdam Titanium meetup. In advance, many people asked us if we could record and publish his talk and so we did:

In this article, I’m going to walk you through a simple way to record and publish talks at meetups and other events. If you’re doing a talk about Appcelerator at a local meetup or conference, give it a try. We’d love to share your video here!

What didn’t work

We tried to record meetups before using all kinds of solutions, but none of them really worked. Google On Air is great for remote talks, but at an event you find yourself struggling with recording audio and switching between presenters. Filming on an iPhone requires a tripod if you don’t want to go home with a cramp and often doesn’t really capture projection that well.

What did work

This last meetup we finally found the golden egg.

Use QuickTime to record the slides

To record what is projected, we’ll use QuickTime’s Screen Recording option:

record-qt

TIP: Make sure that you record audio as well. Even though we won’t use it, it will help us to sync the video with the audio that we’ll record using iPhones:

record-qt-audio

After you press the red button to record, move your cursor to the (external) screen that will be projected and click to start:

record-qt-click

TIP: Be aware that if your screen arrangement changes, QuickTime will stop the recording. PowerPoint for example will disable mirroring when you start to present. So either use Keynote or simply disable mirroring on forehand and do any demos on the external screen as well.

Use one or more phones to record audio

To capture the speaker’s audio, use the Voice Memos app found on every phone. Drop a (locked) phone in his pocket after you have plugged in the microphone of the standard earplugs or spent a few bucks on a simple clip-on for more comfort:

record-clip

TIP: Switch the phones to flight mode because an incoming call will stop the recording, even if you don’t take it!

To record the MC or questions from the audience just pass around another phone. Make sure they speak into the microphone or plug in an external one: record-mic

TIP: Let the phones for both the speaker and audience record for the full duration of the talk. It will be a lot harder to sync if you start and stop for every question.

Optionally record some video

For more interactive talks, you might want to have someone walk around with another phone or tablet. You won’t need the audio, so just shoot some video to alternate with the recorded slides.

Editting

After the meetup, don’t forget to stop and save the QuickTime video and collect the voice memos, e.g. via AirDrop. The video will be about a gigabyte per 10 minutes, so bring a large USB stick if you’re not the one presenting.

Then back at home drag import the lot to iMovie or alike. Use the audio recorded in QuickTime to sync the audio tracks and then remove the QuickTime audio. You will probably need to mute the audio from the audience phone(s) in between questions.

Publishing

That’s it! You can share the video to YouTube directly from iMovie. Send us the link with a short intro and we’ll publish it right here on our Developer Blog!

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