Category Archives: video

Those Annoying Video Auto-Play

Ever go to a web site, which has multiple video feeds, and you are trying to read an article, then suddenly, this video automatically plays … arghhh!!!!  It is damned annoying.  Well, I finally found a way to have it stop doing that!  However, this may be a local only setting, so I have no idea how to modify this on a cell phone.

If using Firefox, here’s what you do:

  1. Open a new tab, and enter the address about:config.  It will give you a big warning, that you might void your warranty.  Every time I’ve done this, nothing really happens to my PC (warn you about performance, security).  Actually, having it autoplay is a security issue in itself, but that’s a different topic.  If you are fine with this, go ahead and “accept the risk”.
  2. Search for media.autoplay.enabled.  You will see that the default is enabled.  Double-click this, and it will change to false.  Video should not autoplay after modifying this.

If using Google Chrome:

  1. Open a new tab, and enter the address chrome://flags
  2. Search for autoplay.  In the pulldown, select “Document user activation is required”

This is assuming the site you are accessing is using HTML5 (which most of them are).

Hey Go Pro … Ever Hear of QA?

In this day, where more people are using high tech devices, you would think that manufacturers would be more stringent on QA testing.  Well, maybe my standards are too high, because I work in Customer Support for firewall and router devices?

Recently, Go Pro released new software (version 2.3) for their Quik application on PC and Mac desktops.  Soon after releasing that software, it failed to load any videos.  It would always give you a “Loading Media” message, and it stays there forever.  It still is able to import videos, but after it’s finished, you can’t view it.  You can’t even view videos that had been previously imported.  The prior release, 2.1, was fine.  I had 2.1 on my drive from previous upgrade … I uninstalled 2.3, and installed 2.1 … the result … I’m able to view my videos now.

This problem is not just isolated to me … I’ve seen many other people complain about this on their forum … Mac and Windows platforms of various OS’s.  I posted that downgrading to 2.1 resolved the issue, and others have commented that it works too.

So why do they release software, that is extremely easy to reproduce.  I mean, it happens on all OS’s.  So Go Pro, don’t you QA your software before you release it … like any other vendor out there?

Ok, rant over …

Go Pro Mounts Make a Difference

I recently upgraded to a Go Pro Hero 5 Session, and I’ve been trying this on multiple different types of mounts. My typical mount is the handlebar mount

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However, sometimes when you have a lot of crap on your handlebar (like lights, cables, etc), this can be ugly when viewing the video.  So I saw there was a special mount, which has the Garmin on top, and Go Pro, upside down, on the other side.

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This is pretty slick, and looks pretty cool.  However, this does have one very big drawback … the audio from it has a loud rumbling noise.  That kinda sucks.

Now I could always mount it on my helmet, but the weight on the head makes it really uncomfortable.

I have tried video cameras from other vendors .. Shimano, Garmin, Contour … but I keep coming back to Go Pro, not because of video or audio quality, but because of the mount, and the audio when it is mounted in various positions.  Even with the issues with the mount noted here, Go Pro mount is still the best, with lack of extra noise.

One thing I would really like is a still camera version of this, and just be able to click a picture with a single button, without going through so many button pushes (the thought being battery would not run out for the entire ride).

Go Pro Hero 3 is Worth the Upgrade

After having my Go Pro Hero 3 for about a week, I have to say hands down, this is the best sports video camera around.  I got over the notion that this looks like a McDonald’s Happy Meal, but it doesn’t look as intrusive as before.  True, it still looks weird when I see it on someone’s helmet, but you can’t complain about the quality of the videos.

Some observations, comparing it to the Contour (which I’ve used for the past couple years):

  1. It picks up a lot more audio, and a lot more breathing too :).  Because it picks up a lot more audio, it also points out possible maintenance needed on the bike!
  2. It’s much more stable.  There is not as much noise from the mounts (that has always been the problem with the Contour).  I’ve tried various ways to tweak the mount on the Contour, and the last one spelled death for the Contour (using velcro only)
  3. Filming on descents are much smoother, quieter, and each little bump is absorbed.  On the Contour, any little bump feels like you are going down with a spectacular crash.
  4. Stock software seems to have more control of the video itself.  I like the fact that it allows you to adjust the contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc.  The only odd thing is where you import it, then add it to the compiled list on the app, then create the video on mp4, even though it also creates an avi file.  Personally, I don’t see any use in creating the avi file, because you can’t upload it to youtube anyways.
  5. One limitation is the flexibility in mounting.  With the Contour, I can mount it by the head tube, fork, and adjust the angle from the camera itself.  On the Go Pro, I’ll have to rely on various angle positions of the mount itself.  I guess I’ll have to look into the other mounts, like the Chesty, or the K-mount.  Seems to be a lot of reports where the stock handlebar mount has a tendency to break off.  That’s not good.

