Foliovision Making the web work for you 2016-12-02T17:20:58Z https://foliovision.com/feed/atom WordPress Eduard <![CDATA[New FV Player Update: MPEG-DASH and Other Features]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=48800 2016-12-01T15:22:56Z 2016-12-01T15:22:56Z We have released the new version of FV Player - 6.0.5.9. Although it had some initial problems, they are now all resolved with the update 6.0.5.9.3 and you can dive right into the new features.

MPEG-DASH Support

MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adoptive Streaming over HTTP) is a technology similar to Apple's HLS, that allows streaming of data with adaptive bitrate. The principle is the same - the video file is broken to a small fragments of data, that are served one by one to create smooth playback. Each one has various qualities that switch automatically to deliver best quality possible in the given network situation.

Unlike HLS, MPEG-DASH was created as an international standard with the ambition to be compatible with every possible device. This goal was not achieved yet, because you still have to use HLS on all iOS devices. MPEG-DASH is however becoming dominant on all other platforms, like Android, TVs, set-top boxes, and has been adapted even by YouTube, Netflix and even Vimeo. FV Player handles the MPEG-DASH using the Media Source Extensions (MSE) specification, making it available on all the major browsers.

Take a look on this demo to see for yourself:

[This post contains video, click to play]

If you want to see a Vimeo MPEG-DASH implementation, you will find it right on our homepage.

Other fixes and features

  • Users of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will be happy to hear about improved compatibility
  • Lightbox now supports WP galleries - the items are linked to media files rather than attachment pages when "Use video lightbox for images as well" option is enabled (Read more about Lightbox here)
  • Amazon S3: a new region - Seoul, is now supported

Check our Changelog to see the full list of all the fixes, features and changes done all the updates.

Don't forget that:

New FV Player Update: MPEG-DASH and Other Features

Post from: Foliovision

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Sanela Kurtek http://foliovision.com <![CDATA[How FV Player’s AB Loop changed John W. Tuggle’s life]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=35644 2016-12-01T13:23:58Z 2016-11-30T20:16:07Z Going from 30 students at the local music store to thousands of subscribers on his website, music teacher John W Tuggle is now living everyone's dream. To have a passive income source that makes money while you sleep is what every person wished for at some point, and John got there with the help from FV Player.

When he was 17, John bought a Kay Electric Guitar and Peavey Rage amp, using the money he saved up from working at a grocery store. (Very “Summer of ‘69”.) He took private guitar lessons and spent a lot of time in his room trying to learn how to play Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix.

[This post contains video, click to play]

Four years later, he quit his job at Sears and started teaching guitar to 30 students a week at Jubilee Music store in Fairhope, Alabama. John says it was overwhelming:

There is definitely a learning curve to showing someone how to learn the guitar efficiently and properly while maintaining the student’s interest. Looking at concepts and techniques through someone else’s perspective is a skill I tried to develop early on and still try to find better ways of teaching guitar to students.

He did find a better way, but first he had to overcome a few obstacles.

The Road to Video

In 2006 he wrote his first instructional book, Beginner Guitar Method Book. When the book was finished, he bought the domain name LearningGuitarNow.com, to sell the book. It was a fiasco:

Learning Guitar Now actually debuted in November of 2006, and I only sold one book to a friend of mine. I wouldn’t sell another book again until almost a year and a half later.

The failure almost made him give up on making any more instructional materials, but later he decided he would give it one more shot. He started learning about marketing and how to create products that sell. This was when he noticed that YouTube has become very popular and considering video cameras weren’t really a luxury anymore, he decided to create videos instead of books.

He got a new look for his website and in 2008. This was also when he launched his first product – Slide Guitar Method 1 Open E Tuning and made $100 in the first day. A week later, Gibson contacted John to ask if they could put some of his Youtube vidoes on their website. Six months later Apple featured John in their newsletter for top Video podcasts in 2008 gaining him 4,000 subscribers in one day.

Video was the way to go.

Discovering the FV Player

Searching for a player that would offer him more features than Vimeo, which he was using at the time, John came across the FV Player. He wasn’t satisfied with Vimeo, because it lacked features his subscribers wanted. And if he wanted to keep his subscribers and attract more people, he needed to offer them more:

With subscription based videos, people want all the features that you can use in like VLC for example. And Vimeo only had the embed option.

In 2015, he contacted Foliovision with an idea for a feature that could improve his customers’ experience even more – AB Loop.

