Tag Archives: PC

My YouTube Channel: Challenges With Recording Video Game Footage (And Possible Solutions)

File:Logo of YouTube (2015-2017).svg - Wikipedia

It’s been almost a year since I began my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Then again, a lot of the work I put into this channel happened during the last year’s extended COVID-19 lockdowns. Hence, I can totally believe it’s been that long.

In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about the art, process, and particulars that go into making YouTube videos. I assumed it was a lot harder than successful YouTubers made it seemed. I was right on many levels. At the same time, I was somewhat relieved that the tools you need were readily available and learning to use them did not require going back to college.

I hope that those who have been following my channel since it began have seen an uptick in overall quality. Some of that uptick is largely due to hardware. If you listen to my first video, you’ll hear some fairly poor audio quality. That’s because I used a cheap USB microphone to record it. Compare that to my more recent videos and the difference should be clear. That’s the benefit of investing in a better mic.

I’ve made other investments in my channel, some of which came at a significant cost. However, there’s still room for improvement.

One such improvement involves my recent foray into video game footage. If you’re subscribed to my channel, you’ve seen me posting screen recordings of me playing a video game called Marvel Strike Force. I’ve created an entire playlist from it. I’ve even had a little fun adding epic music in the background and doing large mash-ups of extended gameplay.

The problem is that I’m finding it more and more difficult to refine that content. Aside from just recording the gameplay and putting music behind it, I’ve been struggling to add much more to it. At one point, I wanted to do some audio commentary during the gameplay. I found that to be difficult because these screen recordings come from my iPhone and I can’t use my fancy new mic on that.

Since I use a PC and not a Mac, I can’t really take advantage of better hardware on my main computer where I do all my video editing. I’ve also taken up a lot of space with some of the footage I’ve recorded and that’s on a relatively new device. Clearly, if I’m going to keep providing this kind of content, I’ll need to find a better way. I’m considering a software like Blue Stacks.

However, I’d like to take things a bit further than the games I play on my iPad and iPhone. At some point, I want to start doing gameplay from my PS4 and, eventually, a PS5 whenever I get one. With games like “Resident Evil Village” and “Mass Effect: Legendary Edition” coming out, I want to be able to stream longer and more extensive gameplay.

I know there are established ways to do that. I’m just not sure what form it’ll ultimately take on my channel. Will I use this gameplay as a means of offering background footage while I offer commentary? Will I just leave it alone and just show the footage? Will I use the footage to mash it up into something more creative?

I don’t know yet and I’m certainly open to suggestions. For now, one of the most immediate solutions I can pursue is getting a large external hard drive that I can use to store footage from both my iPad and my PS4. Another is to simply upgrade my iPad so that the resolution is better.

It really depends on what I feel will make a better video, in the long run. I’ll still do plenty of videos breaking down my favorite TV shows, movies, and thought experiments. My channel is still young with less than 100 videos. I’m also still building my audience. I don’t know how big it’s going to get or if I’ll hit a limit, as I’ve done with my many other creative endeavors. Only time will tell.

Again, I’m open to suggestions and tips. If you have any, please feel free to share them. In the meantime, enjoy this footage of me beating Dark Dimension IV in Marvel Strike Force.

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Update On New PC And New Video Editing Software (Courtesy Of My Stimulus Check)

A while back, I talked about what I planned to do with my next (and probably last) stimulus check. I recounted how my previous stimulus checks went primarily to paying down some credit card debt and completing some overdue repairs on my car. This time, I wanted to use my stimulus money on something bigger and bolder.

That’s why I decided to put it towards a new PC. I’d been using the same computer for over five years and it was starting to show its age. It was very slow booting up and started crashing constantly in frustrating ways. The time was right for an upgrade.

Well, I can now confirm that this plan I laid out is complete. This piece that you’re reading right now was written on my new PC and, without getting too deep into the specs or cost, I can already confirm that this was a great use of that stimulus money. It might end up being the best way I could’ve sent it.

That’s because, traditionally, when I buy a new PC, I don’t get the most expensive model. I tend to get something that’s relatively modest or mid-tier. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $1,000 on a PC or laptop in my life.

That changed with this PC. I won’t give an exact price, but I won’t say I bought the most expensive model either. I’ll just say I spent more than $1,000 on this machine and that old adage of you get what you pay for has never been more true.

The speed and efficiency of this new computer astounds me. I was genuinely surprised at how quickly it booted itself up and updated itself. Even though it still took a while to transfer all my files and programs to it, the speed difference is night and day compared to my old PC.

Some of that is just because of better hardware, but I suspect most of it is due to this computer having a solid-state hard drive instead of a traditional disk drive. For those not savvy on computer hardware, solid-state drives are the same drives you have in most tablets and smartphones. They have no moving parts and are much faster, but tend to have less space.

It’s a bit of a trade-off, but one I make gladly. In addition to being fast, this machine is almost eerily quiet. With my old machine, I could hear it humming from across the room. This one is so quiet that I’m not sure it’s even on when it’s in sleep mode. It’s that quiet. Based on what I’ve see so far, I don’t think I can ever go back to a traditional hard disk.

