Sudden Failure of Joby GorillaPod Original

I was about to film our boarding of the train when my tripod broke. Not the best start to our short holiday.

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I was about to film a clip as we boarded the high speed train that would take us from Lyon to Lille when my GorillaPod Original tripod broke. The top segment popped off as I was adjusting the position of the camera.

Broken GorillaPod Original tripod
Broken GorillaPod Original tripod

Popping the segment back on did not fix the tripod. Once restored, the segment had lost its grip and no longer resisted the weight of the camera. The design and purpose of the tripod was undermined.

Being less than a year old and thanks to living under European Union product warrantees, a replacement is in the post as I type this – without cost or quibble – direct from Amazon. I was relieved that I had bought from directly from Amazon; their handling of problems is what makes me continue buying from them.

As an aside, I have yet to have Amazon.fr deliver on the estimated date. The support is good but shipping requires patience.

Joby then Amazon

I first contacted Joby using their info@joby.com address and got a quick reply saying to contact another company in France. I had not dealt with this company before. It was a public holiday and the middle of the French holiday season. My heart sank at the idea of dealing with an unknown local French distributor. Rather than follow this run around, I contacted the organisation who sold me the item, Amazon.fr.

It transpires I am lucky. The failure happened while I was holding my camera and nothing more than the tripod broke. My camera was left unharmed. Reading reviews from others suffering this problem, many have trusted their camera to the GorillaPod only to watch it break and for their camera to fall catastrophically to the ground.

Filming and Night Photos

During our days in Lille, I borrowed Megan’s tripod. I discovered that my camera particularly benefits from a tripod when filming and when taking photos at night. Handheld filming is awkward and the mini-tripod makes sweeps and smooth motion easier. At night the tripod helps stabilise the camera for sharper photos.

Learning this, I am pleased to have a replacement on the way. I am however unnerved and wonder what alternatives exist incase this problem recurs. Are there other trustworthy flexible tripods?

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Moving Platforms

Moving platforms help French movers avoid tiny stairwells and elevators.

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The narrow stairs and often tiny elevators in French apartments make moving a harrowing task.

Summer is here and our apartment building is in flux. Our floor has largely emptied out. It seems the academic cycle is causing a refresh of tenants in our building.

A moving platform outside the apartment front door.
A moving platform outside the apartment front door.

Moving platforms are a great solution. I have mentioned them before but continue to be enthralled each time I see them in use.

I took some footage of one moving platform and the resulting No more stairs – apartment moves made easy with a moving platform short film is available on my YouTube channel.

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Movie Splitter – Custom Splits

A significant Miln Movie Splitter update adds slicing up movies into custom length sections. This most requested ability joins a few other new features in v1.2.

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Movie Splitter was created with a specific purpose in mind. It has been something of a joy to create an application that only had to do one thing and do it well.

Over time however, Movie Splitter has attracted users who want more. The most requested feature being the ability to split a movie into segments of custom lengths.

With the latest update, Movie Splitter v1.2, this most requested (too frequently demanded) feature is available.

Movie Splitter can halve, quarter, and custom split movies.
Movie Splitter can halve, quarter, and custom split movies.
Select a start and end frame of the movie to split.
Select a start and end frame of the movie to split.

As always, please read the full product description. Movie Splitter remains a specialised application and not a general movie editor.

New in Movie Splitter v1.2.0

  • Added ability to create custom sections.
  • Added ability to create new section from a selection of existing sections.
  • Added ability to merge existing sections into one.
  • Added contextual menu to section list.

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House Update

The upstairs walls are done, and they have started the roof. It’s beyond exciting!

The post House Update appeared first on Megan Miln.

What a difference a month makes! Over the past few weeks we have watched the walls go up, been able to walk around upstairs and enjoy the view from our windows, and now the roof is going on.

Build week 19: Inside
Build week 19: Inside

Remember those wildflower seeds we scattered on bare earth? Now it’s a sea of green punctuated by bright poppies.

And the fruit trees? Cherries. We ate the first ones off the tree last week.

Pretty poppy in our wildflower garden
Pretty poppy in our wildflower garden

The only problem has been the transport. The train strikes got so bad that we had to abandon a planned visit. We found an alternative route by bus, only to have problems with the car hire. The trains are supposedly back up and running again. Oh, I hope so! I want to be able to focus on the house, not how we’re going to make it to our next meeting.

Suddenly a Ceiling Appears (video)
An Enclosed Space
First Time Upstairs (video)
Up, Up, Up
Misdirection (video)
Transport Troubles
We Made It
The Roof Begins (video)
Starting the Roof

We’re up-to-date with the progress videos. These short updates show the changes between each visit.

Progress week 2
Progress week 4
Progress week 8
Progress week 12
Progress week 14
Progress week 16

Build week 19: Starting the roof
Build week 19: Starting the roof

Visit Love Allier for more, or sign up to the mailing list to find out first.

The post House Update appeared first on Megan Miln.

Movie Splitter and Multilingual Chapter Markers

The latest Miln Movie Splitter update adds support for multilingual chapters markers. This odd sounding improvement is as strange as you might imagine.

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An update to my MPEG-4/.mp4 splitting application, Movie Splitter, is now available.

Yesterday Apple’s Mac App Store reviewers accepted my latest update to Movie Splitter. The update should be available worldwide in the next 24 hours.

Movie Splitter in the Mac App Store
Movie Splitter in the Mac App Store

This update adds support for multilingual chapters markers. This odd sounding improvement is as strange as you might imagine. It is possible for movie files to include different chapter markers for different languages. In practice this ability seems rarely used.

However, it is possible for chapter markers to be associated with languages you do not use or for an “undetermined” language context.

It is this latter undetermined, und, language context that this update really addresses.

The movie footage from our Canon cameras contains chapter information in the und context. That makes sense, the camera does not involve itself with the specifics of any spoken language being recorded.

Up until OS X 10.11.4, Apple’s AVFoundation framework happily returned und chapter markers when searching for a best match. With OS X 10.11.5, this behaviour changed and und chapters were no longer returned even when they were the only chapter markers available in the movie file. Is this a bug? I am not sure. If it is, waiting for Apple to fix it is not a game I am any longer willing to play.

With the original Movie Splitter, I searched for the chapters best matching your preferred languages – as determined by your locale. In almost every case this worked.

Then OS X 10.11.5 was released and suddenly Movie Splitter was frequently not being given any chapter markers for movies that previously had good results.

With today’s Movie Splitter, I search for chapter markers for every known ISO 639-2 language code known to OS X plus und. Preference is still given to your preferred languages.

This appears to restore the previous in almost every case this worked behaviour and it improves support for splitting movie files containing chapters markers in extraordinary languages.

My thanks to those who reported this problem via e-mail and for their patience as I found and worked around the underlying cause.

Happy movie splitting!

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