With AB Loop, users are able to pick the part of the video which they’re want to play on repeat over and over again. It is perfect for practicing guitar “riffs” or “licks” or for any other music tutorial.

[This post contains video, click to play]

When John contacted Alec and Martin with the request, he had a basic idea about what the feature should look like. It has proven to be a great improvement of the FV Player for John, along with speed buttons (slow motion), and it has also improved his sales:

AB looping is just something I’ve been trying to get to work for years really. But since I don’t have any experience with that kind of development, I contacted Alec and Martin and we tried to figure out the interface, and I think we came up with something that works pretty well and something that now a lot of people seem to be really into. It’s a big feature people want to use when they are learning to play an instrument.

The free version of the FV player plugin comes with speed buttons, which allows you to adjust the speed of the video and in the case of learning to play an instrument, you can play your tutorial video in slow motion. AB Loop and the speed buttons make a perfect combination for teaching music through video:

These are the biggest advantages of the FV player from my perspective - the slow motion and the AB looping. Having these features available makes it a lot easier for someone to learn.

[This post contains video, click to play]

John has over a thousand videos on his website, so another FV Player feature he found useful was the option to create multiple playlists on one page:

It made my work a lot easier. Let's say you have a course and it’s four of five hours long and you split it into like 10 or 15 segments. It’s a lot easier to have one web page with 5, 6, 7 videos on it with small playlist links instead of 5-7 pages with different videos on it. From navigation point of view, this works so well.

But this isn't where it all ends. John wants to keep on improving his video lessons and he already has a few ideas on how to do it. Learning Guitar Now is John's only form of income and his business has never been better, also thanks to the rich features of the FV Player.

Video was the way to go.

How FV Player’s AB Loop changed John W. Tuggle’s life

Post from: Foliovision

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Mario Lapos <![CDATA[Comparing Hootsuite and Buffer Free Versions]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=39500 2016-11-26T16:37:53Z 2016-11-25T15:26:04Z hootsuite-buffer

In the past few months I have been playing around with a couple of social media tools to get better the results of my promotion and to improve the way I work. These tools are non-other than Hootsuite and Buffer. Before deciding on the winner, I tried free versions of both apps. Comparing them in their raw, naked state turned out like this.

I divided this review into four categories that represent the pillars of each (and basically any suchlike) app:

  • dashboard
  • accounts
  • scheduling/publishing
  • analytics

I wanted to find the easiest-to-use tool to help me not only schedule posts, but to also peek behind the curtain with some basic analytics and boost overall posts’ performance - on a free plan!

Dashboard

Hootsuite

I am not really sure whether the dashboard is very informative or too crowded, but it left me overwhelmed either way. It can look very complicated at first.

You can add a tab for each social media and decide what information you want to see. You can track mentions, view messages, followers, likes etc. The navigation bar extends from the left side when you hover the cursor over it. It's easy and  useful since everything is accessible within there and you can get to what you're looking quite quickly.


Pro:

  • Highly customizable dashboard, sidebar

Con:

  • Took me a while to learn the navigation

Dashboard in Hootsuite
Add what you need to see, switch between tabs and accounts, pick your favorite view. It may take longer to learn to navigate everything.

Buffer

Buffer opted for a more minimalistic design. It’s very clean, very simple and self-explanatory. However, you pretty much have to work with it as it is. For example, you can’t see mentions, keywords and on the dashboard. It covers scheduling and publishing, but I’ll get to that later. The sidebar here is a list of your accounts and in the top bar you will find Content, Analytics, Schedule and Settings.


Pro:

  • Friendly User Interface and User Experience

Con:

  • Non-customizable

Soft colours and white background make up welcoming and well-arranged dashboard.
Soft colours and white background make up welcoming and well-arranged dashboard.

Accounts

Hootsuite

Let’s get right down to what this is all about, connecting social media accounts. The free version of Hootsuite allows you to connect up to three accounts. This isn’t too bad for Slovakia where a brand's presence is inevitable only on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

However, here at Foliovision we work almost solely with international clients which is why we had to set up multiple Hootsuite and Buffer accounts to cover every social media channel, using the free plan,


Pro:

  • Social networks available: Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram, Youtube

Con:

  • Only up to three networks allowed, missing Pinterest

Hootsuite accounts
Hootsuite accounts

Buffer

Their website states that you can connect one social profile per platform. These are the platforms you can connect in the free version: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Instagram. This is already better than Hootsuite, but as I mentioned before you can’t customize what you see and how you work these accounts. The dashboard will always show scheduling and publishing.


