Status update: the summer of side-projects
Been a busy old month, basically because I’ve been working on several different side-projects at once! I thought I would summarise what I’ve been up to in the past month or so, serving as a bit of a status update and pulling together my thoughts.
The main thing I’ve wanted to work on – making Youtube videos – has taken many, many setbacks which I’ll go through later on in this post. Most of these are fixed now but I’ll cover that soon enough.
This post just gives a bit of an overview of the little projects I have been working on, as well as giving a progress update specifically for my Youtube channel.
Summer of updates
The summer started fairly calmly and then a combination of issues and opportunities has left me with very little free time again! Aside from like, you know, work and shit, here is a quick summary of the bits I’ve been up to recently:
- Became a writer for the Last Life Club
- Appeared on their recent Sonic podcast
- First review published this week
- Wrote a WordPress plugin
- Held an event for Ingress players (day out and pub afterparty)
- Prepared a blog post/video on the new item in Ingress, the “Transmuters”
- Developed the Guesthouse game ready for V2
Here’s what went down with my Youtube channel in the past month or two:
1. Internet difficulties
I wrote a post earlier in the summer about issues with the internet. Well, they largely got sorted after a couple of weeks but I still have no idea what the problem was with my Youtube uploads.
Anyway, we upgraded our home internet connection (and got a shiny new router) so now streaming should be possible and uploads are much quicker – yay!
As a short internet outage can leave me behind with my schedule, I will be revising how often I post videos to Youtube (at least in edited format) and I’m playing with different styles that are shorter and therefore quicker to edit and upload. The shorter video format also helps with issue 2….
2. Storage problems
Another major bummer is storage, with each of my PS4, phone, and PC hard drive getting filled up completely with half-edited videos and game captures.
My stopgap solution was Google Photos, backing everything up there so that I could delete/shift content around as needed.
The key problem here is the time taken to:
a) upload the content to Google Photos (not that slow)
b) sort and organise my content in Google Photos ready for further editing (which can be a PITA when Photos doesn’t show you a download link until you put a single video into an album, and then you can download the “whole album” as a ZIP file)
c) download the content from Photos when needed for editing
d) transfer the content for video editing, often via USB from my PC to my PS4
It’s a faff but it at least means I am not losing content, which happened earlier this month when I desperately tried to free up some space on my phone, only to find several edited videos were cleared without being backed up. It’s a silly mistake to make, but easy enough to do when you’re juggling storage space and limited on time.
I’m looking into external hard drives which can act as my main repository now, and this should cut down on a lot of that transfer time.
3. Microphone issues
Then to top things off, I found that my headset stopped working (even though it never worked that well in the first place). Before, I would have to turn the microphone volume to maximum just to pick up my voice – now I just get a high-pitched whine when I try recording with it.
To sort that, I quickly ordered a new (cheapo) microphone off Amazon, plugged it in, set it up…. and found it to also be shite. Turning the volume higher just leads to awful pops and cracks, even when it comes with its own pop stand!
I really ought to just shell out for a better mic but my costs are now ramping up! Argh! This little hobby is becoming mighty expensive and time-consuming!
I’m playing with recording using the new microphone as that does work well enough when all the cables are fixed and out of the way. Other than that, using my phone mic may have to do in the meantime!
4. Editing troubles
Finally the actual video editing has been nightmarish, with several serious issues making this part of the process almost unbearable.
I was using ShareFactory on the PS4, which has its limitations but worked well enough for me…. right up until the point where it started corrupting videos. This has apparently been an issue for some users for several years according to some forums, but certain videos (often those which I have already imported and edited) can get corrupted and lost in this editor. The video appears in the editor, but once I try to export the video I get a message saying “clips have been deleted from this video” and even the imported file is no longer available to view/use!
So… I no longer trust ShareFactory with my hard-earned game footage and voice-overs!
Couple with that, the official Youtube video editor is being shut down in September, meaning that option is not available either! Eeeek!
I have done some investigations and found a free phone app which seems flexible and powerful enough to make some shorter videos for now, but really looking for a longer-term solution (that doesn’t require a powerful PC!).
I’m going to publish a separate blog post about my progress with the Guesthouse game, as that is now at v1.5 (new GUI almost finished and most new features implemented).
I’ll also publish a separate status update on the WordPress plugin which is slowly becoming something more useful – but it may be a couple of weeks before that gets finished off.
That’s it for now – speak to you all later!