DIY Free Skype video call recorder for OS X El Capitan


In a previous post I wrote about getting Soundflower to work with El Capitan. Here, I want to outline how you can use it to enable complete Skype video call recording – including both side of the conversation as well as the video. There’s lots of information around about recording the OTHER side of the video chat, but less about both sides. There use to be a Soundflower add-on called Flowerbed that facilitated this but is has now ceased development. There are also an amazing number of apps you can buy – some for $70-$80 that will do it for you too! Let’s do it for free 😀

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Getting Soundflower to work with MAC OS X El Capitan


Not an earth shattering problem. I use soundflower extensively to facilitate screen recordings over Facetime on my iMac. Without it, it is really difficult to record system sounds as well as my external mic.

After updating to OS X El Capitan I found that soundflower simply wasn’t ‘there’ and didn’t/wouldn’t run. A quick google brought me to THIS PAGE – with the instructions working perfectly. Only thing I did differently was delete the old soundflower from the system – and yes, the uninstall soundflower option did still work.

So far so good – no major problems and the software I’ve been using that relies on soundflower is back to normal.

For those interested, there is some background information HERE explaining the problem.

Garmin GPSMAP 60sx SD card fails the iMac Test


This info is for those who might care. The above unit (Garmin GPSMAP 60sx) falls over when the micro SD card has been written to by the system on an iMac OSX. It appears the unit can not cope with the hidden system file NAMES that are left on the unit.

In my case this manifested as intermittent start-up failures; On shut-down – intermittent continuous alarms requiring the batteries to be removed and intermittent freezing…
The solution is to use CLEANEJECT  – This program will erase those files and eject the SD card before the system recreates the hidden folders again. Apparently a known problem for several years.
I would categorise this as a GARMIN PROBLEM – not an OSX problem…

Lessons learnt from the GPush debacle


What GPush debacle?

For those who are unfamiliar with what I’m writing about, there WAS an iPhone app called GPush that was SOLD – by Tiverias Apps – through the app store from around July 2009. It offered real time push notification of new email to your iPhone account from GMail. The vendors used your (provided) email account details to poll the google servers FREQUENTLY and then sent a push notification WITH an excerpt of the header to your iPhone. Its reliability appeared to fluctuate but when it worked, it worked well.
Unfortunately there were multiple occasions GPush stopped working – and Twitter bore the brunt of the complaints process. Tiverias Apps did NOT have a good reputation for consistent customer service and would seem to go silent/unresponsive for extended periods of time.

On December 25th 2010 (Australian time) the following appeared in my in-box:-

Dear GPush user,

Thank you for your loyal use of GPush. Unfortunately, we have determined that the value added by GPush beyond such products as Google’s own push notification service is not sufficient to merit our continued maintenance of the service. We will therefore be shutting the service down as of December 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sincerely,
The GPush Team

Is that supposed to mean Merry Christmas??

Now – I may be cynical about the timing, but I do wonder if they THOUGHT that there would be less of an outcry over the holiday period! At the same time the website disappeared from the web….Now it ends up as a godaddy parked page.

As expected there was a bit of an outcry on Twitter. Users decried the loss of service with some asking for a refund for the app they had bought. The only response to a refund request was:-

…..please contact apple directly,  we have no way to issue one, we’re sorry.

Along the way, they have suggested that:-

  1. They would be willing to sell the business and are looking for a buyer.
  2. They are going to keep the business running

Now – once again they have gone silent and GPush is dead. I have solemnly declared it a #ZombieApp.

So where are we now?

Older and wiser I suspect! Once you look at it, I don’t see how this could have survived. The business model is fundamentally flawed from the outset. Any company offering a sole product as an ongoing – time unlimited – service with no revenue stream can simply not survive! How on earth did Tiverias expect to maintain the infrastructure required to provide the service?? Why did we – the users – expect them to be able to?

Lessons learnt:-

Any PAID app that offers an ongoing service either needs

  • A strong associated advertiser base to generate income (Not popular with paid apps users) OR
  • A subscription model to generate income (As seen with some newspaper apps) AND/OR
  • Multiple OTHER revenue streams to support a non-revenue generating product (Google is a classic!)

To expect it to survive otherwise is naive at best and stupid at worst.

I am surprised that Apple allows these sort of apps onto the store and do wonder what provision for abandoned users exists within the Apple – iPhone App-store framework….?

I – for one – will think twice about plonking down money (how ever little) for another App based on this flawed model.

As for Tiverias Apps postulated plans…. I can NOT see another company buying their buisness for the stated reasons above. PERHAPS they will sell their user base/lists – and that raises a whole lot of issues about their right to sell it.

Lastly, with  respect to your GMail account, the user-name and password of which you gave to Tiverias-

YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR PASSWORD HAVEN’T YOU?