Pro:

  • Social networks/platforms available: Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest; Up to 5 accounts/platforms allowed

Con:

  • Lack of YouTube and WordPress can be a deal breaker for some, functionality reduced to scheduling/publishing posts - no advanced viewing option

Buffer accounts
Buffer accounts

Scheduling/Publishing

Hootsuite

Publishing in Hootsuite happens always in the top bar area. First you pick the profile and then you compose a message. The whole box is, again, kind of difficult to navigate for first timers and it will take you some time before you get the hang of it (or might just be me).

The first thing I had noticed that bugged me was the link shortener. You have to do it manually in a box below the message composer. If you forget to do it, Hootsuite won’t track the post. Kind of annoying, because you do want Hootsuite to track your posts’ performance and shortened links always look better.

File attaching works nice. If you connect your Youtube channel, you can even upload videos directly via Hootsuite. Thumbs up for that.

The actual scheduling is...okay. You can choose between manual scheduling and the AutoSchedule ("for optimal impact") feature. For me, this was the stumbling block. If you know your analytics, go ahead and schedule your posts manually, you won't have any problems.. But otherwise..

Hootsuite AutoSchedule On
Hootsuite AutoSchedule On

For the sake of this review I conducted a little experiment with the AutoSchedule feature in Hootsuite and the similar Optimal Timing Tool in Buffer. I took two tweets and scheduled them with the aforementioned tools in order to see which one would give me better numbers. Results?

  • Both tweets scheduled and published via HootSuite’s AutoSchedule came out with 0,0% engagement rate,
  • whereas Optimal Timing Tool in Buffer gave me 1,8% engagement rate on my first tweet and 3,3% on the second one.
  • Plus, with Buffer I got to see a nice time-graph of the highest and lowest activity/engagement times on my Twitter profile.
  • Hootsuite will only show you the time of AutoScheduled post, but neither the overall activity nor a graph overview of the whole account.
Hootsuite AutoSchedule Off
Hootsuite AutoSchedule Off
Hootsuite AutoSchedule settings
Hootsuite AutoSchedule settings

I love Hootsuite for allowing Suggestions, RSS Feeds and Bulk Composers in the Free Plan I am reviewing. They’re each a small addition, but the tool feels more complex thanks to them.

It’s very convenient not having to leave Hootsuite if you need to find great content to share. In Suggestions, pick three topics that you are interested in sharing on your social media accounts and Hootsuite will do the rest. If you have an RSS feed simply link it to Hootsuite and set up where the feed should send items to, when to check the feed for new posts, how many times to post, prepare a message and shorten the URL. Simple and useful!

With Bulk Composer I did have some trouble, but not because it wouldn’t work (although the new version is still BETA), but because I am hopeless with CSVs and other spreadsheet formats. However, manually filling cells with time, urls and messages, while paying attention to the correct formatting, seemed like swatting flies with a sledgehammer. Definitely not a way to do effective social media work.

The browser extension is a separate category. Hootsuite Hootlet lets you:

  • search social media alongside your Google search,
  • share while you surf, with one click and without leaving your current window,
  • highlight text to share directly to social media,
  • discover geographically relevant social media with location awareness,
  • share images and videos effortlessly.

This is very good and would be even better if it was available for more web browsers. Right now only Google Chrome users can enjoy it. But the fun does not stop there, go to the Hootsuite App Directory and explore the tool's possibilities.


Pro:

  • RSS Feeds, Suggestions, YouTube Uploads, Bulk Composer (if you have a reason to use it instead of doing the same thing right away in the Hootsuite), feature-rich Google Chrome extension, lots of apps and extensions for Hootsuite in the App Directory

Con:

  • Manual Link Shortener, AutoSchedule for "for optimal impact" did not give me the "optimal impact", web browser extension only available for Google Chrome

Buffer

Type your message, add a link, mention someone, add a picture, or create one. Buffer seems like a mere scheduling platform, but it is much more.

Composing posts in Buffer is fun. The whole User Interface is much more user-friendly and intuitive than Hootsuite’s. Also, once you have your post, just click on Add to Queue, or you can choose to: Share Next, Share Now, Schedule Post (if you prefer your own timing than what Buffer suggests). Bottom line, it’s more compendious than Hootsuite.

Buffer Composer
Buffer Composer

File sharing or adding photos and videos through Buffer is very simple. The Buffer Composer has a nice overview of the whole post, unlike Hootsuite, so you are always a 100 per cent sure about what your followers will see.