However, I didn’t just stop at getting a new PC. While I spent most of my stimulus check on the main unit, I used what was left to purchase something that I hope will be equally valuable. It involves new video editing software.

If you’ve been following my YouTube channel, Jack’s World, you’re probably aware that the quality is a bit limited. That’s mostly a byproduct of me being very new to video creation and having limited equipment. The video editing software I’ve used thus far has been a version of Microsoft Movie Maker that’s no longer being updated. If I want the quality of my videos to improve, I needed better software.

So, after consulting with some people much smarter than me in this field, I went out and purchased a copy of Adobe Premier Elements 2021. This is the software that most successful YouTubers use in some form or another. It’s very new to me. I’ve only started learning about its functionality and interface, but I’ve every intention of using it to make better videos.

For now, expect the next crop of videos to use the old software. When I finally get around to using Premier, I hope the difference will be clear. Along with the new hardware I have on this PC, I hope it leads to a major uptick in the quality of my videos. If it does, then that stimulus money will prove even more valuable.

I’m not expecting more stimulus money at this point. However, I’m already quite pleased with the purchases I’ve made. I hope others are able to make equally fruitful purchases. If you have any other stories about what you did with your stimulus money, please share them in the comments. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some awesome videos to with newer, better tools.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, Jack's World, technology

What I Plan To Do With My Stimulus Check (And Suggestions For Others)

For anyone on social security or disability, getting regular money from the government is not a novel concept. It’s part of the social contract in many western style democracies. You work for much of your life. You contribute to society and the economy. Then, at a certain age, we make an effort to return the favor.

It’s noble and reasonable system, despite what some libertarians would have you believe. I have close family members who use it. I’m happy to pay into that system to help them.

However, the global pandemic that unfolded last year did a lot to shake up the system. I’ve covered some of those shake-ups before, but I’d like to highlight one byproduct in particular. As it just so happens, it’s one of the less dour results of this horrible crisis.

It has to do with money, specifically the money many people got in the form of stimulus checks last year. For many who aren’t retired or over 65, it was a big deal. The economic impact of the pandemic was nothing short of catastrophic. Even after nearly a year, many people still haven’t recovered. A few parts of the economy probably never will.

These stimulus checks weren’t meant to be a perfect solution. They were a band aid and some would argue they weren’t a good one. Personally, I disagree. I think it has opened people up to the idea that a government should take care of all its citizens, especially during a global crisis.

What a concept, right?

It is capable of sending everyone money. It’s just a matter of political will, which is always messy to say the least.

That will was enough to earn most of us two stimulus checks thus far. To date, I’ve received $1,800, with $1,200 coming from the first and $600 coming from the next. After the recent bill that made it through Congress, I received another $1,400.

Again, it’s a band aid. I doubt this will do much to fix the serious problems that many others are still dealing with, but it’s better than nothing. I certainly welcome this money. I even have an idea on how to spend it.

That’s noteworthy because, unlike the previous stimulus checks, I can actually spend this money on something non-essential. My first stimulus check went largely to paying down debts and a few overdue home repairs that I didn’t want to put off. The second went to some car repairs that I wanted to take care of before winter rolled in.

In hindsight, those were smart investments. The stimulus didn’t pay for all of it, but it did help ease the strain on my wallet.

This latest $1,400 promises to do more than just pay down my usual living expenses. As of now, assuming no unexpected costs come my way, I want to put this money towards something I know I’ll get plenty of use from.

To that end, I hope to put this money towards a new computer.

At the moment, I’m working on a computer that I bought back in 2015. Now, this computer has served me very well. I’ve made many videos and written many sexy short stories on it. However, for the past two years, it has shown its age.

It’s starting to slow down considerably. Just rebooting it takes way too long. It’s also struggling to handle the video editing software that I’ve come to rely on for my YouTube channel. If I want to keep making that kind of content, I need a better system that can handle better software.

It also doesn’t help that my previous PC wasn’t exactly top-of-the-line. It wasn’t cheap, either. I usually buy computer hardware that’s somewhere in the middle. This time, however, I want to buy something that’s a bit beyond that.

That doesn’t mean I’ll buy the most expensive system I can find. This stimulus money simply means I can buy more than usual. Hopefully, it’ll get me a system that’ll last a good long while. In addition, I hope it can handle some better video editing software, which I hope will show in future videos.

That’s my plan, for now. It’s always subject to change, a hard lesson we all had to learn in 2020. If you’re getting a stimulus check too, I hope you get to use it on something like this, as well. Maybe a new computer is a worthy investment. Maybe it’s something else.

Whatever it is, especially if you’re not retired, I hope it’s something useful. If you have other ideas on how to use this money, please share it in the comments. We’re almost through this mess. Some of us aren’t going to get a check like this from the government for years. I say let’s make the most of it.

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