I blog with my iPod touch. Seriously. This whole blog was made using my iPod touch. Yes, it is annoying to type on a tiny touchscreen, but you do get used to it. I love the portability of the iPod; even with a charger it weighs less than 200 grams and can easily fit in a small handbag or pocket. Its perfect when you’re trying to travel light. Or inconspicuously.
There are some seriously cool apps and accessories out there for iPhoneography and iVideography, some of which work just as well with the iPod touch. But I’m not that technologically minded. Plus, I don’t want to pay for anything (the iPod’s expensive enough). So here’s how I produce this blog for free.
Major blogging platforms all have mobile apps. I use WordPress and the app works well enough, although you have to write in html (which is easy to get used to). You can write, edit and view comments and stats, all from the app. It’s even possible to write while offline and then update when you get wifi access.
To add photos from the Internet, you need to first save them to your iPod and then upload them through the app. This is a little more tedious than using the desktop version of WordPress.
The worst thing is video uploading – it’s impossible to do directly from your iPod without paying for a wordpress upgrade. This is especially annoying since you can film, edit and upload direct to YouTube, but then can’t add it to your blog. To get around it, you need to go to the regular WordPress site, log in, then add a video from there. It’s a real nuisance on the iPod’s small screen.
The newest version of the WordPress app (version 3.1) now allows you to add videos from YouTube directly within the app. Just copy the link and paste it into your blog post as you would when using the desktop version. Yay!
The 4th generation iPod includes a camera (960 by 720 pixels). It’s never going to replace my ‘real’ camera, but it is a way I can instantly add a photo to my blog. There are lots of cheap or free apps out there for editing photos – just google iPhoneography and be astounded. I tend to use Instagram a lot because of its magical way of making mediocre photos suddenly more appealing. My absolute favourite editing app is Snapseed. It’s really easy to touch up pictures and it also has different filters which you have lots of control over. Best of all, you don’t have to crop the image to a square shape! The header image for the blog was made with PicCollage, but since I’ve just discovered InstaCollage and PhotoCollage, they’ve taken over as my go to apps for making collages.
For adding photos from photo sharing sites like Flickr, or elsewhere from the web, first save them to your iPod and then upload through the blogging app (as detailed above).
The ability to film in HD (720p), edit and then share, is probably my favourite feature of the iPod. When editing on such a small screen, I like apps that are visually simple as well as being straightforward to use. Splice is a less complicated version of iMovie; using the free version, you can edit clips together and add transitions and titles. But you can’t add a soundtrack.
To get around this I use Reeli. This app gives you ‘storyboards’ to follow when filming, but each clip can only be a few seconds long. It takes a little patience, but if you make lots of short clips with Splice then import them to Reeli, you can put them together, add music from your iPod, or a voiceover, then export them and reimport back to Splice to continue editing. It’s a very roundabout way and is still pretty limited since you can’t choose which part of a song to add (it just starts from the beginning of the track).
Once you’ve made a movie and exported it from the app, you can then add it to YouTube or Vimeo and hey presto! It’s ready to share with the world and add to your blog.
One last piece of advice; buy a good case for your iPod. I bought the prettiest one in the shop without any thought about function. Buy a textured case! Better still, get one with a wrist strap. When you’re filming over the edge of a precipice or on a bumpy boat ride, you’ll thank me for it. Having it slip out of your hand and slide towards a hole in a 170 metre-deep glacier is not an experience you want to go through.
So, now you know how to blog for free using your iPod, get going!