Pablo is also a very nice addition. With the help of Pablo you can create pictures, re-shape them for each social media network, add them to queue or download right away without leaving Buffer. You can work with your own pictures or select from more than half a million of royalty free pictures from sites like Pexels and Unsplash. There are 10 filters to apply. Text options contain Header, Body and Caption texts. You can then change the font, size, color, boldness, italics and layout. Those who are not feeling creative can choose from a number of pre-made images, so called Templates. Brands will appreciate the option to add a logo.

Don't look for Pablo in Buffer, however. For unspecified reason they removed the Pablo button from Buffer. It is still accessible here pablo.buffer.com or vie the Google Chrome extension which I highly recommend.

Create beautiful visuals with Buffer's Pablo
Create beautiful visuals with Buffer's Pablo

I have already talked about scheduling above, but let’s take a closer look, because the way Buffer does it deserves more mention.

Buffer lets you choose on which days you want to post to your social media, so you can setup your Posting Schedule. The free version allows up to just one Posting Schedule. If you know your audience and analytics, go ahead and add posting times manually. However, I find it useful to play around with the Optimal Timing Tool every Monday. I test various posting times Buffer offers me and that’s when I usually see the best results in terms of impressions and engagements, hence the engagement rate. Simply, you choose a profile, choose how many times you want to post per day and it will find you the best times, plus they're going to be shown on a nice graph.

Buffer Optimal Scheduling Tool Graph
Buffer Optimal Scheduling Tool Graph
Buffer Optimal Scheduling Tool Settings
Buffer Optimal Scheduling Tool Settings

Sadly, Buffer does not allow neither RSS feeds nor content suggestions in the free version. For content suggestions I used Feedly and a paid service called Quuu, which my team leader reviewed here. Quuu is only one of the many apps you can connect to Buffer. Check them all out here.

Buffer's browser extension offers less functionality, but it is available in all popular browsers and works very nicely. Thanks to its integration with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit (and more) you can schedule posts directly from those websites and even schedule re-tweets, re-posts etc. On top of it, you get to install the Pablo Image Editor extension on Google Chrome as well. It means the tool is always only a click away and you can re-work (almost) any image from any site in no time.  


Pro:

  • Optimal Timing Tool, Pablo Image Creator, Automatic link shortening, clean message composer, extension available on all browsers, plenty of apps to connect with

Con:

  • Lack of RSS feeds and content suggestions, up to only 10 messages per account to schedule in the free version

Analytics

Hootsuite

As mentioned above, if you don’t shorten your link in the Message Composer, Hootsuite won’t track your posts. However, if you do it right then you can create a report from all your ow.ly links from any of the accounts.

As far as Analytics goes, Hootsuite is playing the top league. It will give you insights from all your linked accounts + Google Analytics. However, don’t expect analytics on the Free Plan, but seeing it there makes you want to upgrade.


Pro:

  • Rich Analytics features, that are not available in the free plan

Con:

  • Overall account overview

Buffer

What I cannot stress enough in this review is how important the link shortening is. Since neither of the two apps can track your posts’ performance unless you use their link shortener it seems unreasonable that Hootsuite doesn’t have the option to shorten links automatically and Buffer does.

Buffer analytics in the free version aren’t rich, but thanks to automatic link shortening you see all your posts’ performance, potential reach, marked top posts and you can re-buffer them (re-post). 

The option to re-buffer posts is a life-saver (time-saver as well). The best performing posts are marked with a 'Top Tweet' or 'Top Post' sticker which makes it a child's play to conquer the feeds of the social media world. 


Pro:

  • Automatic post tracking, re-use top posts

Con:

  • no overall account overview

Social media management is possible on solely free plans, but you have to use multiple tools. Here's my set-up: In addition to both Buffer and Hootsuite I also rely on Twitter Dashboard/TweetDeck, Facebook Insights and  Pinterest Analytics and LinkedIn data (from Pulse articles, profile views, recent activity etc.) in order to get more data relevant to my social media operations.

Conclusion

After months of testing and abusing both apps I have made the decision to commit to Buffer (for now). Its brief and crisp design is easy to navigate and my work is more efficient thanks to it. I have achieved significantly better results with The Optimal Timing Tool and saved a lot of time thanks to seeing my top-performing tweets from the past and being able to re-post them with just a couple of clicks.

