Tool Updates: Sandvox, GPS, iPhoto, iMovie

Well, since we came back from Italy I had a chance to put all of the tools I've been using to good use, and I'm happy to report that things have improved since I last wrote.

First, Sandvox, my web development tool (you're soaking in it), is now in version 1.6.2 which is more stable, faster, and has more features than before. Mostly, it's more stable. I does still go into deep thought for extended, unexplained reasons, but so far it has not failed to come back, and it handles my large picture pages quite well.

Second, Garmin has finally released RoadTrip for the Mac. For the first time my GPS has native support from the manufacturer.  GPSBabel still works fine, but RoadTrip does what I need, so I rarely resort to Babel.

On the topic of GPS, I experimented with geotagging photos from the bike trip, since I had the GPS along recording our tracks.  I used the free GPSPhotoLinker to insert location information from the GPX files into the bike trip photos, and then I could use that to figure out where a particular bucolic scene was taken.  Very nice.  Hint: if you're tagging photos already imported into the iPhoto library, you have to tell iPhoto to "rescan for location" so that it peeks into the actual photo file again.  If that feature is grayed out, you have to set the advanced option Look Up Places to "automatically".

iPhoto 09 itself has geotagging built in.  You can tag a photo using google maps, essentially.  Have not yet decided whether this is worth the effort.

For movie handling, I rediscovered iMovie, which can scan the iPhoto library for ALL your videos, and you can then edit clips and/or assemble them into movies. The real win for me, though, was that you can trivially publish them to youtube now.  So I went through the videos I shot on the trip, edited the ones I wanted to keep, and pushed them up to my youtube account.  Very easy.

Coming full circle, I wanted to incorporate these youtube videos into my Sandvox pages, and lo! Sandvox now has a page type for embedded Youtube videos.  And you can put them into a photo collection, and they act just like another photo page.  For slickest operation, you navigate in your primary web browser to the youtube page with your video, go back to Sandvox and add a Youtube page.  The new page will automatically embed your video.  You then can move it anywhere you like in your site outline (structure), and there it appears.  Now the only problem that remained was the default thumbnail for a Youtube page was a stupid TV icon, so it's a couple of manual steps to fix that. What I did was to take a screenshot of just the embedded video, save that to disk, then use it for the thumbnail.  A little cumbersome, but worked fine.

So the net result is that I was able to publish the photos and videos with much less effort than I'd anticipated, and none of my tools crashed in the process!

That's it for now!

Copyright 1997-2017, Ben Littauer