Idiot Move Demands a Go Pro Upgrade

I was always jealous of how other cyclists videos look much better than mine.  Their videos always looked smoother, and it didn’t shake too much.  So I decided to Velcro the camera tightly to my handlebar stem.

For the most part, it was pretty successful.  It looked a lot smoother than most of my previous videos, especially those that were on tough terrain.

Then, I took the camera on my Jamison Creek ride, and all was fine, until I descended Hwy 9, then veered a little too close to the rumble strip, and it knocked my camera off.  It took me a while to retrieve my camera (and lucky it landed on the shoulder, and no one ran over it).  After retrieving it, I remounted it on my stem, but later when I descended Pierce, it fell again.  This time, the back broke.

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Ah damn. So much for that camera. I guess it is as good a time as any for an upgrade.

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So off I went to Best Buy, and getting the Go Pro Hero 3 White. I like whole small it got, and has wifi and has do many different types of mounts. Can’t wait to try it out.

Contour Handlebar Mounted Doesn’t Work Well on Chipsealed Roads

I recently did Hamilton this weekend, and was going to video my descent down the backside of Hamilton.  The road is chipsealed, but I thought I’d take video anyways.  The video was so bumpy and so choppy, I’m wondering if this has to do with the mount.  Do any GoPro users experience the same thing?  I probably should have taken the helmet mount instead … oh well

Experimenting with Different POV with my Contour

I’ve had my Contour video camera for a couple years now, and was experimenting with different points of view from the camera.  Now I know most of you, who have a video camera for your cycling probably have a GoPro, and it has more flexibility, but I’m a hold out.  I went with the Contour just because I liked the shape of it, and GoPro looked like a McDonald’s Happy Meal … but I may be jumping ship in the near future.

Anyhow, the most popular mount is probably the handle bar mount.  Sometimes, this will give you a lot of noise from vibrations, and unless I drown it with background music, it can sound a little disheartening.

Now, with the helmet mount, obviously you won’t get the road vibration noise that you would get with the handle bar mount.  However, if you are climbing, and you have the helmet mount, the challenge is keeping your head steady.  As many of you know, especially while climbing, your head is hardly ever stationary, and will move up, down, left, right, constantly.

Another position I tried was at the headtube.  This was a little tricky, because it’s not completely flat, and had to make some adjustments with spacers, and change the angle of view with the camera.  That didn’t turn out too bad.  It is a view seen from behind the drops of the handlebars.  It’s actually how I film the majority of my rides.

Then, after some discussions on Google Plus, I decided to mount the camera at the crown of the fork.  This is a pretty interesting point of view.  At speed, the spokes seem like they are being warped.  But it is pretty cool.

Now I have heard GoPro mount breaking on a few occasions, and the camera taking a spectacular tumble, but so far, I haven’t had that happen with my Contour.  We’ll see what happens.

Other camera angles I have seen are with the camera facing the rear, mounted on the helmet … mounted on the seatpost, again looking to the rear.  One thing I can’t do is the chest mount, which GoPro has … there is no chest mount for the Contour.  In the meantime, I’ll keep experimenting.

Uphill Suffer Festival Videos

I’ve been playing around with my Contour helmet cam for several weeks now, and came to the conclusion that it’s more fun to show the pain and suffrage of climbing a hill, rather than the fast descents (although that is a lot of fun too).

Actually, the inspiration for filming suffer videos is bikeforums member freighttraininguphill. I saw a few of her suffer festival uphill videos, and that got me thinking of filming my uphill adventures.

I got a lot of great feedback on my Potrero climb, from the Grand Tour Double.

I decided to climb Redwood Gulch, which had similar grades to Potrero … In other words, double digit grades (from 12-20% grades). I took this video with the handlebar mount, which picked up a lot of road noise … Kind of annoying.

Another steep climb is Moody, and I decided to film this with the helmet mount instead. This is a short but steep climb, and perfectly suited for a suffer video … And you can hear that suffrage too.

I went searching for a mother steep climb, and then I hear people talking about China Grade, so I looked this up …. Hmmm 10% grades for a little over a mile … Ok, I’ll go for that. As you can tell, this was on the handlebar mount.

I’m still undecided on which is the best way to film these. On the one hand, helmet cam won’t pick up all the annoying road noise, but on the other hand, I would have to concentrate on keeping my head up. On steep climbs, you tend to look down on the ground, so that’s where the handlebar mount would be handy.