What I hold against Hootsuite is the link shortening, the user interface (it feels outdated) and the lack of analytics. However, being able to find great content in the free version and upload directly to YouTube are definitely the useful features you should check out.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Comparing Hootsuite and Buffer Free Versions

Post from: Foliovision

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Eduard <![CDATA[FV Player’s New Feature: Interactive Video Transcript]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=48614 2016-11-25T15:29:48Z 2016-11-24T16:59:29Z FV Player just got a great new feature - Interactive Video Transcript. In short, it creates a text from a VTT subtitle file and shows it in a box under the video. But that's not what makes this feature so great. The real advantage is the interactivity.

[This post contains video, click to play]


As you can see in the example above, the block of text generated from the subtitle file is actually highlighting the current line in the subtitles as they go along with the video playback. You can just read the transcript while watching and it will automatically scroll down the text. Or, if you want to keep the video playing and browse the transcript yourself, just turn off the Autoscroll.

The Search bar is another neat function. It doesn't just simply search for a word in the transcript. It will actually jump the playback to the point where the word is used. Every line in the VTT file has it's unique point on the video timeline and clicking on any line in the transcript will also move you to that point.

All these handy functions can improve the user experience of your customers and also go hand by hand with the fact that having more unique text content on your website will considerably improve SEO. If you want to learn more about this feature, read our documentation - Interactive Video Transcript.

Notes:

  1. Interactive Video Transcript is a pro feature. For the moment interactive video transcripts only work in Beta mode, but they are coming soon to the normal release version.
  2. If you don't know how to create and work with subtitles in VTT format, read this guide - How to Create Subtitles.

Don't forget that:

FV Player’s New Feature: Interactive Video Transcript

Post from: Foliovision

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Eduard <![CDATA[New FV Player Update Brings Improved iOS 10 Support]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=46488 2016-11-24T14:28:32Z 2016-10-20T13:37:18Z iPhone with iOS 10 doesn't force fullscreen anymore
iPhone with iOS 10 doesn't
force fullscreen anymore

A new version of FV Player has been released! Version 6.0.5.8 brings improved support for iOS 10, which allows you take advantage of Apple's new inline playback support. This basically means that fullscreen mode is no longer forced on iPhones and iPods that run on iOS 10 and above.

Now the users, that browse your pages on iPhones and iPods, can play videos in a block of text without having to use fullscreen view and they will thus be able to use all the FV Player's functions. This also improves the user experience from watching playlists, as they can switch between videos more fluently.

Note: To use this feature, the users of FV Player Pro will also have to update the Pro plugin to 0.7.36.

Don't forget that:

New FV Player Update Brings Improved iOS 10 Support

Post from: Foliovision

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Eduard <![CDATA[Team Building 2016: Cycling Trip Along the Danube]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=40924 2016-09-21T09:25:17Z 2016-09-20T16:58:28Z September is team building month in Foliovision. Every year we go on a trip and take a few moments to relax and enjoy the company of our colleagues’ outside the office and to celebrate Alec’s birthday. This year wasn’t any different, so we went on a bike trip along the Danube to Foliovision’s favourite spot, a lovely little beach just across the Devin Castle.

In front of our offices on Panska Street
In front of our offices on Panska Street

As it turned out, we chose the best day possible for a bike trip as there was an EU Summit in Bratislava so most of the streets were closed for cars, which meant we all arrived to work on our bikes and very early, due to the non-existing traffic. (Some people were playing football in streets, like Stefanikova, where the usual Bratislava traffic jams take place.) This also meant we were surrounded by lots of security during the city part of our ride. There were literally dozens of policemen deployed on the northern river bank, wearing same black or green uniforms and same bored faces, while monitoring the curious crowds swarming on the Old Town’s promenade. Not something you see every day in Bratislava.

policemen-along-danube
Bratislava’s finest, guarding the EU representatives

We were headed the opposite way and after crossing the Lafranconi bridge, we headed down the forest route (Alec’s shortcut). It took us a few kilometres, some nettle stings and one scratched knee to reach the Austrian side of Danube. Afterwards the path changed from an European jungle to a more comfortable but dusty road.

A necessary stop for a group selfie
Obligatory selfie stop

In a few kilometres we finally reached our destination – a pebble beach near Hainburg surrounded by a muddy riverbed, which was almost empty because of low water level. Finally we were able to unpack and enjoy the warmth of one of the last days of summer, the view of the Devin Castle and of course the presence of our dear colleagues.

