Cruise the Internet Archive With Documents

Did you know that the amazing Documents app [iOS – free] has a built-in browser? Not only that, but it’s the perfect browser to use when you are wandering through the Internet Archive looking for books, documents and other publications. Why? Because using the Documents browser, you can quickly and easily find, download, organize and read all kinds of historical publications. Here’s how.
Documents browserFrom the main screen, look at the tools in the left sidebar and you will see the Browser icon. Tap it to open the browser.

Notice the toolbar at the top of the browser. Tap the three bar icon on the toolbar’s left to display the Documents sidebar at any time. The arrow icons will move you forward and backward as you browse the web. On the right are the bookmark, download and share icons. I’ve typed in the address of the Internet Archive and here’s what the home screen looks like in the Documents browser

Did you notice the SIGN IN item on the site’s toolbar. Internet Archive has a number of useful tools but you will need a free user account in order to use them. Click on the SIGN IN icon to get started. Provide an email address and password to create your account. Once this is done, any documents, books or other items you “favorite” will be added to your My Library page. Tap your user icon in the toolbar and choose My Library to view your personal collection.

Take advantage of the bookmarks feature to easily return to the collections you frequently use. Here you see I’ve bookmarked the American Libraries collection inside the archive and I also have bookmarks to take me to the Genealogy Gophers and my Moultrie Creek Gazette blog. To set a bookmark, go to the screen you want to bookmark, tap the bookmark icon on the browser toolbar then tap the Add to Bookmarks button at the bottom of the panel. When the bookmark panel is displayed, you can use the Edit command at the top right of the panel to reorganize your bookmarks list, delete bookmarks and edit bookmark titles.

In the American Libraries, I used the search box on the left of the screen to look for things related to the area I’m researching – St. Augustine, Florida. I’ve got 106 hits. Not bad! The first four items are visible in this screen. Notice that the item on the far right is a fairly recent – and copyrighted – publication. Because of that I can’t download a copy, but I can “borrow” it to read. A user account is required to borrow things and at times it may mean you can only read it in your browser.

Here is the book I selected to view. In the black space to the right of the book you see two icons. The four arrows icon will enlarge the book so it fits your screen. Use the magnifying glass icon to start a search inside the book. Below the book viewer is the metadata and download area. The three box icons you see on the right just above DOWNLOAD OPTIONS make it possible to favorite, share or flag this document. Remember, when you favorite an item, it is saved to your My Library area.

As you scroll down into the metadata area, you will see the download options available. Since the Documents app can read ePub, text and PDF files, you can choose the one you prefer. Here I have tapped the PDF option. Once I did that the tiny download icon appeared next to it. Tap that icon to begin the download. The Documents app takes over from here.

The strange red thing you see here is the cover to this book. The next step is to tap the download icon in the browser’s toolbar. When the Downloads panel appears, tap the Save Page button at the bottom of the panel.

The Save File panel appears showing the file name of the item and the default download folder. Internet Archive has its own naming conventions, but they seldom make sense to me so I usually rename the file. Just tap the name field then remove and replace the text you want. To move your download to a different folder, tap the arrow icon to the right of the folder line and select the folder you want.

Since there is a limited amount of space on my mobile devices, I keep most of my documents, books and journals in cloud storage. As you see here, I have connected Documents to my iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive accounts. The publications you see in this example are stored in the eLibrary folder in my iCloud account. All I have to do now is tap the item I want to read.

One other little goodie. The Documents reader component can also search the text. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the top of the reading screen and it will turn into a text box so you can enter the appropriate search terms. Tap Done and a panel containing the results list appears. The number to the right of the page number shows how many times your search term is found on that page. Tap any text item and you are taken right to it.

Documents’ find/capture/organize/read capability works with more than just Internet Archive. Genealogy Gophers is another great site for finding historical books and publications. I’ve downloaded several of Ancestry’s state research guides using Documents along with speaker notes posted on my genealogy society’s website.

This is just one of many useful and time-saving things you can do with Documents. It is a must-have app for researchers both on the road and at home.

Storytelling With Clips

Storytelling is a lot of fun with Apple’s new Clips app.

Natchez Trace

Apple released Clips [iOS – free] on the first day of our recent cross-country trip. The notice popped up on my iPhone while we were driving across the Florida panhandle. It only took a couple of minutes to download and I was soon experimenting to see how it works. At first look my thoughts were it was much too simple to be of much use, but by the time we reached Texas I knew this app was a…

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Natchez Trace

Storytelling With Clips

Apple released Clips [iOS – free] on the first day of our recent cross-country trip. The notice popped up on my iPhone while we were driving across the Florida panhandle. It only took a couple of minutes to download and I was soon experimenting to see how it works. At first look my thoughts were it was much too simple to be of much use, but by the time we reached Texas I knew this app was a game-changer.