[This post contains video, click to play]

Everybody grabbed something to eat and drink and Dia, who had a task to capture the team building on video, set up the camera. Alec then formed a group of volunteers who went swimming a few hundred meters up the river.

pato-testing-the-water
Pato testing the waters

While they were on the way back, carried by the Danube current, the rest of the team was already throwing a frisbee and relaxing on the beach. The evening followed in the same spirit, with Maros challenging others in badminton and everyone just talking, laughing and having a great time.

Beer, buns, bare feet and great home made apple pie. Did anyone remember to bring water?

Some time later we were joined by Alec’s family – Lucka, Constantin and their Belgian shepherd Thor. Ivka organized a frisbee tournament, which was a great fun for everyone involved, especially for Thor, who at some point managed to seize the frisbee for himself and took it into the water, clearly enjoying the attention he raised. After a minute or two however, he decided to let us continue with our game.

dia-mission
Dia on a mission

As mentioned earlier, Alec was celebrating his birthday along with Riso and Edo, so we sang Happy Birthday, handed out the presents, and everyone had a piece of delicious apple pie made by Anicka. We left around 6 p.m. and took a different route home, through the fields of Lower Austria, around Wolfsthal, enjoying the last hours of sunlight and later a breathtaking full moon above Bratislava.

Foliovision Bike Mob
Foliovision on bikes

Team Building 2016: Cycling Trip Along the Danube

Post from: Foliovision

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Eduard <![CDATA[VAST Ads Now With ‘Silent Start’ Option]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=40623 2016-10-19T14:48:43Z 2016-09-13T14:57:01Z Our FV Player VAST add-on just got a small but useful update called Silent Start. This option allows you to have the ads served with your videos start muted by default and let the user to turn on the sound if he wants.

The main benefit is that not every user appreciates to be forced into listening to advertisements, but if one gets his attention enough, he can turn the sound on. The feature works great with the Autoplay function – the video will play automatically after page load and ad with it (if it’s set to pre-roll), plus it’s silent, so it won’t bother anyone.

To activate this function, go to Settings -> FV Player VAST. Here tick the box Silent Start at the bottom.

vast-silent-start-settings

Example:

Below you can see two example videos with Silent Start, one with and one without autoplay. To turn on the sound, just hover over the ad and click the button that will appear.

silent-button
Button that turns on the sound

Here is the example video with Autoplay:

[This post contains video, click to play]

And here without Autoplay:

[This post contains video, click to play]

Note: The autoplay will not work on mobile devices because of the core restrictions.

Don’t forget that:

VAST Ads Now With ‘Silent Start’ Option

Post from: Foliovision

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Alec http://foliovision.com <![CDATA[Why is Firewire target mode on a MacBook Pro so loud]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=38990 2016-08-04T04:16:22Z 2016-08-04T03:29:40Z Anyone who owns more than two Macs know it’s a real convenience to be able to use target mode for transferring files. You just restart your MacBook Pro and hold T down and you’re in Target Mode. This lets you copy files on and off the target computer as if the disks inside it were external drives.

target-disk-mode

The issue lately though is that MacBook Pro’s when in Target Mode make a terrific amount of noise:

I have a new Santa Rosa MacBook and when started in Firewire target disk mode, the fan runs at a high rate all of the time. This is even when there is no disk activity. Is this normal?

Poor David got all kinds of wrong explanations, excusing Apple’s behaviour. Version one:

There won’t be any processes running when started in TargetDisk Mode. Drive activity alone shouldn’t cause that much heat (although, you mention that this happens when there is no drive activity as well). I don’t see any reason why the firmware shouldn’t be able to properly manage the fans… even in TargetDisk Mode… the OS should not be required.

Version two:

I think the fans run because there’s no Mac OS telling them what to do. I think the firmware will try to overestimate instead of underestimate the need to cool the computer. I don’t think it’s abnormal. Sometimes the same thing happens when running the Apple Hardware Test on some Macs.

According to this explanation David’s computer isn’t running hot (as it’s not doing anything except potentially copying files), it’s just that the computer doesn’t know that there’s no load and it’s running cool. In this scenario, Apple’s doing a great job but just hasn’t finished the job.

Finally there’s the good old Apple know-it-all who blames the original asker for his question with supercilious answer which makes pointless additional work for the hapless asker:

Why not just call AppleCare Support and get the answer directly from the manufacturer? Even if someone else with the exact same model replies, how do you know their MacBook doesn’t have the same defect yours does? Maybe they’re all “defective” and that’s the only response you’re going to see here and everyone thinks it’s “normal”?

I don’t know how often Douglas McLaughlin has called Apple or any other computer manufacturer lately. Doug, I have some bad news for you. The people manning the phones are reading from a script. Probably but not necessarily own Apple computers. Unlikely to have any more knowledge of the OS and hardware than a moderately advanced user.

Poor David actually followed Douglas’s advice. Here’s what they told him:

Tel. support can’t really hear how much noise is being produced by the fan, so that isn’t a very useful option. (I tried holding the phone on keyboard and the support guy thought it should be taken in, but that doesn’t mean much.)

The blind leading the blind.*

On the Apple discussion forums (more likely at MacRumors forums actually), you might run into independent developers for Mac platform, sysadmins with rooms full of Apple computers or ten year plus users who’ve owned one or more version of almost every Mac family to come out since they started using Macs and now. Sometimes all on the same thread. Happily many of us can answer David’s question much better than Apple call center staff.

In this case (and I’ve owned five computers in the MacBook Pro family between 2009 and now), what has happened is that Target Disk Mode is extremely poorly engineered and runs the processors at full speed just for fun while copying files (rather at all times).

How do I know for sure? Today I’m taking a MBP out of service and need to update three backup copies of its data. I thought it would be simpler to do it all from a single master computer but it’s impossible to sit in the same room as the target mode MBP. When I couldn’t stand the noise any more, I quickly rebooted to run SuperDuper Smart Updates directly.

I was astonished to see that after rebooting the previously Target Disk Mode MBP’s processor temperatures were in the mid-seventies. That’s hot, especially after a reboot, however quick. This means that Apple just hasn’t bothered to write decent firmware for the Target Disk Mode on the very popular 2010 to 2012 i7 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros. Your processors are being run at full speed with no throttling or downclocking.

Hence your fans are at full speed for very good reason. Your computer would burn up otherwise. So Target Disk Mode might just kill your MBP by:

  • pushing the processors too hard
  • drying the heat paste
  • killing the maxed out fans

The only good use for Target Disk Mode would be to stress test your computer and/or clean out the fans by running them hard.

If you run fans hard before they get very dirty high rev cleaning can work. With really filthy fans – and trust me dust gets in there even if you treat your MBP well – you’re more likely to kill the once and for all. Here’s a picture from inside a MacBook Air after partial cleaning. You can still see the kind of gunk which slips in the heat vents and attaches itself to fans and motherboards.

MacBook Air needs a good cleaning out

Here’s the heat sinks from a MacBook Pro 2011 i7 Sandy Bridge. Look at that dried out heat paste. Sadly I don’t have pictures of the fans.

MacBook Pro dried out thermal paste

Moral of the story: it would be great if people at discussions.apple.com could try to answer questions more empirically. Google, if you’re listening, MacRumors should rank above Apple’s own forums for intelligent Mac troubleshooting. It would get Apple users better answers faster.


  • Typically even an expert user will spend over an hour on the telephone going in circles before being transferred to someone who can really help:

I gave in and called Apple support, and got through within 2 minutes. Extremely courteous technician. Sadly, I was told “You’re the first [new] MacPro call I’ve received!” He went on to say the machines were very stable, hence no calls….After an hour or so of discussing, troubleshooting, and being placed on hold, I was transferred to a Senior Technician.

The last thing you want to do is to have to spend half a day on the telephone with Apple to (usually) walk away without a useful answer. Calling Apple is for 1. very simple questions while under Apple Care 2. for warranty requests when you’ve exhausted other troubleshooting opportunities.

Why is Firewire target mode on a MacBook Pro so loud

Post from: Foliovision

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Eduard <![CDATA[Three Updated Features in FV Player]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=38830 2016-10-19T14:48:31Z 2016-07-29T19:04:37Z There have been some changes in our FV Player lately and a couple of popular features have been updated.

Changes in Settings interface

Everything in WordPress starts in settings and FV Player offers a great number of things that can be customized. All of the settings however were cluttered on single long page. Therefore, we’ve decided to make the player’s settings menu more clear and user friendly by adding tabs, that group similar settings boxes. Now you don’t have to scroll down, search for, or look things up in a drop-down list. Just switch the tab and set up what you need.