Clips main screenClips is available for both iPhones and iPads but only the 64-bit ones. That means an iPhone 5s or later, iPad Mini 2 or later, iPad Air and Air2 or an iPad Pro.

With Clips you create a project made up of photos, video, narration and soundtracks. You can take photos and videos with Clips or import them from your library. Tap the appropriate option from the items found under the viewer and off you go. In this example, video is the chosen option so the big red HOLD TO RECORD button appears. The microphone icon on the left turns the microphone on or off while the camera icon on the right switches between the front and back camera. When the PHOTO option is selected, you will see the flash button, the shutter button and the camera icon which switches between the front and rear cameras. Choose the LIBRARY option and the viewer area displays your photos. Tap to select the ones you want to choose.

img_2191With Clips you create a project then add and arrange “clips” to build your story. Tap the down icon shown at the top left corner of the Clips screen to create a new project. As you add video and photos to your project, those elements appear at the bottom of the screen. In this example, you’ll see a video clip at the bottom. Tap it to select it and several icons appear above it giving you some editing options. In this example, the selected clip is a video clip so the editing options include cutting part of the video or trashing the entire clip. In this example the video was recorded without audio so there is an editing option greyed out. It is the mute icon. If you create a video with sound, that icon is available should you want to mute the audio.

Once you have collected multiple clips for your project, you can tap and drag individual clips to rearrange their order in your project’s timeline. If a video clip needs trimming, select the clip then tap the scissors icon to display the trim box. Tap and drag the left or right trim control to remove the section that needs trimming. When ready, tap Apply.img_2192

At any time you can save any clip to your iPhone’s Camera Roll. Select the clip you wish to save by tapping it then tap the Save button located at the top right corner of the screen. The save icon is visible in the screen shot above. Clips that are saved on your phone can be used in other projects.

In addition to clips and photos, there are all kinds of elements you can use to enhance your project. You can add music from a collection of “soundtracks” or from your own music library. You can also add “Live Titles” by dictation. Not only will Clips convert your words to on-screen text, it gives you the option to style that text too. There are also some interesting filters and effects to jazz things up a bit.

Once your project is finished, in addition to saving it to your Camera Roll, you have a number of sharing options too. You can email or text a project to others and share it on your favorite social networks. They can be forwarded to your account at YouTube and Vimeo. Best of all, if Clips recognizes your friends in any of the videos/photos included in the Clip project, they will be listed on your share sheet.

Here’s my first project – cleaned up several times since it was first “clipped” while driving the Natchez Trace from Natchez to Vicksburg. I’m not a very good dash cam and the windshield it a bit buggy but it did show me how useful this amazing little app can be.

 

And this is just the beginning!

New Movie App for iOS

Take a look at Clips for iOS – it makes creating video stories quick & easy!

Have you checked out the new Clips app for iPhones and iPads? It could also be called iMovie Made Easy. It isn’t a “full-featured” movie editor, but rather a quick and easy way to capture and share a moment. Using Clips you can record video clips and combine them with still photos, music, titles and captions. There are simple editing tools and a number of ways to share including iMessages,…

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New Movie App for iOS

Have you checked out the new Clips app for iPhones and iPads? It could also be called iMovie Made Easy. It isn’t a “full-featured” movie editor, but rather a quick and easy way to capture and share a moment. Using Clips you can record video clips and combine them with still photos, music, titles and captions. There are simple editing tools and a number of ways to share including iMessages, Facebook, Instagram and other social network sites.

The Clips app is free, but you will need a 64-bit device (iPhone 5s or later, iPad Mini 2 or later, iPad Air and iPad Pro) updated to iOS 10.3 or later to use it.

With Clips you can shoot live video and/or photos or add them from your library. Add emoji, animated speech bubbles, banners and arrows along with background music. It’s quick and fun.

I discovered this app just as we were beginning our month-long, cross-country drive. I thought it would be just the thing to document our trip. This is one of the first projects made with Clips. It is quick and easy, but taking photos and video in a moving car can be a challenge. At the time, I was unaware of the Mute button so the background “music” is a bit strange and I also caught a lot of glare from the windshield.

When you first look at the app, there are very few controls visible and almost no instructions. Recently I found a delightful Clips Guide at iGeeksBlog. A copy of this guide is now stored in my Instapaper library for easy reference. After reading the guide, I am amazed with all this app can do. It will take some more experimenting to get more comfortable with the app, but it won’t be long before it’s my favorite storytelling tool.