Here’s how the tabs in settings look like:

settings-tabs

Updated HTML Pop-ups

The HTML pop-up feature has been here for a while, but now allows you to add an infinite amount of defauld pop-ups and lets you decide, whether you want to show one particular, or have a random rotation. You can also prepare the pop-ups and select them for each video individually with the “End pop-up” setting in the shortcode editor.

adding-popups2

Read all about the feature in the updated documentation: Setting Up HTML Pop-ups

A few tweaks in the Beta mode

Not long ago we wrote about the new option of switching between Release and Beta modes of the FV Player to make users able to experience the new features first-hand or keep the stable version without the newest feats.

From now on, the users who have activated the Beta mode will be able to see the actual splash screens, when embedding videos from Vimeo or YouTube. To this point, FV Player was fetching the splash screens automatically, but they weren’t visible in the short code editor. From now on, you’ll be able to see them along with an automatically loaded caption!

beta-splash-image-and-caption

Don’t forget that:

Three Updated Features in FV Player

Post from: Foliovision

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Alec http://foliovision.com <![CDATA[How to flush DNS on Windows, Apple OS X and Linux]]> https://foliovision.com/?p=38441 2016-07-22T14:57:26Z 2016-07-18T13:06:48Z After moving a website from one server to another, it can be difficult to get the new site to show up immediately even with very low TTL (time to live) times on the DNS server. It’s usually because of DNS cache.

As we have to test with all kinds of OS and different versions, I’ve put together how to flush DNS on each major OS (and even on Google’s tricky Chrome which maintains its own DNS cache) in one place for our own reference.

How to Flush DNS on Windows

Method One: Network Adapter

You can flush and renew your DNS by simply disabling your network adapter and re-enabling it with a right click. You can find your network adapter in the Network and Sharing Center among your Control Panels. If you are having trouble finding it, try the Start button and typing “Network”. Once there click “Change Adapter Settings”. Look for your active network connection and disable it first and then reenable it via right click.

Windows-10-network-connections

You may be able to disable and re-enabled your network connection from the task bar, depending on your version of Windows.

Method Two: ipconfig

You have to be running an administrator account. Just open command prompt Start > Run > RIGHT-CLICK Command Prompt, select “Run As Administrator” and then type the following command to flush the DNS resolver cache when troubleshooting DNS name resolution problems, type:ipconfig /flushdns

The following message indicates success:

Windows IP Configuration 
Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

ipconfig works on Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, 8, 8.1 and 10.

Note: on Windows XP and Windows 10 you do not need to run the ipconfig as administrator.

How to Flush DNS on Mac OS X from 10.2 to 10.11

OS X Yosemite and El Capitan

Use the following Terminal command to reset the DNS cache in OS X v10.10.4 or later and in 10.11:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Use the following Terminal command to reset the DNS cache in OS X v10.10 through v10.10.3:

sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache

OSX-flush-dns-el-capitan

OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion

Use the following Terminal command to reset the DNS cache in OS X 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard

Use the following Terminal command to reset the DNS cache in OS X v10.5 and v10.6:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

Mac OSX 10.4 and below

lookupd -flushcache

How to Flush Google Chrome DNS

Google Chrome maintains its own DNS cache on both Windows and Mac. This URL will take you to the Chrome DNS page where you can clear DNS entries:

chrome://net-internals/#dns

Once there, just press the “Clear Hosts Cache” button.

google-chrome-DNS-cache

I’d suggest simply closing and reopening Chrome instead.

How to flush DNS on Linux

If you’re running Linux you probably know how to flush DNS for your distribution. Here’s how to do it in Ubuntu, Debian and Linux Mint. Start by opening a terminal window. Type:

sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart

or

sudo service dns-clean restart

On prompt, type your root password and press enter.

There are several other styles of DNS caching used on Linux such as BIND server and nscd DNS cache, depending on your distribution. Please look at your CentOS, Fedora, RHEL, SUSE or other distribution docs to see which one you should be using.

How to deal with stale ISP cache

Some ISP (in particular, the big US ones in the Western US, like Comcast and Road Runner) only update their own DNS cache every few days or in the worst case once/week. In this case, you should use an alternative DNS server. This is as simple as replacing the automatic DNS entries with manual ones in your network connection.

Two big US ones (who both spy on your browsing for commercial purposes and for government agencies) are Google (8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4) and OpenDNS (208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220). Both of these also filter DNS for known malicious requests (some ransomware and trojan sites will be blocked automatically).

To retain your privacy, you should pick the DNS server of a nearby university or alternative ISP with an open DNS server would be better. Make sure it’s one close to you for faster look up speeds. Namebench can help you find one.

namecheck-in-operation

How to flush DNS on Windows, Apple OS X and Linux

Post from: Foliovision

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